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2021 Kia Seltos
MSRP Range: $21,990 - $27,890

Pros
  • Plenty of cargo space
  • Upscale interior design and materials
  • Distinct styling and paint color choices add personality
Cons
  • Overly firm ride can get uncomfortable on rougher roads
What's new
  • The 2021 Seltos is an all-new extra-small crossover SUV
  • Slots between the Soul and the Sportage in Kia's lineup
  • Kicks off the first Seltos generation
Select a trim

2021 Kia Seltos Review

The 2021 Kia Seltos is the newest addition to Kia's rapidly growing small crossover SUV lineup. It's a little longer than Kia's Soul but not as big or as expensive as the Sportage. You'll probably like the way it looks since its available two-tone roof and stacked headlight design help it stand out from other extra-small SUVs.

For power the Seltos comes with either a base 146-horsepower engine or a more powerful turbocharged engine good for 175 hp. That engine provides plenty of smooth acceleration for this little SUV. It also offers optional all-wheel drive, which is something you can't get on the Soul, to give it extra traction in bad weather or on dirt roads.

Inside, premium-feeling materials can make it seem like you paid more for the Seltos than you really did. The Seltos is spacious enough for four adults. If you need to haul stuff, you can fold down the rear seats to provide 62.8 cubic feet of cargo space, which is more than most other extra-small SUVs offer.

Like most Kias, the Seltos goes all-in on the tech front. Most of today's advanced driving systems, from forward collision warning to blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control, are available. It also borrows the three-row Kia Telluride's Lane Following Assist feature, which helps keep the Seltos in the center of its lane. Overall, these systems work pretty well, and Kia has also made it easy to disable the systems one by one or all together if you don't like them.

We're less impressed with how the Seltos drives. While it's perfectly fine on the smooth highways, it does get a little too bumpy on rougher roads. There's also quite a bit of tire noise over rough surfaces. On top of that, there's no real sporty benefit that comes about from this lack of comfort.

But overall we like the 2021 Kia Seltos. Along with other popular models such as the Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona and Mazda CX-3, it's an appealing pick for an extra-small crossover SUV.

Which Seltos does Edmunds recommend?

The base LX and S models provide a lot of utility for relatively little money, but we suggest going with the midtier EX model. It offers standard features such as heated seats, blind-spot monitoring and keyless ignition as well as standard all-wheel drive.

Kia Seltos models

The 2021 Seltos is available in five trim levels: LX, S, S Turbo, EX and SX. Standard feature highlights include:

LX
The base Seltos is powered by a 146-hp four-cylinder engine paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and standard all-wheel drive. You also get:

  • 17-inch wheels
  • Keyless entry
  • Tinted rear glass
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • One USB port

S
The S trim starts the same base MSRP as the LX and includes most of the same equipment. Major differences include:

  • Optional (rather than standard) all-wheel drive bundled with heated front seats
  • Foglights
  • Optional two-tone paint
  • Heated mirrors
  • Simulated leather upholstery

You also get these advanced driver safety features:

  • Lane departure warning (alerts you if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane)
  • Lane keeping assist (steers the car back into its lane if it begins to drift over the lane marker)
  • Automatic high beams (can brighten or dim automatically)

S Turbo
As the name implies, the S Turbo is basically a Seltos S with the more powerful turbocharged engine (175 hp). It's paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Unlike the S, all-wheel drive comes standard. Other changes include:

  • 18-inch wheels
  • Exterior trim color changes
  • Standard blind-spot monitoring (alerts you if a vehicle in the next lane over is in your blind spot)
  • Standard rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle behind you is about to cross your vehicle's path while in reverse)

EX
The midtier EX reverts back to the standard 146-hp engine and all-wheel drive. It includes all features from the S trim, plus:

  • Sunroof
  • Leather upholstery with heated front seats
  • Power-adjustable driver's seat
  • Automatic climate control
  • Front and rear USB ports and wireless device charging

SX
The top-of-the-line SX is basically an EX with the turbocharged engine and the S Turbo's styling details. In addition to the EX's features, the SX includes:

  • LED headlights and foglights
  • Optional sunroof
  • Cargo cover
  • 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation
  • Premium Bose audio system
  • Adaptive cruise control (adjusts speed to maintain a constant distance between the Seltos and the car in front)

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 Kia Seltos.

