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2020 Volkswagen Atlas vs. 2020 Kia Telluride: Which Is Better?

The 2020 Volkswagen Atlas and 2020 Kia Telluride and are recent additions to the 3-row midsize SUV segment. Let’s see how they stack up against each other.

Quick Facts

  • Volkswagen came out with the Atlas Cross Sport for 2020
  • The Kia is all-new for 2020

2020 Volkswagen Atlas

2020 Volkswagen Atlas

Base Price: $31,865 / Read our 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Review

What we like: A third row roomy enough to accommodate full-size adults, a plethora of cupholders and storage slots

What we would change: Engine power lacking, no hybrid option, limited towing capacity

Overview: Developed specifically for North America the Volkswagen Atlas is built here in the states, specifically Chattanooga, Tennessee. The large SUV has a spacious cabin which can comfortably seat seven passengers, an appealing feature for families. The interior is uncomplicatedly European as is the driving experience.

What’s new for 2020:  The Atlas is now available with Volkswagen’s Car-Net Telematics as a standard feature as is Wi-Fi with a subscription.  The SE w/Technology R-Line trim gets front and rear parking sensors plus the hands-free tailgate. The SE w/Technology trim gets 20-inch alloy wheels, while the SEL Premium trim receives 21-inch alloy wheels.

Features and technology: While the cabin is European simple it’s handsome and uses the right amount of high-quality plastics. You get more than 17 cupholders, a folding and sliding second row and generous cargo space when the seats are up (20.6 cubic feet) or folded flat (96.8 cubic feet). The third row is worth mentioning because it can actually accommodate full-size adults and is easy to access since the second row slides forward. Another notable feature are the driving modes, specifically the Sport mode which sharpens the driving experience and also works when adaptive cruise control is engaged.

What does the future hold: Volkswagen just introduced the all-new Atlas Cross Sport for 2020. It is a 5-seater with a notable raked roof. See the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas models for sale near you

2020 Kia Telluride 

2020 Kia Telluride


Base Price: $32,735 / Read our 2020 Kia Telluride Review

What we like:  The polished look and slight rake to the SUVs stance, room for eight, loaded with safety technology

What we would change:  Third row could be roomier, lacks rear seat entertainment, and the glovebox seems like an afterthought

Overview: Built expressly for the U.S. market the Kia Telluride offers both front-wheel-drive (as standard) and all-wheel drive.  Kia’s all-new midsize SUV is packed with modern comfort and safety features. Driving the Telluride is a smooth and comfortable experience, with the AWD version offering a variety of driving modes. The 2020 Kia Telluride is a good bet for a reliable, comfortable, and spacious 8-passenger SUV.

What’s new for 2020: The Kia Telluride was all-new for 2020. Built in West Point, Georgia it arrives as Kia’s newest family-hauling SUV with three rows and seating for 8 passengers.

Features and technology: The interior of the Kia Telluride oozes luxury with its high-quality materials and workmanship. On the S and EX trims a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat is standard, while the SX comes equipped with 12-way adjustment. Real leather is standard on the SX and EX trims.

The Telluride boasts and abundance of safety and driver-assist tech, which come standard on the base model. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration are also standard. Move up to the EX trim and a sound-absorbing windshield is added as is a larger 10.25-inch touch-screen infotainment system display. The next level up, which is the SX trim, adds a 10-speaker Harmon Kardon premium sound system, a larger driver information display, and a surround-view camera system.

What does the future hold: With the Kia Telluride being all-new for 2020 there may only be small changes like package enhancements or additional exterior colors for the 2021 model year. See the 2020 Kia Telluride models for sale near you

Atlas vs. Telluride: Strengths comparison

Volkswagen Atlas Benefits: Third row can accommodate full-size adults, generous cargo space, lots of cupholders and storage cubbies

Kia Telluride Benefits: Doesn’t ride like an SUV, full suite of safety and tech features, an excellent warranty

Atlas vs. Telluride: Which is better?

The Volkswagen Atlas checks off all the boxes when it comes to passenger space, cost, uncomplicated design and driving experience. The Kia Telluride however, offers much in the way of comfort, as well as impressive tech, features and design for a midsize SUV. With a long warranty, roadside assistance coverage and standard driving-assistance and collision-avoidance technologies the Telluride offers more value in the long run. Find a Volkswagen Atlas for sale or Find a Kia Telluride for sale

2020 Volkswagen Atlas 2020 Kia Telluride
Popular Powertrains
Engine 2.0-liter turbo I4 3.8-liter V6
Horsepower 235 hp @ 4,500 rpm 291 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque 258 lb-ft @1,600 rpm 262 lb-ft @ 5200
Transmission 8-speed automatic 8-spd automatic
Fuel Economy 24 mpg (22 city/26 hwy) 23 mpg ( 20 city/26 hwy)
Also Available 3.6-liter V6
Warranty 4 years/50,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 stars n/a
Max Seating Capacity 7 8
Wheelbase 117.3 inches 114.2 inches
Overall Length 198.3 inches 196.9 inches
Width 78.3 inches 78.3 inches
Height 70.0 inches 68.9 inches
Turning Diameter 38.1 feet 38.8 feet
Headroom, Front 41.3 inches 40.9 inches
Headroom, Rear 40.4 inches 40.2 inches
Headroom, Third Row 38.3 inches 38.1 inches
Legroom, Front 41.5 inches 44.1 inches
Legroom, Rear 37.6 inches 42.4 inches
Legroom, Third Row 33.7 inches 31.4 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 61.5 inches 61.6 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 60.8 inches 61.2 inches
Shoulder Room, Third Row 54.9 inches 55.3 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 153.7 cu. ft. 178.1 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 96.8 cu. ft. 87.0 cu. ft.

Frankie Rogers
Frankie Rogers
As part of the Autotrader family, I’m involved with asset management and content production. When I'm not gathering images for a review, I drive a 1970 Chevrolet Camaro that's been a slow restoration project. For trips to the local Home Depot, I drive a 1970 Chevrolet C20.

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