Kia Telluride EX vs. SX – What Are The Differences?

The Telluride is Kia's offering in the mid-size SUV class. It is one of the most prominent models in Kia's lineup. In this article, we will be discussing the difference between two of its trims, the EX and SX. We have already researched to help you choose what trim best suits you. 

The EX and the SX are the top two trims for the Kia Telluride. The SX is at the top of the line, while the EX is the next trim. The SX will offer more luxury and comfort, while the EX will provide more passenger seating. Both vehicles share the same engine (3.8L V6), but the SX will have better amenities featured as standard.

Are you interested in learning more about the differences between the two trims? Continue reading as we discuss other related questions like other trim offerings for the Telluride, engine options, and the vehicle's reliability. We will also be suggesting some interesting related write-ups at the end of this article, so sit back and relax. 

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Differences between the Kia Telluride EX and SX

The EX and the SX are not too far apart in terms of appearance. Both can be easily mistaken for one another to the untrained eye. Key differences between the two trims are only visible when sitting behind the wheel of either car or if you get a chance to see the car's interior. 

Kia Telluride parked outside a Kia dealership

Both trims are at the higher end of the spectrum, with the SX being at the top. Knowing which trim variant best suits you are essential because why pay for a higher price when you are not using the extra amenities that come with the added cost. 

We will discuss key features that separate both of the trims below. Hopefully, this can help you decide which variant would fit you perfectly. 

EX Trim Level

With this trim level, you can expect a wide range of options for your amenities; this includes leather and heated seats. One main advantage of the EX is the added passenger capability as it can seat up to three persons in the second row and two in the back. 

The EX has a starting MSRP of $38,390. Some of its features are as follows: 

  • 3.8L V6 Engine w/291 horsepower and 5,000 lb Towing Capacity
  • Three Row Seating: Up to 8 Passengers
  • Leather Seat Trim (all rows)
  • Heated and Ventilated Front Power Seats
  • 18-inch Alloy Wheels (Machined Finish)
  • LED Tail Lights, Exclusive Grille
  • Kia Connect w/Navigation and 10.25-inch Display
  • Smart Power Liftgate™, Power-Folding Mirrors
  • Smart Key w/Push Button and Remote Start
  • Auto-Dimming Interior Rearview Mirror
  • Integrated Second Row Window Sunshades
  • 7 USB Ports (6 Charging, 1 Media)
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (for Pedestrians & Cyclists)
  • Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist-Rear
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Lane Keeping Assist & Lane Following Assist
  • Safe Exit Assist
  • Rear Occupant Alert w/Ultrasonic Sensors
  • Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control-Curve

SX Trim Level

Telluride's top-of-the-line model is the SX. You can expect all the bells and whistles like Nappa leather seat trims and dual sunroofs with this trim. 

The MSRP of the Telluride SX is $43,290. The following are some of the key features that the SX boasts. 

  • 3.8L V6 Engine w/291 horsepower and 5,000 lb Towing Capacity
  • Leather Seat Trim (Available Nappa Leather Seat Trim)
  • 7 Passenger Seating w/Second Row Captain Chairs
  • Heated/Ventilated Front Seats (also available for second row)
  • Dual Sunroofs (first and second rows)
  • 20-inch Alloy Black Sport Wheels
  • LED Headlights, Fog Lamps, Tail Lights
  • Harman Kardon® 10-Speaker Premium Audio
  • Kia Connect w/Navigation & 10.25-inch Display
  • Surround View Monitor, Blind-Spot View Monitor
  • Smart Power Liftgate™, Power-Folding Mirrors
  • Supervision Instrument Cluster (7-inch LCD Display)
  • Wireless Phone Charger, Second Row Door Sunshades
  • Front Power Seats w/ Driver's Memory
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (for Pedestrians & Cyclists)
  • Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist-Rear
  • Lane Keeping Assist and Lane Following Assist
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Safe Exit Assist
  • Rear Occupant Alert w/Ultrasonic Sensors
  • Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control-Curve

A big takeaway from this is the advantage of passenger seating for the EX because of the captain seating design of the SX in its 2nd Row. You have a choice to make it into a regular bench seat with after-market options or customizations. 

