Should You Buy Kia’s Most Affordable SUV Option?

In the past few years, Kia has made a striking name for its brand, knocking it out of the park with home runs like the Kia Telluride and Kia Stinger. These options balance price with options and features, but they don’t teeter on being affordable to the general consumer market. There are still plenty of options in the Kia lineup that are affordable and even competitive amongst the most affordable SUV options on the market. If you’re looking to get into an affordable, brand new SUV, you might have considered an option like the 2021 Kia Seltos.

A gold kia seltos on display
2021 Kia Seltos SX | Raymond Boyd, Getty Images

How much does the 2021 Kia Seltos cost?

Kia Seltos | Jyoti Kapoor, Pacific Press, LightRocket, Getty Images

The 2021 Kia Seltos base model price is surprisingly low, with an MSRP of just $23,540 and going up less than $10,000 between the base model price and the most expensive, highest trim level. The base model LX trim offers plenty in itself, with keyless entry, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, and a user-friendly touchscreen infotainment system.

According to Consumer Reports, the Kia Seltos doesn’t rank particularly high, being the only SUV from Kia that the website doesn’t recommend. Regardless, many owners have plenty of positive things to say about the SUV, depending on what you’re looking for.

Shockingly sporty, perfectly priced

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From the outside, the 2021 Kia Seltos is sporty and modern, with an updated front end and headlights, and the inside does well to match. The reviews note it for offering responsible fuel economy for an SUV, reporting at around 28 mpg overall, as well as offering agile braking and handling. It even handles well on more rugged trails, a fact which Kia loves to show off in their commercials and advertisements. While it won’t compete against a Jeep Wrangler when it comes to overlanding trails, it does well to balance performance on the pavement and off.

Trim level options offer a variety

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The base model Kia Seltos is rather affordable, but even the mid-range to higher-end trim levels are still well within the range of average affordability. There are five available trim levels ranging from more modest to sportier and more luxurious, with the highest trim level available being the SX, which still only has a sticker price of $29,995. Along with the trim levels, you can find almost any driver’s aid or safety feature, as well as most luxury features, making it quite the bargain for the price.

Of course, if you’re looking to upgrade to a higher model Kia SUV, you can always opt for a slightly used Telluride. The Kia Telluride, even though it’s a newer vehicle model altogether, has quickly become one of the most overwhelmingly popular SUV options on the market, and buying one slightly used can mean getting a great deal on a spunky and capable Kia SUV.

For the right buyer, the 2021 Kia Seltos is a perfectly reasonable purchase, and although it might not stack up to the features and luxuries of the brand’s higher-end SUV options, it is still an affordable option with plenty to offer on its own.