Remember the Kia Borrego? Neither does anyone at this South Korean automaker. It was a large, body-on-frame SUV that was only offered in the U.S. for a couple years. Despite its market failure, Kia may be developing a new full-size crossover.
Making its world debut at the Detroit Auto Show, the brand’s Telluride concept previews what a future production model might look like. It features three rows of seats, rear-hinged back doors and room for up to seven passengers.
Styling is upright and strong, reminding me of a mashup between Volvo’s new XC90 and a Ford Flex. The Telluride is built on a modified version of the Kia Sorento’s architecture. Overall, this design study is appreciably larger than the vehicle on which it’s based.
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Compared to the Sorento, it’s almost 10 inches longer, nearly 5 inches wider, more than 4 inches taller and rolls on a wheelbase that’s been stretched by nearly a foot! No doubt about it, this is a sizeable crossover.
Inside, it features an expansive and technology-packed cabin. First and second-row passengers travel in cushy comfort, thanks to its captain’s chairs. The aft pair of these seats bring to mind a first-class airline experience, reclining nearly flat.
Further caring for its precious cargo, these four buckets feature an array of health sensors that monitor passengers’ wellbeing. Information about this is displayed on door panel-mounted screens and are tied to a large, ceiling-mounted LED panel, which can display therapeutic light patterns to improve mood or help fight jetlag.
A finger-print activated push-button start is included and seems like a legitimate feature. This switch fires up the concept’s 3.5-liter direct-injected V6. Paired with an electric motor, this transversely mounted powertrain put out a total of 400 horses and should deliver more than 30 miles per gallon on the highway. All-wheel drive is standard.
The Kia Telluride concept looks great, offers a number of intriguing features that seem ready for primetime and is based on an existing vehicle architecture. The company may claim there are no plans to bring this model to market, but we’d bet they’re hard at work on a production version.
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