July 14, 2024

Review of the 2025 Kia Seltos: Focus on the SUV, not the name

Advantages: Plenty of room; excellent technology; exhilarating acceleration with turbo engine; innovative design throughout; high safety ratings

Disadvantages: Less than impressive fuel economy with turbo engine; underpowered base engine; owning a car named ‘Kia Seltos’

“Did they really name a car that?” Yes, they did, and it’s unfortunate because the 2025 Kia Seltos deserves better than to be associated with a medication advertised during “Jeopardy!” It is actually one of the best subcompact SUVs recommended by us due to its spacious passenger and cargo areas, advanced technology, stylish design inside and out, and an option for a powerful engine upgrade in its class. Additionally, it boasts strong safety features without any unwanted side effects.

After receiving significant updates last year, such as refreshed aesthetics and enhanced infotainment, the 2025 Seltos only sees some additional features added this year. Although the price has slightly increased, it’s worth noting that the Seltos may not be the budget-friendly option you might expect from the Kia brand. Competitors like the Chevrolet Trax and Buick Envista offer great value for their price, while Kia’s Niro hybrid and the Volkswagen Taos provide alternatives in the same price range and size, albeit without all-wheel drive. For those prioritizing style and performance over space, the Mazda CX-30 is a worthy competitor to consider. Overall, the Seltos can hold its own against the competition and offer a smart alternative. You may just have to get used to calling it your Kia What’s-It.

Interior & Technology | Passenger & Cargo Space | Performance & Fuel Economy

Driving Experience | Pricing & Trim Levels | Safety Ratings & Features

What’s New for 2025?

Following last year’s significant updates, every trim level of the Seltos receives additional equipment for 2025. The base S now features a new instrument panel display, auto up/down power driver window, and new two-tone alloy wheels. The EX and SX trims now come with rear parking sensors, while the EX AWD and SX gain a power liftgate. Additionally, the EX now offers a sunroof as an option.

Seltos SX interior with “Brown” color choice; Seltos S blue seat option; base Seltos LX with smaller screen combo

What Can You Expect from the Seltos Interior and In-Car Technology?

If there’s one area where the Seltos reveals its affordable pricing, it’s in the quality of its interior materials. The presence of hard plastic in areas like the door sills, dash tops, center console, and cargo area is more pronounced compared to Kia’s Sportage or Niro models. However, this is common in the segment, and the Seltos incorporates higher-quality materials in key areas. Distinctive design elements and upgraded materials enhance the overall look of the interior, such as the 3D geometric pattern of the speaker grilles and the sleek silver trim pieces. The twin-screen setup across the dash adds to the visual appeal, with larger screens available in higher trim levels. The infotainment system is user-friendly and feature-packed, with convenient smartphone storage solutions. Although wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is not supported, the wired connection is standard.

How Spacious is the Seltos?

Despite being a subcompact SUV, the Seltos offers ample interior space and is suitable for small families. It accommodates a large child seat comfortably and provides easy access for loading and unloading. The back seat offers enough room and comfort for adults, and the square roofline and rear doors enhance the overall accessibility. The generous cargo space of 26.6 cubic feet can easily fit multiple suitcases, and the maximum cargo capacity of 62.8 cubic feet makes it ideal for transporting larger items. While not the largest in its class, the Seltos offers competitive cargo space due to its boxy dimensions.

What are the Fuel Efficiency and Performance Specifications of the Seltos?

The Seltos LX, S, and EX models are equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 146 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. Paired with a continuously variable transmission, these models offer decent performance but are not the fastest in the segment. Fuel efficiency is competitive with FWD models achieving 28 mpg city, 34 mpg highway, and 31 mpg combined. AWD models see a slight decrease in fuel economy. The X-Line and SX trims come with a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine generating 195 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, providing impressive power for a subcompact SUV. The turbo engine delivers brisk acceleration, but fuel economy is lower compared to the base engine.

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