The Korean carmaker definitely knows to make a good SUV, so it’s no wonder it’s introduced another one. Of course, we are talking about the new 2021 Kia Seltos. This model originally arrived last year in other parts of the world and it eventually arrived in North America this year. It is a brand-new model, which slots between Soul and Sportage. It is the company’s new approach to the segment of subcompact crossover, which now includes more comfort on the inside, more luxury and overall convenience.
This crossover is strong in many fields and one of the first things that come to mind is the spacious cabin. Also, you may count on a pretty nice list of standard features, nimble handling etc. However, that doesn’t mean this good-looking SUV is without flaws. The powertrain isn’t particularly peppy, while the ride can be stiff on pawn roads. There is no doubt this will be one of the better competitors in this super-tough segment.
2021 Kia Seltos Redesign
In terms of the base design approach, the 2021 Kia Seltos comes with a slightly different approach compared to Soul. It is bigger and more comfortable on the inside, and also seems more luxurious. Another thing we should mention is that the North American version comes with a slightly revised front bumper, which provides a little bit better approach angle. So, we could say it promises some decent off-road performances as well.
Visually, you can notice a lot of things in common with models like Sportage, though this particular model also comes with several unique details. Some of the first things that come to mind are lighting groups and a few more areas at the front. We presume that’s because of the fact that we are talking about a model that wasn’t initially planned for the U.S. market.
One of the things we really do like about this crossover is the interior. Not only that it is pretty spacious for the class but it also looks great. The overall quality is pretty good for the class. Even though we are talking about an entry-level model, things aren’t much different compared to more expensive models in Kia’s lineup. The overall build quality is pretty good. We are definitely talking about one solid crossover, which looks even better because of a pretty long list of standard and available equipment.
In terms of the interior space, this model is pretty close to the class above. Both rows are pretty generous with passenger space, while the driving position is pretty amazing as well. Visibility is great in all directions.
Another strong point of 2021 Kia Seltos is the cargo volume, which is the biggest in the class. You may count on 26.6 cubic feet behind the second row, while the overall cargo volume goes all-away up to 62.8 cubic feet.
The list of standard equipment seems pretty long. All models come standard with things like an 8-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, and a USB port. In higher trim levels, you can get a bigger 10.25-inch touchscreen, as well as things like an eight-speaker Bose premium stereo, satellite radio, two additional USB ports, wireless device charging, and a 7-inch digital instrument display, as well as a push-button start, sunroof, automatic climate control and many more.
A rearview camera is the only standard safety feature. However, you can get much more, including options like forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, automatic high beams and many more.
2021 Kia Seltos Engines
Under the hood, this small crossover comes in two variants. Base models are equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which puts out around 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. It feels okay for daily commuting but definitely lacks power on the highway. Therefore, the optional turbo-four may seem a much better choice for those who prefer something more dynamics. This 1.6-liter turbo engine features a max output that goes up to 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. So, the difference in terms of driving dynamics is pretty obvious. Also, this engine comes in pair with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. It’s not perfect but still seems like a much better choice compared to the standard CVT gearbox.
The base engine is a great choice if you care about fuel economy, as it returns around 29 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. The optional turbo-four is also pretty good in this aspect, as it returns around 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.