Avenue Motors NJ Used
 Sales 973-319-8566
Service 973-313-5256
1453 Lawrence St Rahway, NJ 07065
Today 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Open Today !
Sales: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
All Hours

2023 Kia Telluride vs. 2023 Volkswagen Atlas

1. Introduction

The 2023 Kia Telluride and 2023 Volkswagen Atlas are both sturdy vehicles that are perfect for families. The families that need a little more space than normal to fit sports equipment, packed coolers, and the occasional kid's friend will be thoroughly satisfied with the seven seats that are incorporated into each. These two vehicles come with many benefits but also have their downfalls. Unfortunately, the two SUVs have quite a similarity in the sense of body dimension, performance, and interior accommodations. This means that previous loyalty to one's favorite car brand may be offended when either is compared due to the competition being so intense. People spend a lot on their car, families especially, and when looking to buy a new car, it is best to buy one that has been proven to be the best. The task is to decide which vehicle will best fit the average family price range of $40,000 and is also the most trustworthy vehicle to have. This is decided through the use of safety and reliability ratings, owner satisfaction, and critic reviews. In order to compare these two sturdy vehicles, we must have a clear view of what these statistics are. [1] Please visit our Comprehensive Guide to Kia Model Comparisons to learn more about 2023 Kia Telluride vs 2023 Volkswagen Atlas.

2. Exterior Design

The Volkswagen Atlas for the 2023 model year has a very sophisticated and adaptive design. This newly restyled SUV will be most noted for its new front end and new set of wheels. Starting with the front, the 2023 Atlas now sports a grille that is very similar to the new MK8 Golf GTI and light bars that run the length of the bumper. This will be a very attractive look to many buyers and will set it apart from other SUVs in its class. This attractive detailing is not just the front. As we move to the side, there are two new wheel designs, one on the higher-end trims and one on the lower. The one that stands out most is a 21" two-tone design. Wheel size is rarely something to point out; however, 21" is quite large, especially for the crossover segment. Paired with it being on a two-tone wheel that is also exclusive, this will definitely be a feature that draws some buyers in.

Kia’s 2023 Telluride comes out with a refined and trendy build. Its sturdy structure makes it seem as though a rugged truck from the 80’s left the time warp, having a taste for fashion. The approach Kia took on this design is unlike other competitors' vehicles. Other SUVs are taking on car-like designs, but the Telluride embraces its shape and will stand out. The front boasts a long 'Eagle-like' hood with squinting headlamps. Under this is an elegant arrangement of daytime running lights and fog lamps. The rear takes a more simple approach and actually takes some lines from the front. Though reversed, the tail lamps and reflectors are arranged in a similar fashion to the headlamps. The rear also has the option to have a skid plate similar to the front on all-wheel drive options. Taking a wider look at the exterior, the Telluride has a very distinct look. Although sporty, it takes a very durable approach, and you can tell this from its wide grille and beefy tires.

2.1. Kia Telluride's Exterior Design

The 2023 Kia Telluride is a tough competitor in the midsize SUV market. A worthy adversary for the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas, the Telluride's long and decisive lines exude an air of luxury and elegance. The crisp LED headlights and taillights, which come standard on all trim levels, give a modern and stylish feel. The Telluride comes standard with 18-inch wheels, 20-inch wheels can be added on upper trims. An addition to the 2023 Telluride is the Nightfall Edition, which includes a black grille and window surrounds and 20-inch black wheels. More exterior features include heated outside mirrors, power sunroof, and a hands-free smart liftgate. At the rear of the Telluride is a dual-tip exhaust, providing a symmetrical and balanced aspect to the back of the SUV. Available in many different colors, the Telluride both adds premium character and fun with its dual chrome-tipped exhaust and rugged skid plates. On the other side of the spectrum, the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas, also available in many different colors, maintains simplicity in its exterior design. Boasting a boxy build, the Atlas springs from a straightforward design philosophy that puts practicality and function on the forefront. A more toned-down and subtle look than the Telluride, the Atlas has a solid, yet friendly appearance. It too comes with 18-inch wheels, with more trim options available for 20 to 21-inch wheels. The standard wheel on the base model is the 18-inch 5-spoke silver alloy wheel. The top trim wheel, available on the premium 4Motion R-line, is a 21-inch two-tone machined or black wheel. The taillights on the Atlas have a smoked-out design, and it also features a dual-tip exhaust to complete the luxury that Volkswagen advertises. Very similar in appeal to their target audience, both the Telluride and Atlas appeal to a variety of consumers in the market, from single families to outdoor enthusiasts. [2]

