The 2021 Kia Seltos is the latest addition to the brand’s fast-growing SUV range. The new, subcompact Kia SUV shares the platform with the Hyundai Kona but tries to get attention from millennials with sharper styling, roomier and techier cabin. The Seltos offers a turbocharged engine combined with sharp handling and light off-road capability. The model can also be fitted with premium amenities in the upper grades while it seems that active safety equipment will be available as an option.
The all-new Seltos debuts in LX, EX, S and SX versions in the US. The model is already available in global markets with various powertrains including the diesel unit. Kia hasn’t announced the all-electric version of the model which its platform-mate Hyundai Kona offers.
2021 Kia Seltos: Design
The all-new member of Kia’s SUV range, the 2021 Kia Seltos shares the underpinning with the great Hyundai Kona but the Kia-badged model is slightly larger and comes with higher ground clearance. The model rides on the 103.5-inch wheelbase about an inch longer than the Kona while it has 172.2 inches in length. The model’s width is the same as the Kona’s 70.9 inches while its height is 2 inches greater at 63.6 inches compared to Kona’s.
The Seltos features also more rugged appearance than the Kona. The model’s styling was previewed by the SP Concept at the 2018 Auto Expo. The model uses a sportier version of Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille mixed with the modern-looking headlights. The sporty tone adds also sharp and tight body lines and sculpted tailgate. The taillights are also attractive and visual impression improves also available two-tone paint job.
The Seltos comes with 17- and 18- inch wheel options while the ground clearance measures 7.2 inches.
The cabin of the all-new 2021 Kia Seltos improves notably cargo and passenger space over the structurally similar Hyundai Kona. The model comes also with well-chosen materials and modern tech equipment.
The Seltos has a simple dash design with a high-standing but easily reachable center touchscreen. The cargo area is also well designed and adults will have enough space in both rows.
As for the available equipment, every Seltos comes with a touchscreen infotainment system with integrated Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Buyers can also get a large 10.3-inch touchscreen display with the navigating and split-screen capability. The equipment list includes also a wireless charging pad, a head-up display, an 8-speaker Bose sound system, and up to three USB ports. Available will also be a 7-inch display placed in the gauge cluster.
The subcompact Seltos won’t also lack modern, active safety tech but it will likely be an optional package. Systems such as lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking with rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection will be available.
2021 Kia Seltos: Performance
Providing the power to the first-generation 2021 Kia Seltos will be two four-cylinder engines.
The LX, S and EX version will rely on a 2.0-liter inline-4 engine mixed with the continuously variable transmission. This unit makes 146 hp and torque of 132 lb-ft.
More driving fun will be possible with the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the hood of S or SX versions. This engine comes in pair with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This unit is good for 175 horsepower.
Every Seltos has a strut front suspension. A torsion-beam rear axle comes with the front-wheel drive. The all-wheel-drive versions are fitted with the multi-link rear suspension. The power on all wheels will be available with both engine options and the system splits power evenly to front and rear.
At the efficiency level, the most frugal option, the front-wheel-drive 2.0-liter engine powered 2021 Kia Seltos should return 29 mpg city and 34 highways. With the all-wheel drive, the base engine manages 27 mpg city and 31 highways. The turbo-four-powered Seltos should score 25 mpg city and 30 highways.
2021 Kia Seltos: Availability, Price
The fresh-designed 2021 Kia Seltos will go on sale in the coming months. The most affordable LX version will cost $21, 990. The next-level Seltos S will demand $23, 110. Switching to the well-equipped EX model will stand $26, 410. The range-topping Seltos SX has the $29, 010 price tag.