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For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the GMC Yukon are height-adjustable, and the middle and rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Kia Telluride doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle or rear seat belts.
The Yukon has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Telluride doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.
Both the Yukon and the Telluride have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
The GMC Yukon weighs 939 to 1631 pounds more than the Kia Telluride. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
The Yukon’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Telluride’s (6/100,000 vs. 5/100,000).
There are over 2 times as many GMC dealers as there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Yukon’s warranty.
The Yukon has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Telluride doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.
A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Yukon’s reliability 12 points higher than the Telluride.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Yukon second among large SUVs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Telluride isn’t in the top three in its category.
The Yukon’s standard 5.3 V8 produces 64 more horsepower (355 vs. 291) and 121 lbs.-ft. more torque (383 vs. 262) than the Telluride’s 3.8 DOHC V6. The Yukon Graphite Performance Edition/Denali’s standard 6.2 V8 produces 129 more horsepower (420 vs. 291) and 198 lbs.-ft. more torque (460 vs. 262) than the Telluride’s 3.8 DOHC V6.
An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Yukon’s fuel efficiency. The Telluride doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.
The Yukon has 7.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Telluride (26 vs. 18.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The Yukon has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Telluride doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
A 10-speed automatic is standard on the GMC Yukon Graphite Performance Edition/Denali, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Telluride.
The Yukon’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.
For better traction, the Yukon has larger standard tires than the Telluride (265/65R18 vs. 245/60R18). The Yukon’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Telluride (285/45R22 vs. 245/60R18).
The Yukon’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Telluride S/SX’s 50 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Yukon offers optional 22-inch wheels. The Telluride’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.
The GMC Yukon’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Kia Telluride only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.
The Yukon has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Telluride doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
The Yukon has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Telluride, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.
The Yukon offers an available 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 Yukon’s wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer than on the Telluride (116 inches vs. 114.2 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Yukon is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Telluride.
The Yukon’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (52% to 48%) than the Telluride’s (55.7% to 44.3%). This gives the Yukon more stable handling and braking.
The front grille of the Yukon 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.
The Yukon Graphite Performance Edition//Denali uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Telluride doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Yukon offers optional seating for 9 passengers; the Telluride can only carry 8.
The Yukon has 1.9 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front hip room, 3.2 inches more front shoulder room, 2.3 inches more rear hip room, 3.9 inches more rear shoulder room, 5.6 inches more third row hip room and 7.3 inches more third row shoulder room than the Telluride.
The Yukon’s cargo area provides more volume than the Telluride.
Third Seat Folded
51.7 cubic feet
46 cubic feet
Second Seat Folded
94.7 cubic feet
87 cubic feet
Both the Yukon and the Telluride offer second row automatic folding seats. The Yukon SLT/Denali’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 Yukon’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Telluride’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.
The Yukon’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Telluride’s (6300 vs. 5000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Kia Telluride is only 5000 pounds. The Yukon offers up to an 8500 lbs. towing capacity.
The engine in the Yukon 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.
The Yukon’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Telluride does not have an oil pressure gauge.
The Yukon’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.
The Yukon SLT/Denali 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 Yukon 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.
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