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2023 Kia Telluride adds off-road muscle, higher price – Automotive News

by Nov 4, 2022Blog0 comments

2023 Kia Telluride
Kia’s freshened 2023 Telluride sports a number of changes, but none more telling than a $2,300 increase in base pricing.
The Telluride has been in such high demand despite the pandemic and two years of inventory shortages that Kia anticipates the nameplate can solidify its position as one of the industry’s hottest midsize crossovers even at a higher price.
Kia is also turning up Telluride production from 100,000 to 120,000 a year, a target the company says fits consumer demand, even amid parts shortages and logistical challenges that have plagued the industry.
The Telluride is the brand’s second most popular vehicle behind the Sportage compact crossover. Last year, Kia sold 93,700 Tellurides in the U.S., and more than 80,000 through the first 10 months of 2022.
“As one of the most sought-after three-row family crossovers, Telluride clearly has pricing power beyond its MSRP as dealers charged over sticker well before the pandemic,” said Ed Kim, president and chief analyst for AutoPacific.
Kim said markups on the Telluride have become standard dealer practice, especially since subsequent supply chain issues curbed dealer inventory.
“The price increase will likely serve to help bridge the gap between supply and demand that exists for Telluride right now,” Kim said.
The 2023 freshen also incorporates revised styling, a giant interior display and off-road capability.
New SX and SXP trims join the lineup, sitting above the mid-range EX ($44,620, including shipping). Both are well appointed and offer 20-inch wheels with black finish, Harman Kardon premium audio, leather seating (Nappa leather on the SXP) and active safety equipment that includes Kia’s Highway Drive Assist 2, a combination of lane centering and adaptive cruise control that also works with the navigation system to slow the vehicle in curves.
The SX offers front-wheel drive and starts at $46,825, including shipping. The SXP is all-wheel drive only and costs $51,725 with shipping.
New awd, adventure-oriented X variants — the X Line and X Pro — will also help the crossover appeal to drivers who want more off-pavement proficiency.
“The X trims are mostly about proving the all-wheel drive system,” Kia America COO Steve Center told Automotive News.
“Most drivers won’t do any serious off-roading, but they want to know that their vehicle can stand up to slick roads in inclement weather, and that they can safely go to the trailhead or to the mountain if they want,” Center said.
The X Line can be added to all trims but the base LX and S, and the X-Pro is reserved for the SX and SXP. Both offer an upgraded awd system with traction control that has been engineered for better off-road performance.
The top on the lineup now, the SXP X-Pro, costs $54,120, including destination. The SXP X-Line is $53,120.
Telluride is the second Kia crossover to get the rugged treatment. The fifth-generation Sportage debuted for the 2023 model year with X Line and X Pro trims.
“Offering off-road-oriented trim levels for the Kia Telluride is a natural fit,” Kim said, noting that its upright appearance helps it stand out against a “sea of look-alike aerodynamic family crossovers.”
“It could be argued that the Telluride initiated the trend towards rugged-looking crossovers.”
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