Three-row SUVs are the ultimate family cars. They offer enormous space for passengers and cargo, are suitable for all weather conditions and, often, the latest technology in the car.
We can’t call the 2023 Kia Telluride the new kid around no more. But we can point out that the Telluride is our Best Buy Award in the 3-row SUV category in 2020, 2021 and 2022 (2023 awards testing is ongoing as we write this). It has been revamped for 2023, with styling tweaks inside and out. The Chevy Traverse 2023meanwhile, is a proven veteran with a recent revamp to keep it up to date.
Let’s see how they compare.
2023 Kia Telluride
The Kia Telluride is one of the best-selling cars in America. Dealers usually have less than two weeks’ worth of Tellurides in stock. The largest Kia is spacious, with a long warranty and a long list of standard equipment. New for 2023, Kia has added two light off-roader models – the X-line and X-Pro – to the lineup. The Telluride starts at $35,690, plus a destination fee of $1,335.
Kia Telluride Highlights
Contemporary cab with the latest technology: The Telluride’s cabin outshines most of its competition. It has a high-tech look, with the driver’s instrument panel and central touchscreen grouped together to form one wide, curved screen. It looks stylish, with great color combinations and little of the hard plastic that wears badly in cars these days. And the entertainment system receives wireless updates to stay informed.
New off-road models: Kia is introducing a few new Telluride models for 2023. The X-Line gets more ground clearance, reworked off-road traction control and trailer stabilization control. The X-Pro adds those same boosts plus 500 pounds of extra pulling power for a more capable Telluride.
The longest warranty in the industry: When it comes to the financial aspects of car ownership, it’s hard to beat Kia’s 10-year warranty on the 100.00-mile drivetrain. The Telluride is well built with a strong reputation for reliability, but will protect you for ten years if something goes wrong.
2023 Chevrolet Traverse
The Chevrolet Traverse is one of the most spacious 3-row SUVs on the market. It offers more space than the class average in almost every dimension. It also features a powerful V6 engine. The premium High Country finish pushes it to near-luxury levels of plush. The Traverse starts at $34,520, plus a destination fee of $1,395.
Chevy Traverse Highlights
More power: The Traverse’s stock V6 makes 310 horsepower — one of the higher figures in the 3-row mid-size SUV class and nearly 20 more than the Telluride.
Standard Active Noise Canceling: Active noise canceling technology is something we only expect to find in the luxury classes, but Chevrolet has built it into every 2023 Traverse. Our test rider found that keeping the cab still while driving on the highway helped.
Third row space: The Traverse’s large body comes into play when you need to use the third row. It offers more shoulder and legroom than the Telluride. Some drivers buy 3-row SUVs because they occasionally need the third row. Some need it all the time. If you’ll be using it more often than not, your passengers will appreciate the Traverse’s living space.
The 2023 Kia Telluride and Chevy Traverse have a lot in common on paper. They are both 8-seat, 3-row midsize SUVs with standard V6 engines and starting prices in the mid $30,000. Both can tow 5,000 pounds in most configurations (although the Telluride can tow up to 5,500 pounds in X-Pro trim).
The 2023 Kia Telluride is arguably the most aesthetically pleasing 3-row mid-sized SUV, both inside and out. It has a lower starting price than many rivals and a longer warranty. No wonder it is in high demand and sometimes hard to find. The 2023 Chevrolet Traverse offers more room for third-row passengers, active noise cancellation for a quieter ride and more power, but that doesn’t translate into higher towing capacity.
Your shopping priorities will tell you which one is right for you.
|2023 Kia Telluride||2023 Chevrolet Traverse|
|Engine||3.8-litre V6||3.6-litre V6|
|horsepower||291 hp @ 6,000 rpm||310 hp @ 6,800 rpm|
|Couple||262 lb-ft @ 5200||266 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm|
|Transfer||8-speed automatic||9-speed automatic|
|Fuel economy||23 mpg (20 city/26 highway)||21 mpg (18 city/27 highway)|
|Basic warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Powertrain warranty||10 years/100,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|NHTSA General Safety Assessment||5 stars||N/A|
|Maximum seating capacity||8||8|
|wheelbase||114.2 inches||120.9 inches|
|Total length||196.9 inches||205.9 inches|
|Width||78.3 inches||78.6 inches|
|Height||68.9 inches||70.7 inches|
|turning diameter:||38.8 feet||39.0 feet|
|Headroom, front||40.9 inches||42.8 inches|
|Headroom, rear||40.2 inches||40.0 in|
|Headroom, 3rd row||38.1 inches||38.2 inches|
|Legroom, front||41.4 inches||41.0 inches|
|Legroom, rear||42.4 inches||38.4 inches|
|Legroom 3rd row||31.4 inches||33.5 inches|
|Shoulder room, front||61.6 inches||61.9 inches|
|Shoulder room, rear||61.2 inches||62.2 inches|
|Shoulder room, 3rd row||55.3 inches||57.5 inches|
|EPA passenger volume||178.1 cubic feet||157.1 cubic feet|
|EPA freight volume||87.0 cubic feet||98.2 cubic feet|