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2024 Kia Seltos Review: A Tweak Here, a Tweak There

2024 Kia Seltos | Photo: D.Heyman
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Dan Heyman
The new Seltos’ improvements touch on looks, powertrain and tech

•    Auto123 reviews the 2024 Kia Seltos.

For 2024, Kia’s popular subcompact crossover has been given a light refresh adding some new tech, some styling nip n’ tucks and a little more power, to boot. So let’s dive in to this new take on Kia’s funky little ‘ute, shall we?

Specifications sheet of the 2024 Kia Seltos SX

Specifications sheet of the 2024 Kia Seltos X-Line

Design of the 2024 Kia Seltos – 8.0/10

For its mid-cycle refresh in 2024, the Seltos - already a very modern-looking CUV - gets a new full-width DRL light bar in every trim, matched by a full-width brake light as well for an even more modern look – not just modern, but higher class as well.

Of course, it also gets the stuff shared with other Kias such as the Tiger Nose grille, nice dark 18-inch wheels with chrome inserts as well as the dual-tier headlight treatment that puts the DRLs at the leading edge of the hood, above the headlights.

It’s a good-looking car even when finished in white, although there are much brighter greens, yellows and reds if you’re feeing more adventurous, or youthful.

2024 Kia Seltos, interior
2024 Kia Seltos, interior | Photo: D.Heyman

Interior of the 2024 Kia Seltos – 8.0/10

Our tester was the SX trim and for 2024, that means 8-speaker Bose audio as well as synthetic leather seating and a sunroof. Thankfully, the Seltos has a pretty high roof and the headroom isn’t much impeded by the sunroof, a blessing for taller drivers like myself.

The same goes for the rear seat, which folds in a 60/40 split. That’s good, but it’s a shame there’s no centre pass-through option, meaning you have to sacrifice an entire outboard seat if you hope to haul longer items.

Up front, the ergonomics are on-point. The gearlever sits close but not so close as to crowd the driver, and the button bank beyond that is just that: a button bank. There are traditional hard buttons there for your climate, navigation and media controls meaning you don’t have to rely on a touch display or panel for this stuff, making it easier to use with gloves on, for example.

In addition to the sunroof, my tester’s light-coloured interior makes for some nice, bright environs while the contrasting black panels add an air of class that you don’t readily find in this segment. The seats themselves are mostly comfortable, though the seatbacks are a little on the narrow side.

2024 Kia Seltos, steering wheel, dashboard
2024 Kia Seltos, steering wheel, dashboard | Photo: D.Heyman

Technology in the 2024 Kia Seltos – 8.0/10

The biggest change for the Seltos in 2024 happens inside, where the dash is all-new. Previously the infotainment system and the gauge cluster had their own individual pods; those have been swapped for dual 10.25-inch displays. They are sharper and the operating system to which they’re attached is faster than before, but more than that, the dash now has a lower profile and provides a better view forwards. It’s clear enough so that you can still see all the necessary info in your peripheral vision.

It’s a good set-up and if only the graphics were a little nicer to look at - they’re a tad monochromatic - it would be a home run instead of a nice double.

Of course, since there’s also Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (neither is available with a wireless connection, unfortunately, though there is a wireless charge pad), you can forget the native display entirely. Also, the digital gauge cluster changes styles depending on what drive mode (normal, sport, smart) you’re in, adding just a little more flare to the proceedings.

2024 Kia Seltos, in profile
2024 Kia Seltos, in profile | Photo: D.Heyman

Driving the 2024 Kia Seltos – 7.5/10

Power in our SX tester is rated at 195 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque from a turbocharged 1.6L turbocharged 4-cylinder, which is a 20-hp increase over last year’s model. The entry level 2.0L naturally aspirated 4-cylinder sees its power figures remain unchanged at 147 hp and 132 lb-ft.

Power is sent to the four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission that whips through its ratios in short order, providing acceleration more suited to a hot-hatchback than a compact CUV. It’s zippy at start and since the eight ratios are closely spaced, you can find power when at speed as well. If ever there was a crossover that asked for a pair of paddle shifters, this is it but alas, you can’t get any. You can shift manually via the leer, but it’s just not the same.

While you might think the tall roof would make for a higher centre of gravity and more body roll, that’s not really the case. There is some – this isn’t really a stiffly-sprung or damped performance crossover after all, and occupancy comfort remains paramount – but it’s a remarkably planted affair overall. You will feel some fore-aft bounce over smaller bumps, though but that falls pretty short of deal-breaker status.

2024 Kia Seltos, front grille
2024 Kia Seltos, front grille | Photo: D.Heyman

A few of your questions about the 2024 Kia Seltos

Is the Seltos available with FWD?
You can get the Seltos in FWD in both base LX and mid-level EX forms, but only with the 2.0L four-cylinder; the turbo powertrain comes only with AWD.

Is the Seltos’ AWD system full-time or part-time?
The Kia Seltos gets a part-time AWD system, meaning power is sent only to the front wheels under normal driving conditions. If the goings get more slippery or adverse, power can then be directed rearwards meaning fuel savings when you don’t need power to all four wheels, and good traction when you do.

2024 Kia Seltos, Kia logo on the rear hatch
2024 Kia Seltos, Kia logo on the rear hatch | Photo: D.Heyman

Pricing of the 2024 Kia Seltos

The 2024 Seltos starts at $25,345 for the entry-level LX FWD trim, while upgrading to AWD adds an additional $2,000. Our SX tester starts at $35,945 while the top-spec X-Line version comes in at $38,545.

The final word
The Seltos became a hit almost as soon as it dropped in 2021, meaning this refresh had some pretty bug shoes to fill. The added power and new looks are nice, but the real hit is the new interior and digitized dash set-up. Tech and connectivity are becoming bigger and bigger factors for buyers these days and while we do lament the lack of wireless connectivity, the increased operating speed and dual digital displays are great adds. One thing’s for sure; there are few that will not be happy with the upgrade.

Strong points

  • - Punchy turbo powertrain
  • - New interior digs
  • - Good interior ergonomics

Weak points

  • - No FWD with turbo power
  • - No paddle shifters
  • - Ride can get bouncy
2024 Kia Seltos, rear
2024 Kia Seltos, rear | Photo: D.Heyman

Competitors of the 2024 Kia Seltos

  • - Chevrolet Trax / TrailBlazer
  • - Honda HR-V
  • - Hyundai Kona
  • - Jeep Renegade
  • - Mazda CX-30
  • - Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
  • - Nissan Kicks
  • - Subaru Crosstrek
  • - Toyota Corolla Cross
  • - Volkswagen Taos
2024 Kia Seltos, wheel
2024 Kia Seltos, wheel | Photo: D.Heyman
Dan Heyman
Dan Heyman
Automotive expert
  • Over 12 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 70 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 150 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists