Kia Seltos Research Guide

The Highlights

The Seltos is a 5-passenger subcompact SUV crossover, which essentially means it’s a small – but not too small – city SUV, perfect for zipping around town and roomy enough for long roadtrips. The Seltos sits between the Kia Soul and Kia Sportage in terms of pricing and size, and entered the Canadian market in 2020. The Seltos comes with a long list of standard features including alloy wheels, roof rails, heated front seats, Blind Spot Collision Warning (with Safe Exit Assist), Rear-view Camera (with Rear Cross Traffic Alert), 8” Display Audio (available 10.25” Display Audio), and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It is the largest subcompact SUV in its class. Designed to compete with the Hyundai Kona, Honda HR-V, Toyota CH-R, and Nissan Qashqai, the Seltos is sure to be a segment leader.

Trims and Features


Starting at

• 5-passenger seating
• 5-year/100,000 km – Worry-Free Comprehensive Warranty
• 5 year/ unlimited mileage – 24/7 roadside Assistance
• 2.0L MPI 4-cylinder engine Auto IVT
• Blind spot warning system
• Rear cross traffic alert
• Rear seat occupant alert
• Safe Exit Assist
• Heated front seats
• 16″ alloy wheels
• Roof rails
• Heated power adjustable side-view mirror with signal repeaters
• 8″ display audio, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay,
• Cruise control
• Keyless entry
• Heated washer nozzle
• Rearview camera with dynamic parking assist

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Starting at

• Adds to LX FWD
• All Wheel Drive
• 17″ Alloy Wheels

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Starting at

• Adds to LX AWD
• Forward Collision Avoidance Assist
• Lane Keep Assist
• Lane Follow Assist
• Blindspot Collision Avoidance Assist
• Rear Cross Traffic Avoidance Assist
• Sunroof
• Smart key and push button start
• Remote car starter
• Sofino leather seats
• Heated steering wheel

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EX Premium AWD

Starting at

• Adds to EX AWD
• Advanced Forward Collision Avoidance Assist
• Highway Drive Assist
• Electronic parking brake
• 10.25″ Navigation
• 7″ supervision cluster
• Wireless Cellphone Charger
• Power Driver seat
• Power passenger seat
• Air-cooled front seats
• Heated second row seats
• Smart cruise control

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SX Turbo AWD

Starting at

• Adds to EX Premium AWD
• 1.6L T-GDI Engine
• 7-speed dual clutch transmission
• 18: alloy wheels
• Heads-up display
• BOSE premium sound
• D-cut steering wheel
• Rain sensing wipers

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Specs & Features

What's Under the Hood

Smartly styled with 2 different engine options, the 2021 Seltos has a model for every budget. The base model includes a 2.0-liter four-cylinder Nu Atkinson engine producing 146 horsepower and 132 lb.-ft. of torque, managed by an Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). The SX Turbo comes with a turbo charged 1.6-liter Turbo GDI engine outputting 175 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque, paired with a 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) (S and SX)

What About Gas Mileage?

With its base configuration of a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine, IVT and FWD powertrain, the Kia Seltos will see an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 8.2/7.1/7.7 litres per 100 kilometres city/highway/combined. The AWD sees 8.8/7.6/8.2 l/km city/highway/combined. Finally, if you opt for the 175-horsepower turbocharged option, you’ll find fuel economy to be 9.4/7.9/8.7 city/highway/combined. These numbers paint an important picture of the Seltos’s ability to deliver industry-leading technology, comfort and style without pulling you to every off-ramp on a long drive.

Trek-Inspired Versatility

Explore your world with a trek-inspiring vehicle that features bold design, advanced technology and adaptability all in a subcompact SUV.

Gripping Drive

Move about confidently with an available All-Wheel Drive system that provides better traction and handling in any driving condition.

Goldilocks Zone Sizing

The Kia Seltos is the largest subcompact SUV in its class - making it the perfect size for just about everything.


Safety technology has evolved rapidly in the past few years to become much more driver-aware and automatic. But the features are often so automated that it’s hard to wade through what each technology actually does. Here’s everything you need to know about new available safety technologies found in the Kia Seltos.

Rear Cross Traffic Alert – uses the same vehicle sensors as the Rear-View Camera and Blind Spot Detection to detect approaching vehicles. The system is activated when you put your Kia model in reverse and monitors traffic crossing your path as you back up. If it senses an approaching vehicle, Rear Cross Traffic Alert provides both audible and visual alerts to warn the driver.

Hill Assist – prevents the vehicle from rolling back by applying the brakes automatically for about 1.5 seconds. The brakes are released when the accelerator pedal is depressed or after about 1.5 seconds.

Blind Spot Collision Warning (BPW) – offers prominent warnings – both audible and visual – to help warn of vehicles outside your field of view.

Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist – Builds on BCW by applying brakes to the outer wheel under certain conditions to return the vehicle to its lane.

Driver Attention Warning – Senses inattentive driving patterns and sends an audible/visual warning to alert the driver.

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist – with pedestrian detection assists the driver in braking to help prevent a collision or lessen the effects in certain conditions if a vehicle or pedestrian is detected in front.

Highway Driving Assist – Uses federal highway speed limit information from the navigation system and, under certain conditions, will automatically adjust speed to be within the posted speed limit and maintain distance with the vehicle detected in front.

Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) – Designed to alert the driver if the system detects that the vehicle is about to depart from its current lane without a turn signal.

Lane Keeping Assist System – Builds on LDWS by applying slight steering inputs in certain circumstances to help bring the vehicle back into the lane.

Lane Following Assist – Builds on LKAS. Follows lane markings that the system detects and provides steering inputs to help maintain the vehicle in the center of the lane.

Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist – Uses BCW technology to help detect approaching cross traffic when in reverse. When approaching cross traffic is detected, the system alerts the driver and applies brakes.

Rear Occupant Alert – Designed to provide a message in the instrument cluster for the driver to “Check rear seats” in order to help prevent leaving the vehicle with a rear passenger left inside; the message appears when the driver door is opened after a rear passenger door has been opened and closed.

Smart Cruise Control – with stop and go designed to adapt to the driving environment by automatically applying the brakes, or accelerator, to help maintain a predetermined distance from a vehicle it detects in front. Can bring the vehicle to a full stop and resumes when traffic resumes within three seconds of stopping.

Safe Exist Assist – Can alert the driver or passengers opening their door not to exit the vehicle when the system detects approaching traffic. When detected, a chime sounds.

Electronic Parking Brake – Sends an electronic signal to the braking system when the driver operates the EPB switch for a securely parked vehicle every time. The EPB is different from traditional parking systems which operated with the brake pedal or the lever type.

Advanced Notifications

Kia includes it all when it comes to notifications that keep you safe. Engine Idle Notification and Automatic Engine Shut Off is just the start. Features also include:

Rear Occupancy Alert

Consequently, it can send push notification alerts via the UVO link app if movement is detected inside the vehicle.

911 Connect and Roadside Assistance

Will automatically attempt to call 911 via the built-in UVO modem if an airbag deploys. Subsequently, for non-emergencies, it can connect with 24/7 roadside assist and share the vehicle’s location.


The Seltos is packed with technology features, including the “Kia Drive Wise” suite of Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems as well as a wide array of standard and optional equipment. Tech highlights include:

• Available 10.25-inch high-resolution color touchscreen with satellite radio, UVO telematics, navigation and split-screen display
• Available 8-speaker Bose premium sound system
• Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
• Available wireless smartphone charging
• Available three total USB charging ports
• Available multi-Bluetooth wireless connectivity allows two phones to connect simultaneously (you read that right – !!!!)
• Available “Kia Drive Wise” Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) – see below for full details
• Available UVO Link telematics system debuting a number of innovative vehicle features:

• Connected User Profiles: Allows customers joint access to the vehicle. With a push of a button on the Kia Owner’s app, customers can carry their favorite radio stations with them and have full access to the suite of remote commands.
• In-Vehicle Notification Center: Features a unique head unit inbox reserved for important notifications regarding maintenance, warranty, and safety recall information if ever needed.
• Next Generation Connected Notifications: Sends alerts in case of vehicle malfunction regarding light bulb status on headlights or taillights, 12V battery status and low fuel level.
• Engine Idle Notification and Automatic Engine Shut Off: Sends an alert if the vehicle has been idling for 10 minutes and turns it off automatically


UVO link telematics offers an array of advanced connected vehicle features, such as connected weather, user profiles, calendar integration, and smart speaker integration (hello, Alexa! Hello Google!). Plus can’t-live-without features like:

Connected Routing

A new cloud-based route calculation system that uses UVO cloud to calculate the optimal route. In other words, using real-time maps, predicted upcoming traffic info based on historical information and AI to learn the preferred routes of users, it will get you to your destination.

Enhanced UVO Voice Assist Feature

For example, this allows voice control of the vehicle’s climate, seat and steering-wheel heating, audio system, and other functions.

But Don't Take Our Word For It...

Auto Trader says the Kia Seltos is the Best Subcompact SUV.

Motortrend says, “The 2023 Kia Seltos is a strong contender in a competitive class that also includes the Subaru Crosstrek, Hyundai Kona, and Ford Bronco Sport. It stands out from other subcompact crossovers with its versatile interior and baby Telluride styling.” Read more here.

You can also access all our articles on the KIA Seltos right here. Or check build and price your own Kia Seltos here.