The Kia Telluride is quite simply one of the best 3-row crossovers available in America.
On the inside. We find class-leading legroom one of the best cargo room figures available in the 3-row crossover segment and interior volume that definitely rivals some of those big body-on-frame SUVs out there, but the Telluride is only a little bit longer than something like a Toyota Highlander. So it’s still easy to park.
We have the Sedona minivan the Sorento 3-row crossover, which is on the smaller end of things, and then we have this guy right here. The Telluride is designed to do business with the bigger 3-row crossover in America, like the Chevy Traverse, the Volkswagen Atlas and as an alternative to a body-on-frame SUV like a Chevy Tahoe. For this crossover Kia definitely decided to go for a big and boxy style. It makes the Telluride look a little bit bigger than it really is front.
We have LED headlamps in the top and trim only if you get most of the trims of Telluride, you will get halogen lamps. We have a variation of the Kia Tigers, nose grille, that we see in the other Kia product, and then we have LED fog lamps down at the bottom again only in the top and trim, because aerodynamics are still important even on big vehicles like this, we have Some intake vents right here on each side of the front, bumper that helps release pressure up front and guide airflow around for better fuel economy. The boxy styling continues as we move on over to the side. This reminds me an awful lot of the ill-fated Kia Borrego about 12 years ago, or so Kia decided to introduce a body-on-frame traditional v8 powered SUV.
This is not one of the larger 3-row crossovers in America on the outside, but very much like we see in the Kia Sorento it is one of the largest on the inside, as will cover in a bit so on the outside. This is three inches shorter than a Mazda cx-9, but on the inside we have eight inches more legroom than that Mazda and more cargo room in the back. As well, thanks to this relatively vertical hatch in case you’re wondering the black wheels that we see on this particular trim are standard in the SX model, and these are the only wheels available in this particular trim. So if you don’t like black wheels, you’ll have to step down the trim and if you want black wheels, you’ll have to step up to the SX.
Moving to the rear we find LED tail at models. You’ll really notice the overall width of the hatch that really helps improve overall cargo practicality on the inside to exhaust tips, just on the passenger side and no metal trim at the bottom of the bumper, like we do see in the Sorrento. If you didn’t know it by now, the Telluride and the Hyundai Palisade are closely related.
Already the Telluride is designed to be the boxier slightly more rugged, looking alternative and the palisade is supposed to be a little bit more refined a little bit more luxury oriented. Both vehicles share the same active safety systems, but they come in slightly different combinations. For instance, the palisade, for some reason, does not have blind spot monitoring standard, but the Telluride does so we get a little bit more safety content standard in this than we do in the Hyundai. Also included standard on all Telluride models is full speed, range radar, adaptive cruise control, autonomous braking with pedestrian detection, lane keeping and rear parking sensor.
There’s some additional safety features available as well like a 360-degree camera front parking sensor and an available heads-up display. This model has absolutely everything on it. Under the hood, we find just one engine available at the moment — 3.8 liter direct injection v6. Although the displacement sounds familiar, this is an updated 3.8 liter engine features direct injection and the ability to run on the Atkinson cycle, that helps improve overall efficiency by sacrificing a little bit of torque, depending on the drive mode that you’re in. In case you’re wondering this is essentially the same cycle that the Toyota Prius hybrid engine runs on in order to save fuel in that vehicle as well. Power comes in that 291 horsepower with 262 lb-ft of torque backing it up. It’s made it to a standard, 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive is available.
Fuel economy comes in at 23 miles per gallon if you choose front-wheel drive and 21 mpg if you get all-wheel drive. All wheel drive system is a modified version of what we see available in the Kia Sorento. It has the ability to command a full lock of the center coupling, so you can split power, 50/50 front and rear at the press of a button on the inside. That gives you better traction in really slippery situations like snow ice or on gravel roads like we’re. On right now, the front seats, the Telluride are certainly comfortable, but for some reason, they’re not quite as adjustable as top-end terms of other Kia models or as the related Hyundai pal estate.
