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$23,165
Starting MSRP
$23,342
Starting Mkt Avg
TrueCar Rating
Owner Rating
Pros

Good fuel economy. Plenty of cargo room. Affordable starting price.

Cons

Unimpressive base engine. No automatic emergency braking on the base trim.

Verdict

Buyers looking for a sleek and stylish compact crossover with all-wheel drive will find plenty to like about the 2021 Kia Seltos. It has ample room for cargo and passengers and a starting price that makes it affordable for those on a budget.

Pros

Good fuel economy. Plenty of cargo room. Affordable starting price.

Cons

Unimpressive base engine. No automatic emergency braking on the base trim.

Verdict

Buyers looking for a sleek and stylish compact crossover with all-wheel drive will find plenty to like about the 2021 Kia Seltos. It has ample room for cargo and passengers and a starting price that makes it affordable for those on a budget.

Overview

The 2021 Kia Seltos joins the Kia lineup as an all-new model this year with seating for five passengers, a choice of two engines, and a sleek exterior design. Priced for tight budgets, it starts at $23,165, topping out at $29,165. The base 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder is paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission. This combination is adequate but underwhelming. The available 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission is a better choice thanks to its increased horsepower and torque, making for a more engaging drive.

It competes in the subcompact crossover category against the Chevrolet Trailblazer, which has less cargo room and a higher starting price but more horsepower than the base Seltos engine. There's also the Hyundai Kona, which again falls short when it comes to cargo capacity but includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection as a standard feature across the lineup.

What's New for 2021

The 2021 Kia Seltos is a new model in the Kia lineup. It sits just above the Kia Soul, which is more affordable but does not offer all-wheel drive.

2021 Kia Seltos Trim Comparison

Standard
Optional
Unequipped

* Additional Options Available

Standard
Optional
Unequipped

* Additional Options Available

Starting MSRP

Starting Market Average

MPG

Engine

Blind Spot System

Lane Keep Assist

Moonroof

Front Heated Seats

Cruise Control

Climate Control

Proximity Keyless Entry

Bluetooth

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Apple CarPlay

Android Auto

Wheel Size

Starting MSRP

$23,165*

Starting MSRP

$23,165

Starting MSRP

$26,565

Starting MSRP

$26,765

Starting MSRP

$29,165

Starting Market Average

$23,273

Starting Market Average

$23,338

Starting Market Average

$26,705

Starting Market Average

$26,656

Starting Market Average

$29,180

MPG

29 city/34 hwy*

MPG

27 city/31 hwy

MPG

27 city/31 hwy

MPG

25 city/30 hwy

MPG

25 city/30 hwy

Engine

2.0L I4

Engine

2.0L I4

Engine

2.0L I4

Engine

1.6L I4 Turbo

Engine

1.6L I4 Turbo

Blind Spot System

Blind Spot System

Blind Spot System

Blind Spot System

Blind Spot System

Lane Keep Assist

Lane Keep Assist

Lane Keep Assist

Lane Keep Assist

Lane Keep Assist

Moonroof

Moonroof

Moonroof

Moonroof

Moonroof

Front Heated Seats

Front Heated Seats

Front Heated Seats

Front Heated Seats

Front Heated Seats

Cruise Control

Cruise Control

Cruise Control

Cruise Control

Cruise Control

Climate Control

Climate Control

Climate Control

Climate Control

Climate Control

Proximity Keyless Entry

Proximity Keyless Entry

Proximity Keyless Entry

Proximity Keyless Entry

Proximity Keyless Entry

Bluetooth

Bluetooth

Bluetooth

Bluetooth

Bluetooth

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Bluetooth Streaming Audio

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay

Android Auto

Android Auto

Android Auto

Android Auto

Android Auto

Wheel Size

17"

Wheel Size

17"

Wheel Size

17"

Wheel Size

18"

Wheel Size

18"

Trims and Pricing

Kia offers the 2021 Seltos in five trims: LX, S, EX, S Turbo, and SX Turbo. All-wheel drive is standard on all but the S trim.

Priced at $23,165 (including a $1,175 destination fee), the LX gets the base 2.0-liter engine, 17-inch wheels, cloth seats, air conditioning, an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

The S is the only trim with standard front-wheel drive. It adds front fog lights, roof rails, rear center armrest cupholders, combination cloth and leatherette seat trims, and forward-collision avoidance assist. It starts at $23,165, or $24,765 with all-wheel drive.

The EX ($26,565) adds LED interior lighting, full leatherette seat trims, a 10-way power driver's seat, heated front seats, and automatic climate control.

The S Turbo ($26,765) steps up to the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine. It also gets 18-inch alloy wheels, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. The S Turbo is our recommendation due to the added safety features and more powerful engine.

