Car Reviews

Side effects include great tech, good looks

Professionals: A great deal of house; nice expertise; exuberant acceleration with turbo engine; intelligent design all through; sturdy security rankings

Cons: Weak base engine with uncommon transmission; loads of arduous plastics

Kia Seltos could sound like a prescription drug marketed throughout Jeopardy! which will trigger 3 minutes value of negative effects, however really, it’s a terrific little SUV that’s equal elements wise and trendy. As a member of the rising midcompact SUV section, and among the best out there, the 2023 Kia Seltos slots in between smaller and cheaper subcompact fashions (like Kia’s Soul), and larger, pricier compact ones (like Kia’s enlarged Sportage). You’d suppose which may slice the pie too skinny, however due to good inside packaging and ample characteristic content material, the Seltos needs to be the appropriate dimension and supply greater than sufficient gear for a price ticket that stays properly beneath $30,000.

Now, there are quite a few arduous plastics all through the inside that betray its worth (particularly in comparison with the brand new, equally priced Honda HR-V), however an abundance of fascinating design components and a big central touchscreen assist draw the attention away from them. The bottom engine can also be a little bit of a tragic trombone, however the out there turbo delivers really stunning acceleration that rivals SUVs that may value $10,000 extra. Principally, there’s not a lot to complain about. The Seltos could not sound like a automotive you’d boast about shopping for to your folks, however you completely may.

Inside & Know-how   |   Passenger & Cargo Area   |   Efficiency & Gas Economic system

What it is wish to drive   |   Pricing & Trim Ranges   |   Crash Scores & Security Options

What’s new for 2023?

The S trim ranges acquire blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning, leaving the LX AWD as the one trim with out it. In any other case, the Seltos carries over into 2023 unchanged.

What are the Seltos inside and in-car expertise like?

If there’s one space the place the Seltos betrays its comparatively low worth, it is the standard of its inside supplies. The door sills, sprint tops, heart console and cargo space are all arduous plastic – there’s way more all through than you will discover within the new Honda HR-V and Kia’s greater and pricier Sportage. To be honest, this isn’t uncommon for the section and Kia’s designers cleverly made up for its accountants’ dictates by elevating a number of key areas with upgraded supplies and distinctive design components. The 3D geometric sample of the speaker grilles, the metal-look passenger seize deal with, the modern silver trim piece surrounding the air vents and starter button, and elective upgrades that embrace good-looking heather-gray upholstery and the sprint trim that may be shiny black, vivid blue or stitched fake leather-based.

There’s additionally loads of user-friendly expertise. Normal on the Seltos LX is an easy-to-use 8-inch touchscreen packing customary Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, whereas each different trim will get entry to the identical 10.25-inch touchscreen as pricier Kias, which boosts performance with its widescreen structure (it’s a $400 choice on the S, customary on all the things else). We additionally just like the two-tiered storage answer meant for smartphones: the smaller tray above meant to grip and retailer a telephone (it is also a wi-fi charger in higher trims) and the deeper bin beneath with two USB ports that may retailer one other telephone or no matter you need.

So whereas Kia pinched pennies in sure areas, it finally ends up with a web constructive by delivering in areas that finally matter extra. 

How huge is the Seltos?

The Seltos is considered one of a rising variety of what we name midcompact SUVs. On the surface, it is 4 inches shorter in size than Kia’s Sportage, which is itself one of many smallest SUVs in its section. But, the Seltos is between 2 and eight inches longer than numerous subcompact SUVs.

What actually issues, although, is the quantity of house you get inside, and the Seltos manages to take advantage of out of its modest footprint. Its boxier roofline helps on this regard, granting loads of headroom all through with an airier general feeling. Many small crossovers can really feel claustrophobic, particularly for rear passengers, and have poor rearward visibility. The Seltos is healthier. The eight-way energy driver seat discovered within the EX and SX trim ranges present an abundance of adjustability and house, whereas the rear seatbacks recline to an extra-comfy angle. Rear legroom can also be ample for 4 adults of above-average peak.

Cargo house is excellent. There is a beneficiant 26.6 cubic toes again there, which allowed us to safe 5 suitcases with room to spare. Whereas not finest in its midcompact class (the Ford Bronco Sport and VW Taos are greater), it’s proper up there. Its most cargo capability of 62.8 cubic toes is beneficiant as properly and speaks to its boxier dimensions that ought to make hauling bulkier objects simpler.

What are the Seltos gasoline economic system and efficiency specs?

The Seltos is on the market with two engines, that are tied to trim degree.

The LX, EX and S are powered by a 2.0-liter inline-four good for 146 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque – a modest quantity according to subcompact SUVs. The S is the one trim that may be had with front- or all-wheel drive, whereas each different trim degree is AWD solely. The bottom engine is all the time paired with a repeatedly variable transmission (dubbed “IVT”) that simulates gear ratios. Gas economic system is 27 mpg metropolis, 31 mpg freeway and 29 mpg mixed with AWD and 29/35/31 with the FWD S trim.

