It’s been just three years since the Kia Telluride rolled onto the scene, winning a variety of awards in the process. But the South Korean carmaker isn’t content to rest on its laurels it seems, as it’s ready to reveal an update of the three-row crossover at the New York International Auto Show next week.
The automaker promises to add new “convenience and technology upgrades throughout” the 2023 Kia Telluride. And, as it is signaling with its teaser release, there will be “bold new design elements inside and out.”
But what may draw plenty of attention is the addition of a new X-Pro model that is aimed at those who want a version of the Telluride they can take off pavement. The new trim package is expected to pick up on the theme Kia first introduced with the new Sportage X-Pro package.
Keeping things fresh
The Telluride has been a big hit for Kia, not only generating plenty of sales but helping transform the image of a brand once known for building small, inexpensive passenger car models. The Telluride debuted in spring 2019 as a 2020 model and soon nabbed an assortment of awards — even beating out sibling brand Hyundai’s similar-sized Palisade CUV for honors as North American Utility Vehicle of the Year.
Last year, Americans purchased nearly 94,000 Tellurides, with total sales now topping 227,400 since the nameplate was introduced.
But in a crowded segment, Kia clearly worries this is yesterday’s news and wants to keep things fresh.
Updated styling and technology
From a design standpoint, the first teaser image suggests we’ll see a new front fascia, as well as revised headlights and bumpers, both front and back. Signs are that Kia will migrate to LED lighting, at least for the daytime running lamps. The pic also shows a new, raised roof-rail design.
A second image reveals some major changes coming to the interior, as well, starting with a huge new digital screen that covers well over half of the instrument panel. Though a bit smaller, it hints at what Mercedes-Benz has done with its new Hyperscreen technology. In all likelihood, we’ll see a single sheet of glass covering two or more integrated digital screens, but they’ll be significantly larger than what’s found in the current version of the Telluride. A key question is whether the widescreen display will be an option on lower trim packages.
Expect to see the new screen backed up with new technologies, from more USB ports to an updated infotainment system, as well as an expanded suite of advanced driver assistance systems.
New X-Pro trim takes things off-road
Kia isn’t saying much about the X-Pro trim. Speculation is that the Telluride model will improve on the existing model’s off-pavement capabilities, though don’t expect to see it go head-to-head with the likes of the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee.
If the Sportage X-Pro is any indication, look for enhancements to include off-road wheels and tires, LED foglights, a beefed-up roof rack capable of holding a pop-up tent for two, possibly three, campers, and other ruggedized body details.
The addition of the X-Pro line should come as no surprise. The COVID-19 pandemic got a lot of otherwise housebound Americans to head for the great outdoors where they could shed their masks for a little bit. All number of competing brands have introduced off-road-oriented packages of their own of late, including Mazda with the now CX-50, as well as Subaru’s expanding Wilderness line.
TheDetroitBureau.com will be on hand to cover the debut of the 2023 Kia Telluride at next week’s NYIAS. We’ll also pick up on the debut of the updated 2023 Hyundai Palisade, among the many previews coming to the Big Apple.