2019 LA Auto Show: Kia Reveals Rugged 2021 Seltos SUV

November 20, 2019 by Nicole Wakelin, @nicolewakelin

South Korean automaker Kia is adding to its SUV lineup, unveiling the compact and rugged Seltos crossover at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday.

Slotting between the smaller Kia Sportage and larger Kia Soul, this new SUV is an entry-level option that will have a starting price under $22,000.

It offers a choice of two engines across a five-trim lineup with rugged styling and the capability to match. The Seltos boasts 7.2 inches of ground clearance, front and rear skid plates, and available all-wheel drive. It’s ready for adventures past the point where the pavement ends.


The Seltos shows a design theme similar to the 8-passenger Telluride SUV. It has an upright stance and high front end. The Kia’s “tiger nose” grille features a diamond-pattern while the lower bumper is aggressively angled for off-roading. Its sculpted dual exhaust gives the Seltos a premium feel while red wheel center caps add a touch of performance styling.


Although this is an entry-level SUV, the interior of the Seltos features a high level of craftsmanship and attention to detail. The spacious cabin features a two-step reclining seat standard across the trim range along with rear air vent and USB charging port on select trims.

There is an optional leather-wrapped steering wheel paired with a leather shift knob for a more luxurious look and feel along with a sliding front console cover. On the SX trim, the Bose speaker system includes six colors that change in intensity depending on the volume to help set the mood inside the Seltos.


Power comes from a 2-liter 4-cylinder engine with 146 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission on base trims. There’s also an optional 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque for more spirited driving. A 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission completes the powertrain.


Kia Drive Wise suite provides several advanced driver assistance features. These include blind-spot collision warning, driver attention warning, forward-collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist. There’s also a rear occupant alert to ensure nothing is forgotten in the rear seats. A safe exit assist warns passengers not to open the door if it detects approaching traffic.


Kia complements the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with an optional 10.25-inch color touchscreen with a split-screen display and navigation. There’s also available wireless smartphone charging and three USB charging ports. Audiophiles will appreciate the available 8-speaker Bose audio system, a first in a Kia.

The 2021 Kia Seltos will go on sale in the first quarter of 2020.

John O'Dell November 17, 2019
Ford unveils its Mustang Mach-E, a crossover for drivers who want an American muscle car vehicle that doesn’t run on gasoline fuel.

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