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2021 Kia Seltos

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Make
Kia
Model
Seltos
Year
2021
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Used Car Price Range
$16,995 - $24,995
$16,995 $24,995
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2021 LX 4dr All-Wheel Drive
most popular
Price:   -  From $21,990
2021 S 4dr Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $21,990
2021 S 4dr All-wheel Drive w/CVT Price:   -  From $23,590
2021 EX 4dr All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $25,390
2021 S 4dr All-wheel Drive w/DCT Price:   -  From $25,590
2021 SX 4dr All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $27,990
Expert Rating
2.9 (Fair)

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

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Overview

What's New

The 2021 Kia Seltos is an all-new small crossover positioned between the brand's Soul hatchback and Sportage senior compact crossover. Among its attributes, the Seltos makes extensive use of high-strength steel to increase body rigidity while conserving weight.

To complements its adventuresome styling, all-wheel drive is standard on most trims and a turbocharged engine is available. Its interior boasts plenty of space and an 8-inch touchscreen as standard.

Choosing Your Kia Seltos

The Kia Seltos comes in five trim levels: LX, S, EX, S Turbo, and SX Turbo. Pricing starts at $23,110 including destination and goes to $29,010 for the SX Turbo.

Engine Choices

The first three trims carry a normally aspirated four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT). The S Turbo and SX Turbo come standard with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission.

Engine TypeHorsepowerTorqueFuel Economy (Combined)
2.0L 4-Cylinder146 hp132 lb-ft29 mpg
1.6L Turbo 4-Cylinder175 hp195 lb-ft27 mpg

All-wheel drive is standard on all trims except the S, where it costs $1,500 (and also brings heated front seats). In standard front-wheel-drive form, the S is capable of 31 miles per gallon combined, according to the EPA.

Passenger and Cargo Capacity

Inside the Seltos, there's room enough for five passengers. Buyers get 26.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, and an exceptional 62.8 cubic feet with it folded. That's actually a few cubes more than the larger and more expensive Sportage.

The Seltos also features a handy compartment under the cargo floor for out-of-sight storage.

Kia Seltos

Safety Features

The Seltos LX provides a rearview camera and rear occupant alert, designed to prevent leaving children or pets in the car. Unfortunately, those are the only standard active safety features on the base model.

Upgrading to the S brings automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, lane departure warning, a driver alertness monitor, automatic high beams, and lane following assist, a system that helps maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you.

The EX and S Turbo also feature blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The SX Turbo adds adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, and highway driving assist. The latter can adjust vehicle speed to posted speed limits.

Connectivity

The standard infotainment includes an 8-inch touchscreen, six audio speakers, a USB port, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The EX and SX Turbo also get a rear USB port and wireless device charging.

Exclusive to the SX Turbo is a premium infotainment system with a 10.25-inch touchscreen, navigation, wi-fi, and satellite radio. The range-topper also gets a Bose audio system.

Kia Seltos

LX - From $23,110

The Seltos LX comes with all the essentials, including rear privacy glass, automatic headlights, cloth seating, and keyless entry. Outside are 17-inch alloy wheels, front and rear skid plates, a rear spoiler, and black body trim.

It shows its base form with its lack of standard safety features, six-way manual driver's seat, and four-way manual passenger seat.

S - From $23,110

The S carries more equipment, but all-wheel drive is optional ($1,500), so it's priced the same as the LX. In addition to the driver assistance safety technology, the S gets leatherette seat trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, roof rails, and heated side mirrors.

The grille receives a chrome surround with an integrated LED light bar. Windows surrounds are also chromed. The S includes fog lights and LED daytime running lights and taillights.

EX - From $26,410

The EX moves the Seltos upmarket with a sunroof, automatic climate control, full leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, a 10-way power driver seat, push-button start, remote start, and machine-finish 17-inch alloy wheels.

S Turbo - From $26,610

The S Turbo is equipped like the regular S, but with the turbocharged engine, seven-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, 18-inch wheels, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert standard.

SX Turbo - From $29,010

The SX Turbo combines the EX's luxury features with the more powerful engine, the upgraded infotainment system, and extra safety features. LED headlights and fog lights, a 7-inch LCD driver information display, a two-tone roof, and chrome door handles on the outside join the roster.

The only feature not standard is the sunroof, which can be added for $700.

Compare Seltos Trims Side-By-Side

CarsDirect Tip

The 2021 Kia Seltos LX is just about the cheapest all-wheel-drive crossover around. But if all-weather capability isn't important to you, the front-drive S is a far better buy. On the top end, the tech-laden SX Turbo is a legitimate alternative to slightly larger crossovers costing thousands more.

author image
Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

Pros
  • Fantastic looks
  • Roomy cabin
  • Standard AWD
  • Strong tech features
Cons
  • Lacks active safety
  • Top trim is top money
  • 7-speed transmission isn't the smoothest
Expert Rating
2.9 (Fair)

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Automotive Editor

Putting value first. Kia’s become known for offering strong value, regardless of segment, and it’s the same case with the new 2021 Kia Seltos. The only catch is that you’ll have to skip the base trim if you’re looking for the best value option. For that, you’ll want to move up to the second-from-the-bottom S trim.

