2021 Kia Seltos Subcompact SUV Competition

starbright yellow kia seltos in the woods

Arriving this spring, the Kia Seltos is an exciting and ambitious small SUV that aims to bring the comfort, convenience and value of Kia’s larger SUV lineup to the burgeoning subcompact segment. Expectations are consequently high, especially following the debut of the Kia Telluride, which took less than half a year to win the entire segment and was recently crowned with the coveted “SUV of the Year” distinction by MotorTrend.

We expect the Kia Seltos to do likewise next year. In the meanwhile, it’s up against a pretty tight field of competitors who have been offering AWD to subcompact drivers for years now. While we have to wait for the head-to-head matchups on the road, our aim today is to show the Kia Seltos’s strength and how it compares on paper to the class it stands now.


2021 Kia Seltos

2020 Chevy Trax

2020 Honda HR-V

2020 Hyundai Kona

2020 Subaru Crosstrek

Base engine (power) 2.0-liter 4-cylinder (146 hp) 1.4-liter 4-cylinder (138 hp) 1.8-liter 4-cylinder (141 hp) 2.0-liter 4-cylinder (147 hp) 2.0-liter 4-cylinder (152 hp)
Available engine (power) 1.6-liter turbo (175 hp) N/A N/A 1.6-liter turbo (175 hp) N/A
Base drivetrain AWD FWD FWD FWD AWD
AWD fuel economy 29 combined MPG 26 combined MPG 29 combined MPG 28 combined MPG 25 combined MPG
Base infotainment 8-inch touchscreen 7-inch touchscreen 5-inch color screen 7-inch touchscreen 6.5-inch touchscreen
Legroom (front/rear) 41.4 inches/38 inches 40.8 inches/35.7 inches 41.2 inches/39.3 inches 41.5 inches/34.6 inches 43.1 inches/36.5 inches
Cargo (seats up/folded) 26.6 cubic feet/62.8 cubic feet 18.7 cubic feet/48.4 cubic feet 23.2 cubic feet/57.6 cubic feet 19.2 cubic feet/45.8 cubic feet 20.8 cubic feet/55.3 cubic feet
Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Reclining rear seats Yes No No No No

Prior to Debut, Kia Seltos Dominates

Comparing the 2021 Kia Seltos on paper to the most popular subcompact SUV models (that offer AWD) in the class is an exercise in realizing the value of the Kia positioning. Sure, Kia could have put out a Kia Soul AWD or a Kia Rio X-Line years ago. Instead, the R&D teams seemingly took their time to craft something world-beating.

Whatever you’re looking for, the 2021 Kia Seltos is the strongest option. For those who want a technically-connected experience, the 2021 Kia Seltos with standard Smart Cruise Control, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and a gigantic 8-inch touchscreen offers cutting-edge technology.

Those who want comfort and capability will love the interior volume of the 2021 Kia Seltos which offers a compelling blend of front-row and second-row passenger space while beating competitors on the cargo volume front by as much as 17 cubic feet.

Those who want a thrilling weekend warrior will also love the available turbocharged engine that accelerates quickly and passes confidently.

Finally, those looking for value at the fuel pump will love the Seltos’s incredible fuel mileage that pulls ahead of competing AWD models.

We expect the 2021 Kia Seltos to be a huge seller. If you’re in the market for a small SUV with big ambitions and features, we’d love to help. Reserve the 2021 Kia Seltos today!