Is The Kia Telluride A 4X4 Or AWD?

The Kia Telluride is a fantastic SUV filled with modern technology, safety features, and off-road capabilities. This is an SUV that has it all. Because the Kia Telluride is advertised as off-road capable, looking closer at its capabilities is an important step for people considering purchasing a Telluride; is it a 4x4 or AWD vehicle? We have done the research and compiled the information to tell you. 

Kia offers an AWD option on all of the trim levels for the Telluride. While it does not come standard on any of the trims, you can add it to any trim level for $2,000 on the lower three trims or $1,900 on the highest trim.

Are 4WD and AWD the same thing? Is Kia Telluride good in snow? How is the Kia Telluride off-road? If you're wondering about Kia Telluride's capabilities, keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and more!

Kia Car Dealership with new and used cars for sale, Is The Kia Telluride A 4X4 Or AWD?

Is The Kia Telluride A 4x4 Or AWD?

The Telluride is an AWD vehicle if you opt to pay for the option. It is not included on any specific trim level, but many people want to pay the extra money for the capabilities and peace of mind that comes with having an AWD option if you find yourself in a rainy, snowy, or otherwise rough terrain.

The trim levels offered with AWD options are as follows: LX, S, EX, and SX. The LX, S, and EX trim levels can add AWD for $2,000. The SX model, Kia's highest trim for the Telluride, takes $100 off the AWD price tag offering the option for $1,900. Each of these trims ranges from $32,000 to $42,000 without options.

Is 4WD And AWD The Same Thing?

No, 4WD and AWD are not the same things. Although they have many similarities and ultimately seek to accomplish almost identical tasks, they have distinct differences. Four-wheel drive powers both the front and back axels, causing the front wheels to move together and the back wheels to move together. All-wheel drive is different because its advanced technology allows each of the four wheels to be powered independently. As you can see, while all four wheels are powered in both four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, they are powered differently.

Is Kia Telluride Good In Snow?

On the road in winter season

Yes, as long as you have the AWD option. All-wheel drive is a newer technology offered in a lot of bigger vehicles so they can have the freedom to drive on most terrains. Snow is dangerous because of its unpredictable slipperiness. Snow can either be thick and difficult to drive in or slick, requiring more traction and carefulness when driving.

The Telluride allows you to purchase an AWD option to make this easier in these conditions. Traditionally, all-wheel drive allows you to gain more traction in snowy or wet situations. The Kia Telluride's AWD function is a fantastic help in snowy conditions.

What Does Kia Telluride Snow Mode Do?

Snow Mode is a great feature Kia offers in their AWD models that helps optimize the all-wheel drive functions. To take a closer look at this, we will explain how Snow Mode works.

When this mode is engaged, 80% of the power goes to the front two wheels, and 20% goes to the back two wheels. Doing so allows you to potentially get out of a situation where you get stuck in the snow, and allows you to have more power where it is needed most in terms of traction. Snow Mode is just one of the many modes the Telluride allows you to switch to, provided you have paid for the upgrades required, such as all-wheel drive.

How Is The Kia Telluride Offroad?

Along with snow, rain, and ice, the all-wheel drive mode is great for driving off-road as well. When driving off-road you may run into many different obstacles such as rocky ground, mud, steep inclines, steep declines, and almost anything else. Going off-road is unpredictable. Having AWD allows for your power to be distributed to your wheels when you need it.

The Telluride will utilize its AWD capabilities by sending power to wheels that are stuck in mud needing a boost over a hill, or needing traction on a steep descent. You can use AWD on the Kia Telluride to get the job done when driving in most off-road situations. While Kia's AWD is not as powerful as 4WD, it can do most things you need when it comes to off-roading. Just be sure not to assume it has the same power that larger 4WD vehicles usually have.

Can Kia Telluride Be Lifted?

Yes! The Telluride has many after-market products which can lift the Telluride to a more desirable height. Certain trim levels offer bigger wheel sizes and, therefore, may cause problems if you want to lift your vehicle. Make sure you research your specific tire size and Telluride model to make sure it can be lifted safely.

We never recommend doing this kind of work on your own. Instead, take it to a professional for their opinion and expertise. They will be able to do the job right, so your lifted Telluride works as it is intended to.

Does Kia Telluride Have Skid Plates?

Mechanic with lamp working at car auto repair shop

The Kia Telluride does have skid plates which can be added as an option to certain new Telluride orders. This will depend on which trim you choose, and the availability, as these are factors that vary depending on the time and place.

Even if Kia is not offering a skid plate for the vehicle you are ordering new, you have a few options to acquire a skid plate for your Telluride. First, you can buy an official skid plate from a third party. The second option is looking at other places besides Kia's website for a Telluride already fitted with a skid plate. Even if you can't order one new from Kia, there are plenty of places to look for them.


The Kia Telluride is a versatile vehicle with the ability to use AWD in any situation. This makes the Telluride with AWD a much safer and more capable SUV than other two-wheel drive SUVs. Kia prides themselves on making quality vehicles that you can trust to get you from point A to point B no matter what the road conditions look like. If you are looking for your next SUV, look no further than the Kia Telluride.

Interested in learning more about SUVs? Take a look at this article: "Is The Hyundai Palisade Bigger Than The Kia Telluride?"

Looking for SUVs with a lot of cargo capacity? Check out these vehicles here: "What SUVs Have Fold Flat Seats That Fold Into The Floor?"

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