Kia’s newest SUV is bigger than Texas.
On display in the full production trim for the first time, Kia has chosen to debut its unique Texas-inspired Telluride eight-seat SUV at the New York Fashion Show this week as part of a collaboration with fashion designer Brandon Maxwell.
No stranger to the South Korean brand, the designer who works in partnership with Kia says he has been familiar with the brand since being dropped off at school in his mum’s Carnival.
But times have changed and as the SUV segment continues to flourish the once go-to traditional family bus - the likes of the Toyota Tarago and Carnival – has transitioned from a van to high-riding wagon.
Measuring ‘several inches’ longer and wider than the seven-seat Sorento, the Telluride will be the largest and only eight-seat SUV in Kia’s line-up, taking on North American-market cars such as the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition.
Shown off in a static unveil among cat-walking models, this particular Telluride has been custom designed by Maxwell and features many parts that won’t come on the production car, such as a new rear and front bumper, winch, spotlights, roof-top access ladder, bashplates, snorkel and black 20-inch alloys with 265/50 all-terrain rubber.
Inside are Texan-inspired saddle-style double-stitch leather seats and open-pore timber trims across the dash. A small Texas star sits below the windscreen.
Power is delivered by a petrol V6 motor but Kia isn’t providing any further details until its production model debuts at the 2019 Detroit motor show in January. The model is built in West Point, Georgia, in the same facility that produces the Sorento, and due to go on sale early next year.
Speaking with Drive.com.au, a Kia Australia spokesperson said that there are no plans to offer the Telluride in right-hand drive and it’s not expected to make an appearance down under.