- Actual SUV styling
- Effectively-tuned CVT
- Surprisingly spacious inside
- Some low-cost inside supplies
- 4-star NHTSA security score
The 2021 Kia Seltos is admittedly, actually good. Though its direct competitors contains greater than a dozen other subcompact SUVs, the Seltos is such a superb all-arounder that we’d additionally suggest it to these shopping a segment up, in the compacts. Just like the Telluride, our 2020 SUV of the Year, the Seltos establishes itself as greater than only a bundle of options and a very good guarantee.
Begin with the styling, the place the 2021 Seltos will get proper what so many inexpensive SUVs miss—it appears like an SUV and never a tall hatchback. Even for those who don’t just like the pops of character supplied by eye-catching particulars in and out, the Seltos resembles a bigger SUV than it really is.
View Different 2021 SUV of the Year Contenders and Finalists Here
That impression continues inside, the place the Seltos delighted us with its spacious, reclinable rear seats. The excellent package deal is marred solely barely by the occasional low-cost supplies the driving force and passengers will discover throughout the trim lineup. However that’s anticipated on an SUV with a price ticket starting from about $23,000 to $30,000. What you don’t count on, nonetheless, is a refined driving expertise.
“Inside the first 100 toes you may really feel the standard of engineering on this automotive,” options editor Scott Evans stated about our 2.0-liter base-engine FWD tester (pictured in white). “It turns in sharply and handles physique motions effectively. It rides very effectively over uneven, bumpy roads, higher than even among the luxurious autos right here. That is only a very nice automotive to drive.”
A number of editors complimented the tuning of the CVT—a notable accomplishment contemplating how a lot we disliked Kia’s earlier CVT efforts. Increased trims get extra energy from a 1.6-liter turbo-four mated with a dual-clutch transmission. We’ve seen this mix in lots of Hyundais and Kias through the years, with some harsh shifting outcomes. The Seltos exhibits Kia has taken these classes to coronary heart, offering smoother shifts with out dropping the immediacy of the DCT’s quick-shifting objective.
If it had been our cash, nonetheless, most of us would follow the two.0-liter/CVT pairing. The automotive is extra responsive than you’d count on, but it nonetheless earns 29/34 mpg metropolis/freeway in EPA exams for FWD fashions or 27/31 mpg with AWD. Though subcompact SUVs normally ship disappointing gasoline economic system that merely matches the mpg of bigger compacts, the Seltos’ effectivity competes close to the highest of its section.
Kia nonetheless delivers worth on the top-trim SX Turbo, which incorporates the faster 175-hp 1.6-liter turbo-four, spritely dealing with for one of these automobile, and a 10.3-inch touchscreen with Kia’s intuitive infotainment setup—the type of function you wouldn’t count on on a $30,000 subcompact SUV. The trip is a bit agency (however not harsh), and a pair judges commented on the 1.6-liter’s turbo lag. The upgraded faux-leather seats felt a bit rubbery, too.
Except for an NHTSA four-star total security score (out of 5 stars) and an inside with so-so supplies, the 2021 Seltos may be very likable—particularly with the bottom engine. Not like its sibling Soul, the Seltos presents AWD throughout its lineup, in addition to hill descent management and a differential lock. And its smart cruise and lane centering tech are higher than what some luxurious autos costing twice as a lot supply.
MotorTrend en Español managing editor Miguel Cortina captured how we really feel: “The Seltos is compelling each means you take a look at it. Kia cracked the code on small crossovers.”
Added Evans: “Now the query you need to be asking is just not whether or not the Seltos or the Soul is healthier, however whether or not you desire a metropolis automotive or an off-road automotive? A seashore cruiser or a mountain bike? It’s not about higher. It’s about desire.”
|2021 Kia Seltos S; Kia Seltos SX Turbo T-GDI|
|DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT||Entrance-engine, FWD; AWD|
|ENGINE TYPE||I-4, alum block/head; Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head|
|VALVETRAIN||DOHC, Four valves/cyl|
|DISPLACEMENT||122.Zero cu in/1,999 cc; 97.1 cu in/1,591 cc|
|COMPRESSION RATIO||12.5:1; 10.0:1|
|POWER (SAE NET)||146 hp @ 6,200 rpm; 175 hp @ 6,000 rpm|
|TORQUE (SAE NET)||132 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm; 195 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm|
|WEIGHT TO POWER||20.0; 18.5 lb/hp|
|TRANSMISSION||Cont variable auto; 7-speed twin-clutch auto|
|AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE/LOW RATIO||6.05:half of.33:1; 4.63:1 (1st, 2nd, 4th, fifth), 3.61:1(third, sixth, seventh, R)/2.58:1|
|SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR||Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; torsion beam, coil springs; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar|
|BRAKES, F; R||15.0-, 16.0-in vented disc; 14.0-, 15.0-in disc, ABS|
|WHEELS||7.5 x 17-in; 7.5 x 18-in forged aluminum|
|TIRES||215/55R17 94V (M+S) Kumho Solis TA31+; 235/45R18 94V Kumo Majesty 9 Solus TA91|
|TRACK, F/R||62.0/62.Four in|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||172.Zero x 70.9 x 63.6 in|
|GROUND CLEARANCE||7.Three in|
|APPRCH/DEPART ANGLE||28.0/28.Zero deg|
|TURNING CIRCLE||34.Eight ft|
|CURB WEIGHT||2,927; 3,243 lb|
|WEIGHT DIST, F/R||60/40; 59/41%|
|TOWING CAPACITY||Not rated|
|HEADROOM, F/M/R||40.0/38.Four in|
|LEGROOM, F/M/R||41.4/38.Zero in|
|SHOULDER ROOM, F/M/R||55.5/54.7 in|
|CARGO VOLUME BEH F/M/R||62.8/26.6 cu ft|
|ACCELERATION TO MPH|
|0-30||3.2; 2.7 sec|
|PASSING, 45-65 MPH||4.2; 3.9|
|QUARTER MILE||16.5 sec @ 85.5 mph; 15.9 sec @ 86.9 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-Zero MPH||122; 117 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.77; 0.82 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||28.Eight sec @ 0.56 g (avg); 27.Four sec @ 0.63 g (avg)|
|TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH||1,800; 2,000 rpm|
|BASE PRICE||$23,110; $29,010|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$23,585; $29,485|
|AIRBAGS||6: Twin entrance, entrance facet, f/r curtain|
|BASIC WARRANTY||5 yrs/60,000 miles|
|POWERTRAIN WARRANTY||10 yrs/100,000 miles|
|ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE||5 yrs/60,000 miles|
|FUEL CAPACITY||13.2 gal|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON||29/34/31; 25/30/27 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||116/99; 135/112 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.62; 0.72 lb/mile|
|RECOMMENDED FUEL||Unleaded common|
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