2021 Kia Seltos

MSRP $21,990 - $27,890

Ranked #13 in Suv

7.9

Overall Rating

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2021 Kia Seltos Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 16, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The 2021 Kia Seltos is the new stylish crossover SUV from the iconic Korean automaker. Kia's newest and most sophisticated vehicle, the Seltos offers fun handling, a luxurious interior with a touch of technology, and smooth power in a variety of trim levels. The Kia Seltos deserves the attention of buyers who are looking for an efficient vehicle fit for city driving. 

See detailed review »

Pros

Plush interiors

Lots of cargo space

Dynamic styling and presence

Impressive fuel economy

Cons

Low safety ratings

Unresponsive acceleration 

Sub-par handling

What's New?

All new and super fresh for the US market


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$21990

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

132 mph

drivetrain

all wheel drive

engine type

displacement

122 cu.in.

horsepower

145 hp @ 6200 rpm

torque

132 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm

transmission

2 speed CVT

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

12/11.2 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

103.5 in.

length

172 in.

width

70.9 in.

height

64.2 in.

curb weight

2948 lbs.

ground clearance

7.3 in.

capacity

passenger volume

99 cu ft.

cargo volume

62.8 cu ft.

towing capacity

2800 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

10.5 sec.

zero to 100 mph

19.5 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

17.5 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

160 ft.

warranty

basic warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

10 yr./ 100000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ 100000 mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

LX$21,990 onwards

S$21,990 onwards

EX$25,290 onwards

SX$27,890 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Kia Seltos in Agate Black color
Agate Black

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Buying Advice

8.0

Pricing and Features

7.5

Engine and Performance

7.0

Fuel Economy

8.0

Interior

8.0

Exterior

8.0

Safety

8.5

Competition

7.5

Final Verdict

8.5

7.9

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.9

Overall Rating


There is no doubt that this sleek and stylish new crossover SUV is one of the most stylish vehicles available. It has a solid, smooth drive, with enough power to get you where you want to go in style. With cutting-edge technology and a comfortable interior, it offers you the best in luxury accommodations. A Kia Seltos is a vehicle that offers the right mix of style, comfort, and convenience. It faces stiff competition from Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona and Chevrolet Trax. 

2021 Kia Seltos SUV front view
2021 Kia Seltos SUV rear view

7.0/10
Engine and Performance

8.0/10
Fuel Economy

8.0/10
Interior

8.0/10
Exterior

8.5/10
Safety

7.5/10
Competition

8.5/10
Final Verdict


2021 Kia Seltos Features

A total of five trim levels are offered by Kia Seltos for the 2021 model year, namely LX, S, EX, S Turbo, and SX. The least expensive 2021 Seltos start at just $21,990 MSRP while the top-of-the-line SX Turbo is exactly $27,900. LX, S, and EX trims feature naturally aspirated inline-4 engines, while the S Turbo and SX Turbo trims feature turbocharged inline-4 engines. With regard to driving, all the trims come standard with an All-Wheel Drivetrain. Owners of the S models can choose between an AWD or FWD option.

Among the features of the 2021 Seltos LX are an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility, 17-inch alloy wheels, and keyless entry. Additionally, a pricier S trim has more safety features than an LX trim, so trims with S or higher features are more desirable. In addition to this, the S also comes with roof rails, LED daytime running lights, and LED taillights, plus an armrest for the center console that slides aft and forward, as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob. On the SX trim level, you get an immersive Bose audio system with 8 speakers and a 10.25-inch touchscreen.

Trims

LX

S

EX

S Turbo

SX

MSRP (FWD)

-

$21,990

-

-

-

MSRP (AWD)

$21,990

$23,490

$25,390

$25,590

$27,990

Key Features

Cloth Upholstery

Adds/upgrades features of LX trim

Adds/upgrades features of S trim

It has the same features as the S trim

Adds/upgrades features of S Turbo trim

 

Six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat

Simulated leather upholstery

Keyless entry 

18-inch wheels

10.25-inch touchscreen

 

4-way manually adjustable passenger seat

Heated outside mirrors

Push-button start

Auto Headlight control

8-speaker Premium Bose audio system

 

Rearview camera

Leather-wrapped steering wheel

Automatic climate control

 

Adaptice cruise control

 

8-inch touchscreen

Foglights

Leather Upholstery

 

LED headlights and foglights

 

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Forward Collision warning

Heated front seats

 

Speed limit recognition

 

Six-speaker audio system

Automatic emergency braking

10-way power-adjustable driver's seat

 

Satellite radio

 

Bluetooth 

Lane departure warning

Wireless device charging

   
 

USB Port

Lane keep assist

Sunroof

   
   

Automatic high beams

Blind-spot monitoring

   

Which trim should you buy? 

