KIA Insider

First Look: 2021 Kia Seltos

What is it?

It resembles the Kia Soul and it addresses one of the iconic little-car-that-could’s key weaknesses — the new Seltos (horrible name, in our opinion) arrives with an available all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring control and a lock mode to handle severe road conditions.

In terms of size it slots neatly between the Soul and larger Sportage, although Kia describes it as having “Herculean interior” space. The hype is a bit over the top, but sitting in the back did prove it had ample space for a pair of six-footers in terms of both head- and legroom. The cabin is well conceived and comes with the latest mod-cons, including a seven-inch OLED screen for the instrumentation and a 10.25-inch high-resolution screen for the infotainment system in the top model.

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Why does it matter?

People are crazy for crossovers right now, so another affordable one can’t hurt Kia’s push up the sales charts.

It will have broad appeal with two engine choices. The base2.0L four-cylinder produces 146 hp and 132 lb.-ft. of torque and works with Kia’s Intelligent Variable Transmission. That’s a CVT to most. The second choice is a 1.6L Turbo with a more rewarding 175 hp and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. It drives all four wheels paired through a seven-speed twin-clutch.

When will Canada get it?

The 2021 Kia Seltos is slated to hit Canadian roads in the latter half of 2020.

Should you buy it?

For far too long, the Soul has been left in the wilds because it was not offered with all-wheel-drive. The Seltos adds the missing ingredient, along with an attractive exterior look, lots of interior space and the latest in connectivity.