Compared: 2022 Kia Telluride vs. 2022 Honda Pilot

A relative newcomer out of Korea shows up Honda’s stalwart in the popular three-row SUV segment.

2022 Kia Telluride Honda PilotHonda/Kia

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Mid-size SUVs with three rows of seats are the new minivans. They aren’t as spacious or as ergonomic of course, but that doesn’t seem to matter. Many of today’s parents don’t mind sacrificing some practicality for style, which the 2022 Kia Telluride and Honda Pilot deliver in spades. Both models gain more standard content this year. Here’s a rundown of the pricing, interior features, and fuel economy you can expect for both models.

2022 Kia TellurideKia

2022 Kia Telluride vs. 2022 Honda Pilot: Price

For 2022, Honda replaced the Pilot’s entry-level LX and EX trims with a new Sport model. It starts at around $39,000, which is $5,600 higher than 2021’s base price. To justify the increase, Honda now includes heated front seats and an 8.0-inch infotainment system as standard equipment. Stepping up to the nearly $42,000 EX-L gives you leather-trimmed seats, a sunroof, and a power tailgate. There are five other trims, including the new TrailSport at around $46,000, which features a small suspension lift, rugged tires, and black plastic fender flares. If you want a panoramic sunroof or ventilated front seats, you’ll need to pick the Elite at nearly $52,000 or better. Every Pilot comes with a 280-hp 3.5L V6. On lower trims, buyers can pay $2,000 to upgrade to all-wheel drive (AWD); it’s standard on the TrailSport, Elite, and Black Edition.

The 2022 Telluride starts well below the Pilot. The entry-level model is the LX, and for 2022, it gains a larger infotainment screen and automatic climate control—not to mention Kia’s new logo. It costs just below $35,000. Above that, there are three other trims: the S, EX, and SX. On the top trim, buyers can select the SX Prestige package and receive nappa leather upholstery, heated and ventilated second-row seats to match the front, rain-sensing wipers, a head-up display, and a 110V power outlet. In this spec—which can stretch beyond $55,000 when fully loaded—the Telluride acts like a luxury SUV and is the best value in its segment. Like the Pilot, the Telluride powers its front wheels with a naturally aspirated V6, only Kia’s is larger, at 3.8L, and delivers 11 more horsepower for a total of 291 ponies. AWD costs $1,900 or $2,000, depending on the trim level.

2022 Honda PilotHonda

2022 Kia Telluride vs. 2022 Honda Pilot: Interior

On fit and finish alone, the Telluride wins this category. Its build quality approaches that of a Mercedes, while the Pilot’s passengers swim in a sea of plain-looking plastic. The Pilot is perhaps a little more functional and simple, but its 8.0-inch touchscreen pales in comparison to the Telluride’s 10.3-inch unit.

These two SUVs provide much of the same safety and convenience features, including standard blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control; though Honda has a small victory in this area, providing automatic high-beam assistance on every model (whereas Kia reserves it for uplevel trims).

Both vehicles offer seven or eight seats, depending on the trim, but the Kia is far more spacious. It boasts 178 cu. ft. of passenger room, whereas the Honda provides 153. Shoppers will find a roomier cargo area in the Telluride too. Behind the third row, it accommodates 21 cubes of stuff, while the Pilot can hold 17. Fold those seats down and the Pilot edges ahead with 47 cubes to the Telluride’s 46.

2022 Kia TellurideKia

2022 Kia Telluride vs. 2022 Honda Pilot: Fuel Economy

Efficiency is neither vehicle’s strong point due to their heavy curb weights and conventional V6 engines. The Pilot has the slightest of edges over the Telluride: The front-drive Honda sees 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway; the Kia ties that city score but falls 1 mpg short in the highway test. With AWD, the Pilot returns 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway (or 25 mpg for the higher-riding TrailSport), while the Telluride gets 19 and 24 mpg, respectively.

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Clifford Atiyeh
Clifford Atiyeh is an independent writer, photographer, and creative consultant. He has reported for dozens of websites, magazines, and newspapers in his 20-year journalism career, during which he has tested more than 650 new vehicles. His automotive expertise focuses on product development, market analysis, and the litigation and legislation affecting the industry. Clifford is vice president of the New England Motor Press Association and runs a marketing consultancy.