What other trims does Kia offer for the Telluride?

White Kia Telluride at a car show

For the 2022 model year, Kia has four available trims in its Telluride lineup. Below are listed from the base to the top trim with their suggested retail prices.

If ever you are wondering, there is no off-road trim available for the Telluride, but all models are available with the option for an all-wheel drive. This means you can do light trail roads like gravel and unpaved paths.

But this does not mean that you can go full-on overlanding with the Telluride, as it is not designed for that purpose. It is more for on-road use like highway and city driving. Significant factors that can hinder the Telluride from being an all-out offroad vehicle are its engine power and ground clearance.

Both the EX and the SX come equipped with a choice of a towing package that has self-leveling rear suspension and a tow hitch port installed. This is a great added feature if you plan on towing a small camper or your boat for a family or personal outing. 

The SX and the EX are rated at a towing capacity of 5000 lbs. This means that you can easily tow most of the small trailers available.

One tip to remember, when choosing a trailer to tow, it is wise to choose something that does not weigh too close to your towing limit. This gives you an allowance of a few hundred lbs as you also have to factor in the cargo you will be hauling with the trailer. 

What engine options does Kia offer for the Telluride?

Green Kia Telluride at a Kia car show

All Kia Telluride trims come in standard with the same engine. A 3.8L V6 engine can output 291 horsepower & the 5,000 lbs as mentioned earlier towing capacity. The aluminum block and head DOHC with a dual CVT engine can produce 262lb-ft at 5,200 revolutions per minute. 

An advantage of having the same engine for all the trims is parts availability. By having identical motors, engine manufacturers can focus on making more parts of the same type. If you need to replace a piece of your engine, it will be easy for you. 

Is the Kia Telluride a reliable car?

The 2022 model of the Kia Telluride scored an 86 out of 100 in the JD Power reliability score, which is considered to be an excellent mark. The Kia Telluride also achieved a perfect five out of five stars rating in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration safety ratings. This makes the Kia Telluride one of the safest vehicles on the market.

A Kia Telluride can last up to 200,000 miles without major repairs, including course accidents and manufacturer defects. This would give you at least 13 years of ownership, accounting for the average miles driven per year of Americans annually, which is 15,000 miles

Overall, Kia vehicles are regarded to be well-built and reliable cars. In Repairpal's reliability rating, Kia scored a four out of five, good for third place overall in the 32 other car brands they tested. 

But no matter how reliable and how high any car brand scores in different reliability tests, it would be impossible to last the average length it is projected without the proper care and use. 

Regular and preventive maintenance such as changing the oil and immediately repairing car problems will help prolong the lifespan of any vehicle.

But there are other factors, such as factory defected parts, which can trigger a recall from the company and may cause a shorter service life to your vehicle, especially if it is not immediately addressed. 

How well does The Kia Telluride hold its value?

White Kia Telluride parked on a dirt road

The Kia Telluride has always been successful in holding up its value over time. It has the best resale value among three-row seating SUVs. 

A Telluride will only depreciate 55% of its value after five years of being purchased. Assuming that the sticker price was $40,495, you can expect a resell value of $18,174 after half a decade of ownership. 

Of course, factors such as repair history, mileage, cosmetic issues, and even legal history all play a factor in the total appraisal of the vehicle. That is why proper ownership and care are essential, especially if you plan to sell it down the road eventually. 

Another thing to remember is that taking care of your car does entail keeping its value high, but it also ensures your security while using the vehicle. Keep in mind the saying that says, take care of your car, and your car will take care of you. 

In conclusion

Off gray colored Kia Telluride at a parking lot

The EX and the SX are two of the top trim levels the Kia Telluride provides in its lineup. The SX edges out the EX as it contains all the bells and whistles as it is the top-of-the-line model, while the advantage for the EX is the bigger seating capacity of seven because of the captain seats in the second row. 

Compared to the SX, the EX is much cheaper, but this does not mean it is the more inferior trim. To choose the best trim for you, you must first learn what you want and what you need from the car. 

Here are some related topics that we have previously written for you. Go ahead and give them a look!

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Does The Kia Telluride Have Wifi And Apple Carplay?

How Much Is A Fully Loaded Kia Telluride?

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