This subcompact crossover utility vehicle offers attractive styling with a bolder, more rugged look than other models in the Kia lineup. With impressive features and capabilities, the Kia Seltos is an SUV worthy of its competitors in a crowded compact segment.
New addition to the Kia lineup
Unveiled at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2021 Kia Seltos is the newest addition to Kia’s SUV lineup. In early 2020, a Super Bowl ad introduced the highly anticipated vehicle to the American market.
Soon the Seltos became widely available throughout the country. By March 2020, it was one of the best-selling SUVs for Kia. Sales have slowed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the Seltos has experienced sales of 35,051 units to date, according to Kia.
The 2021 Kia Seltos comes in five trim levels. The LX base model has a starting MSRP of $21,990. This bold SUV has a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine with 147 hp. Fuel economy is 27/31/29 mpg. The S Turbo trim starts at $25,490 and has a 1.6-liter 175 hp turbocharged engine with 195 lb-ft of torque vectoring. The S Turbo’s AWD, with a center lock and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, allows for responsive performance.
The Seltos is also available in X-Line concepts, offering one-of-a-kind off-road capabilities and a more rugged look. The X-Line Trail Attack Concept lets drivers leave the pavement behind with a two-inch lift kit, off-road tires, and front-end towing winch. The X-Line Urban Concept takes on any terrain with a custom two-inch lift kit, 17-inch alloy wheels, and high-powered auxiliary lights.
Kia Seltos specs and features
Available driver-assist technology includes rear cross-traffic and forward collision avoidance systems. Impressive standard features are automatic emergency braking as well as lane-keeping and departure technology. Blind-spot detection and safe exit assist are also available.
The upscale interior, designed for comfort, offers heated front seats. With more passenger volume than the 2020 Toyota RAV4, the Seltos has second-row seats that recline to create a comfortable environment. The automatic temperature control, USB charging port, and rear A/C vents help passengers enjoy the ride.
Drivers of the new Kia Seltos will enjoy the generous cargo-carrying capacity, with 62.8 cubic feet of space behind the first row. The 60/40 split-fold rear seats, along with the optional roof rails, provide ample space for hauling personal belongings.
Technology includes a class-leading 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system that has navigational features as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The Bose premium sound system with mood lighting offers eight high-performance speakers and a digital amplifier to create an immersive audio experience. A convenient charging pad allows for wireless phone charging.
Built for the unexpected, the all-weather vehicle handles harsh driving conditions with confidence. Standard exterior features include front fog lights, LED daytime running lights, and LED taillights.
Where does the Seltos fit into Kia’s SUV lineup?
Kia offers an award-winning lineup of SUV vehicles that meet the differing needs and lifestyles of consumers.
The entry-level compact SUV is the Kia Soul, with a starting price of $17,490. The classic Kia Sportage combines function and design, making it a popular choice in the Kia SUV lineup. The 2021 Kia Seltos fits nicely between the budget-friendly Soul hatchback and the versatile Sportage. The Seltos is comparable in size to the Hyundai Kona.
Other SUVs in the Kia lineup include the gas-electric hybrid Niro, the three-row road-trip-ready Sorento, and the class-leading Telluride. The top-of-the-line Telluride is luxury redefined with heated and ventilated Napa leather seating, second-row captain’s seats, and plenty of cargo room and passenger space.
Overall, the Kia Seltos offers attractive ruggedness and impressive features at an affordable price. Car and Driver says it’s a “compelling SUV … that effortlessly blends style, value, and desirability.”