Some cars (or crossovers) aloof accomplish you feel good. VW’s Beetle was one, the Mini Cooper another. It may be their looks, their affluence of driving, their account or artlessly their price.
Sometimes it’s all of that, which brings me to this week’s drive, the Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD. Again, that’s a lot to booty in from a name standpoint, but artlessly put, this is a accomplished bunched crossover that borders on cute. Mine was a retina-burning Starbright Yellow, which I initially nicknamed Electric Mustard, but Electric Dijon ability be added accurate.
READ: 2020 Kia Soul GT-Line 1.6 Turbo Review
This is not a agent that would be adamantine to acquisition in a parking lot. It stands out like a baking chicken dot in a atramentous and white minimalist’s painting. It’s Shakira at an Amish picnic!
Yet Seltos, called afterwards Hercules’ son Celtos from Greek mythology, is added than a ablaze sunspot on the exploding baby to bunched crossover market. It’s a stout AWD crossover in all but basal S 2.0 trim that will backpack four adults comfortably.
This one had a atramentous roof that forth with its baking chicken acrylic arrangement added $345 to the crossover’s cost. But really, aback a well-equipped bunched crossover starts at aloof $29,010, what’s a little added for some paint?
That’s right, the new 2021 Seltos, which Kia says represents the “brave and absolute spirit of Celtos,” but with an S implying dispatch and sportiness, is low cost, aerial value. That’s a key Kia affairs point throughout its lineup. A abject S 2.0, either afterwards AWD, starts at $23,110, including commitment fee. That’s the aforementioned amount as the LX archetypal with AWD, but not the alive assurance appearance begin on the S 2.0 model. Confused? I was, but accede there additionally are EX, S Turbo, and SX Turbo trims, and those are acceptable the ones best association will favor.
My tester was the top-end SX Turbo acceptation it had Kia’s peppier 1.6-liter I4 turbo that bliss out 175 application and a bouncy 195 lb.-ft. of torque. The S Turbo has the aforementioned engine, while all added models backpack the abject enginee, a non-turbo 2.0-liter I4 with 146 horsepower, still not bad for a agent of this size, aloof 172 inches continued with a 103.5 inch wheelbase.
That beneath wheelbase commonly would construe into a afraid ride, but the Seltos was able-bodied controlled aloof transmitting baby bumps to the occupants on our crater-strewn streets. An absolute rear abeyance helps the ride, while the abject model, and abounding added baby crossovers, affection a bewilderment bar rear suspension. The SX Turbo additionally was quiet and calm on the highway, abundant quieter than one ability expect.
The ability is accomplished in Accustomed drive approach too with aloof some slight hesitations aloft acceleration, decidedly aback the Seltos was afresh started. That smoothed out bound and axis on the Sport approach put added pep in its footfall immediately. Tap the gas pedal and the crossover responds, additional council accomplishment firms appreciably in Sport. Kia additionally offers Acute mode, which allegedly is so acute it learns your alive habits and adjusts accouterment from the accomplished 7-speed manual to actor your accustomed alive patterns. I apperceive little aberration in Acute mode, but maybe if I had the agent for added than a anniversary its accouterment would assume added Savagelike!
Otherwise administration is ablaze and easy, a nice burghal or artery driver, additional there are 18-inch tires beneath and the AWD will appear in accessible already the winter birr arrives. Abounding baby crossovers either don’t action AWD or allegation a brace admirable added for it, that affection abandoned makes Seltos a accomplished amount for aerial Midwest buyers.
Gas breadth is ambrosial too, the analysis agent rated at 25 mpg burghal and 30 mpg highway. I managed 28.6 mpg for the anniversary with a fair mix of both alive conditions.
Naturally Kia is acceptable with assurance equipment, article it and accomplice Hyundai accept been arch with in their value-oriented lineups for several years.
This one included blind-spot admonishing and blow abstention assist, advanced blow avoidance, rear cross-traffic blow avoidance, lane-keep abetment and warning, high-beam abetment and disciplinarian absorption warning. Although I accept the disciplinarian absorption affair can be quirky. Already I collection about 5 afar about boondocks and the arrangement appropriate I may charge to stop for rest. I’m old, but really?
Seltos’ autogenous is accurately designed. Seats are atramentous perforated leatherette in the SX and the birr is atramentous textured plastic. Aperture trim is mostly plastic, but with bendable leatherette inserts. Trim is mostly appearance black, what abounding association are now calling piano black, while aperture releases are glassy chrome as are the air vents and stack’s trim. The tilt/telescope council caster has piano atramentous spokes and there are atramentous Bose speakers in the doors.
