Review and Test Drive: 2021 Kia Seltos SX AWD

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We took the Seltos on the highways and winding roads of the New York metro area and then down to Liberty State Park in the Garden State.  Some of the country roads were in need of paving and the Seltos did a commendable job in minimizing any impact to passengers.

While the Seltos won’t set any speed records, putting the car in sport mode does dramatically change its personality, tightens the steering feel, and improves acceleration by spacing out shift points.

Once underway, it was time to fire up the Bose sound system and see how the mood lighting worked (this was, of course the passenger’s job).  The eight-speaker system, which includes a sub-woofer, sounded really good and, with multiple color settings themes, we were able to find just the right mood lighting for our drives.

Kia’s Drive Wise suite of driver-assistance tech includes lane-departure warning, automatic high beams, and lane-keeping assist, standard on almost all models except for the entry level LX.  Our Seltos also had blind-spot collision avoidance, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, and a rather decent adaptive cruise control system with stop-and-go functionality. Blind-spot collision avoidance prevents the car from colliding into another vehicle in the adjacent lane by warning the driver and controlling the car to avoid such an event from happening. If the system determines a collision is imminent, it will sound audible alerts and apply the brakes to prevent an accident.

At night, the high-beam assistant worked well and the LED projectors light up the road ahead quite nicely.  A rather unique feature we came across is low-beam assist, which adds additional lighting when in low-beam mode to improve forward visibility.

BOTTOM LINE

In looking at Kia’s crossover lineup, one might feel as if Goldilocks were selecting car versus a bowl of porridge.  In the case of the Seltos, we found the new crossover to be “just right” and, taking into consideration its stylish design, well-engineered technology, and spacious interior, would highly commend it to buyers shopping in this segment.

THE DETAILS

2021 Kia Seltos SX AWD
Base price/price-as-tested $27,890/$28,590
Drivetrain Front engine, all-wheel drive
Engine 1.6-liter inline turbocharged four
Horsepower/Torque 175 / 195
Transmission 7-speed dual clutch automatic
Curb weight (lbs) 3,317
Wheelbase (inches) 103.5
Length x width x height (inches) 172 x 70.9 x 64.2
0-60 mph (seconds) (est.) N/A
Fuel economy(mpg) (city/hwy) 25/30

 

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

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