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2021 Kia Telluride Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2021 Kia Telluride Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: LX vs S vs EX & SX

What 2021 Kia Telluride Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

The Kia Telluride is a relatively new addition to the industry, and it has certainly gained a lot of fans in its short time in the market. Many people are drawn to the Kia Telluride because it has a spacious cabin, stylistic details that are both elegant and rugged, and many advanced technologies.

Perhaps the biggest thing going for the Telluride is its competitive price tag. Customers usually can't help but compare the Telluride to other three-row SUVs, and the Telluride does very well when considering both its affordability and the quality of its features.

From a size standpoint, the Telluride is ideal for many people. It sits eight inches off the ground, giving drivers a good amount of clearance and a slightly taller perspective from behind the steering wheel. There is 41.4 inches of leg room in the first row, and second-row passengers can spread out with 42.4 inches of leg room. In the back, however, leg room is only 31.4 inches, so the third row would primarily be suited for children.

Cargo capacity can be maximized by folding down the second and third rows. This creates 87 cubic feet of storage space. The dedicated storage area behind the third row has a volume of 21 cubic feet, and lowering just the back seats down gives people 46 cubic feet of room to hold cargo.

Since there are four trims of the 2021 Kia Telluride, there is a lot to consider. What's great is that even the base model, which is the LX, has plenty of features. The list of advantages only goes up from there, and the SX offers the best in luxury and convenience. This guide will provide prospective customers with many details regarding what's included with each trim of the Telluride.

Before getting into the comparisons, it's important to note that all trims run on the same engine. The 2021 Telluride uses a 3.8-liter V6 engine. It provides an impressive 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, along with a 5,000-pound towing capacity. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the Sportmatic Shifter can be used when people want to mimic the feeling of driving a manual.

All-wheel drive is available on all trims of the Telluride, and for many, it can be a smart move to get the additional traction. Front-wheel drive models are estimated to achieve 20/26 (city/highway) miles per gallon. With all-wheel drive, fuel efficiency drops to an estimated 19/24 miles per gallon.


Compare the 2021 Kia Telluride LX vs S Trim Levels. What is the Difference?

Both of the lower two trims have a bold front grille, but the LX's grille is gray in comparison with the S's dark metallic grille. Likewise, the LX's skid plates have a silver finish, and those in the S have a premium silver finish. In the LX, the window surround is a chrome, which really stands out and looks like a luxury feature. In the S, the surround around the window is a satin chrome to make the SUV look even more sophisticated. Satin chrome is also found in the door handles, lower door mouldings, and front bumper air ducts of the S trim.

The two trims have body-color side mirrors that have heating elements and LED turn signal indicators built into them. Only the S has a power sunroof to let in fresh air when the weather is ideal. Since it can be operated with the push of a button, it's easy to operate.

Roof rails only come standard with the S, so this would be something to think about if anyone plans on using the roof to carry skis, snowboards, or other gear. Though both trims have a rear spoiler and shark fin antenna, only the S has dual chrome exhaust tips that add to the sporty nature of the SUV. When looking at the exterior of these two trims, some people might immediately notice that the S sits on 20-inch wheels. In comparison, the LX has 18-inch wheels.

Up until this point, some of these differences may seem minor. It's true that aesthetics doesn't necessarily affect drivability, but they could affect the overall enjoyment of a vehicle.

When examining the cabin of the LX and S, there are some other small differences. For instance, only the S has LED interior lighting, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and a leather-wrapped gear shift knob. The S is the trim to pick if anyone wants heated front seats, and perhaps more importantly, captain's chairs in the middle row. This takes seating capacity down to seven. In contrast, the LX has a bench in the middle row and the ability to accommodate eight total people.

Otherwise, the cabins are very similar, even down to the seat trim, which is a Sofino synthetic leather. The two trims have UVO link, which lets people remotely access their vehicles to start the engines, lock or unlock doors, and pinpoint the location of a vehicle.

Making it convenient to get in the vehicle and start things up is a Smart Key. It can stay in a pocket while the driver touches the door handles to unlock them, and push-button start allows the key to stay securely hidden away during the duration of a trip. An eight-inch touchscreen is standard, and it comes with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, five USB charger ports, and six speakers.

Technology is heavily used in the safety components as well. All Tellurides come with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, and these systems can detect the presence of pedestrians. Tellurides also have blind spot monitoring as a standard feature, in addition to several driver-assist systems that can keep the SUV centered in a lane and out of the way of rear cross traffic. Every trim has a parking distance warning mechanism built into it, and they all have a driver attention warning system that can alert drivers when it seems like their attention needs to be refocused on the road.

Compare the 2021 Kia Telluride S vs EX Trims. What is the Difference?

