The fuel-efficient Kia Seltos 2023 is elegant and refined with a touch of robustness
Price: The 2023 Kia Seltos has a starting price of $22,890. The top model, the Kia Seltos SX AWD, starts at $28,249. The destination fee is $1,295.
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Seltos is a practical and stylish choice for small car SUVs. It offers a unique design that is sleek and sophisticated with a touch of sturdiness. This is a versatile SUV with a spacious interior for its small size, impressive Kia specs and excellent safety scores. Four-wheel drive is standard on most trims, which is a nice bonus.
The Seltos competes in a challenging field of subcompact SUVs. Some of its top competitors are the sporty Mazda MZDAY,
CX-30, the off-road capable Subaru FUJHY,
Crosstrek and the inexpensive Chevrolet Trailblazer. All of the above are worth cross-shopping if you’re in the market for a small and affordable SUV.
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2023 Kia Seltos prices
A Kia Seltos LX with AWD starts at $22,840 while the S FWD model starts at $22,890. As an S-AWD model, the 2023 Kia Seltos starts at $24,390. The destination fee is $1,295.
A Kia Seltos Nightfall Edition AWD starts at $27,040 while the EX AWD model starts at $26,140.
Crowning the lineup is the Seltos SX AWD, which starts at $28,340.
The price of the Kia Seltos is average for its class. Pricing is very similar to rivals like the Mazda CX-30, Subaru Crosstrek, and Volkswagen VWAGY.
taos A few options in this class that are a bit more affordable are the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Nissan Kicks, but you can’t get Kicks with AWD.
Driving the Kia Seltos 2023
The base 4-cylinder engine moves the Kia Seltos around nicely. Its power is only adequate, but it’s fuel efficient – thanks in part to the CVT transmission – and it’s strong enough for the daily commute.
The available turbocharged engine is an excellent upgrade if you want a little more oomph in a small SUV. It brings a pretty significant increase in performance with an additional 29 hp and 63 lb-ft of torque over the base engine. There’s a slight fuel penalty, but it’s worth it if you’re looking for lively performance.
The turbocharged engine uses a 7-speed DCT automatic transmission. It’s better for sporty driving than the CVT that comes with the base engine, but downshifting can be a bit slow if you want extra zip.
With the exception of the S trim, every Seltos is equipped with all-wheel drive as standard. The Subaru Crosstrek and Jeep Compass Trailhawk are better off-roaders, but AWD gives the Seltos good all-weather traction and mild off-road capabilities. If you don’t want or need AWD, the S trim with FWD is the most economical variant of the Selto.
The Seltos is agile on city streets and easy to park thanks to its small footprint, but some of its competitors, like the Mazda CX-30, offer sportier handling. As for ride comfort, it’s reasonably smooth and comfortable for motorway cruising, but you might want something with a longer wheelbase if you’re after long-distance comfort.
One of the Kia Selto’s greatest strengths is one of the most spacious interiors in its class. Considering its small size, you might be surprised by the amount of passenger and cargo space in the Seltos. The rear seats offer adult-friendly legroom, and the cargo area offers more than enough room for most drivers’ everyday needs.
The Selto’s interior design is pleasant and upscale for its price. All controls are easy to use and it has one of the most intuitive infotainment systems in its class. Interior materials are quite nice and get nicer as you work your way up the panels. You can’t get real leather seats, but the top trims have premium leatherette seats.
It’s worth noting that the SX Turbo trim is available with a plum interior color package. If you want an SUV with purple seats, this is one of your few options.
The Seltos is an eye-catching SUV that strikes a nice balance between premium and ruggedness. The ride height and skid plates give it a bit of an outdoor look, but the sleek body lines and sharp light signature make it feel modern and high-tech.
The Seltos has some bold color options like Mars Orange and Starbright Yellow. It’s part of the growing trend of contrasting roof and mirror options, with several 2-tone color schemes available.
In terms of size, the Seltos is a subcompact SUV that sits between the smaller Soul and larger Sportage in the Kia range. Its dimensions are similar to those of the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Mazda CX-30 and Jeep Compass.
UVO infotainment system
The infotainment system in the Seltos is user-friendly and packed with features. All but the base LX trim is upgraded to a larger and fancier 10.25-inch screen with navigation.
As part of its range of fun color options, the Seltos offers four two-tone paint finishes with contrasting roofs and mirrors, as well as other unique styling options like purple seats.
The Kia Selto’s base LX trim is well equipped for the money. It uses a 2.0-liter engine with a CVT transmission, and all-wheel drive is standard.
Standard equipment includes an 8-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple AAPL,
CarPlay, a USB port, cloth seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, split-folding rear seats and the basics you’d expect like air conditioning and cruise control.
Standard Kia Drive Wise safety features include Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Rear Occupant Warning, Auto High Beam and Driver Attention Warning.
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Every trim on the Selto except the base LX trim comes standard with a larger 10.25-inch infotainment system with navigation. A few other nice features on all but the base trim level include automatic climate control, remote start, roof rails, and partial or full leatherette seats.
The S trim is the only one available with front-wheel drive, which is nice if you’d rather have better fuel economy than AWD’s enhanced traction.
If you want the exciting turbo engine, it’s standard on the Nightfall Edition and SX Turbo models. The Nightfall Edition comes with an styling package featuring a unique grille and 18-inch wheels, as well as dark exterior accents. It also has blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
The EX model is the top trim level you can get with the base engine. It comes with excellent premium features like a wireless charging pad, full leatherette seats and a power sunroof.
If you want a Seltos that flirts with luxury SUVs, the SX Turbo model offers Bose premium audio, a larger digital instrument cluster, and more safety features like adaptive cruise control (with stop-and-go), Safe Exit Assist, and highway semi-autonomous Driving Assist driving system. It is also available with plum seats, a unique touch.
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engine and gears
Two engines are available under the hood of the Kia Seltos. Most trims are powered by a 2.0-liter inline-4 that produces 146 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. The Nightfall Edition and SX Turbo models use a more robust 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 rated at 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. The base engine uses a CVT (continuously variable transmission) and the turbo engine uses a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic.
All-wheel drive is standard on most trims, but the S trim gives you a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The S FWD model is the most economical version of the Selto. The turbo engine has a slight fuel economy compared to the base engine with AWD, but every Seltos is pretty good on gas.
2.0-liter inline-4 (LX, S, EX)
146 hp at 6,200 rpm
132 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/35 mpg (FWD), 27/31 mpg (AWD)
1.6-litre turbocharged inline-4 (Nightfall Edition, SX Turbo)
175 hp at 6,000 rpm
195 lb-ft of torque at 1,500-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/30 mpg
This story originally continued KBB.com.