The choice between the Kia Telluride and Acura MDX is more than a simple three-row crossover comparison; its a matter of practicality vs style.
We see more three-row crossover SUVs in the market today than at any other time in the American automotive landscape. We’re talking about a pair of vehicles that play in extremely different sandboxes in the market. The Acura is a luxury crossover with three rows of seats while the Kia delivers the same seating in the mainstream market. Which one of these two will be the right fit for you and your family? Let’s find out.
Highlighting the Telluride
The Kia Telluride is an award-winning SUV that has reached height not thought of for a three-row midsize crossover. Nearly every publication chooses this SUV as their top model. The build is right and the configuration delivers the quality feeling desired when its time for some incredible driving on any road. You’ll find the roominess desires, comfort, and quality for all of your pets and passengers, and the high level of safety necessary for you to enjoy the peace of mind you want when you head out for a drive. The Telluride brings a family-friendly mix of quality and performance to every drive.
Highlighting the MDX
The new Acura MDX is now the flagship of the brand, giving us the styling and road manners desired from any luxury SUV. The attractive build is right in a vehicle that’s made to be the right vehicle for road trips and family fun. With seating for seven, the front two rows are the most comfortable, but small kids can feel plenty secure and relaxed in the third row. You’ll find the safety desired and know you’ve got an SUV that brings you a refined feeling that should come with a luxury SUV.
Where Do These Crossovers Compare?
Both of these SUVs use a V6 engine and offer similar fuel mileage. They also offer standard FWD layouts to give you the most efficient drive. the Kia Telluride uses a 3.8-liter engine while the Acura MDX brings a 3.5-liter model. The Kia is a little more efficient with a combined fuel economy rating of 23 mpg, with the Acura delivering 22 mpg combined. This gives you a starting point for similarities, but there are several differences between these two SUVs, which you should consider when its time to shop for your next ride.
Starting Pricing is a Serious Differentiator
The starting sticker price for the Kia Telluride is $32,190 while the Acura MDX starts life at $48,000. Does the MDX offer enough features and qualities to ask for 1.5 times the price of the Telluride? That’s what we’re going to try and find out.
Looks, Handling, Safety; All Make the MDX a Great Fit
Driving the latest Acura MDX brings you a package of features and qualities that feel amazing. This luxury SUV hit all the important marks while giving you some incredible details as well. This SUV is attractive, easy to handle on the road, and it has a high level of standard safety features. What might be a bit of a trouble spot when comparing the Acura with the Kia is the fact that you can say all the same things about the Telluride. That makes us think we need to dig a little deeper.
Applying a Shapely Design in Different Ways
Both of these family-sized crossover SUVs offer good looks, but in different ways. The Kia Telluride has angles and slightly rounded corners which makes it look more like an American SUV rather than one that comes from South Korea. Turning to the Acura MDX, we see a vehicle that delivers European shaping with a broadly angled and textured grille to give it the finishing touches desired. Acura did an amazing job styling the MDX to be elegant and sophisticated without going over the tip.
A Driving Experience You Expect
With these two crossover SUVs playing in different areas of the market, you expect the Acura to offer a much better ride. The MDX uses a 10-speed automatic transmission to be more useful and smoother than the 8-speed transmission of the Telluride. The powertrain found in the Acura MDX is more flexible than that of the Kia Telluride, giving this SUV the smoother feeling on the road. This smooth ride could easily be the result of the refined suspension, better springs and dampers, and package of features meant to help determine the most comfortable ride on any road.
Going Inside the Cabins
The front seats of the MDX offer multiple adjustments and bucket-shaped comfort to provide the support and comfort desired during any drive. This makes the MDX more comfortable than the Telluride. The MDX has a removable section in the middle row to turn it into a six-passenger vehicle which can make access to the rear seats much better for those that need to get back there. The Telluride offers a more conventional layout and it has more room in the cabin with space for adults to fit in the rearmost row.
Safety Matters in Both SUVs
Both of these crossovers bring you an impressive package of safety features to make it easier for you to have the confidence you want during your drive. You’ll have standard automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring in each model.
Drawbacks to the Luxury Model
The base version of the Acura MDX shows up without leather upholstery and doesn’t have a touchscreen for the infotainment system. The infotainment system is controlled via remote touchpad or voice commands, which could be a problem. The Kia Telluride does have wide touchscreens at every trim and offers a five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, which is much better than what you have in the Acura MDX.
Which SUV Should You Drive?
It’s pretty clear that the Kia Telluride is the right midsize three-row crossover SUV for you to drive in this comparison. Unless you want to spend thousands more for nothing more than a slightly smoother ride, the Acura MDX just doesn’t make sense.
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