Suddenly It's 2021: The 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD

Front 3/4 view of the 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD
The 2021 Kia Seltos.
No, no....you haven't been in isolation that long.  But while you were, and while very few people were frequenting car dealerships, Kia has brought us the 2021 Seltos.

Rear 3/4 view of 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD

In case you're wondering, "Seltos" is meant to evoke "Celtus", the son of Hercules in Greek mythology (though alternate mythology has him as the son of Polyphemus), as a way of conveying strength.  That's what Kia says.

What matters is that the Seltos, like its cousin, the Hyundai Venue, is a new entrant in what, until mid-March, a pandemic and the largest job loss in American history, was a hot segment of the automotive market, the subcompact crossover.  And, like the Venue, it finds itself perfectly positioned for a world where utility, economy and longevity are likely to be prized among the people able to buy new cars.

Seltoses (Selti?) start at $21,990, with a 147-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder, but our tester was the top-of-the-line, much more powerful SX Turbo AWD.  Base price for this one is $27,890.

Hood up on 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD

Engine in 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD

Engine detail in 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD

Under the hood, it's a 175-horsepower 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with a seven-speed Quick-Shift DCT automatic transmission, torque vectoring all-wheel-drive with center lock and drive mode select.   That's good for 0-60 in 7.3 seconds, according to Motor Trend,   The EPA says the fuel economy averages are 25 miles per gallon city, 35 highway.

Tailgate open on 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD

Cargo area in 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD

Rear seat in 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD

Front seats in 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD

As with the Venue, there's room for five people and more than a little cargo (26.6 cubic feet with the rear seat up, 62.8 cubic feet with the rear seat folded flat). And the SX Turbo AWD comes packed with standard equipment:

  • Forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection
  • Blind spot collision warning
  • Blind spot collision avoidance-rear
  • Rear cross-traffic warning and avoidance assist
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Lane following assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • Driver attention warning
  • High beam assist
  • Electronic stability control
  • Downhill brake/hill-start assist control
  • 10.25-inch touchscreen with UVO Link (one year trial), navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Bose Premium audio
  • Sound-connected lighting
  • Seven-inch color LCD instrument cluster
  • Rear camera with dynamic guidelines
  • USB multimedia port
  • Heated front seats
  • Sofino leatherette seat trim
  • Ten-way power driver's seat with power lumbar
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
  • Sliding front center armrest
  • Rear center armrest
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Steering wheel controls (Bluetooth/audio/cruise)
  • 60/40 spilt folding and reclining rear seat
  • Dual-level cargo floor
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Upgraded grille with integrated LED light bar
  • LED daytime running lights and LED taillights
  • LED headlights and fog lights
  • Power, heated outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators
  • Compact spare tire
  • Smart cruise control with stop & go
  • Highway driving assist
  • Electronic parking brake
  • Smart key and pushbutton start
  • Remote start
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Full automatic temperature control
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Illuminated sunvisor mirror
  • LED interior lamps
  • Rear USB charge port
  • Rear passenger air vents
  • Cargo cover
  • Safe exit assist
Instrument panel in 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD

Gauge cluster in 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD

Infortainment and HVAC in 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD

That's so comprehensive a list of standard equipment that the only extra-cost options on our tester were the Starbright Yellow body with Black roof paint ($345) and carpeted floor mats ($130).

Front view of 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD

Rear view of 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD

So, with $1,120 inland freight and handling, the bottom line on the window sticker ends up at $29,485.  A strong mix of economy, capability and power, all accompanied by Kia's 10-year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty.

There may still be four-wheeled fun in the era of limits we're entering.