You’ve already forgotten about the Borrego, so this large, hulking Kia is sure to impress, if for no other reason than its dimensions.
Photographed in Orange County, the square-rigged three-row you see above is the upcoming Kia Telluride, a range-topping crossover first teased in concept form at the 2016 North American International Auto Show. At the time, the concept’s almost showroom-ready outward appearance (normal side mirrors!) signalled Kia’s intent to put the Telluride into production. Two Kia execs essentially confirmed it earlier this year.
Expected to debut next year as a 2020 model, this is our first glimpse of Kia’s newest beast.
Unlike the concept, however, this Telluride isn’t boasting suicide doors, nor will it monitor your health and wellness. No, this vehicle’s mission is to give an outdoorsy driver with a spouse and six kids a reason to visit a Kia showroom.
The camo is thick with this one, but the model’s blocky proportions are clear as day. It appears nearly identical to the Detroit concept, right down to the raised chrome trim on the B-pillar and a leading roof edge that dips towards the center of the windshield. Hyundai’s planning a similar big-and-bold look for its Santa Fe XL replacement.
The concept parked itself on a stretched version of the Sorento platform. However, while recent comments from U.S. product planner Orth Hedrick led many to believe the Telluride might adopt the rear-drive platform of the K900 sedan, the long front overhang of this model hints at front-drive architecture.
As for what engine lies behind that blunt front end, that’s a mystery. The concept appeared with a plug-in hybrid powertrain generating 400 horsepower, and it’s still possible buyers might be able to choose a 3.5-liter V6/electric motor combo. A lower-trim model will surely just carry a V6, as even the Stinger’s 255 hp 2.0-liter seems too small for this rig. Time will tell.
The Kia Telluride should appear during the upcoming U.S. auto show circuit.
[Images: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde]