Auto123 opinions the brand new 2021 Kia Seltos, and tries that will help you navigate the ever-more advanced market consisting of smaller SUVs.
As buyer demand for SUVs continues to develop – and develop and develop – we shouldn’t be too stunned at automakers’ inventiveness to find locations for brand new segments had been there weren’t any earlier than. Didn’t suppose there was any daylight between the subcompact and compact SUV classes? Assume once more. Prior to now few years we’ve witnessed the delivery of the in-betweenies, the Mazda CX-30s and the Nissan Qashqais and the like (Hyundai, in the meantime, noticed an open spot under its present subcompact mannequin, the Kona, and produced the Venue). All of them, from the teeny Venue to the roomy Qashqai, are “subcompacts”.
See additionally: Comparability: 2020 Hyundai Kona vs 2021 Kia Seltos
However I digress. Reality is, whether or not shoppers knew it or not, they had been primed to welcome a automobile format that gives extra bring-crap-home practicality than a tiny CX-3, for instance, however delivers extra coziness and gas financial system and is healthier suited to city residing than a CX-5. Within the case of Kia, the Korean automaker noticed a possibility within the tight opening between the Niro (small) and Sportage (compact-sized). And it introduced forth, for the 2021 model-year, the Seltos.
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A subcompact that’s a bit bit extra
The brand new 2021 Kia Seltos can be billed as a subcompact, however then so is the Niro (and the Soul, for that matter). So what’s the distinction? Effectively, for starters, the Niro is a hybrid mannequin (additionally obtainable as a PHEV and a full-on EV), so it’s priced a bit increased. As for the Soul, properly its odd seems will not be for everybody, so let’s say these not seeking to get adventurous with their wheels will just like the more-traditional beauty of the Seltos. It’s additionally a helpful train to check the size/capacities of every:
Soul ($23,105) – Niro ($28,755 for the hybrid) – Seltos ($22,995)
Wheelbase – 2,600 mm – 2,700 mm – 2,630 mm
Size – 4,195 mm – 4,355 mm – 4,370 mm
Width – 1,800 mm – 1,805 mm – 1,800 mm
Top – 1,600 mm – 1,535 or 1,545 mm – 1,630 mm
Entrance leg room – 1,044 mm – 1,059 mm – 1,051 mm
Rear leg room – 985 mm – 950 mm – 965 mm
Cargo area – 530 l – 549 l – 752 l
Cargo area (seats down) – 1,758 l – 1,543 l – 1,778 l
From this, we see that the Seltos is barely longer then the others and a bit increased than the Niro, so there’s extra room for heads and an airier really feel to the cabin. Legroom is roughly comparable – the Soul offers the least room for gams up entrance, and essentially the most in again.
However the large distinction is all the way in which within the again, the place the stuff goes in. The Seltos means that you can go for the gusto once you go to Costco, whereas the Niro means you’ll want to stay to your listing. No impulse shopping for.
Impressively, the Seltos can truly accommodate extra cargo with its rear seats down than the bigger Sportage SUV. The flooring has two ranges for extra versatility, and because the rear bench is 60/40 break up fold-down, you’ll be able to nonetheless slot in a 3rd occupant once you wish to transport longer objects.
Actually, it will – or ought to – be a serious promoting level for the mannequin because it makes its method into the market.
Whereas the brand new Seltos positively has its proportions in the appropriate place and is nice to take a look at from entrance, aspect and again, I’d qualify it as fairly somewhat than stunning. The closest factor it has to a daring contact is the wide-grinning diamond entrance grille, whereas the lights each in back and front are suitably slanted to suit the occasions. Total, it’s a neat little bundle that gained’t offend sensibilities whereas managing to keep away from being uninteresting.
The reward for not making the outside shell overly smooth is a roomy, sensible inside setting. I used the Seltos for a four-day highway journey, and the crossover proved loads spacious sufficient to please all 4 occupants. The seats are snug sufficient, although they gained’t coddle occupants into imagining they’re sitting in a luxurious automotive. We did discover the rear ones harsher after a number of hours on the highway than the entrance ones. Rear passengers had no complaints about legroom, nonetheless.
The bottom and EX trims include an 8-inch display screen show, whereas the EX Premium and SX Turbo improve to a 10.25 multimedia display screen; in both case, that display screen perches atop the central console in a method that also makes it seem tacked on as an afterthought. It is a disgrace to see in a brand-new mannequin designed from the bottom up with the data a big display screen was going to function there. A greater integration would have additional enhanced an inside setting that’s fairly stable general due to a simplicity of design and uncluttered dashboard.
You’ll additionally discover a ample variety of storage bins and slots for varied cups, telephones, purses and such sprinkled all through.
The brand new Seltos will get a base 2.0L 4-cylinder engine delivering 146 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque, working with a repeatedly variable transmission (CVT) (which Kia calls Clever as a substitute of Repeatedly. Which is their proper). An choice for these wanting extra is the 1.6L turbo engine included with the SX Turbo trim ($32,595); an enormous benefit of this unit is it comes with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission as a substitute of the IVT.
In between the 2 bookends which can be the bottom mannequin (both FWD or AWD) and the SX Turbo, there sits the Seltos EX model, priced at $27,595 and geared up with AWD and the bottom engine; there’s additionally the EX Premium ($30,595), which provides a bigger display screen and extra tech options (wi-fi charger, extra drive help features, and so on.), together with a power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar help, ventilated entrance seats and heated again seats.
I used to be given an EX for my week-long take a look at, and it got here with the Neptune Blue paint end (an additional $250).
On the highway
Whereas I can’t say the IVT of the brand new Seltos completely eliminates the unpleasantness of that kind of transmission, it does higher than anticipated. Dealing with can be pretty spectacular, the crossover taking curves with out an excessive amount of roll and delivering a decent really feel general. Acceleration is appropriate however nothing to beat your chest about, however then that’s not the purpose of a small, reasonably priced household crossover like this. There’s a drive mode button to play with, however as typical in fashions like this it accomplishes little besides to make the engine screech extra insistently because it holds gears longer; most drivers will quickly overlook all about it, I anticipate.
A part of our highway journey concerned navigating the streets of Quebec Metropolis, a few of that are fairly slim, and admittedly that terrain represented the perfect playground for the small crossover to indicate what it does greatest. The Seltos turns tightly and visibility is excellent due to the upright stance and comparatively massive fenestration (it’s not the Soul, in fact, but it surely’s higher than many others I’ve pushed on this respect).
Official gas consumption scores for the 2021 Seltos are 8.8L/100 km (metropolis), 7.6L/100 km (freeway) and eight.2L/100 km (mixed). Lo and behold, I truly managed to beat these numbers in my highway-heavy week of driving (with Three passengers aboard, bear in mind), and averaged a wonderful 7.4L/100 km. Music to the ears of value-loving motorists…
The Kia Seltos is a stable new addition to the in-betweenie crossover section, avoiding any main missteps because it seeks to win over value-conscious motorists who want a small-family mover that’s nice within the metropolis and good on the freeway. And you’ll load a good ton of stuff within the again (at the least with the seats down).
The long run will inform us extra in regards to the automobile’s efficiency when it comes to reliability, and although I didn’t have event to check the SX Turbo model, I anticipate its dual-clutch transmission and elevated output make it a more-dynamic performer on the highway. Nonetheless, the bottom Seltos acquits itself properly given the mandate it’s given.
Gas financial system
Spacious entrance row
Beneficiant cargo area (second-row seats down)
Fairly priced for the provide
We like much less
IVT can’t overcome its limits
Floating display screen not properly built-in
A bit heavy on plastic components inside
Middling acceleration from the timid base engine
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