2019 BMW X7 vs. 2020 Kia Telluride

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X7’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Telluride doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the middle seat shoulder belts of the BMW X7 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Kia Telluride doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.

The X7 has standard Post-Crash Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Telluride doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the X7. But it costs extra on the Telluride.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the X7’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Telluride doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

Both the X7 and the Telluride have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors and available around view monitors.

The BMW X7 weighs 930 to 1505 pounds more than the Kia Telluride. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

The X7’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Telluride’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X7 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Telluride.

Reliability

The battery on the X7 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the X7’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Telluride’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 10th.

Engine

The X7 xDrive40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 44 more horsepower (335 vs. 291) and 68 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 262) than the Telluride’s 3.8 DOHC V6. The X7 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 165 more horsepower (456 vs. 291) and 217 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 262) than the Telluride’s 3.8 DOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the X7 xDrive40i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. is faster than the Kia Telluride:

X7

Telluride

Zero to 30 MPH

2.6 sec

2.7 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

7.2 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.3 sec

5.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

15.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97 MPH

93 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the X7 xDrive40i gets better fuel mileage than the Telluride 4x4 (20 city/25 hwy vs. 19 city/24 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the X7’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Telluride doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the X7’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Telluride doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The X7 has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Telluride (21.9 vs. 18.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The X7’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Telluride doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X7’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Telluride:

X7 xDrive40i

X7 M Sport

Telluride

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

15.6 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

12 inches

The X7’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Telluride are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X7 has larger standard tires than the Telluride (F:275/40R22 & R:315/35R22 vs. 245/60R18). The X7’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Telluride (285/45R21 vs. 245/60R18).

The X7’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Telluride LX/EX’s standard 60 series tires. The X7’s optional 275/40R22 front and 315/35R22 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the Telluride S/SX’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X7 has standard 21-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Telluride LX/EX. The X7’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels on the Telluride S/SX.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X7 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Telluride doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The front and rear suspension of the X7 uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Telluride, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The X7 has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Telluride’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X7’s wheelbase is 8 inches longer than on the Telluride (122.2 inches vs. 114.2 inches).

For greater off-road capability the X7 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Telluride (8.7 vs. 8 inches), allowing the X7 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The front grille of the X7 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Telluride doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The X7 has 1 inch more front headroom and 1.9 inches more third row legroom than the Telluride.

Cargo Capacity

The X7’s cargo area provides more volume than the Telluride.

X7

Telluride

Third Seat Folded

48.6 cubic feet

46 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

90.4 cubic feet

87 cubic feet

Both the X7 and the Telluride have standard second row automatic folding seats. The X7’s third row seats also fold up or down at the press of a button. The Telluride doesn’t offer automatic folding third row seats.

The X7’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Telluride’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

The X7’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Telluride’s (7500 vs. 5000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The engine in the X7 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Telluride. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Telluride SX, the X7 offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The X7’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Telluride’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the X7 has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Telluride doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The X7 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Telluride offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The X7 has standard heated front and optional heated second and third row seats, which keep the driver and passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Kia doesn’t offer heated seats in the third row of the Telluride.

The X7 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Telluride EX/SX.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW X7 has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. Only the Telluride EX/SX offers wireless charging.

The X7’s optional Parking Assistant Plus can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Telluride doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the BMW X7 and the Kia Telluride, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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