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It used to be that there were few vehicle options: compact car, a sedan, a station wagon, a minivan, or a truck. Then came the SUV. Like the once game-changing mini van, when the SUV came along, we couldn’t imagine life without it.

In the many years following the first SUV hitting the market, there have been so many iterations of this popular style, from spritely compact crossovers to larger truck-sized behemoths, and everything in between.

But consumers have been demanding more by demanding less – smaller, more fuel-efficient, spritelier – while still retaining the coveted high seating position, safety, and traction of AWD.

Enter a new breed of SUVs: the subcompact crossover. Add in AWD drive and you have the current most sought-after vehicle style.

With the release of KIA’s Seltos, we will be comparing 5-seater subcompact SUVs with available AWD: the Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-30, and Nissan Qashqai with the KIA Seltos.

First up, room for all your gear.

CARGO SPACE

It’s not really a fair comparison with cargo space: the KIA Seltos is literally head and shoulders above the competition. Here’s how they stack up.

  • The Nissan Quashqai sits in last place with about 16 litres of cargo space behind the second row but has 53 litres of space with the second row folded down which lands it in 3rd.
  • The Hyundai Kona and Mazda CX-30 are similarly sized with around 20 litres behind the second row (3rd best), but with only about 45 litres of space with the seats folded down, these two vehicles land themselves in last place.
  • The Honda HR-V has 24 litres in the back, and 57 with the seats folded, putting it in 2nd place for both.
  • The KIA Seltos leads the pack with a massive 27 litres behind the second row and 63 litres with the second row folded. That’s enough room for a stroller AND groceries. Or those flats of annuals and the Japanese maple you’ve been eyeing.

AWD

All of these models come with available AWD. But with some you need to pay more than others. If AWD is your main consideration, the Hyundai Kona and KIA Seltos will give you the best value for your dollar. These are the least expensive models with AWD for each vehicle, in descending order:

Honda HR-V – $26,590

Nissan Qashqai – S AWD – $26,198

Mazda CX-30 – $25,950

KIA Seltos – LX AWD – $24,995

Hyundai Kona – Essential AWD – $23,374

 

For a full comparison of the Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, Nissan Qashqai and KIA Seltos, see the chart below. While all of these vehicles will give you the high seating position, safety of an SUV, traction of AWD to get you over the Malahat, and all at a great price point, it’s easy spot a segment winner when you see one.

 

With class-leading cargo space and features, and game-changing style, the KIA Seltos may just follow in big brother KIA Telluride’s 2020 footsteps and grab all the awards for 2021.

Book your test drive today. Check our inventory here.