The S Turbo and SX Turbo have a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-four that pumps out 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. That is an quantity according to greater, pricier crossovers, and with much less weight to lug round, it is consequently faster. It comes solely with all-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch automated handbook. Gas economic system takes successful at 25/30/27, which can also be similar to these greater, pricier crossovers.

The Seltos doesn’t supply a hybrid powertrain (none of its opponents do, both), however Kia’s Niro household of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and EV SUVs are equally sized and redesigned for 2023.

What is the Seltos wish to drive?

Now we have but to check the Seltos with the bottom powertrain. We discovered it to be underpowered within the lighter Kia Forte sedan – which most likely is not a superb signal – and the “IVT” transmission to be uncommon. It simulates gear ratios throughout most driving circumstances, making it really feel regular sufficient (a bit just like the Turbo fashions’ dual-clutch gearbox, really), however when accelerating arduous, it will grasp onto revs as a CVT would earlier than ultimately “upshifting” a ratio. It is bizarre, however once more, we have not examined it within the Seltos.

The Turbo fashions are a distinct story. Though many vehicles boast Regular and Sport driving modes, which, amongst different issues, make the engine really feel a bit zestier by tweaking throttle response and transmission shift instances, these within the Seltos make it really feel such as you immediately dropped in a distinct engine. Maybe it is the results of elevated enhance from the turbocharger along with throttle and shifting variations, however the result’s a powertrain that legitimately feels exuberant in Sport mode versus merely sufficient in Regular. Fairly neat, really.

The remainder of the Seltos driving expertise is typical for a Kia: succesful, composed however not particularly memorable. The trip sops up greater bumps surprisingly properly for an affordable crossover, maybe partially because of 18-inch wheels being the most important dimension out there. On the similar time, its chassis exhibits poise round corners and we may pleasantly hustle it alongside a mountain street with out it feeling like a hopeless fish out of water. It by no means transcends into the sporty realm because the Mazda CX-30 does, however that is extra a truth than a criticism. There’s additionally a good bit of street noise inside, one other tell-tale signal of its worth level.  

What different Kia Seltos critiques can I learn?

Kia Seltos First Drive Evaluate

Our first tackle the Seltos, together with extra details about its design and engineering. Additionally some footage of it with deer.


Kia Seltos Baggage Check

We learn the way a lot the Seltos’ 26.6-cubic-foot cargo capability interprets to by way of precise stuff.

What’s the 2023 Seltos worth?

Pricing begins at $24,135 for the Seltos LX, which incorporates all-wheel drive as customary. The Seltos S begins solely $50 extra and has front-wheel drive customary, nevertheless it comes with such an immense quantity of additional gear, it positive looks like the perfect place to begin in your Seltos procuring journey. Amongst its extras are proximity key and push-button begin, distant ignition, further entrance and rear USB ports, UVO voice-activated machine management, computerized local weather management, upgraded exterior trim, roof rails, a fabric/leatherette upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a padded vinyl-wrapped heart console armrest. The ten.25-inch touchscreen and built-in navigation are a $400 choice. That is on prime of the beneficiant content material the LX and S share, together with 17-inch alloy wheels, rear privateness glass, a six-speaker sound system, 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. If you must all-wheel drive, it is $1,550 further on the S.

Actually, any of those S trim ranges are totally consultant of the Seltos’ useful and trendy attributes (be aware the cool blue sprint trim within the beneath left picture), however we additionally should admit that the extras gained by the SX and Dusk Version (particularly their turbo engine) for a superbly cheap quantity make the Seltos the uncommon small crossover whose priciest trim ranges proceed to be a powerful worth buy.

All costs beneath embrace the $1,295 vacation spot cost. All come customary with all-wheel drive besides the S.

Seltos LX: $24,135
Seltos S (FWD): $24,185
Seltos S (AWD): $25,685
Seltos EX: $27,435
Seltos Dusk Version: $28,335
Seltos SX: $29,635

What are the protection rankings and driver help options?

Each 2022 Seltos contains customary ahead collision warning with pedestrian detection and computerized emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping help, a driver inattention warning system and computerized excessive beams. All however the LX embrace blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning methods. The SX provides Kia’s wonderful adaptive cruise management system with steering help (“Freeway Driving Help”).

The Seltos acquired 4 out of 5 stars for general and entrance crash safety in authorities testing. It received 5 stars for aspect crash safety. The Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security named the Seltos a Prime Security Choose for its best-possible rankings in all pertinent classes, save for headlight efficiency. Whereas the SX trim received the absolute best “Good,” all others received a “Poor” for his or her headlights.


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