With a satisfying array of standard features across its entire lineup, the 2021 Kia Seltos is a better value in the crossover SUV segment. With more features than any other trim and a powerful turbocharged engine, the SX trim offers a complete and efficient SUV experience, so we recommend it though it is on the expensive side. 

2021 Kia Seltos Engine and Performance

7.0/10

With the Kia Seltos of 2021, you have the opportunity to choose between two efficient powertrains. With its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the LX, S, and EX models are capable of making 146 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, coupled to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The engine is capable of cruising around town, but struggles when going up to higher speeds. Power is evenly distributed to all four wheels when equipped with the standard AWD, with a FWD option available on the S trim. 

2021 Kia Seltos SUV engine bay

For those who choose to upgrade to the S Turbo and SX Turbo, you can enjoy the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, producing 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. An automatic transmission with seven gears pairs with this engine.It takes the 2021 Kia Seltos 10.5 seconds to accelerate from 0-60 mph and 17.5 seconds to complete the quarter mile. In contrast, the top of the line is capable of 0-60 in just 8.1 seconds with the help of the available turbocharger. 

Models

2021 Kia Seltos

2021 Hyundai Kona

2021 Honda HR-V

2021 Chevrolet Trax

MSRP

$21,990

$20,100

$20,820

$21,300

Engine

2.0-liter Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

2.0-liter Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

1.8-liter Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

1.4-liter Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

CVT

CVT

CVT

6-speed Automatic

Power 

146 hp @ 6,200 rpm

147 hp @ 6,200 rpm

141 hp @ 6,500 rpm

138 hp @ 4,900 rpm

Torque 

132lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm

132lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm

127lb-ft @ 4,300 rpm

148lb-ft @ 1,850 rpm

0-60 mph (sec)

10.5 seconds

10.0 seconds

10.6 seconds

11.5 seconds

Quarter Mile (sec)

17.5 seconds

17.3 seconds

17.8 seconds

17.9 seconds

Top Speed (mph)

120 mph

120 mph

121 mph

116 mph

Competitively, the 2021 Hyundai Kona is the only car that can match the performance offered by the 2021 Kia Seltos. In the same vein as the Seltos, the Chevy Trax also comes with a turbocharged engine that produces only 138 horsepower.

How well does the 2021 Kia Seltos handle?

The Seltos' handling is not particularly impressive, and the road feedback is minimal, so its dull. This limited-wheelbase SUV is punchy once it gets rolling, though it accelerates slower from a stop. Changing gears is smooth and quick. But once you end up in bends, the Seltos is less impressive. Despite the solid steering and tight suspension tuning, the Seltos displays a large amount of nose-heavy and unsuitable grip when driven enthusiastically. However, drivers of the Seltos with turbos will enjoy a sporty driving experience. In the AWD Seltos, the rear is handled better by an independent suspension, since torsion beams are replaced with springs.

2021 Kia Seltos Braking Performance

A ventilated disc brake is standard on all trim levels of the Kia Seltos. It is paired with a solid disc brake system at the rear. All trims come with 12-inch antilock brake rotors in the front and 11.2-inch ones in the rear. This allows the 2021 Kia Seltos to stop from a speed of 60-0 mph in 120 feet.

2021 Kia Seltos SUV brake rotor

Models

2021 Kia Seltos

2021 Hyundai Kona

2021 Honda HR-V

2021 Chevrolet Trax

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

12

12

11.5

11.8

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

11.2

11.2

11.1

9.0

Curb Weight (lbs)

2,948

2,890

2,906

2,805

60-0 (feet)

120

121

121

129

As far as braking goes, the Kia Seltos ranks best in the field. While the Honda HR-V weighs more than the Hyundai Kona, they perform similarly. In comparison with other cars, the Chevrolet Trax takes longer to stop.

2021 Kia Seltos Fuel Economy

8.0/10

In the subcompact SUV class, the 2021 Kia Seltos ranks among the best with regard to fuel economy. The Seltos returns 29 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway and 31 mpg in the combined drive with the base engine and front-wheel drive. Adding all-wheel drive reduces fuel economy and highway mileage estimates to 27 mpg and 31 mpg, respectively. With the turbo engine, drivers can expect 25/30 mpg in the city and on the highway.

