Posted on July 26, 2021
The Canadian subcompact crossover market continues to grow dramatically, as more and more drivers discover the joys of the powerful but economical format. The Kia Seltos is one of the best sellers in the segment, thanks to the traditional Kia approach of offering great features at an affordable price. Does the new 2021 Seltos uphold the high standards set by previous years' models? To find out, we've put it up against a close competitor, the Jeep Compass, and here's how it went.
Both cars may be in the subcompact segment, but the external appearance differs dramatically. The Seltos has a smooth and rounded profile, leaning toward the hatchback format while still offering the strong lines of an SUV. In contrast, the Compass is much more rugged looking, reflecting Jeep's traditional history of off-road vehicles rather than sleek urban rides.
Both SUVs seat five passengers comfortably within the constraints of the subcompact format, although the Seltos offers a more spacious rear row with 2cm more headroom and 9cm extra hip room.
Both of these cars are fitted with all-wheel drive as standard, but the transmission configuration pushes the Kia slightly ahead. The Seltos' seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is smooth and shifts in the right places, while the Compass' nine-speed automatic has been described as sluggish in auto press reviews.
In terms of raw power, the Jeep takes the lead with its 2.4L engine making 180 horsepower compared to the Kia's 2.0L and 146 hp. However, these figures don't tell the whole story. While raw horsepower may be useful when crawling over rocks, the difference is less of an issue traversing city junctions.
In fact, the Kia's lower output translates into significantly better fuel economy figures, with its city rating of 8.7L / 100km easily outshining the Jeep's pretty thirsty 11.2L / 100km. The Seltos also guzzles less gas when cruising down the highway, although the difference is less marked, with a rating of 7.5L / 100km compared to the Jeep's 7.8L / 100km.
Both of these SUVs are well equipped with safety systems in their standard lineups. Both feature blind spot monitoring, lane departure warnings, electronic stability control, independent anti-lock brakes, and a full suite of airbags.
However, the Seltos pushes the boat out a little further with extra standard features including reverse collision prevention, a driver alertness monitoring system, and Kia's excellent back seat reminder system which alerts the driver to pets or children being left accidentally in the car's rear.
Lastly, the Seltos is supplied with Kia's standard warranty covering five years or 100,000km, and ten years or 160,000km for the powertrain. Jeep's offering is less generous at three years or 60,000km, and five years or 100,000km for the powertrain.
Experience a unique blend of fun, drivability, and comfort for yourself by booking a test drive of the 2021 Kia Seltos from our dealership in Calgary. In the Seltos, Kia have made a car that proves not all subcompacts are created equal.
Categories: kia seltos, Jeep Compass