Kia wants Americans to know it’s actually a brand that mixes run-of-the-mill vehicles with premium offerings, like a McDonald’s that also serves filet mignon (chew on that for a second). The company has used the likes of LeBron James to get this message across, plus a wild new luxury concept SUV called the Telluride.
Basically, the Telluride was unveiled at a little car show held each year in Detroit (maybe you’ve heard of it?) to get everyone really excited about the possibility of a big, bad luxury SUV with a Kia badge. And who wouldn’t be? Kia has been able to resurrect some design elements that made American SUVs of times gone by great-looking, especially with a squared-off front end with a big, bold grille and headlights that don’t look like angry, squinting little eyes. The Telluride is brawny without being apologetic, and that’s pretty fantastic.
The sides are simple, without all kinds of weird creases and fake vents that show some designer was working without sleep for far too many days. And, one of the best features are the suicide doors. The rear is also simple, weird taillights and all, which actually kind of works in a strange sort of way.
The Kia Telluride actually looks big inside, with an interior that can tackle all sorts of things (including five rowdy kids and trips to Disneyland). Speaking of which, among the many technological wonders is a system that actually monitors occupants’ vitals through the seats. The results are shown on the door panels, because why not? Then a Light Emitted Rejuvenation (LER) system uses LED lights that sit under the panoramic sunroof to actually put out therapeutic light. This is to treat jetlag and boost energy levels for the passengers. In other words, as your kids are getting woozy in the backseat during a long road trip, some weird lights in the roof kick on, helping get them wound up again so you can hear the same question of “are we there yet?” even more. Good plan, Kia!
Plenty of other crazy interior features abound – far too many to list here. For example, the middle-row seats can almost fold flat, plus they have fold-away footrests. Drivers start up the engine using a push-button that reads fingerprints, like on some smartphones and computers.
Speaking of the powertrain, it includes a transversely-mounted 3.5-liter GDI V-6 that’s paired with an electric motor, so in other words the Telluride is a hybrid. Total system output comes in at 400 horsepower. All-wheel drive is included, meaning no hardcore off-roading with the kiddos. The SUV is also supposed to get over 30 mpg on the highway.
Kia has made it pretty clear that the Telluride is a concept vehicle and won’t become a production SUV. It says so over and over in the press release, and also talks about where the thing would fit in the model lineup, because Kia totally won’t build it (unless we all ask really nice-like).