Crossover & Midsize

This or That: Kia Seltos vs. Mazda CX-3

Let’s face it, we are obsessed with SUVs. Us SUV lovers were particularly intrigued about the new “in-betweener” Kia Seltos, a subcompact crossover positioned in the middle of the Kia Soul and Kia Sportage. Since Kia’s original announcement, the Seltos has been consistently mentioned with the subcompact Mazda CX-3. Here, we will compare the two.

2021 Kia Seltos 

Starting price: $21,990

The Kia Seltos is already making a splash as one of the greatest subcompact SUVs available. We especially like its balance between trendy and conventional styling. The Seltos is founded on the same key fundamentals as the accomplished Hyundai Kona and offers innovations similar to the excellent Kia Telluride.

Seltos is available for sale now in the U.S. which has been confusing to some given the 2021 label. The SUV has two engine options: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder or a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder. You also have the choice between front-wheel or all-wheel drive. For a small crossover, the Seltos offers sharp handling and adequate smoothness.

What makes the Seltos really fun is its styling. Its striking exterior is complemented by a comfortable standard cloth interior. The higher trim options offer a more luxurious feel thanks to chic leather trimmings. No matter which version you pick, we think you’ll be pleased with how roomy the interior is.

A suite of standard in-car electronic features also makes the Seltos an extremely fun ride. The standard features include an 8-inch touchscreen, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto connectivity, plus a nice audio system. For a heightened sense of luxury, you can go up to the top-of-the-line SX Turbo option that comes with a 10.3-inch touchscreen and mood lighting.

Unfortunately, advanced safety features don’t come standard on the Seltos but you can upgrade with Kia’s Drive Wise package. The package includes popular features like lane keep assist and forward collision avoidance   

2020 Mazda CX-3

Starting price: $20,640

The Mazda CX-3’s pronounced styling and dependability make it a standout in the subcompact SUV class. It is generally fun to drive and has a sporty 146-hp four-cylinder engine that offers just enough power. 

CX-3’s greatest selling point is its grand interior that feels lavish but comes standard. The interior consists of cozy leather and attractive detailing. This SUV is comfortable to ride in, but the rear seat area is not very spacious and the cargo space is limited. Each CX-3 comes standard with a 7-inch touchscreen display, as well as Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto connectivity.

Another considerable advantage the CX-3 offers is standard advanced safety features. Standard advanced safety features include forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot warning. The SUV has earned a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and has been honored for safety by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The final verdict

The Kia Seltos and the Mazda CX-3 both present key features such as solid performance, comfort, and style. Even so, we are going with the Kia Seltos because this SUV is more well-rounded, fun, and spacious.