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The subcompact SUV segment has become pretty crowded as of late. One of the latest entrants into the segment is the 2021 Kia Seltos. Its affordable price tag and punchy demeanor have already made it a favorite among its segment too. But does that new kid on the block factor mean that the new Kia Seltos is a better vehicle than, say, the 2021 Ford EcoSport? 

2021 Kia Seltos parked on a bridge
2021 Kia Seltos | Kia

The 2021 Kia Seltos drives like a premium SUV

Standard under the hood of the 2021 Kia Seltos is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that comes rated at 146-hp. Also available with a 1.6-liter engine that churns out 175-hp, Car and Driver says that the new Kia Seltos offers a “firm but mostly smooth ride and handling is sharp for an SUV.” Kelley Blue Book also took the 2021 Kia Seltos out for a spin, noting that this year’s new model drives with a similar confidence and nimbleness as that of a premium SUV.

As for the 2021 Ford EcoSport? Unfortunately, it’s not quite as impressive. Standard with a 123-hp turbocharged three-cylinder engine under its hood, Car and Driver says that the 2021 Ford EcoSport is the “opposite of quick.” Acceleration is not its strong point either. In fact, Car and Driver says that the new Ford EcoSport drives much better at slower speeds. 

The Kia Seltos is more comfortable for second-row passengers

The 2021 Kia Seltos isn’t just better to drive than the Ford EcoSport. It also offers more space for passengers to cozy up in. Compared to the 2021 Ford EcoSport, the new Kia Seltos offers up more front headroom. It also boasts more headroom in its second row, along with significantly more legroom.

But the Seltos has more to offer than plenty of space for first and second-row passengers. The 2021 Kia Seltos also has more cargo space to offer than its Ford competition. While the Ford EcoSport offers up 20.9 cubic-feet of cargo space, the 2021 Kia Seltos offers an impressive 26.6 cubic-feet of cargo space.

The new Kia Seltos comes with an industry-leading warranty

The Kia Seltos also comes accompanied by Kia’s industry-leading warranty. Standard with Kia’s 10-year/100,000-mile warranty program, the 2021 Kia Seltos comes covered by a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty, and a 5-year/100,000-mile limited anti-perforation warranty. This year’s new Seltos is also standard with a 5-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan.

While the 2021 Ford EcoSport does come standard with a warranty, the coverage isn’t quite as extensive as Kia’s warranty program. In comparison, this year’s EcoSport is covered by a 3-year/ 36,000-mile powertrain warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty on its safety restraint systems, and a 5-year/60,000-mile corrosion warranty. Like the Seltos, the 2021 Ford EcoSport also comes standard with five years of roadside assistance that’s good for 60,000 miles.

Is the 2021 Kia Seltos better than the Ford EcoSport?

In the end, the Kia Seltos is better than the Ford EcoSport. Unfortunately, what the Kia Seltos doesn’t have going for it, however, is its price tag. While a base Kia Seltos will run you about $21,990, you can expect to spend just under $20,000 on a new Ford EcoSport. Here’s the thing, though, the 2021 Kia Seltos is well worth that extra spend. It drives better than the Ford EcoSport, offers more space, and comes standard with an industry-leading warranty. Add all of that together, and it’s definitely worth that extra chunk of change.


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