Consumer Reports Doesn’t Recommend the Only Kia Subcompact SUV

Kia is one of the most popular SUV brands in the world. With excellent options like the Telluride, Sportage, and Sorento, it’s easy to buy from the automaker. However, in the subcompact SUV category, it only has one offering. Unfortunately, the 2022 Kia Seltos failed to earn Consumer Reports’ coveted recommendation. Here’s why Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend the only Kia subcompact SUV.

Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend the 2022 Kia Seltos

Front angle view of Starbright Yellow 2023 Kia Seltos. Consumer reports doesn't recommend the only kia subcompact SUV?
Starbright Yellow 2023 Kia Seltos | Kia

In the crowded subcompact SUV segment, Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend the 2022 Kia Seltos. Models like the Subaru Crosstrek, Nissan Rogue Sport, and Chevrolet Trailblazer sit atop the rankings. However, the Seltos is far behind, ranking 11th overall, behind even a few other non-recommended models. As one of the lowest-rated Kia SUVs, only the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X fell behind it in the subcompact SUV class.

Furthermore, the Seltos is similarly priced to other comparable models. In addition, it received an excellent overall review for its road test from CR. Unfortunately, that means there are other significant problems with the vehicle that didn’t arise during the road test. What’s so bad about the 2022 Kia Seltos?

Why doesn’t CR recommend the only Kia subcompact SUV?

nightfall edition of the Kia Seltos. Why doesn't consumer reports recommend the only kia subcompact SUV?
2023 Kia Seltos | Kia

First and foremost, the Seltos has inferior predicted reliability. Using data from previous model years, Consumer Reports determined it’s likely the 2022 Kia Seltos will be unreliable. As a new model in 2021, owners of the Kia subcompact SUV have already experienced a surprising amount of trouble spots. For example, the transmission, body, power equipment, and in-car electronics have issues.

Next, the ride quality of the Seltos is less-than-stellar. CR calls it a “stiff ride” and says it feels “jumpy” on backroads. Unfortunately, the stiff ride ensures every bump jolts the cabin, making everyone inside uncomfortable. In addition, passengers receive a lot of noise from inside. CR says there is a coarse engine sound and slower-speed roads make it even worse. Unfortunately, the Seltos won’t be the best place to spend a long amount of time during a road trip.

Fuel economy is a strong spot


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On the flip side, the 2022 Kia Seltos gets some of the best fuel economy in its class. For a non-hybrid engine, it’s terrific, as the subcompact SUV manages 20 city and 35 highway mpg. The two available engines are a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Regardless of your choice, the power doesn’t surpass 175 horsepower. Moreover, excellent fuel economy is the positive side of most underpowered vehicles.

The fuel economy is even strong compared to Consumer Reports’ top-ranked competitors. For example, the Crosstrek gets 20/39 city/highway mpg; the Rogue Sport gets 19/34, and the Trailblazer 19/37. While it may fall short in other areas, the Seltios is on par with the best for gas mileage. Furthermore, it seems like excellent gas mileage is typical for most Kia SUVs.

Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend the only Kia subcompact SUV

In conclusion, the 2022 Kia Seltos subcompact SUV is not recommended by Consumer Reports. Unfortunately, the publication dislikes the ride quality and noise experienced inside the cabin. Even more significant, however, is the poor predicted reliability. After only one model year, owners already experienced many issues with Seltos mechanically and cosmetically. Having problems after such a short amount of time is not a good sign for model years to come.