Experienced by Adrian McQueen
Photography by Adrenaline Lifestyles
Kia has hit the market strong in their rebranding efforts. There is a new vehicle launching each year and wowing the market. 2021 is no different with the introduction of the Kia Seltos. The Seltos is a subcompact crossover SUV that fits between the Soul and Sportage. The name is derived from “Celtos”, the son of Hercules in Greek mythology. The Kia Seltos started as two concept cars called the SP Concept and the SP Signature. The Seltos was launched in South Korea in 2019 and in the United States, Canada, and Mexico in early 2020.
I can see a bit of several Kia vehicles in the design of the Seltos. Consider it a melting pot of the Sportage, Niro, Soul and the Telluride. The SX model that I reviewed came with a Clear White painted body and Black roof and sat on 18” alloy wheels. There are LED headlights, taillights, turn signal indicators and fog lights. There is also an upgraded grille with an integrated LED light bar. I really thought the design of the Seltos was eye catching.
The Kia Seltos has a nice interior design as well. Kia has really done well in that department with all of their vehicles actually. The seats are black perforated leatherette with black textured plastic on the dash. The door trim is plastic as well but there is soft leatherette inserts. The gloss black trim really adds a nice touch to the interior. The seats are comfortable too with great back cushion support. Hopefully some massage features are in future plans.
The infotainment system in the Kia is another highlight that the brand has dialed in on. Let’s start off with the 10.25 inch touchscreen infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The infotainment system also has Bluetooth Audio Streaming and Hands-Free and UVO link with Navigation. A cool feature that I enjoyed is the capability to split the screen so you can view the map and directions at the same time you are using other apps. The Bose Premium Audio sound system is always a hit. The sound-connected lighting turns the cabin into a nightclub. The Seltos also came with a wireless smartphone-charging pad, USB ports, a head-up display, and a 7.0-inch color display in the gauge cluster.
The Seltos definitely had some kick to it. The model that I reviewed was the SX Turbo that came equipped with a 1.6-liter 4 cylinder turbo engine that kicks out 175 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. This is all attached to a 7-speed quick shift DCT automatic transmission. The SX Turbo is fine in Normal drive mode but you have to kick it into Sport mode to really see how the crossover responds. Overall I felt that it was a solid ride. A bit loud in the cabin when accelerating, but otherwise a good ride.
Safety is always a priority with Kia. In comes the full suite of Kia Drivewise Driver Assist Technology with automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, available blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, collision avoidance assist, forward collision avoidance, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, high-beam assist, driver attention warning and smart cruise control with stop-and-go. As the parent of young children, I really appreciated the “check rear seat” warning. I wonder if I would feel the same if I did not have children.
The Seltos sits in a crowded and competitive class, amongst the Chevrolet Trax, Ford EcoSport, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-30, Nissan Rogue Sport, Cadillac XT4, Hyundai Kona and the Subaru Crosstrek. The EPA has the Seltos delivering 25 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg combined. This is pretty efficient for a vehicle of it’s size. Kia’s warranty is the best in the industry and the company continues to offer the limited warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles, powertrain warranty covers 10 years or 100,000 miles but no complimentary scheduled maintenance. The Seltos is aimed directly at millennials and “youthful, tech-savvy buyers” looking for a vehicle that stands out from the crowd. The Seltos is budget friendly, a great value and AWD. Kia has hit the mark again. The 2021 Seltos SX Turbo AWD model that we reviewed came priced in at $29,485.00. Please enjoy the photo gallery.