Is the Kia Telluride a Crossover or an SUV?
If you’ve ever called a photocopy a “Xerox,” a piece of facial tissue “Kleenex” or a place you shouldn’t be after midnight but couldn’t resist the thrall as you sped past its colorful sign off the freeway “Taco Bell,” you know that brands which pioneer something often because synonymous with that thing.
[READ MORE: How Did Kia Get Its Name?]
Although the term “SUV” isn’t a brand, it’s an abbreviated word that has some big connotations. Think about what comes to mind when you hear somebody say “SUV.” If you’re anything like us, it’s probably a large vehicle with plenty of ground clearance, some off-road acumen, a comfortable interior and an engine that can tow and haul tons.
That said, it isn’t always the most descriptive word for such a vehicle.
What is the Difference Between a Crossover and an SUV?
Although, in practice, the two terms are usually interchangeable (bar a handful of vehicles we’ll discuss), the terms “crossover” and “SUV” are different descriptors for an automobile.
SUVs are traditionally built using a truck frame with front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout that can be switched to 4-wheel drive (or 4×4) when needed. These vehicles typically share a frame and platform with a pickup truck from a manufacturer.
The body-on-frame construction of SUVs allows them to be robust off-roading vehicles, limiting the number of stress points that could break a vehicle as uneven surfaces are crawled over. Additionally, 4×4 (with a locking center differential) allows all four wheels to travel at the exact same speed, making it an ideal way to traverse uneven and challenging terrain.
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Crossovers, on the other hand, combine a high percentage of this capability with the unibody construction of a car’s frame. This means that the axles of your car are directly connected to a frame that boxes in the entire crossover. While this presents more stress points and less flexibility for intense off-roading, it also gives you better handling and a smoother ride on the pavement, where most crossovers spend the majority of their time.
Unlike the 4×4/4-wheel-drive systems of an SUV, crossovers typically feature all-wheel drive, which allows power to travel to all of your wheels without forcing them to travel the same speed. This sacrifices a little bit of torque to let you turn with all four wheels engaged – ideal for maintaining traction on a wet road or launching in your 2019 Kia Stinger GT.
[READ MORE: All-Wheel Drive Vs. Four-Wheel Drive]
Before you fire up that mean comment machine, however, note that you may catch us calling crossovers SUVs because of the term’s compelling nature and more well-known status. That said, Kia no longer has any traditional body-on-frame SUVs on the market, with the final one being the ill-fated Kia Borrego(R.I.P. Kia Borrego. You were too beautiful for this world.).
Is the 2020 Kia Telluride a Crossover or an SUV?
Based on that information, the 2020 Kia Telluride is a crossover. That said, it’s a robust crossover that can tow 5,000 lbs. and did more than just hold its own on an off-road simulation course at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show last week (watch the in-cab video here).
Get the Confident, Comfortable and Capable 2020 Kia Telluride at Friendly Kia
Like a child on Christmas Eve, we’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa. Except, in this case, Santa isn’t a jolly old elf with a cheerful disposition and a penchant for cookies and milk. He’s an 8-passenger, decked-out-in-tech full-size crossover ready to get you where you need to go in comfort and style.
For more information on the 2020 Kia Telluride or to contact us about a reservation, click below!