Montreal, QC - The 2021 Kia Seltos first showed itself in public at the Los Angeles Auto Show, and Kia released a bunch of photos of its newest SUV to accompany it. Then we learned what to expect in terms of the vehicle’s fuel consumption performance.
Last night, just ahead of the Montreal Auto Show where it will be proudly on display at the Kia stand, Kia gave the 2021 Seltos its official Canadian premiere in Montreal.
Kia is marketing its new small SUV as a perfect fit for Canadian consumers, who like affordability and pricing, to be sure, but also because it is, to quote the Kia press release, at home everywhere “from urban alleyways to Prairie straightaways”. There’s no doubt Kia needed an offering in the entry SUV segment, the fastest growing vehicle category in Canada, and now they have it.
Consumers in Canada will have three trims to choose from, starting with the LX, priced from $22,995 with FWD and $24,995 with AWD. The EX gets a starting price of $27,595, although choosing the EX Premium version ups that to $30,595. At the top of the heap sits the SX, which will set buyers back at least $32,595.
The Kia Seltos will slot into the carmaker’s North American lineup between the Soul and the Sportage when it goes on sale this coming spring (dealers start taking pre-orders as of now). Kia is touting its suitably cutting-edge technology, notably in terms of the available UVO telematics system that allows users to pre-set preferred cabin temperatures and the like.
Standard safety equipment on all versions of the new Seltos include blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and rearview camera and the newest thing that no new model can do without, rear seat occupant alert.
In terms of tech, always a relevant factor for the younger buyers of entry-level SUVs and crossovers that Kia is chasing here, the Seltos comes out of the box with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility accessed via an 8-inch touchscreen, smart key and push-button start, remote starter and automatic climate control.
The roster of standard stuff is impressive for a vehicle selling at under $23K; for example you can count on LED daytime running and position lights, rear spoiler with LED stop light, roof rails, heated side mirrors, heated front seats and a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel.
Then, items that are added to the kitty as you climb up the trim ladder include larger 17-inch wheels, a sunroof, leather seating and more drive-assist features (all as of the EX); LED headlights and fog lights, the UVO system, 10.25-inch screen, power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, ventilated front seats, heated back seats and wireless smartphone charging (starting with the EX Premium); and 18-inch alloy wheels, Bose premium audio system and a heads-up display (with the SX).
The product offering includes two engine configurations: a 2.0L 4-cylinder (146 hp, 132 lb-ft of torque) and a 1.6L turbocharged unit that makes 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is an option with the entry-level trim but is standard on all others. All versions work with Kia’s version of a continuously variable transmission, which the company prefers to call the Intelligent Variable Transmission, except for the SX turbo-charged trim that gets a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Last point: cargo capacity for this urban SUV is 752 litres, or 1,778 litres when you fold down the rear-row seats.
Pricing grid, in Canadian dollars:
LX FWD - $22,995
LX AWD - $24,995
EX - $27,595
EX Premium - $30,595
SX - $32,595