2.2. Volkswagen Atlas's Exterior Design

Volkswagen Atlas is a family SUV with 3 rows of seats. The Atlas is built to leave an impression; from its bold front end to its striking LED tail light. The innovative design of Atlas offers a refreshing, yet bold look that is sure to turn heads wherever you go. With a combination of both style and function, the Atlas leaves nothing to be desired, no matter your lifestyle. The Atlas has numerous features that help create a stylish exterior. Get more comfortable with the 98.6 cubic feet passenger area. The panoramic sunroof can stretch most of the three rows so that everybody gets a clear view of the sky. LED headlights that are bold and bright help the vehicle see and be seen. The ventilated front seats have a cooling feature built into them that helps prevent the driver and passenger from getting too hot during the summer months. With eight different models, you can choose the one which fits your features the best. The Atlas is a perfect vehicle for family trips with lots of sports gear given its available trailer hitch and the ability to trailer brake controller. Stepless door makes it easy to get in and out of the vehicle, presenting convenience for the whole family. The Atlas is a perfect vehicle for both the carpool dad who gets off the beaten path, or a family that just enjoys the great outdoors. So be prepared for a memorable experience in your Atlas.

3. Interior Features

The 2023 Kia Telluride comes with pure lease Nappa calfskin upholstery that gives it a refined look and feel. The vehicle has a 12-way control driver's seat that incorporates a 4-way lumbar and the two-level memory capacities, which enables the driver to adjust to an optimal position without any problem. To have an optimal seating position, this model offers driver seat augmentation, which those who typically spend long periods of time driving will appreciate. To ensure everyone riding in the Telluride stays warm, this model is equipped with heated front seats, and since some people would still rather not own a vehicle that doesn't have leather seating, Kia offers the option of having second-row VIP seats. The new 2023 Kia Telluride's advanced sound-related technology includes an advanced acoustic technology and an embedded sound-deadening windshield that helps to deter unpredictable road noise from entering the cabin. Also, the vehicle's UVO media interface receives a new update, refined navigation system, and now includes drowsy driver avoidance feature that will eventually bring the vehicle to a stop if the driver doesn't respond to its warnings after a certain period of time. This new feature is also connected to Kia's first-ever e-SIM card that enables UVO connectivity to remain active whenever the vehicle is moving.

3.1. Kia Telluride's Interior Features

The Kia Telluride's interior is ergonomically well designed and functional, with good use of tactile switchgear, easy-to-understand and reach climate controls, and infotainment functions. Interior quality is excellent, and the Telluride is available with upscale options like a 10.3-inch touch screen, a 12-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system, and embedded navigation. All Tellurides, with at least the rear part of the optional seating, heat rear outboard seats, an option not available on the Atlas. Many Telluride options, like the power sunroof, colored head-up display, and blind spot monitoring cameras displayed through the gauge cluster, and lane follow assist, are either unavailable or far more expensive options on an Atlas. The only real options provided on any trim of Telluride are the $795 towing package, all-wheel drive, and most color choices, which are all $495-595 extra. Even a fully optioned Telluride SX with all-wheel drive will barely crest the $50K mark, substantially less than a comparable Atlas. Step up to the Telluride's SX trim level, and cabin quality rivals that of luxury SUVs. Other features available only on select trims include a leather-wrapped and stitched instrument panel, heated and ventilated second-row captain's chairs, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat with added thigh support and a premium finish, and a premium headliner and sunroof. The $2000 "Prestige package" includes a head-up display, heated and cooled second-row seating, and a premium headliner and sunroof. The new high-riding version of Kia's Tiger logo is standard on all trims, and while subjective, might be a cool touch to some from a design perspective. This interior of Seltos and full-sized SUVs only further solidifies the impression that Kia and Hyundai are no longer manufacturers of "cheap" cars.

