2021 KIA Seltos SX Price, Specs, Dimensions – Here in America, SUVs are the king of sales. And for the longest time, Kia had one of the smallest SUV lineups to choose from. Starting with the original Sportage, back in the 1990’s and expanding to the mid-size Sorento a few years later. Now thankfully, Kia added the hot selling Telluride to the lineup last year. Internally Kia likes to call the telluride the sell you ride. Because it has been one hot selling car where dealers can’t keep enough of them in stock.
This is why I’m out here in San Antonio, Texas, with an all-new baby entry into the lineup. Meet the 2021 Kia Seltos, it’s based on the same underpinnings as the Hyundai Kona. It is available, of course, with all-wheel drive, a turbocharged engine, and it has a look that really stands out in the always growing subcompact SUV segment. So the big question, I want to insert with this sell you ride taking up the spotlight in Kia’s lineup. Has the company managed to capture that same swag from its big brother in the Seltos that orders to find out?
2021 KIA Seltos SX Changes
So Kia has been in desperate need of a smaller SUV like the Seltos for years. And when the company first unveiled this vehicle in LA last November. I was pretty blown away with the design. Just like the Big Brother Telluride, it has a certain swag to it it. Actually, it has more as a Land Rover Range Rover looks to it. Whereas the Telluride looks like a big Daddy Range Rover, this kind of reminds me of the evoke. And of course, it has the traditional Kia styling on elements here.
With some new details, the tiger-nose girl, of course, is very prominent at the front fascia. You have these diamond patterns here in the upper and lower portion. This star bright yellow color also is unique to the SX trim that I’m showing you here. And it really pops in the sunlight, in fact sometimes it kind of looked a little bit more like green color. But I have to say it looks really good, especially with the contrast black roof that you get. Which is optional on the SX trim.
Now looking over here at the headlights, you can see this SX trim here has full LED headlights. You’ll have LED low and high beams. And LED turns signal and LED daytime running lights and LED fog lights. This is the only trim to get LED headlights. If you guys are looking for the lower trims like that S Model over there. You’ll have a halogen projector headlight for the low and high beams and for the fog lights. But Kia will at least throw in the LED daytime running lights if you guys go for the base trim of this model.
Now looking at the rest of the profile of the Altos. I can see, or you can see that the key also made this car look very attractive. From the two-tone roof to the way the wheels look. I especially like the wheels on this SX trim. They’re an 18-inch design wrapped in 235 with tires, they’re about 20 millimeters wider than some of the competition. More specifically, the new Mazda CX 30, which has much narrower tires. Kia also likes the point of the fact that they put a red Center cap in here to kind of break up the machine look. And the gray look of the wheel it just looks very distinctive. So it doesn’t have kind of that boring look that you find in a lot of the other vehicles in the segment.
Now in terms of the overall length, the Seltos is about 5 inches longer than the Soul. But about 4 inches shorter than the Sportage. So this is right smack in the middle of the subcompact segment. At 172 inches long, this is a little bit longer than something like the HRV. But about the same size as the Subaru Crosstrek and the Mazda CX30. Now you can see at the back of this vehicle it also has some pretty distinctive style elements.
And if you guys go for the S trims and up, Kia will throw in full LED taillights. Which is definitely a nice addition. You don’t have to go for this top trim to get that premium touch. I don’t particularly like the fact that Kia has gone with the whole fake exhausting here. Where it kind of looks like exhaust in the rear bumper. But like every other SUV the rear bumper, there’s some cladding. Here this car has roughly around 7.3 inches of ground clearance.
And if you guys go for the all-wheel-drive trims like this one. You’ll get a fully independent rear suspension was also a nice addition. Now I was expecting Kia to also throw in a power liftgate, but it’s not available. Most vehicles in the segment don’t offer that feature. But it actually has a surprisingly good amount of cargo space. The HRV has always been the class leader for me because it’s based on the Honda Fit.
But Kia says you get around 26 cubic feet of space back here with the second-row seats up. If you fold everything down, you get around 63 cubic feet of space. Now that number is actually about nine cubic feet more than what you get in the HRV. Which has those fancy magmatic seats that fold completely flat? This car also has that same feature, and you can also adjust the load floor, then underneath here, you can see Kia also gives you a temporary spare tire.
So obviously Kia really knocked it out of the park on the outside of the Altos. But what about the interior now, first getting inside and shutting the door. It has a really solid funk to it. So again, the really impressive impression of quality that you get with this all-new Altos. Now, this SX trim that I’m showing you is the most expensive.
It also has the most tech, as you can see here, it’s got a massive ten and a quarter inch touchscreen display here. This is the UVO infotainment system, as you can see. This is the only trim to get the bigger ten and a half-inch display. All the other ones will come standard with an 8-inch display. Android auto and apple car play are going to be standard at least now. In terms of the rest of these materials in here, the Seltos looks very premium, which is nice.
And then on the door panels here it’s actually a hard touch plastic material. Which is a little disappointing? But on the lower portion here, you have a padded armrest, this nice little grab handle. And then the windows are OneTouch up-and-down for only the driver window. I was hoping here would also make it for the passenger side window as well. And then this SX trim also includes these leather seats. Which are just heated with three levels?
