2021 Kia Telluride vs. 2021 Toyota Highlander in Mississauga, ON

Kia Telluride vs. Toyota Highlander Comparison at 401 Dixie Kia

The Toyota Highlander may be a storied SUV in the segment for years, but the new Kia Telluride has arrived to challenge the Toyota’s spot as a favourite 8-seater SUV. These three-row SUVs are similar in a lot of aspects, but their differing designs are something that puts a clear division between the two at first glance. Which mid-size crossover SUV is right for you? The 2021 Kia Telluride or the 2021 Toyota Highlander? Explore both in our comparison and find the SUV perfect for your needs here at 401 Dixie Kia!

Explore more Telluride comparisons: vs. Nissan Pathfinder, vs. Honda Pilot

Exterior Design & Features

Kia Telluride Exterior

The Telluride is a bold option that presents an SUV style that’s reminiscent of classically-designed larger frames of SUVs, but in a modern shell that mimics crossover styling over its big frame. For those who want to further complement the dynamism of its size, the Nightsky Edition features black-finish 20-inch alloy wheels and exclusive badging.

Toyota Highlander Exterior

Slighter than the Telluride, the Toyota Highlander offers up more of a crossover design in its smaller frame, still managing to balance both an aggressive style with some premium accents. The compact style of the Highlander allows it to be increasingly aerodynamic thanks to its more compressed nature than the Telluride.

Specifications:2021 Kia Telluride EX2021 Toyota Highlander LE
Length (mm/in)5,000 / 196.94,950 / 194.9
Width (mm/in)1,990 / 78.31,930 / 76.0
Height (mm/in)1,759 / 69.31,730 / 68.1
Wheelbase (mm/in)2,900 / 114.22,850 / 112.2
Ground Clearance (mm/in)203 / 8.0204 / 8.0

Interior Design & Features

Kia Telluride Interior

The Telluride ensures that comfortability, style and convenience are all represented in equal measure. Premium Nappa leather seats provide a cloud-soft touch for every passenger and driver, while their heated and air-cooled utility adapts to any season of the year. The interior is rounded out by high-level tech features like the 10.25-inch touchscreen, wireless charging ability and 6 USB ports.

Toyota Highlander Interior

The Highlander matches the Telluride’s 8-seating capacity with 7 or 8 seating ability itself. XSE and Platinum trims are 7-seaters with 2nd row Captain’s Chairs, with all other trims seating 8 on thanks to the 2nd row bench. The technology is largely driver-focused, including wireless charging, 10-inch head-up display, ambient lighting, Connected Services and more.

Specifications:2021 Kia Telluride EX2021 Toyota Highlander LE
Head Room (front) (mm/in)1,004 / 39.51,046 / 41.2
Head Room (middle) (mm/in)1,022 / 40.21,001 / 39.4
Head Room (rear) (mm/in)969 / 38.1918 / 36.1
Shoulder Room (front) (mm/in)1,564 / 61.51,498 / 59.0
Shoulder Room (middle)1,554 / 61.21,490 / 58.7
Shoulder Room (rear) (mm/in)1,404 / 55.21,397 / 55.0
Leg Room (front) (mm/in)1,120 / 44.01,066 / 42.0
Leg Room (middle) (mm/in)1,077 / 42.41,042 / 41.0
Leg Room (rear) (mm/in)798 / 31.4702 / 27.6
Cargo Capacity (behind 1st row) (L/cu-ft)2,455 / 86.72,387 / 84.3
Cargo Capacity (behind 2nd row) (L/cu-ft)1,304 / 46.01,370 / 48.4
Cargo Capacity (behind 3rd row) (L/cu-ft)601 / 21.2454 / 16.0

Performance & Capability

Kia Telluride Performance

The Telluride provides the same level of exceptional power across every one of its trim levels. All-Wheel Drive is standard, so any season or weather that you encounter here in Mississauga and across the province will be of no match for your vehicle. Towing up to 2,268 kg (5,000 lbs) of capacity, perfect for your summer trip up to the cottage.

Toyota Highlander Performance

While the Highlander has a miniscule lead in both horsepower and torque, it’s a wash and dependent on vehicle set-up. The Highlander reaches the same amount of towing capacity as the Telluride for your toy and trailer hauling needs. If you want an even more efficient SUV, there are Highlander Hybrid versions also available, but with lesser towing capacity.


Kia Telluride Safety

A large SUV like the Telluride demands that much in safety to deliver a secure ride at all times, whether in the city or out in the country. The Telluride is highlighted by a selection of modern safety tech, like Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Blind View Monitor, Safe Exit Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist.

Toyota Highlander Safety

The Highlander is focused around the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ system, which is the first Toyota in Canada to get this comprehensive system. Features include many like Pre-Collision, Lane Departure Alert, Lane Tracing Assist, Automatic High Beams and more.

Kia Telluride vs. Toyota Highlander Verdict

The 2021 Kia Telluride and 2021 Toyota Highlander provide a stark difference based on their appearance alone, and that’s where the biggest separation between the two lies. The Kia and Toyota present pretty equal power, safety and interior amenities, but it’s their exterior design that separates the two. If you want a large, luxury-inspired SUV, the Telluride is for you, while the Highlander provides more of a compact, crossover that just can’t match the refined, premium aspects of the Kia.


Shepherd you and your family in the best of the best in affordable style in the Telluride, here from us at 401 Dixie Kia in Mississauga. We welcome customers from across the Greater Toronto Area, for all of our new and used inventory, service, parts and more. Experience the Telluride for yourself and come in for a test drive!

Research even more comparisons with these other models:

2021 Kia Seltos Vs. 2021 Toyota C-HR

2021 Kia Sportage Vs. 2021 Toyota RAV4

2021 Kia Sorento Vs. 2020 Nissan Pathfinder


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