My parents have always been Big-Car People. I grew up in a ’77 Chevrolet Caprice Classic station wagon that they traded in for an ’86 Caprice Classic wagon and a subsequent ’90 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser wagon. But they joined the SUV bandwagon early with the new-for-1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited and they’ve never looked back, choosing successive full-size SUVs since then. The latest is a 2011 Nissan Armada, a Titan pickup truck-based body-on-frame SUV built in Mississippi and meant to go head-to-head with the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition.
But their Armada is getting long in the tooth and starting to show its age — not unlike my folks, who now are deep into their 70s. It’s time for a replacement (for the Armada, not my parents), and being a good son well versed in helping people pick the perfect new car for them, I decided to try to help influence their next purchase with a gentle push toward something more efficient, more comfortable, just as usefully spacious and, most important to me, safer. The vehicle I chose to try to pry them out of big, ridiculous SUVs? The brand-new 2020 Kia Telluride SX.