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In the subcompact SUV crossover segment, the competition is intense. Kia and Toyota have solid sport utility vehicles in the mix, but the 2023 Kia Seltos has been hard at work, earning its reputation over the last few years. The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross is relatively new and is still working some things out.

The 2023 Kia Seltos has a few engine options

When Kelley Blue Book looked at some of the 2023 Kia Seltos highlights, plenty of things stood out. It earned the Best Buy Award for this year, and thanks to its low cost, it suits many budgets. The LX, S, and EX base engine gets 146 hp and 29 mpg combined; the optional turbo option could be worth the upgrade.

Kia’s 1.6L turbo engine on the Nightfall Edition and SX models is peppy and adds 29 hp. It also adds 63 lb-ft of torque. The transmission that the turbo engine is paired with isn’t the smoothest, but it gets the job done. For 2023, the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross only has one engine option. That will likely expand in the next model year, but the four-cylinder only gets 169 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque.

Additionally, the 2023 Kia Seltos earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick award. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it a four-star overall safety rating. While the 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus award, the 2023 version has not been rated yet. Same for the NHTSA and the Corolla Cross.

Customizing the 2023 Kia Seltos is easy

Kia offers the 2023 Seltos in many different trim levels and colors. The five trim levels are LX, S, EX, Nightfall, and SX. It also comes in 12 different exterior colors, some offering two-tone combinations. There are five interior color combinations to choose from as well. While not everyone wants to customize a car, it means there are more options on the market for drivers to choose from. Don’t care about color? Find the cheapest one available and ride off into the sunset.

Toyota offers three trim levels, L, LE, and XLE. The base trim gets four exterior color options and no choice in the interior color scheme. Drivers have to move up in the trims to get more color choices. Kia’s interior design isn’t awe-inspiring, but the Corolla Cross uses a lot of plastic.

Kia’s warranty is industry-leading

The 2023 Kia Seltos and the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross
A 2023 Kia Seltos, 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross | Kia, Toyota

It is not a secret that Kia’s warranty is one of the best in the industry. The 2023 Seltos comes with a five-year or 60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. This is helpful for those who plan to keep the vehicle for an extended period because it means you will be covered.

Toyota still has a good warranty, with a three-year or 36,000 basic warranty. It also benefits from a five-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty. The Corolla Cross benefits from Toyota’s long history of reliability, which Kia is still working on.

Kia offers more flexibility in a few ways, such as color and engine choices. Toyota offers a long history of reliability with the Corolla Cross, but it fell short in a few areas. Either option is a brand-new sport utility vehicle with plenty of features and technology.