Kia continues upgrading its crossover lineup with the wildly styled 2021 Seltos, which will sit in the niche between the Kia Soul and Sportage. This new compact model will give Kia fans a lower entry point into the brand’s crossover lineup.
Visually, the Kia Seltos continues the brand’s trend toward bolder styling that began with the Telluride and is trickling through the lineup. This new entry-level crossover will include a prominent nose with thin LED headlights that flow almost seamlessly from its tiger-nose grille with a diamond-patterned insert. It’ll also feature available vertical LED fog lights and a skid-plate-like insert on the front bumper.
Around back, shapely taillights will connect via a widthwise silver strip, making the backside look wider. A similar strip will connect the bumper-integrated exhaust tips too. Rounding out its bold styling details is a two-tone paint job with a contrasting roof, black lower body cladding, and stylish 17- and 18-inch wheel options.
Despite being an entry-level model, Kia will give the 2021 Seltos a surprisingly upscale cabin. It’ll include a lot like what we’ve seen from other new Kia models, including a clean design with minimal buttons and knobs, wide air vents, and lots of horizontal lines to widen the space visually.
The Seltos’ interior will also have plenty of available features to choose from, including a 10.25-inch dash-top infotainment screen, a 7-inch gauge cluster screen, an eight-speaker Bose audio system, wireless smartphone charger, multi-Bluetooth connectivity to pair two phones to the infotainment system at once, up to three USB ports, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.
Kia will also focus on comfort and cargo hauling inside the 2021 Seltos. While we have no official measurements for the seating and cargo areas, Kia announced the rear seats will have a recline feature for enhanced comfort. In the cargo area, Kia will add a luggage board you can lower for additional cargo room or raise for a flat loading surface.
Powering this new compact crossover will be two available engines. The standard engine in LX, S, and EX trims will be a 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit with 146 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. This engine will throw its power through a continuously variable transmission and out to the front or all four wheels.
Optional in the S and standard in the SX trim will be a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Like the 2.0-liter, buyers will have the choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
Keeping Seltos owners and their passengers safe will be a long list of optional safety equipment. These stay-safe options will be part of the Kia Drive Wise system and include blind-spot warning, blind-spot collision assistance, driver-attention warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, speed-limit sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, lane-following assist, rear cross-traffic monitoring with automatic braking, rear occupant alert, and more.
There are no official IIHS or NHTSA safety ratings on the Seltos yet, but the advanced safety features it will offer prime it to be at least an IIHS Top Safety Pick.