Bill Murray isn’t the only one experiencing déjà vu as we’re heading back to San Antonio to test drive a crossover.
This time around, we’re checking out the 2021 Kia Seltos which was introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show last year. Designed to slot between the Soul and Sportage, the Seltos starts at $21,990 and is Kia’s most affordable crossover with all-wheel drive.
While most companies charge you about $2,000 for all-wheel drive, both the front-wheel drive Seltos S and all-wheel drive Seltos LX have the same base price. That’s a boon for value-conscious consumers, but the AWD model features less standard equipment.
Opting for all-wheel means you’ll have to give up LED daytime running lights, fog lights and LED taillights. The model also lacks roof rails, chrome window trim and mirrors with integrated turn signals.
The cost cutting is also visible in the cabin’s amenities as all-wheel drive variant skips leatherette upholstery, chromed door handles, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a leatherette center console. It also eschews an assortment of driver assistance systems including Lane Following Assist, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning and High Beam Assist.
Those are some pretty big differences, but all-wheel drive can be added to the Seltos S for $1,500. Given the amount of equipment you get, it’s probably a no-brainer.
All three trims feature a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 146 hp (109 kW / 148 PS) and 132 lb-ft (179 Nm) of torque. It is connected to an intelligent variable transmission which is essentially a fancy name for a CVT.
To make matters more confusing, there’s a third Seltos S. This one starts at $25,490 and features a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive. The engine develops 175 hp (131 kW / 177 PS) and 195 lb-ft (264 Nm) of torque, which is 29 hp (22 kW / 29 PS) and 63 lb-ft (85 Nm) more than the base mill.
Besides being more powerful, this Seltos S has larger 18-inch alloy wheels. The model also boasts two additional driver assistance systems including blind spot alert and rear cross traffic alert.
Slotting between the all-wheel S variants is the Seltos EX which starts at $25,290. It features a 2.0-liter engine, all-wheel drive and higher-end equipment.
Among the highlights are heated front seats, leather upholstery and a 10-way power driver’s seat. Buyers will also find a sunroof, LED interior lighting and an automatic climate control system. There’s also a wireless smartphone charger and a USB charger for rear seat passengers.
The range-topping Seltos SX costs $27,890 and features a turbocharged engine as well as all-wheel drive. On the outside, the model is distinguished by LED lighting units and a two-tone roof. Designers also installed gloss black accents and chrome door handles.
Interior changes are more modest as the range-topper has a 7-inch display in the instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment system with GPS navigation. Other extras include a Bose premium audio system, a cargo cover and an electronic parking brake.
On the safety front, the model has Smart Cruise Control with Idle Stop and Go, Safe Exit Assist and Highway Driving Assist. There’s also Fusion Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with cyclist detection.
So now that you’ve gotten to know the Seltos and its equipment, what do you want to learn about Kia’s latest crossover? Leave them in comments below and we’ll answer a handful in a follow up post next week.