LA Auto Show 2019

Meet the 2021 Kia Seltos, a subcompact SUV with an adventurous spirit

Kia has designed the Seltos to be an urban, suburban, and trail explorer.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Hyundai has the Venue and now Kia has the Seltos, a subcompact SUV that slots into their lineup between the smaller Soul and the bigger Sportage. The SUV is new for the 2021 model year.

Seltos combines the design of Sportage and Soul well, walking the line between funky and functional, assertive and inviting.

2021 Kia SeltosThe model is meant to look more rugged than the Hyundai Venue.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

On the outside, it's easy to see that the Seltos shares a platform with the Venue though Kia's styling is more straightforward and edges toward a customer more apt to enjoy a fresh design approach whereas the Hyundai's look is much safer. Kia has positioned the Seltos as a capable off-roader noting that tits lower front bumper design allows for a sharper approach angle, it has front and rear skid plates and black wheel arch cladding. However, it's also meant to be stylish, sporting dual exhaust pipes with chrome trim, 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels, and red wheel center caps. The Seltos boasts 7.2 inches of ground clearance.

Under its hood is the buyer's choice of the standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder end that produces 146 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque or the available turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers a spirited 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. The larger engine is paired with an intelligent variable transmission and the smaller is mated to a dual clutch transmission.

The Seltos comes with three drive modes: Normal, Eco, Sport. All-wheel drive with torque vectoring control and lock mode are available in higher trim levels.

2021 Kia SeltosBuyers can get the Seltos with all-wheel drive.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The SUV comes with a good list of standard and available equipment. Each model gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen with satellite radio, navigation, and telematics is available, as is an 8-speaker Bose audio system, wireless charging system, three USB ports, and multi-Bluetooth connectivity.

2021 Kia SeltosThe vehicle is at least as nicely appointed as what you'll find in the Sportage.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Seltos boasts a standard 3.5-inch driver information display. In the top trim driver's get a 7-inch display. On Seltos S, EX, and SX models there is leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and sliding front console cover. The top trim level has Bose speakers with six color schemes in the same way that are in the Soul. EX and SX models also have a rear air vent and USB charging port.

The rear seat features two-step recline.

Kia has given the SUV a long list of available safety technology including blind spot monitoring, Safe Exit Assist, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assist.

2021 Kia SeltosA 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen is available.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The 2021 Kia Seltos will be available in LX, EX, S 2.0L, S 1.6L, and SX trim levels. Full pricing details will be available closer to the model's on-sale date but Kia has revealed that LX with all-wheel drive will start below $22,000 and the S with front-wheel drive will have a similar price point.

Kia will sell the SUV in the U.S. starting in early 2020.

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The 2023 Sportage Hybrid starts at around $28,000.

Kia

Kia's moving full steam ahead to an all-electric future, but the automaker's intermediate models should not be overlooked. Kia and Hyundai do hybrids as well as anyone, and the 2023 Sportage Hybrid is coming soon with new tech, updated styling, and a value-forward price. The 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid goes on sale in spring.

2023 Kia Sportage HybridThe Sportage Hybrid delivers up to 39 mpg.Kia

Kia offers the Sportage hybrid in three trims: The $28,505 LX, $32,205 EX, and $37,405 SX-Prestige. All models come with a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine and a 44kW electric motor that combine to produce 226 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission with a rotary shifter is standard, and all-wheel drive become standard at the EX trim. The powertrain is efficient for an SUV, delivering up to 39 mpg when paired with front-wheel drive.

Kia says the Sportage Hybrid's interior features a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster for almost 25 inches of display. Standard tech is generous, and includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There's also plenty of safety tech. Kia adds standard gear that includes:

  • Driver attention warning system
  • LED headlights
  • Lane following assist and lane keep assist
  • Forward collision warnings with cyclist detection
  • Rear occupant alerts
  • Rearview monitor
  • Reverse parking distance warnings
Several optional features are available, including blind spot warnings, forward parking distance warnings, navigation-based cruise control, and more.

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The 2023 Sportage PHEV will land late this year.

Kia

The Sportage is Kia's longest running nameplate, and is entering its fifth generation with a complete redesign for 2023. With it, a new plug-in hybrid variant is on the way, and today Kia outlined specs for the new electrified SUV. The 2023 Sportage PHEV builds on the standard model with decent all-electric range and a frugal electrified powertrain.

2023 Kia Sportage PHEVThe aggressive X-Line package comes standard with all PHEV models. Kia

Two trims will be available: X-Line PHEV AWD and X-Line Prestige AWD. The Sportage PHEV will look and feel a lot like the standard Sportage, which is also all-new for 2023. The big difference here is that the PHEV comes standard with the X-Line package, which adds blacked-out exterior trim and black wheels. Kia overhauled the Sportage line in general with new boomerang LED running lights, a more prominent grille, and a new, more upscale interior.

Power for the Sportage PHEV comes from a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine that makes 177 horsepower. It's paired with a 66.9-kW electric motor and a 13.8-kWh lithium polymer battery. A six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard, and Kia says the battery pack provides enough juice for a 32-mile all-electric range.

As they are for the standard Sportage, several advanced safety features come standard. They include blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, speed limit assist, safe exit warnings, and much more. The top Prestige trim adds a navigation-based cruise control system that uses map data to adjust vehicle speed in response to changing road conditions.

2023 Kia Sportage PHEVThe Sportage PHEV shares many of its features with the standard Sportage. Kia

Kia hasn't elaborated on pricing yet, but we expect the Sportage PHEV to start in the mid-$30,000 range. It's scheduled for release in late 2022, and more information will trickle out close to that time.

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