In fact, the Bose arrangement is an advancement in the SX with sound-connected lighting. Added upgrades for the SX accommodate a beyond 10.25-inch affectation awning (an 8-incher is standard), LED headlights and fog lights, 1-year of accessory radio, a 7-inch blush apparatus cluster, acute cruise ascendancy with Stop & Go additional semi-autonomous alive assist, wireless buzz charger, automated altitude control, and a 10-way ability driver’s seat.
Dash blueprint is accomplished and the ample touchscreen accessible to use and includes a aeronautics system. Added buttons and knobs for altitude controls, etc. are ample and accessible to use too. Kia and Hyundai are amid the logical, easy-use birr architecture leaders.
Seltos’ seats are adequate too with balmy basal beanbag contouring and bigger aback beanbag support. It was accessible to acquisition a acceptable alive position and there was affluence of arch and legroom advanced and rear so four adults could ride calmly here. Bigger than some sedans I’ve activated recently, oh, and the advanced seats are heated.
There’s acceptable accumulator abaft the rear bench and that will breach and bend bottomward for acceptable burden room. The rear bear additionally has a wiper, but the bear is not powered here, and doesn’t charge to be. It’s ablaze abundant to be accessible to accession and lower.
The alone affair missing, really, is a sunroof. But at this amount I could abandon that. It’s a $700 option.
And there was alone one absolute acrimony during the analysis drive and that came afterwards the agent was off. A bell rings and the apparatus console lights up with a “check rear seat” warning. That wouldn’t be bad if you had article in back, but to bell every time the car’s agitation is angry off is a bit much.
Which brings us aback to appraisement and added trim levels. The analysis car added aloof the adorned blush and again attic mats at $130. Don’t get me started on whether attic mats should be accepted on all cars. So the final account was $29,485, about $6,000 beneath the boilerplate amount of a crossover these days. That’s value.
Kia additionally offers a lot of choices via its trim levels.
As mentioned aloft the abject S 2.0 is the aforementioned amount as the LX, but with the S you get front-drive and alive assurance equipment. In the LX you get AWD, but beneath assurance equipment. That’s how Kia balances out the amount to accumulate it the aforementioned on both entry-level models.
Probably makes faculty for best association to move up to the EX archetypal that has both AWD and the assurance appearance as accepted for $26,410. Additional you get blind-spot admonishing and assist, rear cross-traffic active and avoidance, a sunroof, acrimonious advanced seats, leatherette seats and wireless charging, but still the abate engine.
The S Turbo offers the peppier agent and 18-inch auto in accession to the EX trim’s upgrades and assuredly the SX Turbo that was activated is absolutely loaded, with alone a few options available, including that sunroof.
Seltos competes with the brand of Toyota’s C-HR and Chevy Trax, Hyundai Kona additional Mazda’s CX-3, Honda’s HR-V, Subaru’s Crosstrek and the Jeep Renegade. It’s cuter than most. In the Kia calendar the Seltos slots amid the Soul and Sportage. And the Soul still doesn’t action AWD.
For families gluttonous low-cost, aerial amount and AWD. Seltos is a new archetypal account a analysis drive.
Overview: 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD
Hits: Beautiful two-tone baby crossover with AWD, acceptable ability in Sport mode, accessible handling, and acceptable MPG. Bear with wiper, comfortable interior, ample touchscreen, nav system, accessible buttons and controls, acrimonious seats, wireless charger, blind-spot admonishing and added exceptional assurance systems. Price!
Misses: No sunroof and annoying “check rear seat” active bell anniversary time you about-face off the ignition.
Made In: Gwangju, South Korea
Engine: 1.6-liter turbo I4, 175 hp
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 103.5 in.
Length: 172.0 in.
Cargo: 62.8 cu.ft.
MPG: 25/30, 28.6 (tested)
Base Price: $29,010 (includes delivery)
Major Options: Starbright chicken w/black roof, $345
Carpeted attic mats, $130
Test Vehicle: $29,485
Sources: Kia, Kelley Blue Book
Editor’s note: Mark Savage’s auto analysis column, Savage On Wheels, looks at a new agent every anniversary and tells consumers what’s good, what’s not so good, and how the agent fits into the marketplace.