For instance, we don’t have four-way adjustable lumbar support for some reason that strikes me is a little bit of an auto mission when we do have the power extending thigh cushion in the top-end trim all models, the Telluride get a tilt, telescopic steering column based models, get A urethane wheel, upper end, trims get a leather wheel, the wheel does have a decent range of motion and we have a two-possession seat memory over there on the door. Another omission worth noting the passenger seat does not have adjustable lumbar support in any trim. Popping back into the second row. We find the Telluride real party trick and that is overall combined legroom 117.9 inches front row plus second row plus third row is absolutely massive. That’s eight inches more than we find in a Mazda CX-9 and five inches more than Highlander.
You have your choice between seven or eight seats, I’ll scoot this forward. So you can see the captain’s chairs recline motion. We have a pretty decent amount of recline, definitely more than we find in even some full-size SUVs, and you can really tell the Kia was targeting second row comfort back here, because we also find seat heating and seat ventilation. The controls are over there on the door.
Three stages for either of those functions very few third rows could be described as generous, but the Telluride gets as close as any crossover in America. If I move the second row seat all the way back in its tracks and sit back here in the third row, you’ll notice, I have about half an inch of legroom left but again sitting behind myself up front. I had 12 inches of overall room and because these second row seats can be slid forward and backward, you could apportion that space more equitably. Give everybody about six inches of legroom thanks to the square or profile that we see in the Telluride.
We get a little bit more Headroom back here than we find in the palisade. So if I lean all the way back, I have about half an inch left to notice. This is among the best in terms of third row Headroom. We get a little bit more in something like the Atlas or the new 2020 Explorer, but this is about equal to a Tahoe and better than a Ford Expedition.
The Telluride doesn’t get the power third-row seats that we see available in the Hyundai Palisade, but we still get a manual recline. We get about four or five inches of overall motion. We also have USB charge only ports back here, two cupholders on each side and air vents for the third row, passengers, thanks to the extra width that we see back here, versus something like a Toyota Highlander. Three people are going to be more comfortable in this third row bench than in the Toyota, but remember this is still a relatively narrow area, because the wheels are right.
Next to me, that means that adults are going to be pretty snug back here, thanks to the boxy proportions, the Telluride has class-leading cargo capacity at 21 cubic feet. This ties with the Volkswagen Atlas and the 2018 Ford Explorer both at 21 as well. It’s worth noting, however, that the Ford Explorer for 2020 is shrinking down to 18 cubic feet where the palisade and the ascent also live. To put this in greater perspective.
This is a 40 % larger cargo area behind the third row than we find in the Mazda cx-9 the pilot, the Highlander or even a Chevy Tahoe. But again, if you really need to carry a lot of luggage and a number of people you’re going to want something like a minivan, we can very easily fit three of our 24-inch roller bags across the back ten. If the third row is folded and then, if I lift up this cargo area load floor, we have a reasonable amount of underfloor storage space. The underfloor storage area is the biggest difference between this and the all-new palisade, because it has a power, folding, third or option, and that does take up some of that room in the cargo area.
The underfloor storage area can almost accommodate a 22 inch roller bag. This is the largest size you can carry on to a domestic flight, but it wasn’t able to accommodate two of them. If you completely remove this lid from the vehicle, you could put a 24-inch roller bag in that storage area, but obviously it would stick up even further whether we’re talking about front-wheel drive models or all-wheel drive models, all Tellurides can tow 5,000 pounds. That’s because they decided to put the upgraded cooling system on all versions of the Telluride coming to the US.
Although the tow rating is standard, the hitch receiver on the back is not standard. You do have to pay extra for that on all trims of the Telluride and that’s definitely an option that I would get if you plan on towing or if you routinely carry a lot of heavy cargo in the back or full-size adults in the rear of your Telluride as well, because that comes bundled with a load, leveling rear suspension option. This is not a load leveling air rear suspension like we see in certain pickup trucks or full-size SUVs out there. Instead, this is a hydraulic system and it’s a passive design.
