New Models

2019 Kia Telluride spied testing

Korean giant hits the streets
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A heavily-camouflaged prototype believed to be the production version of the Kia Telluride SUV has been spied for the first time on the roads of South Korea, just a week after the company confirmed the vehicle was in development.

Posted by The Korean Car Blog, the single image shows a very large SUV that appears to mix the squared-off face of the Telluride concept shown at the 2016 Detroit motor show with a rear-end design closer in shape to the current Sorento.

Just looking at the single image, we can tell the Telluride is quite large, likely riding on a lengthened version of the platform employed by the Sorento and Carnival - much like the concept (pictured below).

However, Kia might also have chosen to build the Telluride on the rear-wheel-drive design that underpins the overseas K9/K900/Quoris sedan and the big Genesis G80 and Genesis G90 sedans.

Whatever its underpinnings, the market version of the Telluride will likely be presented in the US as a rival to the Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Kluger and Volkswagen Atlas.

We'd expect the production model to be similar in size to the concept, which measured 5001mm long, 2009mm wide and 1800mm tall - along with a 3081mm wheelbase that is a huge 302mm longer than that of the Sorento.

Power will likely come from a 3.5-litre V6, with or without electric assistance. The concept featured a 298kW hybrid system mated to an all-wheel drive system.

At this stage, it's unknown whether the Telluride will be engineered for both left- and right-hand drive, though when the company announced production plans, Kia's local operations boss - Damien Meredith - was quick to put his hand up to have the big high-riding wagon Down Under.

"If it's developed in right-hand drive, we'd look at it very seriously. We're not sure whether that vehicle is going to be developed in right-hand drive, though. Until we have confirmation of that, that is pure speculation," he said via remote link-up during the Detroit motor show.

"I think that if your portfolio of SUVs is empowered at the top end and at the bottom end, it's going to be better for the brand and you give yourself more opportunities to sell more cars. So the answer to the question is, if it is developed in right-hand drive, and if it is available to the Australian market, we'd look at it very seriously."

For now, we'll have to wait until the final version is revealed to see whether right-hand drive - and an Australian introduction - is a possibility.