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One of the latest entrants to the subcompact segment is the Kia Seltos, an all-new design for 2021 from the respected South Korean automaker. The preview models have generated plenty of media excitement, but does the final release live up to expectations? Read on to find out.
As you'd expect from a subcompact, the Seltos is very much at the smaller end of the SUV size range, with an exterior almost closer to a hatchback than a regular SUV. Nonetheless, the hood and grille are both high and imposing, lending the Seltos an overall air of traditional SUV confidence.
But despite the small frame size, the cabin is surprisingly roomy, seating four adults with ease and still leaving plenty of cargo space behind the second row. And of course, for families, the second row will seat three children comfortably, including ample room for child seats.
There are two powertrain configurations offered for the 2021 Seltos release. The standard engine is a capable 2.0L model pushing out 146 horsepower to front-wheel drive, via a smooth continuously variable transmission.
This option is perfectly suited to everyday driving, and produces an impressive fuel economy rating of 6.9L / 100km on the highway.
However, if you're looking for an extra element of excitement, stepping up to the 1.6L turbo SX engine will see the horsepower rise to 175hp, a thrilling output for a car of this size. The extra power is handled by a seven-speed twin-clutch automatic gearbox, with a choice of either front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
This turbo configuration produces an immensely satisfying drive, although as you'd expect the fuel economy takes a slight hit, dropping to 8.7L / 100km on the highway.
As standard, the Seltos is fitted with a 10.3" infotainment touchscreen, which is generous by any standards but looks even larger in a car of this size. The system is powered by UVO Link software, allowing remote operation of the climate control and other features, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both included in every Seltos.
The high level of tech also extends to the active safety systems, with standard features including blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane keeping assist, and much more.
Despite the wealth of features available, the Seltos is a highly affordable car with a Canadian starting price of just $22,995 for the LX FWD trim. But even at the top end, the SX Turbo AWD trim comes in at a mere $32,595, making the Seltos an attractive buy whatever your budget.
To experience the feature-packed 2021 Seltos for yourself, contact us now to arrange a test drive from our Kia dealership in Calgary, and see just how much a modern subcompact SUV can offer.