3.2. Volkswagen Atlas's Interior Features

SE and SEL trim levels come with second-row captain's chairs and a two-passenger third-row bench, reducing capacity to seven, in contrast to the standard eight seats with a second-row three-person bench. For the four-cylinder engine available in SE and SEL trims, a front-wheel-drive version with a lower price is offered, and all V6 models come with standard all-wheel drive. High-end V6 SEL Premium and SEL Premium R-Line models can surpass the $50,000 mark, putting the Atlas in a higher price category than you might expect.

Both the second row and third-row seats can fold down, and also at the press of a button, the second row slides forwards and backwards to allow easy access to the third row. The third-row seat is suitable for adults, and in the back, there is still a usable amount of cargo space when the seat is upright. An area where the Atlas falls short is that when compared to other competitors, it can be boring. The design isn't as extravagant as that of some trim levels of the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot. Step into the base Atlas, and you'd be forgiven for thinking you accidentally selected a Passat in the drop-down menu, as the two models' interiors are remarkably similar.

The new Volkswagen Atlas is a three-row SUV that boasts a spacious cabin with abundant room for passengers and cargo. The materials within the interior are of good quality, and the fit and finish were also good. The styling tends to be a little bland within the interior, but the cabin is very practical.

3.3. Comparison of Interior Features

Both SUVs have second-row captain seats; however, the Kia Telluride has an innovative cushion button that allows the passenger-side second-row seat to tilt and slide even while a car seat is installed. This is an incredible function that makes life very useful for a family that has kids in car seats. The Telluride has a large third row that's 31.4 inches of legroom compared to the Atlas with only 33.7 inches. Both vehicles have 60/40 split-folding flat rear seats. In contrast with the Atlas, the Kia Telluride has standard one-touch buttons to effortlessly lower and lift the second-row seats for easy access to the third row. This is very helpful and saves time from having to manually tilt and slide the second-row seats. The Telluride has additional USB ports located throughout the car for the convenience of charging electronic devices.

The 2023 Kia Telluride is an automobile packed with superb and convenient options, whereas the 2023 VW Atlas is classier and has extra ergonomic comfort choices. The Telluride offers an optional rear dual sunroof compared to the Atlas. The rear dual sunroof is different from a regular sunroof because it has a separate sunroof above the second row that the passengers can open themselves. It also has sun shades that can be extended to maintain the daylight to passengers. This feature allows the passengers to manage the daylight and prevent it from being too hot.

4. Performance and Safety

Now for the Volkswagen Atlas, it handles very well for a vehicle of its size and the ride quality is very good across the road and various terrains. However, the Atlas is a notch behind the Telluride on both accounts. The 8-speed transmission provides the same smooth and crisp gear changes, but there is no comparison to the Telluride's simulated shift logic. An ideal feature for towing, the Atlas offers an AWD system with a center locking differential and a high and low setting to switch surfaced terrains. The steering is well weighted and more responsive than the Telluride's, but it too still lacks off-road capabilities. The Atlas' towing capacity is also a notch behind its competitor at 2500 lbs on 4-cylinder models and 5000 lbs on V6.

Firstly, the Kia Telluride exceeds expectations with its handling. Ride quality is impeccable and the cabin is extremely quiet. On cornering roads, it holds its own with minimal body roll. The 8-speed transmission provides smooth and crisp gear changes, and the AWD system offers a range of settings for various terrains, including snow mode and a lock setting for more treacherous terrains. The maximum towing capacity is set at 5000 lbs. The motor-driven power steering is on the slower and lighter side. It is fine for daily driving but not ideal for off-road or spirited driving.

4.1. Kia Telluride's Performance and Safety

The safety equipment of the Kia Telluride is comparable to its performance attributes, if not slightly more impressive. The Telluride comes with fully loaded advanced safety features such as vehicle stability and traction control, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, hill-start assist control, anti-lock braking, and an advanced airbag system. These safety features give the driver an enhanced sense of confidence and control over the vehicle, even under unsafe or adverse road conditions. On top of those features is Kia's patented active all-wheel drive system, which distributes torque between the front and rear wheels as well as the left and right rear wheels, depending on driving conditions, helping to improve the vehicle's stability. The most notable safety attribute of the Telluride is its safety rating. The IIHS has named the 2023 Kia Telluride a Top Safety Pick for its second year in a row with the 2022 model, being named a top safety pick since its debut in 2019. The safety rating of the Telluride stands as a firm statement of its safety features and crashworthiness. Overall, the combination of safety features and safety rating significantly increases the potential to protect its driver and passengers' safety compared to the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas.

