Crossover & Midsize

The 2021 Kia Seltos Is Up for a Huge Award

With so many accolades and automotive award lists featuring different models as the best, it can make it harder for consumers to decide what to buy. But there’s one annual award that should make your list of resources to consider. It’s a major victory for any vehicle to even make the roster. It’s an even bigger win for the model that comes out on top. And if you’ve been reviewing SUVs, you may want to take a look at the 2021 Kia Seltos, a finalist in the running for this huge award.

The SUV of the Year Award

The competition doesn’t get much steeper than in MotorTrend’s SUV of the Year Award. As automakers begin abandoning some of their family sedans, it’s clear the SUV is becoming the fan-favorite for consumers. MotorTrend takes a look at almost 30 new 2021 crossovers of various sizes and prices and puts each through a rigorous evaluation and judging process. In the end, only one can come out on top, although it’s equally impressive for a vehicle to even make it into the finalist category.

SUV finalists in the running

Of the nearly 30 crossovers that made the final cut, there are a few you probably expected to see in the running. The MotorTrend critics will put these SUVs through some intense evaluations, but their first impressions are already proving this is going to be a tight race. They say the Cadillac Escalade is returning as a boss, the Genesis GV80 is “seriously impressive,” and the Land Rover Defender is “great anywhere.”

They also comment that the Toyota Venza feels like a “Lexus Lite” and the Nissan Rogue appears to be “way, way better.” And the super popular Kia Seltos is being hailed as a “mini Telluride.”

Criteria for this impressive award

The MotorTrend judges won’t just test-drive these SUVs and put together a list. Their judging process for the SUV of the Year Award is rigorous. The team will evaluate each vehicle’s advancement in design, where they consider styling and materials. They will rank based on engineering excellence, from concept to execution regarding powertrains, tech, cargo, and infotainment.

The best SUV will be top-notch in efficiency, including operational costs and fuel economy. The judges will evaluate safety and value as well. Beyond these criteria, the team will rate each SUV’s intended function and performance.

The 2021 Kia Seltos is making a great first impression

RELATED: What Are the Biggest Differences Between the 2020 Kia Seltos and the Hyundai Kona?

The MotorTrend judges are calling the new Kia Seltos a “mini Telluride,” and it’s a huge compliment. While the official contest has yet to be decided, there are already a few pros and cons emerging about this charming SUV of the Year Award finalist.

Critics like that it offers authentic SUV styling and a well-tuned CVT. It’s also surprisingly roomy for its compact size. On the downside, the 2021 Kia Seltos only has a four-star NHTSA rating for safety. Some are remarking that the Seltos’ interior materials aren’t as high-quality as some of the others in this space, either.

The overall sentiments for now, though, are that this subcompact is really impressive and an excellent all-around finalist. Considering how well-received the Kia Telluride has been, if the Kia Seltos is a miniature version, it could translate to wins across the board.

Car awards might seem like a dime a dozen, making it harder to decide what is the best vehicle to buy. But if you need a 2021 SUV, you may want to wait and see which crossover comes out on top for the SUV of the Year contest. At the very least, consider taking a look at the finalists, including the refreshing 2021 Kia Seltos.