The SX Turbo ($29,165) keeps the turbo engine and adds LED front fog lights, a two-tone roof, a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen, and Bose premium audio. It's a good value compared to the top trims of competitors such as the Jeep Renegade and Subaru Crosstrek.

This is what others paid nationwide for a 2021 Kia Seltos S
How to Use the TrueCar Price Graph

The TrueCar Price Graph shows you new car sales data in a way that helps you easily recognize a fair price for a vehicle similar to the one you want. The vertical bars represent what people in your area recently paid for similar vehicles. These transactions don’t include dealer documentation, administrative, or similar processing fees.

How to Use the TrueCar Price Graph

The TrueCar Price Graph shows you new car sales data in a way that helps you easily recognize a fair price for a vehicle similar to the one you want. The vertical bars represent what people in your area recently paid for similar vehicles. These transactions don’t include dealer documentation, administrative, or similar processing fees.

  • What is MSRP?

    MSRP stands for Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price, sometimes also known as the sticker price. Because this price is only a suggestion, a dealer can choose to sell a vehicle above—or, more often, below—MSRP.

  • What is Market Average?

    Based on actual recent transactions other buyers have made, the Market Average shows you the average price others paid for vehicles similar to the one you want, while taking into account that most of these vehicles have different option combinations from the ones you specified.

  • Statewide, Regional, and National Data

    If there are insufficient transactions in your area, we calculate your Market Average by gathering statewide, regional, or national data. Because this data can come from a large geographical area it may not be as representative of your local market.

MSRP
$23,165
Market Average
$23,342
Compared to MSRP
0.8% above
Customize Yours
Excellent Price
Great Price

4% off - 1% above MSRP

$22,163 - $23,474

Fair Price
High Price
55
sales
151
sales
101
sales
43
sales
Select Style
Nationwide Data

This graph helps you recognize a fair price for the Kia Seltos by displaying national new car sales transactions from the past 30 days. This data can come from a large geographical area, so may not be as representative of your local market. The prices have been normalized to account for transactions involving different configurations of this model.

Engine and Performance

The Kia Seltos provides a choice of two powertrains. The base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission. It delivers 146 horsepower with 132 pound-feet of torque. Those are meager numbers that translate into lackluster performance on the road for the base engine. The Seltos is far more enjoyable to drive when equipped with the optional 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder paired with a seven-speed automatic. We like the shift feel and reduced noise of the seven-speed automatic transmission, and the extra power makes it more responsive. This engine delivers 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque for quicker acceleration that outperforms competitors such as the Honda HR-V and Subaru Crosstrek. The ride is smooth even over rough road surfaces regardless of the engine, and the Seltos handles well with crisp steering and solid braking. City dwellers will appreciate its compact dimensions. Whether navigating narrow, congested streets or parking in tight spots, the Seltos makes city driving easy.

Fuel Economy

The most fuel-efficient version of the Kia Seltos is equipped with a 2.0-liter engine and front-wheel drive. The Environmental Protection Agency rates it at 29 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. With all-wheel drive, the numbers fall to 27 city/31 highway. The 1.6-liter turbocharged version drops lower to 25 city/30 highway. Both the Honda HR-V and Hyundai Venue are more fuel-efficient options.

2021 Kia Seltos Exterior Photos

Interior

The Kia Seltos has an attractive and comfortable interior with plenty of soft-touch surfaces. Good-quality cloth and leatherette seat trim make the cabin look more upscale than expected for the price. Front seating is supportive and comfortable with ample adjustability, especially when equipped with the 10-way power driver's seat. Although the Seltos is a five-passenger vehicle, the rear seat would feel tight for three adults.

There's room for cargo with 26.6 cubic feet behind the rear seats or 62.8 cubic feet with the rear seats folded to their nearly flat position. The Seltos offers more cargo capacity than the Hyundai Kona or Subaru Crosstrek. The drawback is a smaller rear hatch opening that might not accommodate larger cargo.

Infotainment and Connectivity

Infotainment in the Kia Seltos is straightforward and easy to use with a standard 8-inch touchscreen and smartphone connectivity through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A six-speaker audio system and USB multimedia port are also standard features. The SX adds a premium eight-speaker Bose audio system and a 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation. Wi-Fi connectivity is not included in any Seltos trim but is available in the Chevrolet Trailblazer.

2021 Kia Seltos Interior Photos

Safety

The Kia Seltos earned a four-star rating in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ([NHTSA])(https://www.nhtsa.gov/vehicle/2021/KIA/SELTOS/SUV/AWD)) crash tests, which is one step below a perfect five-star rating. It earned a top rating of "Good" in all Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash tests and was awarded a "2021 Top Safety Pick" designation. All but the base trim include forward-collision warning with automatic braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and lane-following assist. Top trims add blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert.

