2021 Kia Seltos vs. Competitors


This is the age of the crossover, and automakers are putting great effort into designing well-equipped, comfortable compact utility vehicles to win over the market. One of the main attractors in this segment is the brand-new 2021 Kia Seltos, which slots itself between the subcompact Soul and midsized Sportage crossovers. It’s an attractive and sensible vehicle for the busy driver on a budget, and it boasts a decent amount of power, a class-leading warranty, and plenty of space.

But the debuting Seltos has been tossed into stiff competition with the Ford EcoSport, Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V, Toyota C-HR, and Mazda CX-3. It shouldn’t have much to fear, though, as Kia has given it plenty of attributes that place it above the other models in categories that today’s buyer cares about. Let’s take a look at some of its advantages in more detail.

Available Power and Features

The Seltos has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder base engine (146 horsepower) paired with a CVT and an available (on its top two trims) 1.6-liter turbocharged engine (176 horsepower and 195 pounds-feet of torque) that gets a seven-speed automatic transmission. The other vehicles with their standard and optional engines can’t quite reach the Seltos’ peak power. The Seltos is also the most spacious compact crossover in this bunch, providing 62.8 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat folded down. The C-HR only provides 37 cu. ft., the Mazda CX-3 42.7 cu. ft., the Trax 48.4 cu. ft., the EcoSport 50 cu. ft., and the HR-V 58.8 cu. ft. All-wheel drive comes standard on all but one trim of the Seltos, whereas it must be elected on these competing vehicles.

Even the least-expensive Seltos trim is set up with some nice standard features. Its base infotainment system has an 8-inch trim, matched only by the C-HR among the base models of the vehicles compared here, and it’s packed with active safety technology (more on that in the next section). The Seltos is also the only vehicle mentioned on this page with second-row seats that recline for comfort.

Safety and Warranty

A couple of noteworthy driver-assist features come standard on all levels of the Seltos. The highlights are dynamic cruise control, forward collision-avoidance assist, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assist. The EcoSport doesn’t offer these systems, and while the Trax and C-HR include collision warning, they don’t come with crash-mitigation braking (the Trax also lacks lane departure warning and lane keeping assist on its base trim). While the HR-V and CX-3 have most of these safety features available, you’ll have to pay more to get them.

The Seltos supplies some of the longest-lasting warranties in the business. This includes a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty complete with 24-hour roadside assistance, as well as a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty which ensures that any repairs needed to the engine, transmission, axles, joints, and driveshafts are taken care of. The other models in this comparison only provide 3-year/36,000-mile basic and 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranties, meaning that out-of-pocket costs for repairs will be coming sooner for their buyers.