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.

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 a subcompact crossover SUV that debuted for the 2021 model year in the U.S.; 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, EX, new-for-2022 Nightfall Edition, and SX 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 Nightfall and SX models, which get a 175-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter four that is teamed with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic 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?

As mentioned above, the Nightfall Edition is a new trim level this year; it’s outfitted with exclusive black-finish 18-inch wheels, a black grille, stand-up roof rails, and rugged-looking bodyside sills. LX and S models get a higher level of standard equipment, and the SX model gets a flat-bottomed steering wheel and an available Plum interior color.

FUEL ECONOMY

The base 2.0-liter engine is rated at 29 mpg city/35 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 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 $22,490 – $27,990
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 25-35 MPG

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