2023 Kia Telluride X-Line Review

The 2023 Kia Telluride X-Line is one of the toughest vehicles I’ve had to review.

Not that it’s a bad car—far from it. Pretty much from the moment the Telluride launched in 2019, it has won plaudits from critics (AutoGuide included) and been a sales success for dealers. Kia’s three-row is in such heavy demand that it regularly sells for more used than new.

The thing is, the Telluride was already at the front of the class when we last drove it mere months ago. The 2023 refresh looked light on surprises, too. Could I really just say “the same, but better?”

Uh, yes, because that’s exactly what this is.

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Kia Telluride vs Subaru Ascent Comparison

Kia Telluride vs Subaru Ascent Comparison

Going into this comparison, it almost didn’t seem fair.

It’s no secret that the Telluride has been a smash hit for Kia. The brand’s larger three-row has won awards right out of the gate, and folks are paying over list for used examples. The Telluride has immediately become one of the very best choices in the three-row crossover set.

The Subaru Ascent had its own time in the spotlight, roughly six months before the Telluride’s debut. A far cry from the maligned Tribeca before it, the Ascent leans into the modern Subaru values of pragmatic practicality and a learning curve as steep as playing Pong.

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Detailed Specs

Price / $35,690 - $52,785
Engine / 3.8-liter 6-cylinder
Power / 291 hp
Torque / 262 lb-ft.
Drivetrain / FWD / AWD
Transmission / 8AT
Fuel Economy (city/hwy) / 18-20 mpg / 24-26 mpg
Cargo capacity / 21 cu ft.

Our Final Verdict