Kia's new Seltos small crossover will start at $22,995 in Canada
MONTREAL – Kia’s 2021 Seltos is an affordable a new entry into the hotly contested sub-compact SUV segment. Pricing starts at $22,995 for the base LX that boasts the ad-friendly low price, but that model features front-wheel drive, and will likely sell in the single digits across Canada. Digging into your wallet for just a couple of grand more for $24,995 gets you all-wheel drive, so consider that the real entry price.
Don’t get me wrong: the base model is loaded with standard features, including heated front seats and exterior mirrors, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, air condition, cruise control, power windows, keyless entry, three drive modes, stop/start function, LED front lighting, and Bluetooth connectivity with Android Auto and Apple Carplay, among a multitude of other items. But Canadians, who for the most part have to deal with snowy winters, prefer all-wheel drive, and that’s available for a $2,000 premium on the LX, and is standard on all other trims (there are five in total). Adding AWD also replaces the base 16-inch wheels with 17-inchers.
Two engines are available; a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four that claims 146 horsepower and 132 lb.-ft. of torque, and a 1.6-litre turbocharged four that claims 175 hp and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. The 2.0-litre engine mates to a CVT, while the turbocharged engine is coupled to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Note that 1.6-litre turbo is only available in the SX Turbo model, which tops out the price range at $32,595.
The high-volume trim will likely be the EX AWD ($27,595), which adds a bunch of driver aids, including forward collision avoidance, lane-keep and lane-follow assist, and blind-spot collision and rear cross-traffic avoidance. It also comes with leather seats, a heated steering wheel, a sunroof, and a slew of interior trim upgrades.
The Seltos is based on the Hyundai Kona platform, but it is slightly bigger, with a 30-mm longer wheelbase, and it is 200 mm longer overall. It sits between the Kia Soul and Sportage in terms of pricing and size, and boasts 220 litres more storage behind the rear seats than the Soul, at 752 litres, as well as more conventional styling. This added size also allows room for four full-sized adults to sit comfortably. The rear seats fit my six-foot frame easily with the driver’s seat also adjusted for my height. Kia claims it will be the largest subcompact SUV on the market when it arrives.
Orders for the 2021 Kia Seltos are being taken right now online, though it arrives at dealers in mid-March.