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2021 Kia Seltos SX Review

Jerry Reynolds | June 29, 2020
2021 Kia Seltos SX Review

This week we are taking a look at the very stylish 2021 Kia Seltos SUV. Seltos is a derivative of the name of Hercules’ Son in Greek mythology. This SUV fills the gap between the Kia Soul and the Kia Sportage.

Exterior

I have to say I was immediately drawn to the looks of the Seltos. I love the lines, the contrast colored roof, the textured grill, and the LED lights that run across the front. I even like the 18” wheels.

Powertrain

This one has the 1.6-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that is putting out 175-horses and is hooked to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. There is a 2-liter non-turbo available also, but you have to put up with a Continuously Variable Transmission if you go that way, which I don’t recommend. This one is all-wheel drive.

Interior

My Starbright Yellow tester is the top of the line SX. Note that the only option on this one is a small charge for the paint and also the floor mats.

The gauges are bright and easy to read and you can configure the driver info center in the middle. A large 10.25 touchscreen mid-dash operates the navigation system, Bose stereo, HD radio, Bluetooth, apps, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

On the center console you can change drive modes between normal, smart, and sport, I of course, like sport the most. Near the shifter you can activate the all-wheel system, turn on the heated seats, it has an electronic emergency brake, and my favorite feature, Auto Hold that allows you to take your foot off the brake when stopped. Seltos does have start/stop, but it can be disabled easily.

2021 Kia Seltos Mood Lighting
2021 Kia Seltos Mood Lighting.

The interior is very well done for an under $30,000 SUV. Headroom and legroom for all passengers is very good. The center armrest slides forward, which is a nice touch. Back seat passengers get USB ports and rear air vents. The leatherette seats look good and they are very comfortable.

Also fun is the Sound Mood Lamp which allows you to choose a mood color, and when activated, lights in the doors will flash to the beat of whatever music you are playing. If you find it distracting, you can adjust the brightness. This is way off the cool chart!

The cargo area is very spacious at 62.8 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down and the load floor is flat.

Standard Equipment

The list of standard features is quite impressive. Most notable are adaptive cruise control with stop and go, remote start, keyless entry, power seat, wireless cell phone charger, and automatic temperature- controlled air.

Safety

Where it REALLY gets good is safety features: forward collision alert and avoidance system, blind spot monitoring with collision avoidance assistance, lane keeping assistance, rear cross traffic alert, and driver attention warning. It also has a rear seat reminder system.

Verdict

Fuel economy is great at 25 in town and 30 on the highway. MSRP on this loaded all-wheel drive SUV is $29,485 before any discounts or incentives, and that includes a 10-year/100,000 mile power train warranty.

Let me say that I am extremely impressed with the Seltos. It rides great, the handling and steering is pretty refined, and it was surprisingly quiet inside.

All-in-all, this is the best subcompact SUV I have ever reviewed.

2021 Kia Seltos SX

  • What I liked most: Great looks of the exterior, standard features.
  • What I would change: Make a power tailgate standard equipment.
  • MSRP: Base price $27,890, as equipped $29,485.
  • Fuel Economy: 25 City/30 Highway, 27 combined.
  • Fuel Tank: 13.2 gallons with filler on the driver’s side.
  • Dimensions: 172” long/70.9” wide/63.6” high.
  • Weight: 3185 Pounds.
  • Trailer Towing: N/A
  • Miles When Tested: 7100 miles
  • Official Color: Starbright Yellow with black roof.
  • Spare tire: Temporary compact.
  • Final Assembly Point: Gwangju, Korea.
  • 2021 Seltos in a few words: Once again, Seltos is the best subcompact SUV I’ve ever reviewed.
  • Warranty: 5-year/60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and 10-year/100,000 mile power train warranty.
  • Manufacturers website: Kia

Credit: Kia

Tags: 2021 Kia Seltos, Kia, Seltos, New Vehicle Reviews, SUV, 2021
Matt
Hi Jerry,
The 2021 Seltos looks very much like my 2020 Sportage.
So....is KIA discontinuing the Sportage?
This new Seltos looks like the replacement for the Sportage......
Thanks!
Matt
The Car Pro
Seltos falls between the Soul and Sportage. I donít see the Sportage going anywhere.

Jerry Reynolds
Rob Brost
When I initially heard about the Seltos, I wanted one, having had a Sportage. I discovered that for me it was too small compared to the Sportage and about the same price similarly equipped. I ended buying another Sportage.