So the action of the rear suspension moving up and down is what causes the fluid to pump around and then level the rear suspension. When you put weight in the back of the Telluride, you’ll notice, it sag, but then after driving a short while you’ll notice that it will level up this kind of system, also known as a Niva mat. Leveling suspension in the rear is less expensive. Overall, both to purchase and to maintain than those air systems that we see in some of the competition as we look around the interior, keep in mind that we are in the top-end SX trim.
So obviously, their features in here that we don’t find on the other models. For instance, we have the suede headliner in this particular model and this large dual pane moonroof. That extends over the second row, passengers heads to just over the third row. Passengers knees, the driver and front passenger, get height, adjustable, shoulder belts and two-way adjustable headrests, the SX trim gets upgraded leather upholstery.
The center and bottom sections are perforated, because these seats are both heated and ventilated. We have moderately aggressive side bolsters on the seat bottom and seat back cushion larger driver shouldn’t have too much of a problem with this, and smaller drivers probably won’t slide around too much the two-toned doors feature a combination of hard and soft touch materials. We have a soft touch, upper section, soft touch middle section right there in the ivory and then a soft armrest, but the bulk of this ivory section right here around the speaker world, that’s a hard plastic, as is the charcoal section at the bottom of the door. Kia puts the door speakers a little bit higher to give us a slightly larger storage bin down there at the bottom of the door and the upper section.
The door features an imitation wood trim, although this is pretty believable as far as imitation wood goes, that believable wood continues as we move on over to the dashboard, where we find a much larger section of it running across the dash soft touch upper section and then Hard plastics lower the passenger side. Glove compartment is a little bit smaller than I would like. I was not able to fit a large tablet. Computer inside there, the imitation wood trim continues across the dashboard.
You can see that we also have some stitching to this upper component. The overall style in here reminds me an awful lot of Kia’s flagship k900 sedan in the middle of the dashboard. We have this optional widescreen infotainment system. The base LCD is pretty large as far as crossovers in America go, but it’s definitely smaller than what we see here.
The system runs Kia’s latest software version. The model that we’re driving has the optional factory navigation, in addition to the Apple Carplay and Android Auto integration, and we also have Sirius FM, delivered data services below the infotainment display. We find three large air vents to help direct air around the cabin some direct access buttons to the various features right there. A programmable favorite button tracked forward backward a tune knob on the right side, volume and power knob on the left and then the controls for the three zone automatic climate control system.
If you want to control the rear zone, we hit this rear button right here and then you control that zone via the infotainment system. The other two zones use these pretty traditional controls. The button for the heated steering wheel is over there on the left and the engine start/stop button is to the left of that and a storage cubby, where we find a USB input that integrates with that Apple Carplay and Android Auto system and two 12-volt power ports. There’s also a Qi wireless charging mat in there and just barely enough room to store one of those larger smartphones and have the lid closed.
The console shifter is a pretty traditional design. The modes are pretty traditional too: we have snow mode, eco mode, comfort, sport and smart mode. Smart mode will automatically select the mode that it thinks is best for the driving situation and we have a button to lock the center coupling. We have a button to disable the auto start/stop system, the parking sensors, both front and rear. Top trim has both of those 360-degree camera enable/disable button, Auto brake hold and an electric parking brake.
The center console lid is a little bit shorter than some, because Kia puts two cupholders right behind it for the rear passengers. This opens to reveal a moderately sized storage compartment. You could probably fit a gallon of milk in there, but you couldn’t close the lid. We have a 12-volt power charging port instead of the full LCD that we see available at the Palisade. The Telluride gets a smaller LCD in the top and trims this houses. The side view mirror camera. You can see we have a left and a right camera right, that’s activated by the turn signal, and this also gives us our pretty typical trip – computer readout status of the vehicle, active safety systems, digital speedometer and the ability to adjust certain vehicle settings. If you get the base model, the Telluride, then you get a much smaller LCD in the middle.
