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Kia Telluride Concept: Detroit Auto Show

What Is It?

This shiny beast is a large SUV. The Kia Telluride Concept takes the company’s hallmark Tiger grille to another level that really wouldn’t look out of place on one of the high-dollar SUVs of this world. The whole vehicle has a luxurious air to it. Note that it’s just a 4-seater with rear seats that recline and support, like those in the first-class cabin of an airplane.

The dashboard has screens, like you’d find in a new Mercedes-Benz or Audi. The sunroof displays therapeutic patterns of light, and each of the leather-covered seats has sensors to determine the health of their occupants. Those four 22-inch wheels are driven by 400 horsepower from a plug-in hybrid system that includes a 3.5-liter V6 engine. Kia claims it could still achieve more than 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

Will They Ever Sell It?

Despite saying this concept “allows us to envision what a full-size 7-passenger SUV could look like,” Kia states it has “no plans to bring the Telluride to production.” However, they go on to mention that it has “a history of delivering production vehicles that bear strong resemblance to preceding concepts,” and to describe the Telluride as “anything but a utopian fantasy.”

So, there could be a large Kia SUV with elements taken from the Telluride. It would be good if the name remained, though. It’s neither a made-up name nor some piece of alpha-numeric vagueness.

Not so long ago, the notion of those large, rear-hinged doors would never have been a practical reality, but advances in strong yet light materials and ingenious manufacturing techniques make almost anything possible. Whether or not they’re substituted by regular doors might just come down to cost.

Why It’s Important

Kia doesn’t have a large SUV in its current portfolio, and given the continued popularity of all things SUV-like, it would make sense to offer one. The biggest right now is the midsize 2016 Kia Sorento. The Kia Telluride Concept tells us where the company is heading, not just in terms of design, but also in technology.

See all 2016 Detroit Auto Show articles

Colin Ryan
Colin Ryan specializes in writing about new cars. But he has also covered trucks, vans, 3-wheelers, even the occasional motorbike. That’s the kind of thing that happens while contributing to the Los Angeles Times, Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Popular Mechanics, Variety, Mazda and Lexus customer magazines, as well as many enthusiast sites and publications. He was also a staff writer at BBC Top... Read More

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