IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:

The Seltos provides excellent passenger and cargo room within its tidy exterior dimensions, along with striking styling inside and out and a generous list of available features.

BUT…

Some of the interior materials are just so-so, and the turbo engine’s dual-clutch transmission’s shifts are sometimes balky.

2021 Kia Seltos Best Buy Review
WORTH NOTING:

The Seltos is available in eye-catching hues such as Starbright Yellow and Mars Orange, and also offers a contrasting paint color on the roof as an extra-cost option.

WHAT IS IT?

The Seltos is Kia’s new-for-2021 subcompact crossover SUV; in size and price, it fills the gap between the subcompact Soul and the compact Sportage in Kia’s crossover lineup. The Seltos model roster consists of LX, S, S Turbo, EX, and SX Turbo trim levels. The S offers front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive; the rest come standard with AWD. A 146-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder paired with a CVT automatic transmission is standard on all but the S Turbo and SX Turbo models, which get a 175-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter four that is teamed with a 7-speed dual-clutch automated-manual transmission. Available safety features include forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, driver-attention warning, blind-spot alert, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, and automatic high-beam headlights. Other available features include wireless device charging, heated front seats, 10.25-inch HD touchscreen with a 3-way split-screen function, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, and a Bose premium audio system with sound-connected “mood lighting.”

WHAT’S NEW?

Though it has been on sale in South Korea and other global markets since 2019, the Seltos debuted in the North American market in 2020 as an early 2021 model.

FUEL ECONOMY

The base 2.0-liter engine is rated at 29 mpg city/34 mpg highway with front-wheel drive and 27/31 with all-wheel drive. The turbo 1.6 engine, which comes solely with AWD, is rated at 25/30. During Consumer Guide® evaluation, an SX Turbo averaged 27.7 mpg in a test that consisted of 60 percent highway driving. All Seltos models use regular-grade gas.

VALUE IN CLASS

The Kia Seltos is one of the larger vehicles in the subcompact SUV class, so it offers a bit more rear-seat space and cargo room than most of its class rivals. Add in competitive pricing, distinctive styling, a broad range of desirable available features, and a fairly peppy available turbocharged powertrain, and the Seltos is one of the most compelling vehicles in its segment.

BASE PRICE RANGE $21,990 – $27,890
BODY STYLES 4-Door Wagon
AVAILABLE ENGINES 146-HP, 2.0-Liter 4-Cyl.; 175-HP, Turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-Cyl.
DRIVE WHEELS Front or All-Wheel Drive
BUILT IN South Korea
EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE 25-34 MPG

Other Best Buys in this Class