The 2021 Kia Seltos Has 3 Frustrating Drawbacks

Just look at the 2021 Kia Seltos. It could be the Subaru Crosstrek and Jeep Renegade alternative you’ve been waiting for. The Kia Seltos is supposed to be compact, capable, and full of value. However, there may also have a few frustrating drawbacks to consider. 

Is the 2021 Kia Seltos a good SUV? 

Yes, the 2021 Kia Seltos is a good SUV. It really hasn’t been out long, but we can trust Kia to build excellent compact options. Heck, the Kia Soul is still going strong after a decade. Now the new Kia Seltos is here to steal the show. 

2021 Kia Seltos driving on highway
2021 Kia Seltos | Kia

The Kia Seltos hasn’t been ranked for reliability yet, but it’s economical, at least. You can get started in a base model for about $21,990. Meanwhile, the Subaru Crosstrek begins around $22,245, providing another great deal. Before you go in on the Seltos, check out a few frustrating features that could be deal-breakers. 

1. The 2021 Kia Seltos is a little weak 

The base engine in the 2021 Seltos is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 146 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. So, it’s not going anywhere very quickly. You can also upgrade to the 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo engine for 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. 

2021 Kia Seltos driving in snow
2021 Kia Seltos | Kia

It won’t exactly pass people on the highway quickly, and adding all-wheel drive could slow it down even more. Also, the Kia Seltos can tow up to 2,000 lb, but we wouldn’t push it. A trailer will slow this SUV down even more. 

According to Edmunds, the Seltos has a sluggish acceleration and less than athletic handling. So, while it looks like a speedy little SUV, it’s not. However, it does have responsive steering and a taut suspension. 

2. The 2021 Seltos isn’t very comfortable 

Edmunds also mentioned that the Kia Seltos doesn’t have very comfortable seats. They lack support for longer drives, which can be a bummer for adventuring. However, the backseat seems to be more comfortable. 

2021 Kia Seltos interior
2021 Kia Seltos interior | Kia

There is noticeable wind noise in the cabin, and the climate control struggles to keep up on hot days. But if you’re under 6’2”, you should be able to climb in and out of the Seltos without a problem. 

3. The Kia Seltos feels cheap 

According to MotorTrend, the 2021 Kia Seltos has some cheap interior materials, which is why the seats may be uncomfortable. Even at higher trim levels, the faux-leather seats feel rubbery. Edmunds calls the interior simple, which doesn’t seem too negative or positive. 

2021 Kia Seltos driving down urban street
2021 Kia Seltos | Kia

Should You Go Kia Soul or Kia Seltos?

Higher trim levels come with a 10.25-inch infotainment screen, which is impressive. The system is easy to use and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, there is only one USB port in the rear, so passengers may battle over it. 

All-wheel drive is included on the LX trim, which is the base model. But it lacks safety features and convenience features found on the S trim, which doesn’t come with AWD. The Kia Seltos SX seems to be the best deal that includes tons of features and off-roading features. It starts around $25,290.