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Kia Telluride

Tech specs

Price range: TBA.

Engine: 3.8-litre Atkinson-cycle V6.

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Transmission/drive: Eight-speed automatic/all-wheel.

Why it matters: Designed and built in the United States specifically for North America, this is Kia’s first serious entry into one of the industry’s fastest-growing categories: at 197 inches in overall length, it’s a just-right-sized midsize three-row crossover.

Propulsion is provided by an Atkinson-cycle (for enhanced fuel economy) 291-hp, 3.8-litre V6, teamed with an eight-speed automatic and active on-demand all-wheel drive that can vary between 100-per-cent front-wheel drive and 50:50 front/rear. Most customers, however, will likely be more interested in the Telluride’s promise of comfort, space, technology and safety.

It offers up to eight seats, with best-in-class legroom over three rows, and above-average cargo space.

Available touchscreen sizes go up to 10.25 inches, smartphone wireless charging is available, and there are two USB ports in each row.

An extensive array of available driver-assist systems ranges up to smart cruise with stop-and-go, automatic highway lane following, and safe-exit assist; the latter can prevent the rear doors from unlocking if a vehicle is detected approaching from the rear.

Tow rating is up to 5,000 lbs. and a self-levelling rear suspension is available. Telluride goes on sale this spring.

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Traveling color neighbor

Kia Forte5

Jeremy Sinek/The Globe and Mail

Coming this fall is the hatchback sibling of the new-last-year Forte compact sedan. The hatch is significantly longer, wider and lower than before. Lower trims will duplicate the sedan’s 2.0-litre/CVT automatic powertrain, but the hatch will add a performance option with a 201-hp 1.6-litre turbo engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

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