2021 Kia Seltos Fails To Earn Best Safety Rating

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - August 31, 2020

The 2021 Kia Seltos may be one of the hottest vehicles on the market at the moment, but the South Korean automaker’s latest subcompact SUV failed to earn an award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Why the lackluster score? The Seltos’ headlights weren’t up to snuff.

The all-new Seltos performed well in the IIHS’ crash tests, including the institute’s revised side crash test that was updated last November. In the six crash tests, the Seltos earned the highest rating of “Good.” The SUV’s optional front crash prevention system earned scores of “Superior,” the highest one available, in both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian tests. What let the Seltos down, were the SUV’s headlights.

There are three different headlights available on the SUV. The base LX trim comes with halogen projector headlights that earned the lowest rating available of “Poor.” The IIHS claims that the standard headlights resulted in inadequate visibility around corners in all four of its tests. The headlights’ high beams were found to be inadequate around turners and on the left side in a straight line.

The S, EX, and S Turbo trims come with different halogen headlights with high-beam assist. The headlights on those trims were also found to be “Poor” and had the same issues as the ones found on the entry-level LX.

Lastly, there are the LED Projector headlights on the SX Turbo. These headlights earned a rating of “Poor” and were found to inadequately light up both sides of the road on a straightaway and in four tests around corners. With the high beams on, the headlights inadequately lit up the road around corners in all four of the institute’s tests.

Overall, this is a poor showing for what’s shaping up to be an incredibly popular vehicle for Kia. IIHS ratings play a large role in the decision-making process for consumers and are coveted by automakers, so we’re sure Kia will introduce new headlights for the subcompact vehicle in the near future. Interestingly, the Seltos did worse in the IIHS’ testing compared to the Hyundai Venue, another new subcompact SUV. Hyundai’s option earned a Top Safety Pick because it’s available with headlights that earn an “Acceptable” rating.

Learn more about the 2021 Kia Seltos »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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