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.
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.
|Fuel Economy (Combined)
|1.6L Turbo 4-Cylinder
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.