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Kia getting ready to off road with the Telluride?

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Kia getting ready to off road with the Telluride?

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The Kia range of vehicles covers most things. There are sedans, hatchbacks, crossovers and SUVs. There is even a luxury cruiser in the K900. What the lineup doesn’t have is a dedicated off roader. Something to challenge the Jeep Wrangler or Grand Cherokee. That might be changing with the Korean automaker’s latest hints.

Fresh from seeing the Kia Telluride at the 2019 North American International Auto Show, our appetite is fully whetted for an off-road variant. Fortunately, that’s exactly what the company is hinting at. Tom Kearns, the Telluride's chief designer dropped a hint that the company may be interested in developing some of those off-road prototypes seen at SEMA into production models.

The prospect is only that right now as Kearns, nor anyone else would be drawn further on it.

The concepts we saw at SEMA looked fantastic. As Kia said next to nothing about developing them further, hopes have not been raised for a production model. Until now. Having seen the Kia Telluride for real, I think a dedicated off-road version could be awesome!

Kia Telluride
The Kia Telluride appeared at Detroit and looks to be a solid full size SUV that fits right into the Kia design philosophy. It has eight seats, a high ride height and a size suitable for our roads and appetite. It will also be an NA exclusive model and not sold in Europe.

The design is very bulky but manages to look attractive too. The big front end is typical Kia with squared-off tiger nose grille, headlights at the corner and LED lights in the lower sill. The contours are smooth and unfussy while the roof slopes slightly to the rear. It’s a safe design and one that will resonate well with Kia fans.

Inside, space is definitely not at a premium. What is premium is the materials and the quality of finishing. The Nappa leather seats look very comfortable, driving position is relaxed but commanding and you have all the tech you need close to hand.

Tech features can include a 10.25 inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rear view monitor, wireless smartphone charging, five USB charging ports dual Bluetooth to connect two phones at once, 630-watt 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system with Quantum Logic Surround Sound and Clari-Fi and a head-up display with turn-by-turn navigation.

It will feature a 3.8-litre GDi V6 engine that will produce 287 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. It will use an automatic transmission and feature AWD with switchable driving modes that delivers varying amounts of power to the front and rear. It will also have self-levelling suspension and Downhill Brake Control.

Safety features are plentiful and include Kia Drive Wise suite of kit that includes Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist Rear, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist, Lane Following Assist, Safe Exit Assist, Highway Driving Assist, Driver Attention Warning and Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go.

The Kia Telluride is expected sometime this year. Visit Grimsby Kia, 435 South Service Road Grimsby, ON L3M 4E8 to learn more.

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