The steering wheel is a four spoke design with sport grips. It’s a leather steering wheel in most models of Telluride, you’ll see on the lot. But if you get the absolute base trim, then you do get a urethane steering wheel.
Let’s get the performance numbers out of the way. First, 7.4 seconds is pretty average for a 3-row crossover in America, but if you get the Honda Pilot with the 9-speed automatic, then it’s going to be faster than this, because, as a very, very aggressive first gear. Now, on the downside, the 9-speed transmission in the Honda Pilot isn’t exactly my favorite in terms of overall shift quality. So I’d be willing to give up a little bit of overall performance in order to get the smoother transmission that we find in here.
Braking score is pretty good for this segment. It can be stopped from 60 mph back to zero in 125 feet. There are wide variety of three row crossovers that take notably longer than this to stop and all versions of the Telluride use the same width, tire 45 s on all models. These are not as wide as what we see in the Mazda cx-9, but definitely wider than some of the options out there. The wider tires definitely help out the handling in the Telluride, as does the all-wheel-drive system that we have in this model.
This doesn’t have a torque vectoring ability and it doesn’t have the ability to send more than 50 percent of the power to the rear axel like we see in the Durango, the Explorer or, to a limited extent, the Honda Pilot. But this still has a very neat and tidy handling nature to it. That said, this is not as sharp or as dynamic as a CX 9 or the brand-new Ford Explorer for 2020.
The Explorer has gone rear, wheel, drive, making it a very interesting option in this segment. The Durango is, of course, rear-wheel drive as well, but it’s an awful lot softer and it’s designed to tow heavier weights. So, as a result, it’s not as sharp or as nimble out on the road as something like this or, of course the CX 9 or the Telluride, but it does have those solid rear-wheel-drive dynamics. So if that’s something you’re looking for it’s still going to have an advantage over the Telluride in that area.
The Ascent doesn’t have quite as aggressive of a center coupling lock-up as the Telluride does, and there is no mode in that ascent where you can command a lock of the centre. Coupling the result of that is that out on slicker surfaces, whether we’re talking about gravel roads or off-road situations or snow and ice, the Telluride is going to feel a little bit more secure than something like that: Subaru ascent. That may surprise some folks out there. But Subaru has really been targeting excellent fuel economy with their all-wheel drive systems and they have been willing to give up just a little bit of off-road ability in the pursuit of that improved fuel economy.
You’ll really notice that in those latest Subaru models because they get a lot more front wheel, slip versus rear-wheel drive power. Even in this top-end SX trim with the 20-inch wheels and tires. I think kia has done a good job at trying to balance ride and overall handling ability. This is a little bit firmer than the base versions of the Telluride, but I think that this is still comfortable for a long highway journey.
This is not quite as soft as something like a Nissan Pathfinder, but not quite as firm as the sporty or top-end versions of the new Ford Explorer one of the things you’ll notice right away. When you hop behind we love the Telluride is how quiet this cabin is. Our cabin oi score came in at 69 and a half decibels. We double check that and triple check that, because it’s awfully low for a mainstream, 3-row crossover.
This is in the same territory as a BMW X5 in terms of overall cabin noise and, again remember we have those 245 with tires all the way around part of that’s, because we get laminated side, glass and an acoustic windshield in all versions of the Telluride. Even the base model they’ve also spent an awful lot of time, giving us extra sound deadening in the firewall and in the floorboards, but because only the front windows are laminated. We do get just a little bit more noise back there in the third row, even though this cabin is one of the quietest in the segment kia gives us the same intercom feature that we see in the Hyundai Palisade, it’s very similar to what we see in The Toyota Highlander, we press this Talk Now button on the driver, talk system and we get a one-way intercom to the second row and the way back. So if you need to talk sharply to the naughty children or your mother-in-law way back there in the third row, you can do that.