The EX provides customers with the option to get the Nightfall package. This package makes the SUV seem a little more bold and sleek. It includes black skid plates, special badging, black metallic window surround, and a black front grille.

Having a Smart Power Liftgate is an advantage that the EX has. It works in a similar fashion to the door handles, in conjunction with the Smart Key. One simply has to stand behind the SUV with the Smart Key, and the liftgate opens on its own. To close the gate, a button just has to be pushed in order for the liftgate to do the work again.

Some higher end features are found on the EX. For example, the front window can absorb sound to keep the cabin nice and peaceful. LED headlights are an option on the EX, and LEDs are standard in its rear combination lights. Interestingly, the S has 20-inch wheels, but the EX only has 18-inch wheels.

In terms of technology, the EX has been enhanced with Driver Talk as well as many other elements. Driver Talk is like an intercom system, allowing the driver's voice to be amplified through the rear speakers so everyone can hear him/her. When people in the back are resting or otherwise occupied, Quiet Mode limits any sound coming through the speakers in the second and third rows. One of the biggest changes is that the EX gets a 10.25-inch touchscreen. It also gets wireless charging and has six total USB charging ports.

The EX has an auto-dimming rearview mirror to make it easier to reduce glare at night. Rear-seat passengers in the EX may appreciate having their own controls for the automatic climate system, and they can give themselves some extra shade by using the rear-window sunshades.

At the EX level, seat trim moves up from synthetic leather to full leather, and the front seats are ventilated as well as heated. Whereas the S is limited to being a seven-passenger SUV, the EX can be either an eight- or seven-passenger vehicle.

The only difference in the safety packages of the S and EX is that the EX has Highway Driving Assist. When turned on, this system can adjust the speed of the Telluride to be in line with the speed of the vehicle in front of it. Highway Driving Assist can also take into account the speed limit of the highway.

Compare the 2021 Kia Telluride EX vs SX Trim Levels. What is the Difference?

In many ways, the SX looks just very similar to the EX, but it does have some cool extra features. One thing that some people will definitely notice is the reverse tilt-down outside mirrors in the SX. When in reverse, the mirrors can tilt down automatically to help guide drivers. Plus, satin chrome is found in the S's door handles and window surround.

Only the S has a dual sunroof that extends to the second-row. This expansive window makes the cabin feel more open and airy. The S is also the only trim to have standard LED headlights, high beam assist, and LED front fog lights. Wheels on the SX measure 20 inches, and they have a black sport finish that looks quite distinguished.

The infotainment package is a step up in the SX when compared with that of the EX. Like the EX, the SX's touchscreen measures 10.25 inches. The SX's audio system, though, uses Harman Kardon equipment and has ten speakers, an external amplifier, and a subwoofer.

Though certainly not necessary, the SX provides drivers with a number of tools to help them better see what's around them. First, the surround view monitor provides a 360-degree perspective, and this can be very useful when parking or maneuvering in tight spaces. Second, the blind-spot view monitor gives the driver a live feed from a camera is pointed at the vehicle's blind spot. Third, the rear view monitor comes with parking guidance. (This last monitoring system is standard on all trims.)

A heads-up display is an option on the SX for those who wish to have key vehicle information projected on the windshield, and the SX is the trim comes with an auto-dimming rearview mirror that has HomeLink capability. The one difference in safety elements between the two higher trims is that the SX has a parking distance warning in the front and rear. It can come in handy while parallel parking or squeezing into small garages.

Giving people the ability to set the mood in the SX's cabin is customizable interior lighting, which comes in 64 different colors. Nappa leather is available in the SX for those who prefer the more premium material. The driver's seat in the SX can move in 12 different ways; in contrast, the EX's driver's seat can only move in ten ways.

As seen in a previous trim, the SX is exclusively offered as a seven-passenger vehicle. Heated and ventilated second-row seats are an option, as is a heated steering wheel. Another standard feature in the SX are stainless steel pedals, which can give someone the sense that they're driving a high-performance vehicle.


Which Trim to Choose?

The 2021 Kia Telluride can be a great investment. Not only does it have a modern, stylish appearance, but it also has a wide assortment of high-end elements inside the cabin. When comparing the four trims, there is no difference in performance. Further, the safety components are pretty comparable, though the SX definitely features the best systems.

It comes down, then, to the technology package, interior amenities, and exterior elements. When taking all of these things into consideration, along with the starting price of each trim, the SX really does jump out as the best option. For its more premium price, customers will get a lot of convenient amenities, upscale details, and advanced components. The SX truly feels like a luxury SUV.

If the SX isn't in one's budget, the EX would be the next in line. It has a lot of sophistication with its leather seats, and it gives customers a treat with a smart liftgate, 10.25-inch touchscreen, and cabin intercom system.

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Compare the 2020 Kia Telluride Trim Levels