Kia Seltos vs. the Competition

There's no shortage of competition in the compact-crossover class. Priced below the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Hyundai Kona, the Kia Seltos stands out for its unique styling and attractive, comfortable interior. The widely available all-wheel drive gives it added appeal. However, the Seltos falls short on safety not for its crash tests but on feature availability, which is especially limited on base trims. Overall, the Kia Seltos is worth a test drive.

Kia Seltos Owner Reviews

Based on 56 Reviews
Overall Satisfaction
4.8
Performance
5.0
Comfort
4.0
Fuel Efficiency
4.0
Safety Technology
5.0
Features
4.0
All Reviews
5.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
Fuel Efficiency
4.0
Safety Technology
5.0
Features
4.0
pros
The styling especially the front is very modern. Love the LED lights. The seat height and comfort of the driver's seat are done well. Door opening is not awkward as in some other smaller SUVs I tested. The 10-inch display is a great addition to this trim level. The safety features seem to be on par with any other vehicle in its class including luxury models. adaptive cruise control works well.
cons
Passenger seat should be a power seat as well. Some plastic could have been covered with a softer material on the dash. Remote starting process is not working well for me. Powered liftgate would have been a nice addition. Apple/Android compatibility is good, but the wireless connection would have been better ( like Trailblazer does).
Submitted by Steven T on Jan 25, 2021|2021 Kia Seltos SX 1.6T AWD|Purchased on Dec 2020
5.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
5.0
Fuel Efficiency
4.0
Safety Technology
5.0
Features
5.0
pros
It's the prefect size - very nimble and easy to park in the city, and plenty of space for people and cargo. The self-driving features work impressively well, and take a lot of stress out of highway driving.
cons
The only thing I don't love is that accelerating from a stop is a bit slow and jerky as the transmission fumbles with the gears. Once you get up to 30 or so, it gets much quicker and smoother. This is specifically for the SX trim, which has a dual clutch transmission, the others have CVT.
Submitted by Taylor B on Jan 18, 2021|2021 Kia Seltos SX 1.6T AWD|Purchased on Dec 2020
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
Fuel Efficiency
4.0
Safety Technology
5.0
Features
4.0
pros
Good value, drives nice, sunroof, led lights
cons
It’s a 2021 and the Trunk is not auto open There is NO GPS, unless you plug your phone into it using a USB cord which is annoying
Submitted by M W on Jan 13, 2021|2021 Kia Seltos EX 2.0 AWD|Purchased on Dec 2020

2021 Kia Seltos FAQs

The Kia Seltos debuted for the 2021 year, a compact SUV slotting in size and price between the Kia Soul and Kia Sportage. Like these models, the Seltos offers a roomy interior, sporty handling, and one of the best warranties in its segment. The optional 10.3-inch infotainment system is one of the largest in its class, and the Seltos includes driver-assistance features, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto for under $22,000. It's this focus on value, tech, and practicality that makes the new Kia Seltos worth checking out.

Pricing for the 2021 Kia Seltos starts at $21,990 for the LX trim level with standard all-wheel drive. It comes well-equipped for a compact SUV, with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, cloth upholstery, and a suite of driver safety aids. Kia includes a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. There are five trim levels in all, with upper trims including a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine for quicker acceleration. The top-of-the-line SX Turbo retails from $27,990, with heated front seats, a Bose premium audio system, and wireless smartphone charging.

Though both models fall within the compact SUV category, the Kia Sportage is slightly larger than the all-new Kia Seltos crossover. The current Sportage is 176.4 inches long, 73 inches wide, and 64.4 inches high. Meanwhile, the Seltos is slightly smaller in each of these dimensions, measuring 172 inches in length, 70.9 inches in width, and 63.6 inches tall. The Sportage also weighs 3,305 lbs, making it heavier than the 2,948-lb Seltos.

The Kia Seltos is produced in Gwangju, South Korea, with some parts and assembly coming from other locations. Kia vehicles are manufactured primarily in South Korea, which is where the company's headquarters is located. Still, the business maintains design and manufacturing facilities in the US and other parts of the world.

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The Starting Market Average is a proprietary mathematical calculation based on actual recent transactions. It provides a statistically accurate understanding of what other buyers are paying for the least expensive configuration of this vehicle. Adjustments to the calculation beyond make, model, and trim are normalized based on detailed, anonymized transaction information. This accounts for the fact that most or all recently-sold vehicles included different option combinations. The data underlying the Starting Market Average calculation are filtered for extreme outliers and subjected to a weighted averaging process that considers factors such as the recency of transactions and the timing of data lags. In certain instances, the calculated result is adjusted to take account of abrupt changes in the market that may not yet be fully reflected by recent transaction prices. In all cases where the Starting Market Average is shown there is sufficient sample size and transaction detail to be statistically reliable.