Models

2021 Kia Seltos

2021 Hyundai Kona

2021 Honda HR-V

2021 Chevrolet Trax

MPG (City)

29

27

28

26

MPG (Highway)

34

33

34

31

MPG (Combined)

31

30

30

28

Fuel Capacity (gallons)

13.2

13.2

13.2

14.0

Range (City/ Highway/ Combined)

383/449/409

356/436/396

370/449/396

364/434/392

There isn't much that separates the Honda HR-V and the Seltos in terms of its mpg figures. In typical conditions, the Kona has slightly better highway economy than the Seltos. Despite having the largest fuel tank, the Chevrolet Trax doesn't fare well when it comes to MPG.

2021 Kia Seltos Interior

8.0/10

As part of the company's forward-looking design language, the 2021 Kia Seltos offers an elegant, contemporary cabin that offers comfort and practicality for everyday driving. A push-button start and a dual-zone automatic climate control system keep things comfortable inside the Kia Seltos. While you enjoy heated front and rear seats, you can keep your hands warm with the heated steering wheel. Three rich interior hues are available in addition to the five exterior colors. It is equipped with modern materials that surpass expectations.

2021 Kia Seltos SUV dashboard image

Although it is classified as a subcompact SUV, its interior is spacious enough to accommodate five passengers very comfortably. The cargo hold of this Kia is the largest in the subcompact SUV class, even beating some compact SUVs. Behind the rear seats, you get 26.6 cubic feet of storage space, and when required those rear seats fold flat for 62.8 cubic feet of storage space behind them. 

Models

2021 Kia Seltos

2021 Hyundai Kona

2021 Honda HR-V

2021 Chevrolet Trax

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

40.0/55.5/41.4

39.6/55.5/41.5

39.5/56.8/41.2

39.6/54.1/40.8

Rear (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

38.4/54.7/38.0

37.8/54.5/34.6

38.3/54.5/39.3

38.8/52.8/35.7

Cargo Volume (cubic feet)

26.6 cu-ft

19.2 cu-ft

24.3 cu-ft

18.7 cu-ft

On balance, you can see that the 2021 Kia Seltos offers the most space in both the first and rear rows. The Honda HR-V is the only other vehicle that offers cabin and cargo space comparable to that of the Seltos. 

Standard interior features of the 2021 Kia Seltos include:

  • 3.5-inch/7-inch Supervision Meter Instrument Cluster
  • 10-Way Power-Adjustable Driver's Seat
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Automatic climate control
  • Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel with Tilt and Telescopic adjustment
  • Power Windows w/ Driver One-Touch Auto-Down
  • Chrome Inside Door Handles
  • Smart Key w/ Push-Button Start, Remote Start
  • Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror
  • LED Interior Lighting
  • Leather-Wrapped Gearshift Knob
  • Front and Rear USB Charging Port
  • 12-Volt Power Outlets

How intuitive is the 2021 Kia Seltos Infotainment System?

2021 Kia Seltos infotainment and entertainment system is a game changer. Everything you need for a top-tier driving experience is included in this vehicle. The 2021 Kia Seltos' infotainment and entertainment system boasts a large 8-inch touch screen, easy-to-use interface, compact size, and broad compatibility with other devices. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also available for easy integration of smartphone services such as music, navigation, and communication. Hands-free calling is available with Bluetooth as standard. Bose premium sound system with eight speakers and 10.25-inch touch screen is also available. 

2021 Kia Seltos SUV infotainment screen

All the standard Infotainment features are listed below:

  • 8-inch Touchscreen
  • Bluetooth Calling and Music Playback 
  • Voice Recognition Compatibility 
  • Apple Carplay & Android Auto Compatibility
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio
  • 6-Speaker Audio System
  • USB Audio Input
  • Available 10.25-inch Touchscreen
  • Available 8-speaker Bose premium sound system.

2021 Kia Seltos Exterior

8.0/10

Symbolizing the bold, refined, and confident attitude of this new model is the exterior of the 2021 Kia Seltos. The roof's sculpted lines and dramatic wraparound roofline create a dynamic silhouette. Modern design details are incorporated in this car, like its triple-angle grille and windshield surround. Combined, these attributes create an eye-catching shape that makes the Seltos stand out among other vehicles. 