5 star reviews: 69%
4 star reviews: 15%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 16%
1 star reviews: 0%
Average user rating: 4.4 stars based on 13 total reviews

Trending topics in reviews

  • interior
  • appearance
  • spaciousness
  • handling & steering
  • driving experience
  • fuel efficiency
  • value
  • safety
  • technology
  • engine
  • seats
  • dashboard
  • brakes
  • sound system
  • doors
  • infotainment system
  • visibility
  • road noise
  • maintenance & parts
  • oil
  • wheels & tires
  • warranty
  • comfort
  • acceleration
  • ride quality

Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars, Comfortable roomy interior, and nice cargo area.
CAMPJEEP,
SX 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)

I have always been a Jeep owner and will miss the Jeep family. I started out to get a Jeep Compass Limited for my retirement vehicle (since I don't go off-roading anymore). For what I payed for my new 2021 Kia sx turbo I got so much more than expected in value for the cost, like when sitting in the the roomy interior of the kia (I am 6 foot tall, 240 lb ), the styling their with the 10.3-inch navigation screen, all the driver-assistance tech, the Bose premium 8 speaker sound system looks and sounds very nice. Even the speaker grills are shaped like mountains when sitting in there, those comfortable seats for my long legs. Kias warranty. Looking at the exterior I noticed the wheels, the attention to detail in the front and the rear styling, fit and finish of the exterior, the 28% approach and departure angles (OK) not so much for the plastic skid plates front and rear. But it dose make it look a little rugged-looking though. The power from 0 to 60, and that (center differential lock) and torque vectoring for this price point. I wanted to mention the best in class braking 60 to 0, this is just my opinion only. (The 235 tires might have something to do with that.) I am impressed with the ride and how it handles on the rough back roads, there are some pavements that are louder than others but 95% of the time it is very good for its class, it has 235 tires with 18 inch rims and is not as quiet as my 2011 Grand Cherokee Overland (Hemi) ha ha but is almost half the price and I am retired now. It dose get twice the millage though... Remember the tires have a lot to do with road noise, stopping distance, handling and ride, (the width of the tire, its sidewall height and tread compound).

5 out of 5 stars, Love my Seltos S Turbo!!
Land baron ,
S 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)

Just bought new Seltos a week ago. Love this vehicle. AWD, turbo engine, awesome styling and interior and less than $26000.....you have to check this SUV out. Has plenty of front and rear seat leg room. Getting 31mpg hwy 27 city.

5 out of 5 stars, Love-my-kia
Love-my-KIA,
LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

Awesome car drives like a dream. My SUV is smaller but room for all. Great features. So happy with our choice. Awesome moon night blue.

5 out of 5 stars, Perfection on 4 wheels
Jim Watts,
EX 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

NO matter which model you buy, buy the safety pack as well. Purchased a sport+ safety pack. The first 1200 km used 6.1 liters per 100km 50/50 city and freeway driving. Smooth and quiet drive. feels so safe to drive with great height and vision. Yes, the anti-collision works well. ( My son was driving)

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Features & Specs

S 4dr SUV features & specs
S 4dr SUV
2.0L 4cyl CVT
MSRP$21,990
MPG 29 city / 34 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
Horsepower146 hp @ 6200 rpm
See all for sale
SX 4dr SUV AWD features & specs
SX 4dr SUV AWD
1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM
MSRP$27,890
MPG 25 city / 30 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
Transmission7-speed automated manual
Horsepower175 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all for sale
LX 4dr SUV AWD features & specs
LX 4dr SUV AWD
2.0L 4cyl CVT
MSRP$21,990
MPG 27 city / 31 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
Horsepower146 hp @ 6200 rpm
See all for sale
S 4dr SUV AWD features & specs
S 4dr SUV AWD
2.0L 4cyl CVT
MSRP$23,490
MPG 27 city / 31 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
Horsepower146 hp @ 6200 rpm
See all for sale
See all 2021 Kia Seltos features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite Seltos safety features:

Blind-Spot Collision Warning
Warns you of vehicles in the Venue's blind spot and illuminates a light in the mirror as an alert.
Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning
Alerts you of vehicles or objects crossing the Venue's path when reversing.
Driver Attention Warning
Monitors your driving patterns to display an alert if the Venue senses you aren't paying attention to the road.

