Kia Telluride Problems: 3 Common Issues (Explained)

The Kia Telluride debuted in 2019 as Kia’s 2020 model. The Kia brand is known for its reliability and value. Its roomy three-row interior, driver-assistance features, and high safety rating have quickly earned the respect of many mid-size SUV fans.

Still, the Telluride may be prone to several common issues that may need attention during the vehicle’s life.

This article will look at some of Kia Telluride’s most reported problems.

The Kia Telluride has only been on the market for four years. Still, we’ve pinpointed some of the most common flaws reported by drivers.

1. LCD Display Goes Blank

Telluride owners have complained that the LCD screen display goes blank. Information about vehicle status, including speed, gas level, and other standard indicators, is unavailable with a dark screen.

Kia addressed this issue, stating, “A blank LCD may be missing information, such as the digital speedometer, gear selection indicator, and odometer, which may increase the risk of a crash.”

On July 28, 2021, Kia issued a recall (number 21V577) and instructed owners to schedule an appointment with their Kia dealer to resolve the issue.

Possible Causes and Solutions

When the Telluride’s LCD screen remains blank after starting the vehicle, drivers cannot monitor their vehicle status and driving indicators safely or turn on and off safety features. For instance, the back seat alert that warns drivers when a child is left in the back seat may not function properly.

The glitch that causes the LCD to remain dark is a flaw in Telluride’s instrument panel software. Kia dealers will fix the problem by updating the instrument panel firmware.

Owners who experience problems with the LCD should take their vehicle to their local Kia dealer to receive the free update.

2. High-Beam Headlights Do Not Turn On

Approximately 20 percent of the 2020 Kia Telluride’s NHTSA complaints are related to malfunctioning headlights.

Some complain the low beam headlights are too bright and distract other drivers in oncoming traffic. Others state that their high-beam headlights do not turn on, work randomly, or operate intermittently.

Many of the complaints report minimal peripheral illumination from the headlights and lights that are so dim drivers cannot see the side of the road around curves or on unlit roadways.

Improper headlight function can malfunction Telluride’s Advance Driver Assistance Systems, including Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, and Pedestrian Avoidance.

Although headlight issues are commonly reported, there has been no recall as of this writing.

Possible Causes and Solutions

Several different issues may cause the headlight problem.

You may be able to fix the headlights yourself, or you may need to take it to a service center for repair.

Here are some possible causes and solutions to fix finicky headlights.

  • Check Headlight Bulbs

Ensure your headlight bulbs are in good working order. Headlight bulbs need changing now and then. The problem could be a burned-out bulb or weak bulbs. The low beams and high beams work on different sets of light bulbs. Make sure the bulbs are at the correct brightness for each setting.

  • Check High-Beam Shades

Some Telluride owners have reported that the shades that move to allow the high beams to turn on and off become stuck. A dealer or service center can repair or replace the shades.

3. Excessive Vibration

While DrivingSome Telluride owners report excessive vibration occurring from 55 mph to 70 mph.

According to NHTSA Campaign Number 21V164000, some affected vehicles may not detect when there is a child restraint system in the front passenger seat and deploy the airbag, causing serious injury.

Some owners report their vehicle will not accelerate to highway speeds, with less than 5,000 miles on their new Telluride. Other drivers complain their Telluride unexpectedly shifts into neutral while driving.

This shift can occur after turning, driving at low speeds, or accelerating.

Possible Causes and Solutions

Excessive vibration, unexpected shifting, and inability to reach average highway speeds are caused by issues in the powertrain.

According to some consumers, Kia resolves issues by replacing the driveshafts/AWD couplers. Kia seems to be performing repairs randomly for consumers. Some owners report they have been able to have their vehicle’s powertrain repaired. In contrast, others are unable to get help from Kia.

Here’s what to do if your Telluride experiences any powertrain problems.

  • Check Your Warranty

Kia owners who experience powertrain-related problems usually experience issues long before Kia’s 10-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty expires. This warranty should cover any repairs needed to get your vehicle in tip-top shape.

  • Contact Your Kia Dealer

Schedule an appointment with your Kia dealer or service center to arrange a diagnosis and repair.

