With the variety of unique car names flooding the market over the past few years, we have to do a double-take every now and then and ask ourselves, “Why would they name a car that?” Case in point, the Kia Seltos. A quick Google search reveals that Kia named their small SUV after Celtos, the son of Hercules. Why? We don’t know, but the product planners over at Kia probably just thought it had a good ring to it.
It’s not uncommon for manufacturers to name their models after Greek mythology; Phaeton, Eos, Titan, and Odyssey are a few examples. And while we may never know the exact reason why they come up with these naming conventions, it’s probably best that we just stick to talking about the car. In that case, here’s what we know about the 2021 Kia Seltos.
A subcompact SUV newcomer
The 2021 Kia Seltos is a subcompact crossover that slots in between the Soul and Sportage in the company’s line up. As you could probably guess, it’s aimed at millennials that are looking to stand out from everything else on the road. A wide choice of colors is available as well, including some unique contrasting roof line combinations. It’s styling cues are taken from its Telluride bigger brother, complete with Kia’s “Tiger nose” signature grille, broad wheel arches, and side character lines that give the car a bold look and set it apart from the rest of its competitors.
Speaking of which, competitors to the Kia Seltos include the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, and Jeep Renegade. All of which provide a sensible means of transportation in the city and highway, while providing some capability in light off-road situations. If the road does get a little rough, the Kia Seltos does provide 7.2 inches of ground clearance and rides on 17 or 18-inch alloy wheels, which give it some height. An off-road vehicle, it is not, but on more-stable pavement, the Kia Seltos works well as a city car.
Interior and safety
On the inside, the Kia Seltos has room for five adults with supportive front seats and rear seats that can recline and fold with a 60/40 split to accommodate unique cargo configurations. A smooth dashboard design makes the Seltos look like it’s from a class above and Kia didn’t short change us on the electronics, either.
An 8-inch touchscreen is standard, however, a class-leading 10.2-inch screen is available, which works nicely with the navigation and split-screen display. For sound, a Bose premium audio system with 8 speakers is available and Apple Carplay and Android Auto come standard, as they should.
The Kia Seltos is available with “Kia Drive Wise” advanced safety features as well, which includes Blind Spot Collision Warning, Driver Attention Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Smart Cruise Control, just to name a few.
A choice of engines
Unlike the Telluride, Kia launched the Seltos as a global nameplate. In fact, it’s being sold in parts of Asia and Australia under different naming conventions and with different engine choices. In the United States, the Seltos is offered with two different engine choices: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (146 hp, 132 lb-ft of torque) for the LX, EX, and S trims, and a 1.6-liter turbo GDI engine (175 hp, 195 lb-ft) for the higher S and SX trims.
The naturally-aspirated engine is mated to a CVT transmission while the turbocharged engine is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is also an option.
Come get yours today
The 2021 Kia Seltos has already shown up in dealerships across the U.S. Pricing for the 2021 Kia Seltos is set at $21,990 for the base LX trim and up to $27,890 for the top SX trim with the turbocharged engine.