2020 Kia Telluride vs. 2019 Lexus RXL

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Both the Telluride and RXL 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 RXL’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 RXL doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Telluride’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The RXL doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Telluride and the RXL 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, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.


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 RXL’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 RXL. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the RXL 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.


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.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Telluride FWD gets better fuel mileage than the RX 350L FWD (20 city/26 hwy vs. 19 city/26 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Telluride uses regular unleaded gasoline. The RX 450hL requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Telluride has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the RXL Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (18.8 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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



Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12.9 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Telluride has larger tires than the RXL (245/60R18 vs. 235/65R18).

The Telluride LX/EX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RXL’s standard 65 series tires. The Telluride S/SX’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the RXL’s optional 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Telluride has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The RXL doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

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

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Telluride is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 3.6 inches wider in the rear than on the RXL.


The Kia Telluride may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 450 pounds less than the Lexus RXL.

Passenger Space

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

The Telluride has 1.1 inches more front headroom, 2.7 inches more front legroom, 3.1 inches more front hip room, 3.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.7 inches more rear headroom, 11.5 inches more rear legroom, 2.2 inches more rear hip room, 3.4 inches more rear shoulder room, 3.3 inches more third row headroom, 7.9 inches more third row legroom and 9.6 inches more third row shoulder room than the RXL.

Cargo Capacity

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



Behind Third Seat

21 cubic feet

16.3 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

46 cubic feet

33.4 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

87 cubic feet

70.7 cubic feet


The Telluride’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the RXL’s (5000 vs. 0 pounds).


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 RXL doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.

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

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