2024 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD

The 2024 Kia Seltos is a great little crossover. It’s handsome, easy to drive, gets good gas mileage, has a spacious and upscale cabin, and lots of features and tech. It offers a lot of bang for the buck. The one drawback is it’s not as athletic as some rivals, especially with the base engine.

Base Price: $29,990
As Tested: $33,085
Horsepower: 195
Mileage: 25 mpg city/27 mpg highway/26 mpg combined

The Seltos fits in the Kia line-up below the Sportage. It’s classified as a subcompact SUV. It’s similar in size to the quirky Kia Soul. There’s room for five passengers in two rows of seating.

The Seltos was introduced for the 2021 model year. For 2024, the Seltos gets several changes including more power for the available turbocharged engine, updated exterior and interior styling, an updated infotainment system, introduction of the X-Line trim, and elimination of the Nightfall Edition trim.

The 2024 Seltos comes in five trims: LX, S, EX, X-Line and SX. Starting prices range from $24,490 to $30,090. Front-wheel drive is standard on the S and EX trims, and all-wheel drive is available. The LX, X-Line and SX models come standard with all-wheel drive.

The 2024 Seltos has two powertrains. The LX, S and EX trims get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 146 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is a continuously variable automatic. The base engine is ok for city driving, but you’ll wish for more oomph when merging and passing at freeway speeds.

The X-Line and SX trims get a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that makes 195 horses and 195 pound-feet. The transmission is an eight-speed automatic.

This powertrain is peppier than the base engine and makes for swifter acceleration, although there is a slight turbo lag. The ride is smooth most of the time but can get a little bumpy over rough roads. The eight-speed shifts quickly. Steering feels light but brakes are strong. There are three drive modes, Normal, Sport and Smart, that adjust the powertrain, drivetrain, suspension and steering mapping so you can tailor the performance to your liking. Visibility to the sides and rear is somewhat limited due to the thick roof pillars. The small size of the Seltos makes it easy to drive in busy city traffic and squeeze into tight parking spaces. While it’s not as athletic as some rivals, the Seltos is easy and pleasant to drive.

Fuel economy is above average for the class. EPA ratings for my AWD tester are 25 mpg city and 27 mpg highway with a combined rating of 26. I got 27 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.

The cabin is attractive and upscale and one of the best in the segment. Materials look and feel good. Yes, there are some hard plastics, as you’d expect at this price point, but also lots of soft-touch materials, especially in the higher trims. The cabin feels spacious, especially considering the small size of the Seltos. There’s a surprising amount of room with good leg- and headroom for adults up front. Headroom is good in the second row, but legroom is a bit tight for adults, but still roomier than what you’d expect in this class. Front seats are comfortable but could offer more support. There is some noticeable road and wind noise.

Standard features include keyless entry, rearview camera, cloth upholstery, manually adjustable front seats, 4.2-inch driver information display, infotainment system with eight-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, three USB ports, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Available features include push-button start, remote start, digital key, auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic climate control, synthetic leather and cloth upholstery, synthetic leather upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, heated and ventilated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift knob, 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster, infotainment system with 10.25-inch touchscreen, navigation, eight-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio, an additional USB port, wireless device charging, Wi-Fi hot spot, ambient LED interior lighting, universal garage door opener, and power sunroof. 

Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, pedestrian and cyclist detection, driver-attention monitoring and rear seat reminder.

Available driver assistance technologies include stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, adaptive cruise control with lane centering, blind-spot monitoring, traffic-sign recognition, rear cross-traffic alert and vehicle exit warning, which alerts those exiting the vehicle of other vehicles approaching from behind.

The standard infotainment system has an eight-inch touchscreen, and the higher trims come with a 10.25-inch touchscreen. Either way, the infotainment system is user-friendly with sensible menus, and the system responds quickly to touch and voice commands. Physical controls make it easy to adjust audio and climate settings.

Cargo space is excellent for a subcompact SUV. There are 26.6 cubic feet of space with both rows of seating in place and 62.8 cubes with the rear seats folded. The rear seats split-fold so you have flexibility in hauling passengers and gear. The opening to the cargo area is wide, making it easy to load bigger items. I had no trouble fitting some larger purchases from Costco and some horse gear back there. A power liftgate is available.

The good:

Easy, pleasant driving dynamics

Upscale and roomy cabin

Plenty of cargo space

User-friendly infotainment system

Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

The not-so-good:

Performance not as peppy as some rivals, especially with base engine

Front seats could use more support

Pricing info:

My tester starts at $29,990. Snow White Pearl paint is $395. The SX Sunroof Package is $1,200 and includes a power sunroof with sunshade, smart power liftgate, ventilated front seats, and smartphone digital key. Carpeted floor mats are $175. Delivery fee is $1,325 bringing the grand total to $33,085.

Bottom line:

The 2024 Kia Seltos is a well-rounded and practical compact crossover. It doesn’t have the most athletic performance in the class, but has good fuel economy, a roomy and upscale interior, lots of cargo space, and a decent list of standard and available features and tech. It’s a strong contender in the crowded compact SUV class and worth checking out.

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