The 2023 Kia Telluride is ranked significantly higher in terms of automobile performance compared to the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas. The Telluride is equipped with a 3.8-liter V6 engine that produces an impressive 291 horsepower. In comparison, the Volkswagen Atlas contains a 2.0-liter inline-4 that produces a sizable difference of 184 horsepower. The most noteworthy performance difference between the two is their fuel economy. The Telluride gets an estimated 20 miles per gallon city and 26 miles per gallon highway, whereas the considerably less impressive fuel economy of the Atlas is one of its weaker points, getting an estimated 15 miles per gallon city and 20 miles per gallon highway. The extra torque and horsepower of the Telluride undoubtedly give it an edge in acceleration and towing capacity, providing a more enjoyable ride for the driver. Additionally, the superior fuel economy will give the Telluride driver less anxiety regarding frequent fill-ups and a longer-lasting driving experience.

4.2. Volkswagen Atlas's Performance and Safety

Considering that the 2018-2019 Atlas had 50% fewer units of vehicles involved in fatal accidents, hence being the reason why the safety rating for the Atlas is so high. This is in contrast to the 2023 Telluride, which in all research done on the vehicle, there are not any reported safety incidents due to the Telluride being new to the market. The Telluride's safety features are lane following assist, lane keep assist, parking distance warning, blind spot view monitor, and rear cross-traffic alert. With the newest technology in safety and the overhead of not having any reported accidents, the Telluride wins this category.

Front-wheel drive is standard on the Atlas, but it is available with all-wheel drive. The 2023 Atlas received a 5.5/10 rating from J.D. Power on initial quality and a 3/5 on predicted reliability. The standard safety features on the Atlas are a rearview camera, blind spot monitor, and rear traffic alert. Available safety features are adaptive cruise control, park assist, lane-keeping system, dynamic road sign display, high beam control, and upgraded versions of the features mentioned above. Rounding out the safety category is the crash rating for the Atlas. The NHTSA gave the Atlas a 5-star rating, and the IIHS gave it a "Good" rating.

The 2023 Volkswagen Atlas has a base engine that is a 2.0-liter inline V4, which will make around 250 horsepower. The higher-tiered engine is a 3.6-liter V6, which will make 276 horsepower. Both of these engines have the capability of towing 5000 pounds. This is in contrast to the 2023 Telluride, which has a V6 in each trim making 291 horsepower.

4.3. Comparison of Performance and Safety

Collision safety features have been instituted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to determine the top safety pick rating for cars. In the case of the new Atlas, which is typically the only VW to end up with a less than average rating, it received an "acceptable" rating for headlight effectiveness and crash avoidance mitigation. The Telluride has also won a safety pick, but it too has less than optimal ratings in three categories. It is clear that the Telluride and Atlas have similar safety ratings, but the Telluride has the edge with its top safety pick rating, giving it more credibility. Kia, with its collision safety edge, has the same IIHS rating as the Telluride. According to the NHTSA informa program, the Atlas has obtained a five-star overall safety rating. However, it remains to be seen if the same score will hold up in the crash testing of a 2027 vehicle. In a crash test involving the Telluride, the front end of the vehicle held up extremely well with only a few cosmetic damages and no structural deformation of the passenger compartment. In comparison, the 2023 Atlas experienced deformation and structural compromises in the passenger compartment, indicating that the Telluride is a safer vehicle in a front-end collision.


[1] K. D. Klinich, "Survey of Vehicle Controls and Displays," 2023. umich.edu

[2] D. Chakraborty, K. Buch, and G. Tal, "Cost of Plug-in Electric Vehicle Ownership: The Cost of Transitioning to Five Million Plug-In Vehicles in California," 2021. escholarship.org​​​​​​​