2020 Kia Telluride vs. 2019 Lexus GX460

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Telluride and GX460 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Telluride has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The GX460’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Telluride are reminded to check the back seat when a sensor determines the back seat is occupied. The GX460 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Telluride uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The GX460 uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the Telluride and the GX460 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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 and around view monitors.

Warranty

The Telluride comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The GX460’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Telluride 4 years and 30,000 miles longer than Lexus covers the GX460. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the GX460 ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.

There are over 3 times as many Kia dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Telluride’s warranty.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Telluride’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the GX460’s camshafts. If the GX460’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Lexus vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is ranked 8th.

Engine

As tested in Car and Driver the Kia Telluride is faster than the Lexus GX460:

Telluride

GX460

Zero to 60 MPH

7.1 sec

7.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.3 sec

21.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.1 sec

7.6 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.6 sec

5.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

89 MPH

Top Speed

132 MPH

111 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Telluride gets better fuel mileage than the GX460:

MPG

Telluride

FWD

Auto

3.8 DOHC V6

20 city/26 hwy

AWD

Auto

3.8 DOHC V6

19 city/24 hwy

GX460

4WD

Auto

4.6 DOHC V8

15 city/18 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Telluride uses regular unleaded gasoline. The GX460 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Kia Telluride, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the GX460.

Brakes and Stopping

The Telluride stops much shorter than the GX460:

Telluride

GX460

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

The Telluride S/SX’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the GX460’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Telluride S/SX has standard 20-inch wheels. The GX460’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Kia Telluride has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Lexus GX460 has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Telluride’s wheelbase is 4.4 inches longer than on the GX460 (114.2 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Telluride is 4.8 inches wider in the front and 5.2 inches wider in the rear than on the GX460.

The Telluride SX 4x4 handles at .81 G’s, while the GX460 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Telluride’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the GX460’s (38.8 feet vs. 41.1 feet).

Chassis

The Kia Telluride may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 750 to 1000 pounds less than the Lexus GX460.

Unibody construction lowers the Telluride’s center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The GX460 uses body-on-frame design instead.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Telluride SX 4x4 is quieter than the GX460:

Telluride

GX460

At idle

36 dB

43 dB

Passenger Space

The Telluride has standard seating for 8 passengers; the GX460 can only carry 7.

The Telluride has 25.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GX460 (155 vs. 129.7).

The Telluride has 2.9 inches more front headroom, 2.4 inches more front legroom, 2.4 inches more front hip room, 6.2 inches more front shoulder room, 8.3 inches more rear legroom, 2.8 inches more rear hip room, 3.9 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.9 inches more third row headroom, 2.1 inches more third row legroom, .6 inches more third row hip room and .8 inches more third row shoulder room than the GX460.

The front step up height for the Telluride is 2.2 inches lower than the GX460 (19.5” vs. 21.7”). The Telluride’s rear step up height is 2.7 inches lower than the GX460’s (19.3” vs. 22”).

Cargo Capacity

The Telluride’s cargo area provides more volume than the GX460.

Telluride

GX460

Behind Third Seat

21 cubic feet

11.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

87 cubic feet

64.7 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Telluride easier. The Telluride’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 30.7 inches, while the GX460’s liftover is 33.8 inches.

The Telluride’s cargo area is larger than the GX460’s in almost every dimension:

Telluride

GX460

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

20.4”/49.8”/83.8”

9.8”/39”/75”

Max Width

54.4”

54.6”

Min Width

43.5”

43.4”

Height

34.5”

35.5”

The Telluride’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The GX460’s swing out door blocks loading from the passenger’s side.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the Telluride EX/SX’s power cargo door, leaving your hands completely free. The Telluride’s power cargo door can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The GX460 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening cargo door.

Ergonomics

The Telluride offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The GX460 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Telluride’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The GX460’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

The Telluride EX/SX has standard front air-conditioned seats and the Telluride SX offers them optionally in the second row. This keeps the passengers comfortable and takes the sting out of hot seats in summer. The GX460 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.

Model Availability

The Telluride is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The GX460 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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

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