Behind the Wheel

2024 Kia Seltos — Excellence in a Compact SUV

2023 Kia SeltosModel tested: 2024 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD

Engine: 1.6-liter, turbo 4-cylinder

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Horsepower: 201

Torque: 195 lb.-ft.

EPA ratings: 25/city, 27/highway, 26/combined

Base price: $29,990

As tested: $33,085

Overview: In the highly competitive world of compact SUVs, the 2024 Kia Seltos stands out as an option combining style, performance and practicality. As a relatively new addition to the Kia lineup, the Seltos continues to gain popularity among buyers seeking an affordable yet well-equipped crossover.

Walkaround: The Kia Seltos boasts a distinctive and modern design, reflecting the brand’s focus on aesthetics. It projects a rugged charm with its prominent front grille and bold lines, making it look larger than it is. Stylish LED headlights and taillights add a touch of sophistication, while the contrasting roof options allow for some personalization. The overall design language is both striking and functional, making it an attractive option in a highly competitive market segment.

2023 Kia SeltosInterior: Inside, the Seltos offers a spacious and comfortable cabin that easily accommodates five passengers. The choice of materials and build quality is impressive — especially considering its competitive price point. The front seats provide ample support for long drives, while the rear seats offer enough legroom for even taller passengers. The interior’s modern aesthetics and clever use of space create a welcoming and functional environment. The infotainment system is simple and user-friendly, with a standard touchscreen infotainment system, Bluetooth connectivity and USB ports. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and an array of tech-savvy features like premium audio, wireless smartphone charging and a larger infotainment display are available on upper-trim levels.

Behind the wheel: The Seltos is available with several powertrain options. The base model features an energetic 2-liter, four-cylinder engine, providing adequate power for city driving and highway cruising. For more spirited performance, the available 1.6-liter, turbocharged engine that powered our test-driver delivers increased horsepower and torque. The smooth-shifting automatic transmission complements both engine choices. The Seltos offers nimble and composed handling and its size makes it easy to maneuver. The suspension effectively absorbs road imperfections, resulting in a comfortable ride, but it can be a bit noisy. The optional all-wheel-drive system enhances the Seltos’ bad-weather and off-road capability, making it a good choice for drivers needing versatility. The 2-liter engine achieves competitive EPA ratings for its class, making it an economical choice for daily commuting and extended road trips. While the turbocharged engine offers increased power, there is a slight trade-off in fuel efficiency.

Bottom line: The 2024 Kia Seltos is a worthy competitor in the highly competitive compact SUV segment. It checks all the right boxes with eye-catching design, comfortable interior, versatile performance, advanced safety features and modern technology. The 2024 Kia Seltos delivers an enjoyable driving experience that exceeded our expectations.