2021 Kia Seltos SUV 

The Seltos features Kia's signature tiger nose grille, which projects a sleek and powerful presence. The beautifully styled LEDs provide additional illumination and make your vehicle more visible to drivers around you. On the design front, we see elements and aesthetics similar to Land Rovers. Those 18-inch wheeled alloys are fully displayed and draw attention to themselves. It is undeniable that Kia did a commendable job in its styling department.

Models

2021 Kia Seltos

2021 Hyundai Kona

2021 Honda HR-V

2021 Chevrolet Trax

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,087 lbs

3,126 lbs

2,906 lbs

3,146 lbs

Length (inches)

172

164.4

170.4

167.2

Width (inches)

70.9

70.9

69.8

69.9

Height (inches)

63.6

61.6

63.2

66.0

Ground Clearance (inches)

7.3

6.7

7.3

6.2

Wheelbase (inches)

103.5

102.4

102.8

100.6

With a curb weight range of 2,948 to 3,317 pounds, the Kia Seltos is lighter than most of its competitors. In all regards, the 2021 Kona is much smaller even though it shares the same platform as the Seltos. As far as dimensions go, the Honda HR-V continues to be the closest competitor.

Some standout exterior features of the Kia Seltos include:

  • 17/18-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires
  • Projector Beam LED headlights
  • LED DRLs
  • LED Taillights
  • Power-Adjustable Outside Mirrors
  • Heated ORVMs with turn indicators
  • Roof rails
  • Front fog lights
  • Shark-fin antenna

2021 Kia Seltos Safety

8.5/10

As reported by NHTSA, the 2021 Kia Seltos received four stars out of five on its overall safety score while IIHS gave the car Good ratings across all six crash test categories. For the 2021 Seltos, Kia has included a number of advanced active and passive safety features to make it one of the most safe subcompact SUVs on the market. All the safety and driver-assistance features are mentioned below: 

Standard and available safety features include:

  • Smart cruise control
  • Forward Collision Avoidance-Assist
  • Driver Attention Warning 
  • High Beam Assist 
  • Lane Departure Warning 
  • Lane Keeping Assist 
  • Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist-Rear 
  • Rear Occupant Alert 
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Speed limit recognition
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Automatic emergency braking

2021 Kia Seltos Competition

7.5/10

2021 Kia Seltos vs 2021 Hyundai Kona

Choosing a subcompact SUV model from the glut of options available can be challenging, as the Hyundai Kona is a worthy competitor. The two subcompact SUVs that make this list definitely excel in several key purchasing factors. Both the Hyundai Kona and the Kia Seltos will not let you down. When you compare performance, safety, and price, the 2021 Hyundai Kona has the edge. The Kia Seltos is the right pick if comfort, luxury, and looks are your priorities. 

2021 Hyundai Kona

2021 Kia Seltos vs 2021 Chevrolet Trax

The 2021 Kia Seltos is a bigger car in comparison to the 2021 Chevrolet Trax. Although the 2021 Kia Seltos comes with a base MSRP of $21,990, it is slightly more expensive than the 2021 Chevrolet Trax. Its interior and cargo capacity are certainly larger and it has far superior performance compared to the 2021 Chevy Trax, not to mention impressive acceleration figures and excellent gas mileage. Additionally, it gets much more standard interior and safety features.

2021 Chevrolet Trax

2021 Kia Seltos vs 2021 Honda HR-V

Honda's HR-V has been a popular contender in the compact SUV segment for several years now, offering practicality to customers. Kia's recent entry, the Seltos, supersedes the HR-V on all fronts except handling and acceleration. After all, Honda's handling and acceleration are known for being agile even through the toughest terrain. 

2021 Honda HR-V

 

2021 Kia Seltos Final Verdict

8.5/10

The 2021 Kia Seltos might be your best bet if you're looking for a midsize that's as stable as it is comfortable. As with the Kia brand itself, this vehicle strikes the right balance between price, capability, and design. However, there are few performance shortcomings with the Seltos that might tempt you to experiment with the Honda HR-V. With the Kia Seltos, however, you have the possibility of enjoying a comfortable city commute. 

Similar Cars

2021 Hyundai Kona
2021 Hyundai Kona

MSRP: $20,300- $23,500

8.0/10
2021 Honda HR-V
2021 Honda HR-V

MSRP: $20,820- $23,970

7.8/10
2021 Chevrolet Trax
2021 Chevrolet Trax

MSRP: $21,400- $24,700

5.9/10