But remember it is a one-way intercom, so they can’t talk back regardless of size. Most three row crossovers in America seem to hover around 20 to 21 miles per gallon. This has been averaging about 21.5 miles per gallon over a week of mixed driving, If you want to get better fuel economy in your 3-row crossover, you will need to get something like the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, but it’s not going to be as big on the inside.
As this, the 2020 Highlander is moving to a four-cylinder hybrid system. So it’s probably can get even better fuel economy than we see in the current generation Highlander Hybrid, but at the moment it’s the only game in town. If you want something with better fuel economy out on the road, the Telluride is a pretty compelling option. In the 3-row crossover segment, this is one of the quietest and most comfortable 3-row crossover is available in America, power levels are relatively decent, fuel economy is average, and it has a very composed ride.
Whether we’re talking about driving out here on this winding Mountain Road or out on a rough regretful surface or mild off-roading, we also have an all-wheel drive system. That is definitely one of the more capable entries in this segment outside of something like a Dodge Durango. That gives us a two-speed transfer case, but I think the biggest thing that I noticed during my week, with the Telluride and also during my day with the palisade just the week before we had this car, is that this and the palisade both feel much more Premium than the average three row across there and that surprised me a little bit in many ways. This top-end SX trim is a more appropriate competitor, something like a Buick Enclave or perhaps even an Acura MDX than the Highlander or the pilot, and I’m not just talking about creature comforts.
I’m also talking about the way the Telluride drives. When Kia announced pricing for the Telluride, they surprised just about everybody by starting it at thirty one thousand six hundred ninety dollars for the base LX trim, keep in mind again that the Telluride is one of the largest 3-row crossover is available in America, yet the overall Price tag is quite similar to some of these smaller 3-row crossover is available. In addition to that, the Telluride base model is one of the best equip based models that you can get in the three row segment. We have standard 18-inch, alloy, wheels, synthetic leather seats which you don’t normally find until upper end, trims power, fold and slide.
Second row seats, a leather wrap steering wheel. We do have manual air conditioning up front, but there’s still a rear air conditioning system, which is a nice touch. We have that eight inch infotainment system with apple carplay and android, auto standard in all models, and then we have all of their active safety system standard. As well from radar adaptive, cruise control, with autonomous, braking in pedestrian detection to trailer, sway control and even blind spot monitoring blind spot monitoring is a feature that an awful lot of manufacturers don’t include until you move on up the trim ladder.
So, while getting autonomous, braking and adaptive cruise control is now becoming a little bit more commonplace that next level in active safety technology is generally optional, even in this particular segment. On top of that, Kia also gives us the longest warranty in this group as well with very long powertrain warranty and a long bumper-to-bumper warranty. The top end SX trim that we’re driving was also surprising value at forty six thousand two hundred eighty five dollars plus destination. The one feature that we seem to be missing in the very top and trims of the Telluride that we do find in some of the competitors is a rear seat, entertainment system.
If that’s something that’s of special interest to you, you may need to look elsewhere, but I would argue that the features that we do get in the Telluride far outweigh that particular option. You will find that rear seat entertainment system in something like the pilot elite at forty eight thousand twenty dollars, but you’ll find about two thousand dollars less content overall in that pilot elite, and that puts the true Delta between these two models at around four thousand dollars. Speaking of the pilot, let’s start out our comparison section here, the pilot starts just a hair, less expensive than the tele at 30. 1450. Remember that we get significantly more room inside the Telluride than the pilot, even though on the outside.
It’s not that much bigger! You can thank the relative space efficiency going on in the Telluride for that difference. Now the base model of pilot will have LED headlamps, which we don’t find until upper end trims of the Telluride, but I think that Kia’s choices for equipment in that base model we’re really the right thing to do here. So we get an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Instead of the six speed that we find in the base pilot, we get again more room on the inside and we also have a few features that we don’t see in that base model pilot blind spot monitoring. The leather steer will power tilt. Second row: acoustic, windshield, apple, carplay and android: auto. That’s because that base pilot model does not get the same LCD infotainment system we find in the upper-end trims, and you also don’t get rear parking sensors, which is important at a vehicle.
