More Standard Tech Features. The Kia Seltos has been a value-packed option since its arrival as an all-new model in 2021. Kia offers the Seltos with an impressive roster of features that grows for 2023. The new model year sees the Seltos S trim arrive with more features than before, making it a great value choice in the lineup.

The S trim now comes with blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and reverse automatic emergency braking as standard equipment. Last year, consumers had to upgrade to the EX trim to get these features.

The 2023 Seltos continues to offer some of the best tech features in the class, though most of the more attractive features are optional. The subcompact SUV comes with a standard 8-inch touchscreen, six audio speakers, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth. Higher trim levels, like the S, are offered with a 10.3-inch touchscreen. Other available tech features include a wireless charging pad, eight audio speakers, and navigation.

Roomy For A Subcompact. While the 2023 Kia Seltos is classified as a subcompact SUV, the SUV measures roughly 172 inches long, making it one of the larger options in the segment. Thanks to its relatively large size, the Seltos offers a roomy cabin with usable rear seats. In the back, passengers get 38 inches of rear legroom, which is competitive for the class.

The Seltos’ large size also results in a spacious cargo area. With the rear seats in place, the Seltos offers up to 26.6 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold the rear seats down and cargo capacity opens up to nearly 60 cubic feet.

Most subcompact SUVs are built to fit into a very neat budget and occupy a predetermined place in a lineup, but with the Seltos, Kia showcases how nice some affordable subcompact SUVs can be. The SUV features refined interior materials and a thoughtful design that helps it fit in alongside Kia’s more upscale options like the Telluride.

2023 Kia Seltos Trunk

Different Engines, Different Problems. Kia continues to offer the 2023 Seltos with two different powertrains. The base engine doesn’t have enough power to be a popular choice, while the available turbocharged engine is hampered by a clunky dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The majority of Seltos trims come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 146 horsepower. It comes paired with a CVT that manages to swap through its ratios smoothly without droning or killing acceleration. The base engine is fine for driving around town, but the engine feels down on power on the highway.

The SX and Nightfall Edition comes with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that’s rated at 175 hp. The turbo results in far peppier performance, though acceleration off the line can be slow. After that, the engine delivers a surge of torque to feel punchy. The downside with the turbo engine is the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. When driving at low speeds, the DCT struggles to operate smoothly, delivering a clunky ride. Things even out at higher speeds, but we’re left wishing that Kia would update the transmission to be more refined.

Sharp, Stylish Design. Kia has become a standout automaker for its sharp designs. The Telluride is one of the better-looking midsize SUVs, while the new Sportage stands out for its unique look. The Seltos manages to straddle the line between these two models with a stylish look that’s just the right amount of different to stand out.

The Seltos’ sharp, angular headlights are directly integrated into Kia’s tiger-nose grille for a handsome look. With an available black roof, the Seltos’ more prominent body lines near the top of the SUV shine forward. The rear end of the SUV may be its weakest point from a design standpoint, but the SUV’s dual exhaust outlets and swept-back taillights stop the rear end from feeling boring.

Final Thoughts. The 2023 Kia Seltos continues to be one of the more well-rounded choices in the subcompact class. Its spacious cabin, impressive list of available tech features, and standout styling make it a top option. The two things holding the Seltos back are its powertrains. A more powerful base engine or an updated DCT for the turbocharged engine would fix our biggest issues with the SUV.

In comparison, the Mazda CX-30 is the luxurious option in the segment with premium materials, an available 250-hp engine, and a gorgeous design. The Volkswagen Taos is a practical choice with a spacious cabin, high-tech features that are easy to use, and a smooth ride.

Check prices for the 2023 Kia Seltos »