The steering mods you can see it’s the same steering wheel that we get on the forte. It also has a tilt and telescoping feature. No heated steering well, I imagine some markets may offer that. This 2021 KIA Seltos SX also includes this 7-inch Supervision LCD display in between the analog tachometer and speedometer. And overall it’s a very nice environment here. I really like the way it feels. It feels more upscale.
2021 KIA Seltos SX Engine
In terms of safety tech peace, Seltos is available with all of the modern active safety suites that you can get on its competitor. However, it should be noted that if you want features like adaptive cruise control with full stop and goal and bicycle detection. You need to go for this top SX trim.
The electronics sensor for the adaptive cruise control is kind of fleshly mounted underneath the grille. And then you can also find some of the cameras in the windshield. Unlikely competitors, if you guys go for a base model of the Seltos, it will have automatic emergency braking. But if you want everything, including blind-spot detection. You need to move up to the EX trim. And then go to this trim if you want adaptive cruise control.
Now under the hood of the all-new Seltos, unlike most of the competition. Kia actually gives you a choice of engines here. And you can even get a turbocharged engine. Most of the competitors come with naturally aspirated four cylinders with a CVT. Now don’t get me wrong Kia will sell you that if you want a base trim. The base engine is the 2-liter four-cylinder that runs on the Atkinson cycle. It makes 146 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. You guys know that engine in the Kia Forte. It’s paired with their intelligent variable transmission, which is a CVT.
It’s actually one of the best CVT on the market. Very responsive, very smooth that it gets very good gas mileage 29 the city 34 on the highway. You can take your pick between either front-drive or all-wheel drive on that specific trim. Now, of course, if you guys go for the S trims and up, you’ll get a 1.6-liter turbo version. Now on the S trim, the turbo is optional; it’s like 1500 bucks extra. Standard on this SX, it makes 175 horsepower and 195 foot-pounds of torque. That makes it one of the most torque-rich engines in the segment.
And Kia also gets rid of that CVT and instead replaces it with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. All-wheel drive is going to be standard if you guys go for the turbo engine. This one here fuel economy is rated at 25 in the city 30 on the highway. So still relatively good numbers regular gas is recommended for both the nonturbo and this turbocharged engine. As this one sits, it weighs around 3,300 pounds. So this is a good 300 pounds heavier than something like the Kia Soul.
2021 KIA Seltos SX Price and Release Date
So just like the big brother Telluride. Kia has managed to build a subcompact SUV that feels slightly more upscale and premium versus most of the mainstream competition. Really the new Seltos for me is probably my new favorite in terms of the subcompact SUV segments. Simply because Kia offers a choice between a naturally aspirated engine.
Or that lovely turbo engine with that dual-clutch transmission. I love the design of this thing, especially if you guys go for the SX trim. In this star bright yellow exterior color. And unlike the Kona, which is a little bit smaller. But based on the same platform as the Altos. This is a little bit bigger on the outside. Which means it’s also a little bit bigger on the inside.
It actually has more space on the inside to me versus the Honda HRV. Which I have always been the space leader in the segment? But always didn’t have the powertrain that I liked. Really in terms of the competition, the Subaru Crosstrek is the best-selling along with the Jeep Renegade.
I think Kia definitely has a new hot entry in the segment that I think a lot of people are going to pick. I think a lot of people are also going to choose this over the Soul. Because it’s kind of like a little bit larger. But it has that SUV higher seating position and the availability of all-wheel drive. Which is something you can’t get on the Soul?
So if you’re looking to buy the all-new 2021 KIA Seltos SX, what’s it gonna cost? While this car is already on sale right now. And Kia has a starting price of twenty-one thousand nine ninety for the base LX model. Now the LX model actually comes standard with all-wheel drive. And there are essentially two base versions for just under twenty-two thousand dollars.
You can also go to the S trim, which has a little bit more technology on the inside. A little bit more upscale features on the outside for the same price. However, Kia downgrades u2 front-wheel drive for the same price. All-wheel drive is about fifteen hundred dollars extra on the S trim if you guys want to add that.
Now Kia says they made that the vehicle like that. Because they didn’t want this car to cannibalize on Soul sales. Because Seoul, as you guys know, starts at under eighteen thousand dollars. So this is about four thousand dollars more than Soul. But also a couple of thousand dollars less expensive than the Kia Sportage.
Now, this particular one here is the fully loaded SX trim. Which isn’t as expensive as you think. Kia says their volume seller will probably be the $25,000 EX trim. Which includes most of the safety and tech features that people want. But this one here as it sits with the two-tone roof. Add about seven hundred dollars more if you guys want to add in a sunroof. Which you cannot get with the two-tone roof option. Which will essentially drop the price by about four hundred dollars compared to this one?
Compared to the competition, this is around the same price. And Honda HRV will probably cost the same amount of money. The Mazda CX 30, which I just drove, is right around the same money. But I would argue that these have a little bit more of a more premium feel when you look at the overall look. Especially with that turbo engine. And I also like the dual-clutch and just the interior design in this space.