This big some folks may like the fact that the pilot gets cloth seats in the base trim, but if you’re looking for something that’s a little bit easier to wipe up after someone has spilled something on the seat, then the synthetic leather seats that we see in The telluride may be an advantage at that base price point as well. Then we have that pilot elite that I mentioned earlier. We get a similar loss and feature functionality when we take a look at the sx versus the pilot elite. So again we have more content in the Telluride and it’s gon na be less expensive and we have a longer warranty and you don’t have to deal with that.
Zf9 speed automatic transmission. The pilot has two different transmissions on offer: a six-speed and the lower end trims. A nine speed in the upper end trims and that nine speed has been a little bit controversial. So if you dislike the way that one shifts you can avoid that by getting the Telluride or you can avoid it by getting the lower end trims of the pilot, it’s also worth mentioning that, if you’re looking at mid-level or top-end trims of either of these options, The Telluride is definitely going to feel far more premium than the pilot.
It’s a newer design, but kia has also really emphasized materials, quality and overall interior design to make the Telluride look more premium than the pilot. Next up we have the Volkswagen Atlas, which starts a little bit less at $30,895. The Atlas has long been a favorite of mine, mainly for its family friendliness and the large cargo area in the back. But there are a few things to keep in mind that low base price includes a two-liter engine, not the v6 engine that we see in most trims of the Atlas.
You want the v6. You have to step up to 34,000 $ 95, notably more than the base Telluride, although the Volkswagen pricing ladder is a little bit odd, that base v6 price is for an all-wheel drive model. The next step up in the price ladder for that is a front-wheel drive v6 model, and then we get an all wheel, drive v6 model.
On top of that, it’s a little bit odd. You’ll have to look at the pricing chart to see what I mean there. The atlas also gets a little on the expensive side. It tops out right around $ 50,000, which is about 4 grand more than the Telluride, well, not having all of the same kind of feature content.
Admittedly, we do get a really snazzy LCD instrument, cluster available in the Atlas that we don’t get in the Telluride. But aside from that, the Telluride certainly feels more premium than the Atlas, but where the Atlas really fights back is in the family friendliness and again, this is an area where the kia disappointed me a little bit. You can keep three child seats, latched into the latch anchors of the second row and still tilt and slide those seats forward for very easy access into the third row. The ease of access into the third row, whether you have a child seat or not latched into place, is nearly identical in the Atlas and that’s not something we can say for most of the three row crossovers in America, the Telluride included, in fact, they’re.
Really only three crossovers in this segment that allow you to keep a child seat latched into the second row and still tilt and slide it forward to access the third row. One of them is the Atlas. The other is the Pathfinder and the cx-9, but only the Atlas will have that same range of motion on both the 60 % side and a 40 % side of the second row seats. The CX 9 and the Pathfinder only allow you to do that.
On the 40 % side, so if you have two kids in child seats, it’s gon na be a lot more convenient in the Atlas. It’s one feature that I really really love about that Volkswagen. It also has a huge cargo area in the back, but on the other hand, the Telluride has the same amount of cargo space in the back, and it manages to beat the Atlas when it comes to overall legroom figures. It is still possible, as I showed you to get into that third row from the second row, with a child seat, latched into place.
It’s just not as easy when it comes to overall value and standard active safety technologies. The Telluride is the winner here, and it also is the winner when it comes to reliability. This is something that a lot of folks have asked me to talk about when it comes to the Atlas, because it has had some reliability issues early on personally, however, I think that if you’re really looking for that family focused vehicle, you may be willing to give up a little bit of reliability overall in order to get those convenience features that we see in that Volkswagen.
