The Kia Seltos Isn’t Worth Waiting For

The Kia Seltos has been making waves in India as a new rugged SUV with enhanced capabilities compared to the Kia Soul. However, the Kia Seltos may be over-hyped and not worth waiting for. Some drivers have already found frustrating issues. 

Problems With The Kia Seltos 

As the Kia Soul replacement, the Kia Seltos will arrive later this year with a starting price around $22k. This is a $5k price jump for the base model of the Kia Soul that starts around $17k, as the Kia Seltos competes against other compact SUVs like the Jeep Renegade and Toyota RAV4. 

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

However, unlike the RAV4, which has a hybrid model, there is no plan for a hybrid Kia Seltos. Even Jeep is getting on the hybrid train by promising to offer every model with a hybrid version by 2022. Instead, you’ll have to settle with gas for the Seltos, and it gets 29 mpg in the city and 31 mpg in the city. It should be able to get up to 35 mpg in the city to compete against its rivals. 

Kia Seltos Performance 

One positive thing about the Kia Seltos is that the base model has all-wheel-drive included, so you won’t have to pay more to add this feature on. Only the Kia Seltos lacks AWD driving modes like mud, sand, rock, and more that allow competitors to adjust to changing conditions quickly.

Kia Seltos Off-roading in rugged terrain
Kia Seltos | Kia

Also, note the cheap price of the Seltos. Some of these savings could be made possible with a cheap suspension. The Kia Seltos is equipped with a basic MacPherson strut suspension in the front and a multi-link suspension in the rear. It doesn’t have a double-wishbone independent suspension like rivals. As a result, one of the most common Kia Seltos complaints so far includes a loud interior with a bumpy ride. 

The base model of the Kia Seltos comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that offers 142 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. You can also upgrade to the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that provides 175 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque.

Both of these options are pretty weak. The Kia Seltos can only tow about 1,000 lb, but this amount may slow down the powertrain even more. However, on a positive note, the Kia Seltos can accelerate from 0 to 60 in 7.3 seconds for a peppy feel.

Kia Seltos Features 

The Kia Seltos is supposed to provide a more luxurious feel, but the materials used in the interior are cheap. There is a lot of plastic found in the dash, and even with spending close to $30k for the base model, you only get leatherette accents. If you pay a premium price for an SUV, you shouldn’t have to settle for cloth seats. 

2021 Kia Seltos interior
2021 Kia Seltos interior | Kia

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Plus, the Kia Seltos doesn’t offer anything new or advanced. The 10.3” infotainment center can connect to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but that’s about it. You can’t connect it to your smartphone or home assistant.  

The Seltos lacks standard safety features that rivals provide. It doesn’t have pedestrian detection, distracted driver alerts, or automatic headlamps. The only reason to go with the Kia Seltos is if you want a little more cargo space or if you like the look. Otherwise, it’s overpriced, underpowered, and not very comfortable.