If you didn’t realize that there was a gap between the Kia Soul and the Kia Sportage, well, don’t feel bad because we didn’t either. But, it’s all good, because Kia has managed to fill that gap with a model known as the Seltos. It celebrated its U.S. launch at the 2019 Los Angels Auto Show after being introduced a couple of months before that in India. Naturally, there are some minor changes to make it meet U.S. regulations, but for the most part, we’re looking at a compact SUV with some Telluride-inspired design cues and enough ground clearance that you could actually take it off the beaten path if you really wanted to.
The real highlight of the Seltos is its cargo capacity. In relation to its size, the capacity is rather respectable at 26.6 cubic-feet with the rear seats in place and 62.8 cubic-feet with the rear seats folded down. It also comes with a decent list of technology, including a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system that looks like it came out of yesteryear’s BMW parts bin, and there’s even an 8-speaker Bose audio system. The latter is actually a first for a Kia, so it has that going for it.
The Seltos is available with your choice of two different engines. The base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 146 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. The smaller, but turbocharged 1.6-liter mill delivers 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. It’s nothing to write home about, but it’s also a small model, so it should be adequate. Kia is promising an impressive starting point of “below $22,000,” so expect it to start out around $21,990 and climb closer to the $30,000 range in top trim.