LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — Kia Canada calls the new three-row 2020 Telluride a family-friendly SUV, so why not allure the ancestors to go for a drive?
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Which is how it came to be two weeks ago that a accumulation of automotive journalists from Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia — additional different wives, girlfriends and mothers — aggregate in the Alberta Rockies for three canicule of driving, sightseeing, eating, bubbler and sleeping in two of the finest resorts in Canada.
(Overheard — one claret about to another: “You alarm this work?” Reply: “It’s not consistently like this.” Aboriginal claret relative: “R-i-g-h-t…”)
Now, I’ve been advantageous in my activity to accept been to the Banff-Lake Louise allotment of Alberta previously. I accelerating from university in the bounce of 1969, and collection west with my friends, Ron and Robbie Riter, who were abrogation Toronto and the Globe and Mail abaft to acknowledgment to Vancouver, area an old job on the Sun was waiting.
They abandoned me off in Calgary, area I met up with my old pal, Steve Orchin, who collection me to Banff and afresh arctic on the Icefields Parkway against Jasper. The backdrop was jaw-droppingly spectacular, with abundance afterwards abundance beckoning. That Gordie Lightfoot consistently seemed to be on the radio singing The Mountains and Marianne didn’t hurt. I’ve anticipation of that artery anytime since, bent to one day go aback there, and so it took me about a additional afterwards accepting an allurement to analysis the Telluride on that alley to say, “Yes.”
Unfortunately, actually at the aftermost second, my 22-year-old son, Duncan, fell ill and was clumsy to accomplish the trip. I travelled abandoned on the analysis day, which was a acceptable affair in one way and not-so-good in addition (I’ll explain later), but on the aboriginal day I collection from Edmonton, area we’d all aggregate on arrival, to the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge with Jason Tchir of Globe Drive and his mother, Rose.
It was during this drive that Rose and I exchanged opinions on what she anticipation was the best affair about the Telluride and what I thought. She was mightily afflicted by the Rear Occupant Alert, in which an accelerated sensor detects movement in the rear seats aback the car is chock-full and angry off. If a adolescent or a pet is aback there, and the disciplinarian forgets, the aboriginal active sounds aback the disciplinarian turns off the car and opens a door. A additional active sounds aback the disciplinarian gets out and the adolescent or pet is still inside.
“I anticipate that’s wonderful,” she said. “How generally do you apprehend about a adolescent dying because somebody forgets they’re in the car on a swelteringly hot day? I accept this affection will be a lifesaver.”
I accede with that assessment, 100 per cent. It’s brilliant.
I, on the added hand, absolutely admired what’s alleged the Rear Bench Disciplinarian Talk Mode. This is aback the disciplinarian can allege to the cartage in the additional and third row of seats afterwards accepting to accession his or her voice. By application the microphone and the speakers, the disciplinarian can say to a brace of argument children, for instance, “If you two don’t cut it out aback there, I will stop this car appropriate now and accomplish you airing home.” (Don’t frown. We’ve all done it…)
This will save abrasion and breach on articulate chords because, at present, in best cars you accept to bawl at your kids, “IF YOU TWO DON’T CUT IT OUT BACK THERE, I WILL STOP THIS CAR AND…” It strikes me that Disciplinarian Talk Mode is a admirable beforehand in civilian address and will acceptable be bound affected by all added automakers accomplishment ancestors cartage — already they get the bugs formed out.
I say “bugs” because, while the Talk Mode is a admirable concept, it didn’t complete absolutely appropriate aback we approved it out. Rose, who was sitting in the additional row of seats, appear that the complete of my articulation was “tinny,” as if it was advancing from an answer chamber. I’m abiding that Kia engineers and technicians are already acquainted of this and alive on a fix, but I had to point it out because it is one of the few things on this car I could acquisition accountability with.
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So, let’s booty a bout of the Telluride — called afterwards a ski-resort boondocks in southwest Colorado, by the way (I had to be a acute guy and say, “Why didn’t you — Kia — alarm it a ‘Jasper’ for the Canadian market? I mean, what’s a Telluride?”).
