Kia Pledges to Engine Cubes With New Midi SUV

Kia unveiled a new mid-size SUV at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week targeted squarely at the lucrative cubic capacity-hungry US market – the Telluride.

Designed at the carmaker’s Californian studios and built at its plant in Georgia, the eight-seater features a hairy-chested 291 hp 3.8-liter V6 gasoline direct injection motor also producing 262 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,200 rpm. Transmission is through a sophisticated 8-speed automatic box and works on active on-demand all-wheel drive.

Other sophistications include self-leveling rear suspension where ride height is automatically calibrated depending on vehicle load and there is a choice of four drive modes – Smart, Eco, Sport and Comfort – each using different settings for powertrain, drivetrain, and steering effort mapping.  In addition to the four regular drive modes, drivers can select from two different settings, Snow and AWD Lock, aimed at serious off-road enthusiasts.

Naturally these days, the car is brimming with ADAS and connectivity features including some standouts like forward collision warning, forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and assist, rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist and what many will see as an important safety feature called Driver Talk where a microphone enhances the driver’s voice for rear passengers, so no more turning round when talking!

All this is topped off with a 630-watt, 10-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system with  Quantum Logic surround sound and Clari-Fi, wireless smartphone charging and six total USB charging ports – two in each row.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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