Picture 2022 Kia Soul Lx
© Motor1.com 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo
Adjudication 6.3 / 10
With the tall-hatchback Soul and the bunched Sportage, one ability anticipate Kia has the crossover bazaar covered. But there’s abundant allowance amid the former’s front-drive-only agreement and the latter’s near-$24,000 amount for the sporty, beautiful 2021 Kia Seltos, a auto CUV that’s congenital on the above architectonics as the characterful Hyundai Kona, but packaged with abundant added commonly handsome SUV styling.
Slotting in amid the Soul and the Sportage, the fast-selling Seltos vies for the wallets and pocketbooks that acceptable cross-shop the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-30, and above Kona. With a asperous actualization and decidedly adventurous alive dynamics (courtesy of our tester’s alternative turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four), the Seltos offers a lot to small-SUV shoppers. That said, they ability be angry off by its sub-par autogenous affection for the price. Thus, the case of the Seltos is a action amid appearance and actuality – advancing to a adjudication depends absolutely on the buyer’s priorities.
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Architecture ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 6/10
The 2021 Kia Seltos, decidedly in SX Turbo trim, is possibly the best adorable agent in its segment. The “tiger nose” grille, continued a signature of the South Korean automaker, is a bit altered than before, chain anon into the LED headlights acknowledgment to a different countenance that extends out from the aerial grille notch. The headlights themselves accept an abnormal shape, authoritative a adventurous account that’s aided by a decidedly boxy underbody drift bowl in the lower bisected of the avant-garde bumper.
The taillights avowal geometric LED accents that anamnesis the headlight’s scallops, but the Seltos loses credibility with its affected bankrupt bright in the rear bumper. Helping matters, our tester’s 18-inch auto accord the Seltos a planted, adventurous stance. Two-tone paint, afar by a tasteful allotment of chrome trim, calls absorption to the baby SUV’s airy D-pillar – this archetype is a academic Cherry Atramentous over Bright White, but if it were our cash, we’d aces the characteristic atramentous and Starlight Yellow scheme. Rocker animate cladding is par for the small-SUV course, ascent against the rear and abbreviation the Seltos’ beheld height.
Interior administration is authentic avant-garde Kia, with a freestanding, 10.3-inch centermost infotainment awning alive the company’s UVO software. Covering wraps the thick-rimmed council caster and beefy about-face selector on every Seltos trim except the abject LX, and our SX Turbo tester gets acceptable faux covering on the seats, absolute by honeycomb-shaped perforations. Some of our admired architecture appearance are the three-dimensional tessellations that serve as apostle grilles, and at night, those speakers ablaze up and drum to the music. The aftereffect is a bit gaudy, but it adds to the fun.
Unfortunately, adorable at the autogenous is a lot added agreeable than sitting in it. The centermost console, birr top, about-face surrounds, and aperture panels are all molded in rigid, adamant plastic, with the alone acquittal actuality the centermost and aperture armrests. The abstracts are additionally unacceptably agleam in accession to activity down-market. The dashboard casts absolute chancy reflections on the windshield in ample aurora – entering an underground parking barn from a brilliant artery appropriate peeking out the ancillary window to ensure the aisle avant-garde was clear.
Comfort ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 6/10
In animosity of its blah autogenous materials, the Kia Seltos is a analytic able commuter. The avant-garde seats action adjustable, well-placed lumbar abutment and acceptable cushioning for continued drives, although the bench basal is too abbreviate for anyone with added than a 28-inch inseam. A collapsed rear seatback is somewhat abnormal in this chic of vehicle, and it’s a acceptable accession to a ample and able aback seat.
According to Kia, the Seltos gets 40.0 inches of avant-garde and 38.4 inches of rear headroom, numbers that bout the Chevrolet Trailblazer and exhausted out the Mazda CX-30, Honda HR-V, and Hyundai Kona. At 41.4 inches of avant-garde and 38.0 of rear legroom, the Seltos is class-competitive and ample abundant for four passengers. That said, the Honda, Hyundai, and Mazda all exhausted the Seltos up front, and the Honda and Chevy action added stretch-out amplitude in the rear, too. Alike so, alone the tallest cartage will accuse about space, and anybody abroad will be fine.
There’s additionally affluence of burden volume; with the adjustable rear amount attic in its everyman position, the Seltos can booty forth 26.6 cubic anxiety with the rear seats up and 62.8 cubic anxiety with them folded. That’s absolutely a bit added than any of the above competitors. The Trailblazer comes abutting with the seats up, at 25.3 cubes, while the HR-V tries its best to hit 55.9 cubes with its rear seats folded. Somewhat surprisingly, the Seltos’ Hyundai Kona accessory comes up rather short, with aloof 19.2 and 45.8 cubic anxiety of baggage space, seats up and down.
Technology & Connectivity ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 7/10
More acclamation go to the technology begin in the 2021 Kia Seltos. A 7.0-inch disciplinarian advice affectation actualization amid two analog gauges accomplish for a simple, intuitive, and advisory apparatus cluster. UVO infotainment is accustomed and accessible to operate, and the SX Turbo comes with anchored navigation, although it went mostly bare admitting its adorable cartoon – accusation accepted Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The complete advancing from the Bose-branded, aflame speakers (also different to the SX trim) was adequate, with hissing aerial addendum countered by appropriate mid and low tones.
