Kia’s new Telluride SUV is the Donald Trump of off-road vehicles, with nothing to back up all the big talk but wishful thinking.
How do I know it’s a Trumpish piece of junk?
Well, I’ve actually off-roaded quite a bit. I’ve even destroyed a vehicle off-road, which is nothing to be proud of.
Off-roading is not just about power, price and traction. It’s also about basic common sense, which is known as “clearance” in the four-wheeling community.
You need ground clearance and you need clearance between the tire and the wheel-well it spins inside. Without it, your first trip off-road is going to be as big a disaster as the Trump presidency.
The $45,000 Telluride has neither, and is a pure off-road poser due to those sins of omission.
Just like most of the new generation of poser off-road vehicles, which are not meant to ever actually be taken off-road. The stock Telluride looks more like a Honda Accord with an SUV body than a proper four-wheel drive mechanical beastie.
Which is probably why this modern-day station wagon was introduced at New York Fashion Week instead of the Detroit Auto Show or a proper off-road vehicle shows. Where it would have to hold its own next to a proper stock beastie like say a Jeep Wrangler (below right) or Toyota FJ Cruiser (right).
Kia is using the term off-road here solely as a marketing gimmick. A practice which Jeep pioneered a few years back when its private equity owners began slapping Jeep emblems on everything from scooters to wedding cakes.
The day any of these posers show up on a proper off-road trail is the day the rest of us fight desperately to maintain our composure so as not to embarrass the neophytes driving them in front of their friends. Unless those friends are exceptionally hot.
You know that film “how to lose a guy in 10 days?”
Well, the male equivalent is called “How to lose a girl in 10 minutes.”
It happens when you take a piece of poser junk like the Telluride off-road, and get stuck on a Bunny slope.
Wannabees just love the term “off-road” for some reason. They think it sounds tough. Just as they once thought Donnie Trust Fund sounded like an authentic New Yorker.
Take it from a guy raised in the Bronx who now lives in Iowa: Both the Telluride and Donnie Bagadonuts – Silver Spoon Mofo Edition – are poser garbage.
There’s zero point in paying $45,000 for this piece of junk if you really want to bang around off-road. Especially when you can probably snap up a 20-year-old Jeep Cherokee box-car (right) for $800.
Equipping the Telluride with a snorkel, roof rack, and ladder is an invitation to disaster. It’s more marketing in the guise of functionality.
Also known as putting lipstick on a pig.
Because water comes inside the passenger compartment when you drive through a creek with a snorkel. Even in a fully amphibious vehicle.
That’s why they have bilge pumps.
The moment that water reaches your on-board computer in a vehicle, you’re done. Snorkel or no snorkel. And the Telluride is almost a low-rider.
How do I know?
Painful and costly first-person experience.
Bottom line, the Telluride is a terrible concept for an off-road vehicle. Anyone who takes this piece of poser junk off-road because it has a snorkel, roof rack and a ladder is going to be very sorry.
Especially, when they discover off-road tows start at like $400.
The Tellruide is strictly a station wagon. The only people who really want you to take this piece of poser shit off-road are tow trucks drivers.
How do I know?
I used to be one of them, too.