Amidst all the expensive and electric vehicles promoted at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show sits the 2021 Kia Seltos subcompact crossover, which is neither. As such, it’s probably of greater interest to a more conventionally minded audience.
2021 Kia Seltos
Kia says the Seltos slots between the subcompact Soul and the compact Sportage in the company’s lineup, and though one might think it’s nearly identical to the Hyundai Kona subcompact crossover (Hyundai and Kia being closely related), the Seltos rides a 1-inch-longer wheelbase and is 8 inches longer overall. As might be expected, Seltos also offers more maximum cargo space: 62.8 cubic feet vs. 45.8.
Seltos offers two powertrains. Standard is a 146-horsepower 2.0-liter four mated to a CVT automatic transmission, with a 175-horsepower 1.6-liter turbo linked to a 7-speed automated-manual transmission also being offered. Either can be paired with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Five trim levels will be available: LX, EX, S 2.0L, S 1.6T, and SX, and Kia says the AWD LX should start at about $22,000 when it goes on sale early next year.
Most expected features will be offered on the Seltos, along with several that aren’t. Among the latter are Blind Spot Avoidance Assist, which not only detects and warns of vehicles coming up alongside, but will steer away from them if an imminent collision is detected. Highway Driving Assist uses speed-limit information and can, under certain circumstances, adjust the car’s speed to be within the limit. Driver Attention Warning senses when the driver is getting drowsy or not paying attention and sends out an audio/visual alert. Lane Following Assist keeps the car within lane markings, while Smart Cruise Control with stop & go will automatically apply the brakes and accelerator to flow with traffic ahead (great for city traffic jams). Rear Cross-Traffic Avoidance Assist not only warns of cross traffic behind the vehicle, but will apply the brakes if you don’t to avoid a collision. Rear Occupant Alert lets the driver know to check the rear seat upon exit, while Safe Exit Assist warns people upon exit if traffic is coming up from behind.
Seltos jumps into the piping-hot subcompact-crossover market with a host of neat new features, what appears to be impressive passenger and cargo space for its size, and a look that’s somewhat akin to that of Kia’s stylish Telluride midsize crossover that debuted earlier this year. With all that going for it, we say … “The more the merrier.”
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