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WATCH: 2021 Kia Seltos Review

Kia Seltos AWD SUV
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Will the 2021 Seltos extend Kia's impressive winning streak? From the Stinger to the Telluride, the Korean automaker seems incapable of missing the mark. With a new subcompact SUV, it'll try to bring its hot streak to the masses.

The Seltos is an affordable crossover, and that means it’s gonna have lots of plastic in the interior. Luckily, Kia’s done it right. Little details make a big difference, like the strip of leather that runs below the touchscreen, and the softly-padded arm rests and thick steering wheel.

Our Seltos SX Turbo test car employs a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder good for 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. The car's steering is direct, but the Seltos exhibits more body roll than we’d like.

Regardless of trim, the Seltos has a nice big greenhouse. Big windows, lots of light and visibility. But it does get hot, and the single-zone climate control hasn’t really up to the job of keeping things cool.

The UVO infotainment system's default home display features three large tiles: one for navigation, one for audio, one for the weather. It offers very fast swipe and icon response, and it’s easy to understand with a beautiful mix of on-screen interactions and physical buttons and knobs.

The Seltos may compete with cars like the Nissan Kicks and Toyota CH-R on paper, but all-wheel drive will likely put it ahead of those front-wheel-drive cars for a lot of shoppers. That means the field is likely comprised of the Subaru Crosstrek, Jeep Renegade, the new Mazda CX-30 and Chevy Trailblazer, and the Hyundai Kona, which shares much of its platform with the Seltos.

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