Twenty years ago, Toyota was among the first automakers to sell a mid-size crossover suv. Effective replacements for station wagons and more stylish substitutes for minivans, mid-size crossovers like the original Highlander were perfect for American families. Today, that remains true, and what once was a segment of one (the Highlander) now contains almost 20 competitors. The Kia Telluride is one of them.
Introduced last year, the Telluride is known internally at Kia as the Sell-uride. That’s because the company’s West Point, Georgia, factory can’t keep up with demand for the SUV. The Telluride, which has won numerous awards, arrived just ahead of a complete redesign of the Highlander — and too late for Toyota to take it into account. In the battle of 2021 Kia Telluride vs. 2021 Toyota Highlander, which is best? Let’s examine each SUV in key areas and decide.