• New 8-passenger SUV bows
  • Launch set for early next year
  • Priced above the $26,980 Sorento


Leveraging New York’s Fashion Week, Kia provided an early debut of the 2019 Telluride, an all-new, 8-passenger SUV, featuring a custom version by Texas-born designer Brandon Maxwell. The Telluride slots above the 7-passenger Sorento in the Kia showroom, coming in several inches longer and wider, and features a V6 option for family hauling.

Why the pairing with Maxwell? “My mom drove me to school in East Texas in a Kia Sorento, and my adoration for the brand runs deep,” says the designer via a Kia press release. Kia and Maxwell are also providing “substantial funding” to the Marfa, Texas public school system, where Maxwell designed his Spring-Summer 2019 collection.

Also: Get your first look at the new and redesigned cars of 2019

Special touches

The Brandon Maxwell version of the Telluride carries a host of bespoke features including natural wood interior trim, double-stitched leather on the dash, door panels, and grab handles. The exterior has leather-wrapped outside rearview mirrors and door handles, plus custom front and rear bumpers, skidplates and sidestep sills for that “ranch ready” urban look.

“Telluride summits Kia’s SUV lineup,” said Saad Chehab, vice president of marketing communications for Kia. The Telluride was designed at the brand’s Irvine, California studio while the customized version drew influence from Maxwell’s Spring/Summer collection.

The production version of the Telluride will be in showrooms in early 2019 for the model year 2020 and will be assembled at Kia Motors Manufacturing in West Point, Georgia. While pricing hasn’t been released, from a features and utility standpoint it will compete directly with the likes of Chevrolet Traverse, Subaru Ascent, Honda Pilot, and Toyota Highlander. Pricing is expected to range from $30,000 to $50,000.

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