A three-row crossover SUV is, at its heart, a family bus. Its primary focus is carrying people and their stuff safely, comfortably, and without too much fuss. And that’s not a formula for getting people excited about these vehicles.
Two critically acclaimed three-row crossovers try to move beyond the basics. The hot 2021 Kia Telluride, fresh off its award-winning 2020 debut, and the newly updated 2021 Mazda CX-9 promise greater style, luxury, and performance than typical competitors, all at excellent prices. Based on our experience driving and analyzing both vehicles, we can share how the CX-9 and the Telluride compare in eight categories — and which one is our top pick overall. Keep reading to see our winner and decide which SUV is the better fit for you.