Maybe we’re just van fans. The 2023 Kia Telluride is, in many ways, a stellar SUV. But, if you’re looking for utility, seating for up to eight people and plenty of rear-seat room and entertainment options, the Carnival may be the best buy. But Carnival is a… gasp! …minivan! Well, Kia calls it a minivan, but we call anything with a sliding door a van, sorry Kia.
Either way, we see plenty of reasons beyond the usefulness of the Carnival’s minivan that make it a great option over the Telluride.
Carnival and Telluride have a lot in common
Fun fact: The Kia Carnival is built on the same platform as Kia’s Sorento SUV, so it combines that three-row SUV’s solid structure, solid driving dynamics and smaller exterior dimensions. It also has the same 290 horsepower V6 as the Telluride and comes in five trim levels, from Basic to Luxury. The Carnival’s styling splits the difference between a minivan and an SUV, with a sturdy nose and the high seating position of an SUV, but the rear two-thirds are pure vans. Both can accommodate up to eight people, or seven with two generous captain’s chairs in the second row. Both offer the same 12.3-inch dual widescreen displays and options like leather and collision avoidance technology, and their prices are around $1,000 apart.
Ok, we understand: the Telluride looks like a real SUV
The 2023 Kia Telluride got a facelift for the 2023 model year, just like its Hyundai sibling. In the update, Kia added the X-Pro trim, which adds some smooth-riding capability to the Telluride, along with tougher leather and larger black wheels. The new styling also gives it an urban warrior look on the outside with understated chrome and black trim. Inside, the new design takes inspiration from much more expensive SUVs, like the dual handles around the console borrowed from the Porsche Cayenne, and the sleek wooden dashboard design that looks like it came from a Jeep Grand Wagoneer. of $100,000. .
The Telluride can also accommodate eight people, or seven with captain’s seats in the middle. But, that third row of the Telluride only has 31.4 inches of legroom. The Carnival gives you five inches more legroom in the back, which means true adults can sit in it and not feel cramped. Plus, the Carnival has a generous 40.2 cubic feet of space behind that third row, while the Telluride has just 21.
The carnival contains more things (a lot more)
Sure, SUVs are lauded for their cargo-hauling capability, but the Carnival is big enough to fit a sheet of plywood in the back. With the seats folded flat into the floor, the Carnival packs 145 cubic feet of stuff, which is roomy for a pickup truck. The Telluride only packs 87 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down and a bit more in the middle, but that’s not nearly as useful a space as the Carnival’s with its fold-flat seats. Parents the magazine named it the best family vehicle because of this space advantage.
For most of us, the Carnival’s 3,500-pound towing capacity is enough. For the rest of you, the Telluride can tow 5,000 pounds.
How much does a 2023 Carnival cost?
The 2023 Kia Carnival is available in five trim options, LX, EX, SX and SX Prestige. It offers the LX seating group, which is a little confusing, but it’s really just an option package for the LX. The LX starts at $32,600, the EX at $38,100 and the SX at $41,300. The SX Prestige top dog is a $45,700 premium package that, in addition to the leather, heated seats and more of the SX package, adds a rear seat entertainment package, carpets and extra trim and, most importantly, the heated and ventilated second row. “VIP lounge seats” which have a built-in ottoman.
Kia has yet to release the pricing information for the 2023 Telluride. But a price increase is expected. The 2022 Telluride ranges from $33,090 in the LX trim to $42,990 for the SX. The new 2023 Telluride is expected to appear in dealerships this fall.
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