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Kia Telluride Confirmed for Production and Likely to Replace K900 Flagship in North America

There are rumors that the Kia Telluride was confirmed for Canada during a dealer meeting around the 12th of September. Going by the usual 2 year gap between concept reveals and production unveilings, this upscale 3-row would be coming out next year which lines up with the K900's life cycle end. I’m pretty sure (assuming this is true) that the US and Canada will receive the Telluride SUV instead of the new K900 that will arrive in Korea next year. I assume this SUV replacement because Canada has sold 6 of the limo-like K900 sedans this year.

One. Two. Thrice. Fo’. Cinque. S-s-s-ixxx! Six K900s, ah-ah-ah!!


Check out the shape of the greenhouse surround, the chrome vent ornamented behind the front wheel, the surfacing of the body, and the shiny mirror caps. Now have a look at the Stinger and you’ll notice that all these questionable but distinct brightwork embellishments are identical between the Telluride and Stinger and manages to tie the sporty grand touring liftback to the massive big-box SUV.


Realize I’m speculating for now because no details have been leaked yet. Let me begin by reiterating that I believe this SUV will replace the K900. So far this year the US has sold a total of 321 of the Lebronies. For comparison, the $70,000 Genesis G90 has been averaging that number every month for nearly a year now, outselling the Audi A8 and Lexus LS which are both ending their current generations. Of course the K900 being placed next to a cardboard cutout of a diaper-wearing hamster advertising the Soul Turbo may impact perception more than placing a $70,000 sedan next to a $23,000 Elantra Sport which still looks very nice for the money. Again, Canada has only sold six of the K900 sedans but thats a suprisingly high number considering it doesnt offer AWD. Must be the dealership’s sales managers purchasing them.

My thinking is that the Telluride needs to be based on the H/I-Series RWD platform underneath the K900, G80, G90, and upcoming GV80 midsize SUV. That should get towing up to 7,000 lbs, add more volume to that platform, and create a better market position in terms of value.


**I discovered a dealer video that says the Telluride was confirmed.

Here is a very, very rough speculation of where I think the premium SUV can sit in the market and priced in Kia’s US lineup:

[There is room for a Telluride 3.8 LX for $34,000 and LX AWD for $36,000 but I don’t think Kia would start with those out of the gate].


Kia Telluride EX - $39,000

[3.8 V6, 311 hp / 293 lb-ft]

Kia Telluride EX AWD - $42,000

[3.8L V6, 311 hp / 293 lb-ft]

Kia Telluride 3.3t EX - $43,000

[3.3t V6, 365 hp / 376 lb-ft]

Kia Telluride 3.3t EX AWD - $45,000

[3.3t V6, 365 hp / 376 lb-ft]

Kia Telluride SX AWD - $49,000

[3.3t V6, 365 hp / 376 lb-ft]

Kia Telluride SX-L AWD - $54,000

[3.3t V6, 365 hp / 376 lb-ft]

Kia Telluride 5.0 SX-L AWD - $61,000

[5.0L V8, 420 hp / 383 lb-ft]

- 5.0 only sold fully loaded, so that $61,000 the price cap for SUV.

I’ll owe you all an SUV market comparison once I stumble over what platform the thing will be on (that way I can know which market it is aiming for). Im hoping it’s the GV80 platform and not the Sorento platform since offering 7,000 lbs of towing is the biggest value key for the upmarket 3-row segment.


Since it hasn’t been revealed for the US yet, I still think the Stinger will start at $32,000 for the 4-cyl, allow you to option in the 3.3 V6 without LSD or any fancy stuff for $37,000, and the RWD GT that has been shown is probably a $42,000 vehicle. With AWD, fully optioned, and destination I still don’t see the vehicle breaking $49,900 in the US for the 2018 model year.

On a side note, the rumor of a V8 Stinger being tested is probably a mule to see if Kia can use that K-Series platform on the Stinger to build a more driver-focused sedan above the Stinger (since short wheelbase S-Class, 7-Series, A8, and LS are pretty much gone). Pretty much a sedan that can replace the K900 and sit above the Stinger in the future Kia-Select (or whatever the brand it as) lineup of Cadenza, Stinger Fastback and Wagon, Telluride, and what I’ll call the Veredus sedan for the US. Something like the Cadillac CT6 but heavy and not quite so driver focused.

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