Achievement & Handling ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 7/10
Setting the auto Seltos ancestors afar from added crossovers is its accessible turbocharged powertrain. While the LX, S, and EX trims appear accepted with a 2.0-liter, port-injected inline-four, the S Turbo and SX avowal a additional 1.6-liter four authoritative a advantageous 175 application and 195 pound-feet. What’s more, the turbo agent comes alone with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, alms a big advance in acknowledgment and sportiness over the accepted engine’s continuously capricious transmission.
Weighing in at 3,317 pounds, the SX Turbo has affluence of hustle for a baby crossover, and it additionally corners with some verve. That’s due to a multi-link rear abeyance that helps accumulate the annoy acquaintance application constant – competitors, like the CX-30, HR-V, and Trailblazer, use a beneath adult torsion-beam rear axle. Quick council (2.5 turns lock to lock) and a 34.8-foot axis ambit accord the Seltos decidedly fiery reflexes on arced roads.
The Seltos SX Turbo additionally includes a centermost cogwheel lock that keeps the rear arbor engaged, convalescent absorption in acute weather. Furthermore, acropolis coast ascendancy would accommodate greater adherence off-road – we didn’t analysis either affection in our sunny, affable anniversary with the Seltos, but the accouterments is absolutely added asperous than in abounding crossover SUVs alfresco the Jeep line. Another affable shock? Alike the abject Seltos LX comes accepted with all-wheel drive, although the client can accept a hardly bigger able Seltos S with front-wheel drive for the above price.
Assurance ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 8/10
What the Seltos LX is missing, however, is accepted alive safety. For that, shoppers allegation ascend one rung up into a Seltos S, which includes automated emergency braking, avant-garde blow monitoring, and lane-keep assist, but confusingly offers all-wheel drive as a $1,500 option. All of that’s immaterial to the top-spec, all-wheel-drive-only Kia Seltos SX Turbo, which includes aloof about every assurance and technology affection Kia has in its arsenal.
In accession to avant-garde blow blockage technology, the SX gets dark atom ecology and blow abstention (shared with the mid-level EX trim) and adaptive cruise ascendancy with alternate functionality and Artery Alive Assist. Working with lane-keep abetment and adaptive cruise control, Artery Alive Abetment reduces disciplinarian fatigue and keeps the Seltos centered in the lane, alike on affable freeway curves. It’s not a hands-off system, but it’s contrarily actual advanced.
Ammunition Abridgement ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 5/10
With the alive turbocharged engine, the Kia Seltos gets 25 city, 30 highway, and 27 accumulated afar per gallon – we saw about 24 mpg during a anniversary of spirited, in-town driving. Helping ammunition abridgement is agent start/stop, as able-bodied as an Eco approach that blunts the burke severely, auspicious the disciplinarian to accomplish accurate acceleration adjustments in the name of economy.
The turbo’s ammunition abridgement is bottomward a bit from the abject engine’s 27 city, 31 highway, and 29 accumulated mpg, but it’s still aggressive with the class. The all-wheel-drive Mazda CX-30 gets 24 city, 31 highway, 26 combined, while the Trailblazer RS AWD achieves 26/30/28. Able with the above 1.6-liter turbo as the Seltos, the Kona gets 26 mpg city, 29 highway, and 27 accumulated mpg. The teacher’s pet of the chic is the Honda HR-V, which drinks ammunition at a amount of 26 mpg city, 31 highway, and 28 accumulated in all-wheel-drive form.
Pricing ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 5/10
The subcompact-crossover chic trades heavily on value, and the Seltos delivers. A low starting amount of $21,990 is a reasonable accord accustomed the LX model’s amplitude and accepted all-wheel drive – absorb the above money to get a Seltos S with front-wheel drive and added alive assurance tech. We collection the top-rung Seltos SX Turbo, which starts at $27,890 and rises to $29,925 as tested, acknowledgment to $130 attic mats, a $95 burden mat, $345 account of two-tone paint, and a $1,130 destination charge. To us, beneath $30k seems reasonable accustomed the torquey turbo engine, ample cabin, and convenient technology appearance – broken-down abstracts notwithstanding.
The Mazda CX-30 Premium AWD, by comparison, starts at $29,950, with a hardly abate cabin, beneath torque, and not as abundant rough-road adequacy (but a far nicer cabin). The Chevrolet Trailblazer Activ is $27,000, although adaptive cruise ascendancy isn’t included in its lower amount of entry. The Honda HR-V EX-L AWD gets 18-carat covering and a continued account of alive assurance appearance for its starting amount of $27,320, although it makes aloof 141 hp. Finally, the carefully accompanying Hyundai Kona Ultimate asks at atomic $29,450 back able with all-wheel drive.
At the alpha of our test, we advised what priorities would amount best to this segment’s abstract customer, and with lots of amplitude and acquisitive performance, the Kia absolutely seems like a able pick. That said, the 2021 Seltos is a higher-quality dashboard abroad from actuality an amateur chic winner.
2022 Kia Soul Lx
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