Available with either front- and all-wheel drive, the S adds heated exterior mirrors, roof rails, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, LED daytime running lights, and LED rear taillights. More importantly, the S trim comes with six driver-assist features, including forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and lane departure warning.

Making every inch count. The Seltos may be Kia’s smallest crossover – the jury’s still out on whether the Soul is a utility vehicle or not – but it’s one of the more spacious options in the subcompact segment. When it comes to cargo space, the Seltos offers 26.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and a total of 62.8 cubic feet. That’s the largest figure for the subcompact segment and even matches a few compact crossover SUVs.

Despite a small wheelbase that measures in at just 103.5 inches, the Seltos’ interior is surprisingly spacious. Offering more interior space than the majority of rivals, it manages to be able to seat up to five in comfort, even if they’re all adults. Not a lot of other subcompact crossovers can say that.


Kia Seltos

Handsome design. While rivals may have funky, outlandish designs to stand out in the segment, Kia has gone down another route. It's one that sees the South Korean brand pen a simple, yet stylish design for the Seltos. The look also makes it feel like a cohesive part of Kia’s lineup, which we think is a good thing.

Kia is offering the Seltos with a two-tone paint job, as the roof is available in black or white on the majority of the trims. When chosen with the right color, the contrasting roof does a great job of helping the Seltos look even better. It also makes the roof look like it's floating, which is a modern trend.

Just average performance. The Seltos has a smooth ride that slightly errs to being a little firm compared to other competitors. In day-to-day driving, you might not notice the firm ride quality, as it’s still a comfortable crossover. Where the Seltos is just average is when it comes to the performance of its powertrain.

Both of the engines in the Seltos range are familiar ones that are available in other Kias, so there are no surprises to see. The base engine isn’t exactly quick, but it’s enough to get the job done. It comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 146 horsepower. It’s paired to a continuously variable transmission with all-wheel drive coming as standard. The last bit is a nice touch, but the rest of the powertrain is nothing to get excited about.

The S Turbo and SX Turbo come with a stout 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 175 hp. The engine is paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with all-wheel drive as standard. While the engine itself is great, producing good power, the transmission is the issue. It judders at low speeds and is slow to provide shifts. It’s slightly better than other models with the same powertrain, but there are still some kinks that need to be worked out.

Final thoughts. The all-new 2021 Kia Seltos hasn’t been on the market for too long, but it’s quickly become one of the better options in the subcompact segment. With its elegant design, spacious cabin, and lengthy list of tech features, it’s easy to see why the Seltos immediately climbs up the ladder.

There aren’t too many things to complain about. We do wish that Kia offered more standard advanced safety features, instead of requiring consumers to climb up to higher trims to get more. A smoother seven-speed dual-clutch transmission would also help the Seltos greatly.

There are tons of options in the subcompact crossover segment. The new Mazda CX-30 is one of our favorites, as it looks even better than the Seltos, is more enjoyable to drive, has a more premium cabin, and comes with more standard tech. It doesn’t come with the same amount of power as Kia’s option and has less cargo space.

The Hyundai Kona is the Seltos’ cousin, but there are a number of differences between the two. The Kona has a more futuristic design, has less cargo space, and has a cabin that isn’t as big. But it’s more agile and comes with more standard safety features.

Check prices for the 2020 Kia Seltos »

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Specs & Features

Highlights
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.0L I-4 / 146 HP / 132 ft.lbs.
Transmission
2-spd sequential shift control CVT w/OD
Drive Type
Dynamax Automatic Full-time All Wheel
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
27 / 31 / 29 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
5
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.0L I-4 / 146 HP / 132 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Dynamax Automatic Full-time All Wheel
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
27 / 31 / 29 Mpg
Brakes
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Strut
Rear Suspension
Independent Multi-link
Spare Tire And Wheel
Compact Steel
Fuel Tank
13.2 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Regular Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
$50
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
62.8 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
100 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
172.0 "
Exterior Width
70.9 "
Exterior Height
63.6 "
Front Headroom
40.0 "
Rear Headroom
38.4 "
Front Legroom
41.4 "
Rear Legroom
38.0 "
Front Shoulder Room
55.5 "
Rear Shoulder Room
54.7 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
2,948 Lbs.
Wheel Base
104 "
Turning Radius
17.4 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
Wheels
17.0 " Gray Aluminum
Paint
Clearcoat Monotone / Pearlcoat Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote
Bumpers
Body-colored With Metal-look Insert
Grille Moldings
Black W/metal-look Surround
Rear Spoiler
Lip
Exhaust
Stainless Steel
Interior Features
Seating
Passenger Capacity
5
Seat Trim
Cloth
Front Seat Type
Bucket
Heated Front Seats
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
6-way
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
4-way
Front Armrests
6-way
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Radio
Am/fm, Clock, Seek-scan / Clock
Speakers
6
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
Day-night / Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Driver
Tinted Windows
Deep
Vanity Mirrors
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
2
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Front
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Departure Warning
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Warranty
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Major Components Months
120 Months / 100,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
Roadside Assistance Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
60 Months / 100,000 Miles
Accessories Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles

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