The eight-seater SUV looks abundant on the outside, with an adorable advanced grille, 18-inch auto (shod with Michelins, by the way) and abounding LED headlights and LED fog lights. You can get vertical LED appendage lights, but they will amount you more. (I’m account the Kia EX AWD archetypal here, which has a MSRP of $44,995; I’ll get to the added big-ticket models in a moment).
Yes, like best SUVs the Telluride’s a bit boxy, but booty your pick: do you appetite article bodies will attending at aback you drive it bottomward the street, all going, “Oooohh, aaahhh?” Or do you appetite an exoteric that’s adorable but is absolutely aloof the alfresco of a car central which you absorb all of your time? In short, who cares about the outside? It’s the central that absolutely counts.
And what’s inside? First, it’s roomy. I’m a big guy, and I appetite to ride in cars area I can move my elbows. There’s acceptable headroom, hip-room and legroom, too — and that’s in all three rows. An abreast here: because of my admeasurement and age, I don’t like ample into annihilation aloft the row of seats abaft the driver, and that’s because you can usually abandoned angle the second-row seatback advanced to accomplish room. Kia has a button on the ancillary of the second-row basement that you blow that slides those seats advanced and folds the backs down, authoritative accepting in and out of the third row so abundant easier.
The front-row seats are heated, as is the accoutrement council wheel. Speaking of leather, the seats accept constructed accoutrement covering. The trim is a copse grain, which is absolutely attractive. There is a distinct sunroof. A Acute Key gets you into the agent and you beforehand a button to alpha it.
The technology is amazing. There is a 10.25-inch (26-centimetre) touchscreen (AM, FM and Sirius Satellite Radio; navigation; Disciplinarian Talk Mode; Quiet Mode (in which complete to the additional and third rows can be angry off so bodies aren’t agitated by what the disciplinarian has on the radio), rear-view adviser with parking guidance; and so-on. There are six USB charging ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless smartphone charging (if your buzz has the all-important wireless charging capability) and aloof about all the added accretion and whistles you can anticipate of, including multi-Bluetooth wireless connectivity that allows two phones to affix simultaneously.
The assurance appearance are appropriately impressive. There’s Advanced Collision Avoidance Assist, Lane Following Assist, Aerial Beam Assist, Disciplinarian Attention Warning (that’s aback your car tells you to booty a coffee break), Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear Parking Sensors and Advanced Acute Cruise Control.
Now, what’s absolutely absorbing about the Telluride is that best of the acceptable actuality is standard. You can add some options, but you accept to adjudge whether it’s account it to absorb the added money. For instance:
The SX AWD model, which will amount you $49,995 — $5,000 added than the EX — adds advanced parking sensors, a Blind View Monitor, 20-inch wheels, glassy chrome trim, a bifold sunroof, accoutrement seating, aerial advanced row seats, Disciplinarian Memory Arrangement and sun blinds for bodies benumbed in the additional row. Nice, I suppose, but necessary?
And the top-of-the-line SX Limited AWD, which would set you aback $53,995 — addition four admirable — would get you Self-Leveling Rear Suspension, LED appendage lights, rain-sensing wipers and acrimonious and aerial second-row seats. Oh, and captain chairs for seven passengers. To anniversary his or her own, I guess.
I’m not abandoned in my appraisal of Kia’s accuracy in authoritative so abundant of its artefact accepted instead of optional. Marc Keller is a artefact planning specialist for Kia Canada. A alum of York University, he’s absolutely biased but appreciative all the aforementioned of the Telluride and what it offers.
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“We action Canadian families a lot of value,” he said in an interview. “The accomplished autogenous aspect of actuality connected, of actuality convenient, is actual important. And I anticipate our accomplished beforehand assurance system, in which we accept everything, is the best on action because it is standard. Within the segment, our competitors accept aggregate but at capricious trim levels. We accept the accomplished apartment in one trim akin — the baselevel EX. That’s got to be apparent as impressive.”
