Kia Seltos vs. Volkswagen Taos

By

Automotive Editor

Willis is a freelance writer based out of Philadelphia. Born and raised in Colorado, he graduated from Williams College. When he's not writing about cars or the outdoors, he spends his time rock climbing or reading with his two cats.


, Automotive Editor - July 2, 2021

Subcompact crossovers are the new economy car, and brands are furiously vying for the attention of shoppers. The all-new 2022 Volkswagen Taos joins a long list of competitors, including the budget-friendly Kia Seltos.

Which of these two crossovers deserves your dollars? Here's a brief comparison of key specs and features to help you decide which one of these affordable small SUVs is probably worth your money as a shopper.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Kia Seltos & Volkswagen Taos

What the Seltos Gets Right

Kia has built a reputation on features and value, and the Seltos is no exception. The Seltos starts $500 cheaper than the Taos.

Even at that price, the Seltos comes with an impressive kit. An eight-inch touchscreen with smartphone compatibility comes standard, and it feels generous compared to the 6.5-inch screen on a base Taos. One of the Seltos’s best features is its comprehensive warranty, which is good for 5 years or 60,000 miles. VW’s extends only to 4 years/50,000 miles.

The cheapest Seltos LX also comes with standard all-wheel drive, another feature the Taos can’t match. From there, the Seltos lineup includes four more trims, including the 175-horsepower SX Turbo. The range provides options for many buyers, and almost every trim is a good value.

What the Taos Gets Right

The body of the Taos is a couple inches longer than that of the Seltos. Passenger space is nearly identical between the two, but the Taos ekes out a few extra feet of cargo capacity. That’s only true of the front-wheel drive Taos, however — the all-wheel drive version loses some space to its suspension.

In most forms, the Taos has a power advantage as well. VW’s new 1.5-liter turbo engine makes 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The Kia Seltos starts with only 132 lb-ft of torque, which makes it feel anemic around town. The Taos also benefits from an automatic transmission, while every Seltos except the SX Turbo is stuck with a CVT.

Finally, the Taos has a slightly more polished interior. Some of the materials feel cheap in the Seltos, and the Taos offers fancy upgrades like ventilated seats. Neither is a luxury vehicle, but the Taos does a good job making passengers comfortable.

A Close Call

These two crossovers offer many of the same virtues, and neither is without their flaws. The Seltos offers excellent value and a varied lineup, but it isn’t as nice to drive. The Taos is more powerful and more polished, but asks more money for fewer features.

Our Verdict: Kia Seltos

The Volkswagen Taos looks like a strong entrant in this class, and buyers who prioritize the driving experience should give it a long look. The Seltos gets our nod thanks to the price gap, which widens further with all-wheel drive in the mix. For most buyers, Kia’s value and warranty are too good to turn down.

Take a closer look at the Kia Seltos »

Take a closer look at the Volkswagen Taos »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Willis is a freelance writer based out of Philadelphia. Born and raised in Colorado, he graduated from Williams College. When he's not writing about cars or the outdoors, he spends his time rock climbing or reading with his two cats.


Privacy Policy|Do Not Sell My Personal Information|Terms of Use|Cookie Policy|Disclaimer|
COPYRIGHT 1999-2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba CarsDirect.com