2021 Kia Seltos

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
November 20, 2019

Buying tip

The 2021 Seltos arrives in showrooms in early 2020.

The 2021 Kia Seltos anchors a family of crossover SUVs with its choice of 4-cylinders and available wide-screen infotainment

The 2021 Kia Seltos expands a family of crossover SUVs that now includes the Sportage, Sorento, and Telluride. It’s the smallest of the bunch, roughly the size of the Hyundai Kona, but the 2021 Seltos has a few features and touches to call its own.

Kia will sell the 2021 Seltos from early 2020, in LX, EX, S, and SX editions.

With the Seltos, Kia sets its entry-level crossover apart with a sport-shoe look that leans into straight edges and backpedals on the curves. Optional roof colors and LED headlights dress up more expensive versions. Inside, the top-line Seltos offers a 7-inch display in the gauges and a 10.3-inch touchscreen on the dash.

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The Seltos will come with a choice of 4-cylinder engines. Seltos LX, S, and EX crossovers come with a 146-horsepower inline-4 with 132 pound-feet of torque, paired with a continuously variable transmission.

The 175-horsepower 1.6-liter turbo-4 is familiar from other Kias and Hyundais such as the Veloster and Kona. It’s offered in S and SX Seltos SUVs (sssay that ssssix timesss fassst) and couples to a dual-clutch automatic transmission.

On either, the powertrain cycles through three drive modes that alter shift points and speed, steering weight, and throttle tip-in.

All versions of the Seltos ride on a strut front suspension, and like the Kona, front-drive versions get a torsion-beam rear axle, while all-wheel-drive versions have a multi-link rear suspension. The all-wheel-drive system splits power equally front to rear, but automatic braking applied to either front wheel can help the Seltos cut corners more easily. The Seltos also has up to 7.2 inches of ground clearance, and can be fitted with either 17- or 18-inch wheels.

The 2021 Seltos rides on a 103.5-inch wheelbase, compared to 102.4 inches for the Hyundai Kona (both are longer than 99.2-inch wheelbase of the coming Hyundai Venue). No interior specs have been published, but they should be close to those of the Kona. The Seltos’ rear seats recline for more comfort, and fold down to boost cargo storage.

The base Seltos will come with touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth, power features, and air conditioning. On the top SX version and on the options list, the Seltos gains Bose audio, ambient lighting, wireless smartphone charging, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking.

The 2021 Seltos hasn’t been priced yet but Kia says a Seltos LX AWD crossover will cost less than $22,000 before destination.

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