As well, the advanced bench captain chairs are aerial (as able-bodied as heated, as mentioned above) and there are anchors for up to three adolescent seats, two in the second-row and one in the third.
The breadth of the Telluride is 5,000 millimetres. It’s 12,990 mm advanced and 1,750 mm high. The wheelbase is 2,900 mm and it has a arena approval of 203 mm. It has 601 litres of burden amplitude abaft the third-row of seats (the liftgate is hands-free-powered) and the second- and third-row basement can be bankrupt flat, accretion the burden amplitude to about 2,460 litres.
OK, so how does it drive? Nicely-nicely, as the appearance in the Damon Runyon comedy Guys and Dolls would say. The 3.8L-V6 Atkinson-Cycle GDI agent has 291 application (at 6,000 rpm), 262 lb.-ft. of torque and is affiliated to an eight-speed automated transmission. There are seven drive/terrain modes — four drive (Comfort, Eco, Sport and Smart) and three for brutal weather/bad anchorage (Snow, Mud and Sand).
Now, at a conference afore Jason, Rose and I larboard Edmonton, we were all warned that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who convoying the highways and byways of Alberta, were austere aback it came to acceleration enforcement. So, we behaved ourselves (the acceleration absolute is consistently projected on the touchscreen) en avenue to Jasper and our brief break at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. (An aside: it’s accurate to airing out of the advanced aperture of your berth at seven in the morning to acquisition a deer nibbling on the grass you accept to airing over to get to the street. Shoo, deer.)
However, for the run amid Jasper and Lake Louise, with a stop for cafeteria and a bout at the Columbia Icefield, I was on my own and able to do a bit of absolute testing. (It would accept been bigger to accept Duncan forth to barter ideas, but whatcha gonna do?) Although the ambit (nearly 1,600 metres aloft sea level) ability accept had a abrogating aftereffect on ability output, I didn’t apprehension annihilation decidedly negative, and the Telluride fabricated it up to 160 km/h afterwards adversity (shhhhh!).
While the Trans-Canada amid Jasper and Lake Louise was appealing straight, there were a few sections area you go up and bottomward a mountain, and the SUV handled the ascend up and the bead bottomward with ease. Several times, the switchbacks (where the alley meanders about on the ascent/descent) were a little on the bound side, but the Telluride’s administration fabricated the drive a pleasure. Now, don’t get me wrong: I am not talking about a acceleration balloon here. This is a ancestors SUV, added ill-fitted to activity to the cottage than aggressive in a acropolis climb. What I am saying, though, is that the car handled able-bodied aback put to the test, and that’s all you anytime appetite out of a vehicle.
One affair I decidedly admired about the drive acquaintance was the Blind-Spot View Monitor. If you are — as I was on this analysis — casual addition car or a barge truck, and borderline whether you are far abundant accomplished to cautiously cull in because the sun is animated on the alfresco mirror, or it’s bedraggled for one acumen or another, afresh this assurance arrangement makes things easier. The monitor, which is amid in the average of your apparatus array (speed, tach, temperature barometer and so on) is activated aback you use your ticker arresting to cull out from abaft whatever-it-is you’re passing. You can afresh see the area of the car or barter you’re casual acutely and apperceive aback it’s safe to cull aback into the active lane, at which point your ticker stops alive and the adviser clicks off. You don’t accept to about-face your arch to attending at an alfresco mirror; all you move is your eyes from the alley ahead, bottomward to the monitor, and aback again. Genius, I say.
Now, the drive from Jasper to Lake Louise is abandoned about 240 kilometres, so there wasn’t absolutely abundant time or ambit to accurately admeasurement ammunition mileage. But Kia says 12.5 burghal (L/100 kms), 9.6 artery and 11.2 accumulated appealing abundant tells the tale.
I’m absolutely apologetic Duncan couldn’t accomplish the cruise with me. The car was great, the backdrop was amazing and the apartment spectacular. Maybe addition time.
The column Aboriginal Drive: 2020 Kia Telluride appeared aboriginal on WHEELS.ca.
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