Long Term Updates
Long Term Updates
Date: October 2020
The newest member of our long-term fleet is this 2021 Kia Seltos. An all-new addition to the brand, the Seltos is Kia’s smallest all-wheel drive SUV yet.
But, even though it’s slight in stature, it has big utility looks, and plenty of features to go along with it.
Our SX-trimmed Seltos has the upgraded 1.6-liter I4 turbo engine. It sends 175-horsepower through a 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission; and all-wheel-drive is standard.
DAVE SCRIVENER: I’m just finishing up a 3,000 mile solo road trip in our new Kia Seltos long term. First off I appreciate the seat comfort and how quiet the cabin is. The ride is smooth and composed and not jarring. The 1.6 Turbo 4 has plenty of power to keep up with Texas interstate traffic. And some of the high tech features like Highway Steering Assist and Smart Cruise make a long trip like this less tiring for the driver. So thumbs up for me.
We’ll see how well the Kia Seltos holds up to a year of MotorWeek-style road work.
Date: November 2020
We are rapidly driving towards the holiday season; and though this 2021 Kia Seltos has been in our fleet for only a month, we’ve racked up a quick 3,500-miles.
Its 175-horsepower 1.6-liter I4 turbo engine is the gift that keeps on giving; feeling both punchy and responsive, and delivering 28.0 miles-per-gallon so far.
In the subcompact crossover segment, it turns out there IS a replacement for displacement; turbochargers. And the turbo in this Seltos spins up ample torque to get it going in a hurry. The 7-speed dual clutch transmission can be a bit hesitant to engage when there’s a sudden need to accelerate, but flipping it up to Sport mode really sharpens that response.
Like most vehicles these days, it’s very aero-dependent, and driving with the sunroof open can cause some wind buffeting unless you have the windows down fully. Something we’ll be doing less of in the colder months that lie ahead.
Date: December 2020
Two months in, and we’re nearing the 5,000-mile mark in our 2021 Kia Seltos. This little utility is proving to be quite fun to drive; nimble in the corners, without too much body roll.
And, it certainly has the looks to back up that sporty personality. There is some kinship to the larger Telluride, but it’s far from a direct copy; the tall front end, and 7.2-inches of ground clearance adding a very SUV stance, unlike many of its car-like competitors in the subcompact utility segment.
The optional 175-horsepower 1.6-liter turbo engine is quite peppy, and has delivered us 27.6 miles-per-gallon so far; though it doesn’t always seem to be on the same page as the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission it’s mated to. That’s most noticeable around town in constant off/on throttle situations.
But we’re keeping the Seltos’ metaphorical throttle pinned, as we race into the heart of winter.
Date: January 2021
It’s been a typical, unpredictable Mid-Atlantic winter so far. Bitter cold one day, almost balmy the next, with just about every kind of precipitation. But none of it a challenge so far for our 2021 Kia Seltos.
We’ve been enjoying the any-weather abilities and enhanced dry pavement performance of our all-wheel-drive, SX-trimmed Seltos; as torque vectoring delivers power to the wheels that can use it most, thus increasing rotation through corners.
Over 3-months, fuel economy continues slightly downward; still we rate 27.5 miles-per-gallon - quite good for a utility.
Date: February 2021
Compromise. It can leave a bad taste in your mouth, and even be a dirty word to some, including many politicians. But, it also makes for a great crossover.
Case in point, our 2021 Kia Seltos long-termer. It’s not too big, but certainly not too small. Its 175-horsepower 1.6-liter turbo engine is peppy, but not overwhelming. The interior, well thought out and comfortable, but not luxurious. And finally, a suspension that’s sporty, but not too stiff; having us enjoying our drive time more and more.
The Seltos is a small crossover with big daily comfort. The seats are holding up well and so is the suspension even as more and more winter potholes appear on our Maryland roads. So the argument for choosing a car over a utility simply because of ride and handling is losing traction...at least in this instance.
After 4-months and 6,000-miles, we’re averaging 27.1 miles-per-gallon, and looking forward to where the Seltos will take us this year.
Date: March 2021
As for another utility on our lot, the 2021 Kia Seltos, visibility is the word that comes to mind, in every sense of meaning.
The SX-trimmed Seltos in Starbright Yellow is easy to spot in a parking lot; and certainly sticks out among all the silvers and grays you see during your commute.
But, visibility is also high from the driver’s seat. Despite a minimal greenhouse, with rising sheet-metal that leads to chunky rear quarters, it’s easy to see all around you and a breeze to maneuver the Seltos in small places.
In the 5th month of our yearlong test, we’ve only driven about 6,000-miles; and all of the shorter trips has our fuel mileage continuing a slight downward trend to a still good 27.1 miles-per-gallon.
We had a fair amount of late winter snow here in the Mid-Atlantic, and the Seltos kept us moving, with not only torque vectoring all-wheel-drive, but a manual locking center diff. that ensures power gets split equally between the front and rear axles, for optimum traction.