Is The Kia Telluride Good In Snow?

The Kia Telluride is an award-winning SUV valued for its handling, driving experience, and design. However, does this SUV have what it takes to tackle snow and ice on the road? We researched the specs on the Kia Telluride and what makes it a step above the competition in wintry weather. Learn more about this vehicle's performance with FWD, AWD, and navigating rough terrain when snow and ice arrive.

The Kia Telluride comes standard with front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available. Note that this mid-sized SUV is not the most superior vehicle for off-roading, although it does come with a sport and snow mode. However, it is capable of driving through up to two feet of snow when outfitted with snow tires and using AWD. Using FWD is best for light to modest snowy conditions when driving this SUV.

Discover more about how the Kia Telluride takes on snow-covered roads and treacherous conditions with confidence. Keep reading for details!

An SUV moving in the snow, Is The Kia Telluride Good In Snow?

Snow Handling Capabilities

The Kia Telluride has an impressive reputation for being a joy to drive on the road, even when there is rain, sleet, and snow. Most newer models from 2020 and 2021 come standard with various driving modes to help tackle different conditions. The typical driving modes include the following:

  • Comfort
  • Custom
  • Eco
  • Smart
  • Snow
  • Sport

Driving in the standard FWD with a Kia Telluride offers a smooth and powerful ride in light to moderate level snow, as the weight of the vehicle is mostly toward the front. However, if the levels of snow, ice, and terrain are a bit more challenging, it is helpful to switch to AWD to conquer the roads. Note, the AWD is available as an upgrade of $2,000 to the standard price tag.

Overall, the Kia Telluride has received fantastic reviews for its performance, high level of safety, and various driving modes. Be ready to hit the road in wintry weather with heated mirrors, heated seats, remote start, a blind-spot monitor, and eight inches of ground clearance.

What Does Kia Telluride Snow Mode Do?

The Kia Telluride is celebrated for its various driving modes, including the snow mode. Selecting the snow mode helps distribute power and increases the control and traction of the tires for improved handling in icy conditions. When this mode is activated, 80% of the power goes to the front wheels, and the remaining is distributed to the rear wheels. If a driver wants to have the power equally distributed, they should select lock mode.

Best Winter Tires For Kia Telluride

The standard tires installed on a Kia Telluride are sufficient to handle most weather conditions. But, when you need to be ready to handle heavy snow and ice with confidence, it's time to upgrade to winter tires. Consider the following choices of tires for this SUV:

  • Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 - navigate on clear roads with ease and tackle slushy conditions, too.
  • Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT - built for ultimate traction on snow and ice
  • Goodyear Winter Command - handle slush, ice, and snow with an aggressive tread design and studs
  • Kumho Wintercraft SUV WS71 - a good choice for high performance in winter snow and ice

Depending on your geographical location and needs for the Kia Telluride, choose the best tires to handle snow and ice without worry. In addition to relying on quality snow tires for winter riding, drivers may also want to enlist snow chains to further increase traction and control. Especially when riding on backroads or on muddy ground covered with ice, being prepared calls for using the right equipment to get around safely and confidently.

How Do FWD Cars Handle In The Snow?

Most cars on the market are FWD, and these vehicles are naturally good at handling reasonable levels of snow. Remember, FWD cars typically have better weight distribution and enjoy better traction when roads are slippery. All of the steering, braking, and control from the wheel are directed by the front wheels. If you have a FWD car, it is ideal to install snow tires or all-weather performance tires at the front and the rear.

Keep in mind, FWD vehicles are more top-heavy toward the front because of the engine and overall design. If driving when the snow is very high, it is time to switch to AWD and or drive at a low speed to improve traction and control.

Should I Get 2 Or 4 Snow Tires?


It is better to keep your car perfectly balanced and invest in purchasing a set of four snow tires versus installing only two at the front. Most cars utilize FWD to get around. However, even if you were to rely on FWD and do not utilize AWD, having a split of two different types of tires may throw off control and traction. There are more than a few risks if a driver chooses to rely on only two snow tires.

When steering or braking, it is more likely to encounter oversteering, spinning out, or making a fishtail when driving. If there is heavy traffic on top of snow and ice, it could lead to a dangerous accident and an inability to navigate properly. Some drivers may risk installing snow tires at the rear of their vehicle if using rear-wheel drive. It could work, but if the front wheels lose traction, it's a problem. Opt for the best control and traction by having a set of the same four snow tires for a car.

At What Point Do You Need Snow Chains?

Be prepared to take on wintry weather without having to stay grounded. When there is a significant snow and ice level on roads, you should consider installing snow chains on your tires. Snow chains are helpful for improving traction and gripping the road in the face of slush, sleet, and slick sheets of ice. However, only drive a vehicle with snow chain-covered tires only when there is heavy snow and ice present. Driving with snow chains on clear roads can lead to needless damage to the tires and the road. 

Check out these chains for tires on Amazon.

If you find yourself transitioning from snowy, icy roads to clear roads that have been salted, pull off to the side and remove those snow chains. Do check your local laws in regards to when it is necessary or lawful to have snow chains. Know when snow chains are needed, no matter if you use FWD, AWD, or have high-performance snow tires installed. There are locations that may be marked a chain control area, and snow chains should at least be in your possession.

In closing

We hope you feel more confident about the best qualities the Kia Telluride has to offer when navigating roads laden with snow and ice. Go off-roading and take advantage of the Kia Telluride's snow mode, coupled with adequate performance tires to handle slushy, slick conditions.

Note, snow chains may be legally required when driving in certain areas, even if your vehicle uses AWD and is equipped with snow tires. Overall, the Kia Telluride is a dream to drive. It is built tough, can handle a slew of different weather conditions, and has plenty of safety and performance technology included.

Before you go, be sure to check out these other guides:

Read More: Can You Drive A 2WD Truck In Snow?

Read More: What SUVs Can Tow At Least 5000 Lbs?

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One comment

  1. Excellent article – a comprehensive summary of all key considerations for driving in snow with a Kia Telluride.

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