Kia Seltos vs. the competition

Kia Seltos vs. Hyundai Kona

The Hyundai Kona is one of Edmunds experts' favorite extra-small SUVs. These two share some mechanical similarities, and both offer the same standard and optional engines as well as roughly the same list of features and trims. The Seltos is slightly larger than the Kona, providing a bit more passenger and cargo space. Hyundai also offers a fully electric Kona. Read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Hyundai Kona Electric.

Compare Kia Seltos & Hyundai Kona features

Kia Seltos vs. Honda HR-V

The Honda HR-V is another top pick for an extra-small SUV. We like its spacious and highly versatile interior that seems to pack more pockets and cargo space than the small size would suggest. Our biggest complaint is the HR-V's powertrain. It's a bit buzzy and coarse. It's also a bit lacking in power, making the HR-V slow to accelerate, especially at highway speeds.

Compare Kia Seltos & Honda HR-V features

Kia Seltos vs. Subaru Crosstrek

The Crosstrek is basically a lifted version of the Subaru Impreza hatchback and comes with standard all-wheel drive. Compared to the Seltos, it provides a more comfortable ride and more off-road capability but doesn't have as nice an interior or as much rear legroom. It's a little more expensive too.

Compare Kia Seltos & Subaru Crosstrek features
Kia Seltos for sale

Related Seltos Articles

FAQ

Is the Kia Seltos a good car?
The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 Seltos both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Kia Seltos fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Seltos gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg to 31 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Seltos has 26.6 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Kia Seltos. Learn more
What's new in the 2021 Kia Seltos?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Kia Seltos:

  • The 2021 Seltos is an all-new extra-small crossover SUV
  • Slots between the Soul and the Sportage in Kia's lineup
  • Kicks off the first Seltos generation
Learn more
Is the Kia Seltos reliable?
To determine whether the Kia Seltos is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Seltos. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Seltos's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more
Is the 2021 Kia Seltos a good car?
There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Kia Seltos is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 Seltos is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more
How much should I pay for a 2021 Kia Seltos?

The least-expensive 2021 Kia Seltos is the 2021 Kia Seltos S 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl CVT). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $21,990.

Other versions include:

  • S 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $21,990
  • SX 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) which starts at $27,890
  • LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $21,990
  • S 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $23,490
  • EX 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $25,290
  • S 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) which starts at $25,490
Learn more
What are the different models of Kia Seltos?
If you're interested in the Kia Seltos, the next question is, which Seltos model is right for you? Seltos variants include S 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl CVT), SX 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT), and S 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT). For a full list of Seltos models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 Kia Seltos

2021 Kia Seltos Overview

The 2021 Kia Seltos is offered in the following submodels: Seltos SUV. Available styles include S 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl CVT), SX 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT), S 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT), EX 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT), and S 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM).

What do people think of the 2021 Kia Seltos?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Kia Seltos and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 Seltos 4.4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 Seltos.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Kia Seltos and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 Seltos featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2021 Kia Seltos?

2021 Kia Seltos SX 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 8 2021 Kia Seltos SX 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2021 Kia Seltos S 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 5 2021 Kia Seltos S 4dr SUV AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2021 Kia Seltos S 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 6 2021 Kia Seltos S 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2021 Kia Seltos EX 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 2 2021 Kia Seltos EX 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2021 Kia Seltos S 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 2 2021 Kia Seltos S 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

2021 Kia Seltos LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 2 2021 Kia Seltos LX 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

Which 2021 Kia Seltoses are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Kia Seltos for sale near. There are currently 160 new 2021 Seltoses listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $23,110 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Kia Seltos. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $2,716 on a used or CPO 2021 Seltos available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2021 Kia Seltoss you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Kia Seltos for sale - 4 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $18,686.

Find a new Kia for sale - 12 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $10,783.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 Kia Seltos?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Kia lease specials