The Seltos comes with one of two powerplants under its hood. The base engine is a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine making 146 horsepower which can be had with front-wheel or all-wheel drive via a continuously variable transmission. In front-wheel drive form, the Seltos is capable of 31 mpg in combined city and highway driving with the base engine. The optional engine is a 175 horsepower 1.6L turbocharged unit. It's paired to a dual-clutch transmission, which is only available with all-wheel drive. Even with the more powerful engine and all-wheel drive, the Seltos is still rated at 27 mpg in combined city and highway driving.
There are five different trim levels for the Kia Seltos, starting with the LX trim. Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, all-wheel drive, automatic projector beam headlights, an 8-inch touch-screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a rearview camera, steering wheel mounted controls for the sound system and cruise control, power door locks and power windows.
The S trim adds heated mirrors, chrome exterior highlights, roof rails, LED daytime running lights and tail lights, projector beam foglamps, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a forward collision avoidance assist system, lane departure warning, lane keep assist and lane keep following functions. The S trim comes as front-wheel drive, though all-wheel drive can be optioned for an extra $1,500.
The EX trim adds a power sunroof, machine finished 17-inch wheels, extra USB charging ports, a wireless phone charger, a smart key with push button and remote starter functions, automatic climate control, LED interior lighting, rear seat HVAC vents, a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic avoidance systems as well as all-wheel drive.
The S Turbo trim comes similarly equipped to the S model, but as the name would imply, the S Turbo gets the more powerful engine, along with bigger 18-inch alloy wheels and one-touch windows.
At the top of the Kia Seltos range sits the SX Turbo trim. The SX Turbo adds full LED headlights and fog lights, a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen with built in satellite navigation, satellite radio and voice recognition, a Bose sound system, a 7-inch digital instrument cluster, chrome door handles, smart cruise control with stop and go functions and Kia's highway driving assist.
Compact, City-ready Size
Efficient Engine Choices
Available All-wheel Drive
Well-appointed Interior With Lots Of Tech
The Kia Seltos is a brand-new vehicle for Kia, positioned above the box-like Kia Soul and below the compact Sportage and Niro in their SUV and crossover lineup. However the Soul, while nominally a crossover, likely won't be confused with an SUV, while the Seltos with it's available all-wheel drive and higher ride height firmly fits into that category. It's a rapidly growing segment in America and the Seltos looks like a strong contender for the crown of best sub-compact SUV.
The Seltos competes with other small SUVs the likes of the Mazda CX-30 and Ford Escape and the Honda HR-V. The Seltos' competitive pricing, starting below $22,000 but manages upright SUV proportions, something that the cheaper HR-V can't claim. Kia has made a push towards offering lots of convenience tech with their vehicles, bringing the most desired standard equipment to entry-level models to maximize value. Smart cruise control and lane-following assist are optional on the Seltos, very advanced options for this price point.