Note: If your Telluride shifts into neutral while driving, turn off the vehicle and restart to return power to the transmission.

Contact your nearest service center immediately and arrange for a rental car while waiting for your repair to be completed.

General Pros and Cons

Here are some of the top pros and cons of the Kia Telluride:


Here are some of the best selling points of the Kia Telluride:

1. Outstanding Value:

Kia offers the base Telluride LX at an outstanding MSRP of $32,785 with a slew of features, including:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • 8-inch touchscreen display
  • UVO infotainment system interface
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto compatibility
  • 5 USB ports.

2. Full Suite of Driver Assistant Aids:

The full Advance Driver Assistant System is included in the Telluride’s base price, offering the following helpful features:

  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance with Pedestrian & Cyclist Detection
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Pedestrian Avoidance
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Driver Attention Warning
  • Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control-Curve
  • Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go
  • Rear Occupant Alert
  • Parking Distance Warning – Reverse
  • Lane Following Assist
  • Rear View Monitor (RVM) with Parking Guidance-Dynamic

3. Plenty of Room:

The Kia Telluride offers room aboard for eight passengers.

A 60/40 split-folding second row and reclining third row provide ample room for three teenagers – making it an affordable family SUV that drivers really love.

4. Quality Driving Experience:

While the Kia Telluride offers outstanding value and a full range of next-level features, the driving experience rivals a luxury brand.

For example, a fully loaded Telluride reaches 60 mph faster than an entry-level Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 4Matic, and quicker in the quarter-mile.

5. Driving Mode Options:

Drivers can use a rotary controller on the center console to switch between Eco, Sport, Comfort, Snow, and Smart driving modes.

The Smart driving mode uses the onboard computer to assess the best drive settings for maximum efficiency and response.

6. Advanced Safety Features:

A full range of award-winning safety features protects occupants while on the road:

  • Two advanced front airbags
  • Two front seat-mounted side airbags
  • Full-length side curtain airbags
  • Driver’s knee airbag
  • Rollover and side-impact sensors
  • Three-point seatbelts
  • Anti-lock Brake System
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Hill-start Assist Control
  • Trailer Stability Assist
  • Torque Vectoring Corner Control
  • Vehicle Stability Management
  • Electronic Parking Brake


Some downsides of the Telluride include the following:

  • The engine could use more torque
  • Transmission could be more responsive
  • No hill descent control

What Do the Reviews Say?

“The Telluride is among the very few three-row crossovers that I actually like driving. It feels like a good two-row crossover, with crisp turn-in, excellent ride quality, and great body control.”

“The Telluride is an impressive three-row SUV. It boasts a quiet and upscale cabin, impressive tech, extensive standard features, adult-friendly third-row seating, and a satisfying driving experience. It has a few minor weaknesses, but overall this Kia is a great pick for a three-row crossover SUV.”


What Is the Resale Value of the Kia Telluride?

Due to its safety record, affordability, reliability, and luxury feel, the Kia Telluride keeps its resale value relatively intact.

Granted, the model is only entering its fourth year, but owners can expect the value of their Telluride to hold up for many years.

Here’s a look at some of the average prices for the Kia Telluride LX series.

Year Mileage Price
2020 23,346 $39,495
2021 23,474 $39,787
2022 5,498 $43,164
2023 0 $35,000

In its 2023 model, Kia has found a way to make the already popular Telluride even more appealing with a sharpened exterior styling and new X-Line and X-Pro trim levels for a more rugged look.

New headlight and taillight internals, front and rear bumpers, and lower bodyside cladding add more intricate detailing for an upscale look.

Kia has also added some handy features to its impressive Advance Driver Assistance Systems.

Traffic sign recognition offers added safety backup, and a left-turn warning function can intervene if you try to turn left into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

And the Highway Driving Assist 2 offers a more capable version of the standard HDA 1.5 system and can even perform automated lane changes.

With more rugged-looking trim packages and an upgraded combined 12.5-inches across two interior displays, the Telluride should remain popular in 2023 and beyond.

GO BACK: Problems for all Kia models.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.