2019 Toyota Highlander vs. 2020 Kia Telluride

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

The Highlander has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Telluride doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Highlander AWD’s standard Downhill Assist Control allows you to creep down safely. The Telluride doesn’t offer Downhill Assist Control.

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

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Highlander the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Telluride has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Highlander’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Telluride runs out after 100,000 miles.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Highlander for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Telluride.

There are over 59 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Highlander’s warranty.

Reliability

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 Highlander’s reliability 31 points higher than the Telluride.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 10th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Kia is ranked fifth.

Engine

The Highlander’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 4 more horsepower (295 vs. 291) and 1 lbs.-ft. more torque (263 vs. 262) than the Telluride’s 3.8 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Highlander gets better fuel mileage than the Telluride:

MPG

Highlander

FWD

LE 3.5 DOHC V6

21 city/27 hwy

3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/27 hwy

AWD

LE 3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/27 hwy

3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/26 hwy

3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

Telluride

FWD

3.8 DOHC V6

20 city/26 hwy

AWD

3.8 DOHC V6

19 city/24 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Highlander LE Plus/XLE/Limited/Platinum’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.

Chassis

The Highlander is 4.4 inches shorter than the Telluride, making the Highlander easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Highlander has liquid-filled engine mounts. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The Telluride uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space

The Highlander has .1 inches more front legroom and 1.9 inches more third row hip room than the Telluride.

Cargo Capacity

The Highlander’s optional 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.

Recommendations

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

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos