The Kia Telluride concept has finally been revealed at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2016. The large seven-seater concept is said to highlight Kia’s interest “in potentially offering a premium SUV positioned above the Sorento.”

The Telluride, which gets its name from a ski resort in Colorado, rides on a stretched version of the current Sorento’s architecture. Its wheelbase has been stretched by 302 mm for a total wheelbase length of 3,081 mm. Overall, the three-row luxury SUV is 5,000 mm long, 2,010 mm wide and 1,800 mm tall. Compared to the current Sorento, it is 241 mm longer, 119 mm wider and 111 mm taller.

Designed at the Kia Design Center America, the Telluride is a plug-in hybrid model. It features a 270 hp 3.5 litre GDI V6 engine paired with a 130 hp electric motor. Kia claims that its Telluride produces a total system output of 400 hp and returns a fuel consumption figure of 7.8 litres per 100 km.

Styling wise, the Telluride gets an enlarged version of Kia’s signature tiger-nose front grille, flanked by quad-LED headlamps and horizontal LED indicators. At the rear, slim, vertical tail lights are featured, leading down towards the dual exhaust tips surrounded by a chrome-finished protective plate. Large 22-inch five-spoke wheels contribute to the SUV’s presence.


Interestingly, the rear doors are hinged at the back, allowing them to swing open in opposing directions with front door. With no B-pillar in sight, swung open doors clearly reveal the four captain seats in the cabin. The middle-row seats can recline backwards and have fold-away footrests. While not visible in the photos here, Kia says that the third-row seats are a foldable bench type.

The middle row seats feature Smart Sensors that are able to capture a passenger’s vital signs – it is the in-cabin health-and-wellness technology the car maker has been talking about. Passenger vitals are then displayed on the interior door panel, and systematically sync with a Light Emitted Rejuvenation (LER) system.

Kia explains that, “the LER system utilises a massive, wing-shaped LED panel mounted beneath the oversized sunroof that displays a pattern of therapeutic light to treat jet-lag and improve the passengers’ energy levels.”

MIddle-row passengers also get a special Swipe Command touch-sensitive panel on the centre console that gives them control over the infotainment system. Music can be enjoyed via a Harman Kardon seven-speaker audio system, or a set of wireless headphones which can also be wirelessly charged in the car.

Up front, the dashboard is a showcase of Kia’s first-use of 3D-printed components. The minimalist area appears to have dual display screens – one for the instruments, another for the vehicle’s infotainment system. Apart from the gear lever, the clean centre console only has a finger-print tech engine push-start button on it.

While a lot of the Telluride concept’s features may not be included in production models just yet, it sure looks like the vehicle itself is something that Kia is keen to explore. Positioned above the Sorento, could the Telluride preview a spiritual successor to the long-departed Borrego/Mohave large SUV?