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A black 2023 Chevy Traverse Midnight Edition is shown from the side after winning a 2023 Chevy Traverse vs 2023 Kia Telluride comparison.

Three Things to Consider When Looking at the 2023 Chevy Traverse and 2023 Kia Telluride

Let’s face it; buying a new car can be daunting, especially when there are so many options available. This can be especially true when considering an SUV. Since their rise in popularity over the past few decades, more and more SUV options have been hitting the market, and many of them can seem nearly indistinguishable from one another. For instance, look at the 2023 Chevy Traverse vs 2023 Kia Telluride, two of the leading midsize SUVs on the market today.

At a glance, these two SUVs may seem to offer the same benefits, but, in reality, they are quite different. Some of these differences are where it matters most: cargo, cabin, and capabilities. These are the areas that consumers typically focus on when considering an SUV over any other type of vehicle. Let’s take a closer look at these important qualities and see which model truly offers the most to drivers.

A Look at Cargo Space

Having ample cargo room is one of the biggest reasons to choose an SUV over, let’s say, a sedan. Cargo can apply to the area behind the last row of seating or include much of the cabin if there are fold-flat seats. With the option to change configurations in your SUV, you can customize how it gets used, whether you need seating for the entire family or need the cargo space for groceries.

The 2023 Chevy Traverse is a great option for anyone seeking a spacious cargo area with best-in-class cargo volume. Its 98.2 cu.ft. of cargo is achieved with variable seating arrangements. The third row is a 60/40 split row, meaning you can fold down the entire row or just a portion to create a configuration that works best for you. There is also an option to upgrade to a power-folding third row, making it super easy to adjust for cargo or passengers.

The second row is a Smart Slide system, which not only angles forward but also slides toward the front, allowing passengers easier access to the back row and making for easy loading and unloading of cargo. If you are loading from the rear, an available hands-free power liftgate makes it possible to open up the hatch even when your hands are full. Simply kick your foot under the rear bumper and watch as the liftgate glides open.

When we call up the 2023 Kia Telluride for the same look, we see that the third row also splits and folds but without a power function. The power function for the Telluride is actually available for the second row of seating instead, putting it on somewhat level ground as the Chevy. However, even though the Telluride has decent cargo volume, it doesn’t quite rival that of the Chevy. In fact, it falls about 10 cu.ft. short of the Chevy with 87 cu.ft. of cargo volume total.

A white 2023 Chevy Traverse is shown driving on a road.

Interior Convenience and Comfort Features

Next up in this SUV showdown is the cabin comparison. When choosing an SUV, you want more than just plenty of room. It’s also important that your cabin is comfortable, roomy and offers conveniences that will improve your overall experience. Of course, comparing the interiors of vehicles in the same class can be one of the most grueling parts of car shopping, primarily because of the sheer number of available features these days. Many of these features can be found across makes and models, but with each manufacturer branding their features their way, you may not even notice that you are comparing the same features.

So, let’s make this easy; both the 2023 Chevy Traverse and the 2023 Kia Telluride feature a variety of interior trims, ranging from cloth to leather. Both models offer options like heated seats, second-row Captain’s chairs, tri-zone climate control, and power-adjustable seats with lumbar support. In terms of technology and convenience, both SUVs have available Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities, premium sound systems, and remote starting. Both models even offer dual-pane sunroofs that utilize a power slide front panel and fixed second panel.

With so many similarities between the two, it takes some serious investigation to see which one, if any, comes out on top. The first noticeable difference is that although both models offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the Chevy does so with a wireless option. Another difference, even if minor, is that the memory function on the Chevy recalls the seat and outside mirror position, as well as the steering column position. In contrast, the Telluride only recalls the first two settings.

The Chevy Traverse also has an available humidity sensor, which is not available on the Kia Telluride. The humidity sensor monitors humidity inside the cabin and adjusts airflow for the driver and passenger based on internal conditions. Though most of the differences are minor, the Chevy appears to offer a few more extras than the Telluride. It’s this attention to detail that gives the Traverse an edge over its rival.

Performance and Capabilities

SUVs can be many different things, which is why they are so incredibly popular. You can choose one capable of off-roading, towing, or even hauling, but whatever your reason for choosing an SUV, choose one that can handle your needs starting with the engine. Both models sport a V6, with the Traverse’s 3.6L engine producing 310 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque and the Telluride’s 3.8L engine pumping out 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. The Kia is close behind the Chevy in terms of torque but dragging a bit more when it comes to horsepower.

The Chevy’s engine is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission, and the Kia is mated to an 8-speed, once again trailing a bit behind the Chevy. A drive mode selector is available on both models but with different available drive modes. The Traverse offers Front-Wheel Drive Mode for optimized fuel efficiency, All-Wheel Drive Mode for slippery surfaces, an Off-Road Mode for rough terrain, and a Tow/Haul Mode for pulling a trailer. There is also a Snow Drive Mode on front-wheel drive models.

The Telluride offers Comfort Mode for on-road driving, Eco Mode for fuel efficiency, Sport Mode for better handling, and Smart Mode, which chooses depending on driving conditions. All-wheel drive models also offer Snow Mode and select models offer Tow mode. The Telluride can tow up to 5,000 lbs on most trims, with a couple bumped up to 5,500 lbs when properly equipped. The Chevy tops out at 5,000 lbs, which seems like it would be a win for the Telluride, but unfortunately, not quite.

Despite the Telluride offering a higher towing capacity, the Chevy has more towing tech to make the whole process easier and safer. Available Hitch Guidance and Hitch View take the guesswork out of loading up. So, while the Kia Telluride has better towing capacity, it’s not by much, and the Chevy Traverse features are a fair trade-off.

A blue 2023 KIA Telluride is shown parked on the sand.

Traverse Through Your Daily Travels in Chevy’s Standout Midsize SUV

It’s safe to say that the 2023 Chevy Traverse and the 2023 Kia Telluride are both great SUVs. They share many of the same features, like high-end appointments, power-lift tailgates, and a sizable and comfortable interior. But when we look closer, it’s hard to deny that the Chevy Traverse offers just a bit more. Best-in-class cargo volume, plenty of state-of-the-art tech and convenience, and improved towing capabilities help the Chevy to edge out the Kia Telluride.

The outcome should come as no surprise, though, since Chevy has been producing award-winning vehicles for more than a century, and although Kia produces some great vehicles as well, they don’t have the history that Chevy does. So, when it comes to shopping for an SUV, don’t get overwhelmed. With a little time and energy, you are sure to discover which SUV is simply the best. We suggest starting with the 2023 Chevy Traverse.