When you take a look at the standard feature content in that base model Telluride and compare it to an enclave, you can see that it’s a pretty good deal. Overall, the Enclave starts at around $40,000, nearly ten thousand dollars more in the Telluride and when equipped as the SX trim that we were driving ends up right around fifty six thousand dollars significantly more expensive. Now, admittedly, we do get an adaptive suspension and real wood trim in that model, but we also lose a few features that we find in the Kia that you won’t be able to get in the Buick. For instance, the ventilated second row seats the upgraded larger infotainment system and the upgraded headliner in addition to that, the Enclave isn’t as big as the Telluride on the inside you’ll really notice that when it comes to overall legroom in the second row and the third row And the third row overall comfort versus the Buick, what makes this comparison interesting in my mind, is that Buick is not a full-on luxury brand.
So in my head, I have troubles thinking that a telluride would be a good alternative to something like a Volvo xc90 or an Audi q7 sure. It’s going to be an incredible deal versus those other models, but the brand cachet factor just isn’t there for the Telluride. However, Buick isn’t quite in the same category as outtie or BMW, or even Volvo or Acura. So in many ways this particular comparison makes an awful lot of sense.
If you’re looking for better value in a crossover that has a similar personality to the Enclave, that would definitely be the telluride or the palisade. If you’re looking for something with a lot more room on the inside and you’re willing to give up some of the sporty dynamics, then the Telluride and Palisade make a good alternative to the MDX.
I like the way the dashboard is laid out in the Telluride a little bit better than what we see in the palisade, and I also like the overall color palette that we see, especially in the top and trim. But admittedly, there are still a few reasons that you might want to get the palisade. We have a few more storage cubbies going on up front. You have the ability to choose cloth seats.
If you want them, if you’re not interested in leatherette, you can get cloth in the palisade. You cannot in the Telluride, but you do have to give up a leather steering wheel and that’s something that I would really want. You can skip the black wheels. You can get the top and palisade without the black wheels you can’t in the Telluride.
You can also get four-way lumbar support in that top-end model, which does make the driver’s seat more comfortable. But, aside from that, the two models are very, very comparable. The palisade manages to be a little bit less expensive than the base Telluride, but mainly that’s because we lose the leather steering wheel and we lose the leatherette seats when it comes to active safety systems, the two models are equipped very very similarly, we also have the Same towing capacity 5,000 pounds in both models. We have the standard towing package in both models.
The optional load, leveling, rear suspension in both models as well. The top and palisade does get a hair more expensive than the top and Telluride. But that’s mainly due to the fact that we get a full LCD instrument cluster in that model and we have the smaller one in the Telluride that brings us along to my top picks for 2019 and 2020 in this category. My top pick for towing continues to be the Dodge Durango.
I had hoped that Explorer would unseat the Durango as the king of three row towing, but it just hasn’t been able to do that yet. So if you want to tell over 7,000 pounds, the Durango is definitely where you want to be. It’s going to be the only entry in this segment that has an integrated, trailer brake controller as well. The Ford Explorer does do really well when it comes to the fun factor, and that is going to be my top pick.
If you’re interested in handling dynamics – and it comes to the family option, I think the Volkswagens still manages to win over the palisade and the Telluride that second row. Functionality in the Atlas is a huge, huge factor to anybody that has kids in a forward-facing child seat or booster seats. It’s going to make that third row a great deal more usable, especially if you have two kids there or you frequently doing a kid carpool. That’s going to be an awful lot handier when it comes to the best value and the best overall 3-row crossover, I think without question that ends up being the Telluride and the Palisade.
At this moment it may not have the fun factor of the Explorer or the tow rating of the Durango or the family friendliness of the atlas, but it does everything else so incredibly. Well, while giving us an enormous cabin on the inside and hi predicted reliability that it’s absolutely hard to go wrong with the palisade or the Telluride and if you’re shopping for a 3-row crossover in America, that should be at the very top of your shopping list. Unless you have those more specific needs, if my money we’re on the line – and I didn’t need the towing capability, then I would definitely pick the Telluride I think, or the palisade or perhaps to Telluride. I don’t know, let me know what you think about that down.