The Kia Telluride vs The Mazda CX-30: The People’s Choice Award at the 2020 Washington Auto Show


By Crystal Lewis

Photos by Susan Wright/Sunshyn Images

The 2020 Washington Auto Show wrapped up it’s annual auto show a few days ago.  This show brings over 600 vehicles to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, features brand sponsored ride along installations, and even hosts a space for spectators to watch artists custom paint automobiles.  A show that’s been in existence since the early 1920s, has created a name for itself as a true family friendly event. 

The night before the show opens to the public, the auto show organizers host a preview night for media, special interest groups and other VIPs in the area.  While the event is intended to give guests early bird access to the vehicles on site, it’s also an opportunity to get inside some of the vehicles that may otherwise be roped off to the general public. 

Heart & Soul Magazine,, and BlackGirlsDrive teamed up to create an interactive installation for guests of shows preview night.  Dubbed the Black Press WAS20 Sneak Peek event, the focus was to combine the brands’ love of automobiles and music into an interactive experience featuring live music from singer, songwriter and classically trained multi-instrumentalist, Kenny Wesley.

Guests of the event had one task, to vote for the best sound system, the Kia Telluride or the Mazda CX-30.  Both are new vehicles, and both have awesome sound systems, but only one could win the people’s choice title. 

The Kia Telluride made its grand debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.  New to the Kia line up, the Telluride is a large SUV, that has third row seating, optional leather interior, and Telluride comes standard with several safety features, including active lane control, blind spot monitors, automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.  Wowing spectators and consumers alike, the Telluride has already earned over 40 awards from media outlets around the country. 

The all new CX-30 was introduced to the U.S. at the 2019 Los Angeles.  With similarities of it’s big brother the CX-5 and little sister the CX-3, the CX-30 is the more luxurious of the three with a lot of standard safety features included.  The sporty crossover has optional leather interior, and a wide assortment of upgrades to take it to the next level.

This year, the two vehicles were put to the test.  Both vehicles offer Apple Carplay and Android Auto, so it was easy to sync our phones to start the show. With Kenny Wesley playing through both the Kia Telluride’s 10-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system and the Mazda CX-30’s 12-speaker Bose sound system, we allowed  guests to give us their honest review on how the music sounded to them.  Participants sat in the front seats, the back seats, and even stood around the vehicles to listen to Kenny as he also sang live with his music rocking in the background. 

As the night came to a close, there was no clear winner.  We took to Instagram and had our followers vote for their favorite.  With the help of local IG influencers, Shonda Beverly (@mrsbeverlyxo), LaVondra Shinholster (@typicalblaqueen) and Charles Mack (@iamcmack), they posted videos of their experiences in the vehicles.  By the next day, it was obvious who the People’s Choice winner was.

And the winner is……

The Kia Telluride!  Most voters noted that they thought there was a crisper sound in the Kia Telluride.  When it comes to awesome sound systems, Bose has become a household name, so a lot of our guests were shocked that their choice was not the Bose sound system.

Both vehicles are pretty impressive, and are winners in their own right.  Thanks to the folks at Mazda USA and KIA Motors USA for participating in this battle of the beats!  We look forward to doing this again, next year.