2023 Kia Seltos, All you want to know & watch about a Great Car
The 2023 Kia Seltos’s Tiny Price Increases Are Better Than Big Ones
With competitors doling out big price increases, Kia bucks the trend.
When the Kia Seltos first landed on our shores, we were mostly impressed with the new subcompact crossover SUV. We loved that it was an affordable small SUV that was still big on space—like Jeep’s Compass, it straddles the subcompact and compact segments—but the dual-clutch automatic transmission was’t as refined as we’d like, and the interior was pretty plasticky. Now entering into its third year on sale here in the U.S., Kia is looking to keep the Seltos’s value going by keeping its 2023-model-year prices within a few hundred dollars in its lowest trim to just about $400 in its highest trim.
In today’s car market, which is marked by price increases at both the manufacturer and—particularly—at the dealership level, Kia nearly holding the line on Seltos pricing is noteworthy. It’s almost amazing given that the Seltos plays in the highly desirable small-SUV sandbox.
Much of the 2023 Seltos is carried over from the 2022 model, as mentioned in the opening, including the Nightfall Edition. It still uses the same 2.0-liter I-4 base engine (along with a continuously variable automatic transmission), along with an available 1.6-liter turbocharged I-4 engine and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT). We really didn’t like that direct clutch transmission due to its harsh shifting, but the turbo’s extra power is nice. Even so, the 2023 model is only $390 more at $28,335 for the Nightfall. Yes, that even accounts for the $40 increase in Kia’s delivery charges for 2023 ($1,295 versus $1,255 last year).
That pattern continues throughout each trim that remains of the 2023 Seltos. The base model, front-wheel-drive Seltos S with a 2.0-liter I-4 engine and CVT (which Kia calls an Intelligent Variable Transmission, or IVT, rather than a continuously variable transmission) now comes in at $24,185, only $240 more than it did in 2022. The 2023 LX AWD with the same engine and transmission is only $390 more than 2022 at $24,135.
The 2023 Seltos S AWD with the 2.0-liter and CVT is $25,685, only $240 more than last year’s S AWD trim. After that, the EX and SX AWD trims of the Seltos are only $390 more than their 2022 counterparts at $27,435 (EX AWD) and $29,635 (SX AWD), but the difference between them is their standard engine and transmission. The EX AWD comes with the 2.0-liter I-4 and CVT while the SX comes with the 1.6-liter turbo I-4 with the seven-speed DCT.
Considering how 2022 has been as far as price bumps go, Kia has had the best bargains of the year (at least on paper—the dealer markup experience can change that). With each trim seeing either $240 or $390 increases, it’s almost not worth calling this an increase when compared to some other OEMs. While we hoped Kia might improve the DCT and upgrade the interior with fewer plasticky parts, the images of the ’23 look exactly like the 2022-and-earlier versions. That means the interior, while spacious for an SUV of this class, is going to feel somewhat cheap. Hey, you can’t get everything and a low price, we suppose.
2023 Kia Seltos Pricing
|2023 Kia Seltos S FWD||2.0L I-4 (146 hp/ 132 lb-ft)||CVT||$24,185|
|2023 Kia Seltos LX AWD||2.0L I-4 (146 hp/ 132 lb-ft)||CVT||$24,135|
|2023 Kia Seltos S AWD||2.0L I-4 (146 hp/ 132 lb-ft)||CVT||$25,685|
|2023 Kia Seltos Nightfall Edition AWD||1.6L turbo I-4 (175 hp/195 lb-ft)||7-speed dual-clutch automatic||$28,335|
|2023 Kia Seltos EX AWD||2.0L I-4 (146 hp/ 132 lb-ft)||CVT||$27,435|
|2023 Kia Seltos SX AWD||1.6L turbo I-4 (175 hp/195 lb-ft)||7-speed dual-clutch automatic||$29,635|
2023 Kia Seltos Price: Starting around $24,000
2023 Kia Seltos Review
- Plenty of cargo space
- Upscale interior design and materials
- Distinctive styling and paint color choices add personality
- Front seats aren’t very comfortable for long drives
- Less than athletic handling
- No significant changes expected for 2023
- Part of the first Seltos generation introduced for 2021
The Kia Seltos may be suffering from middle-child syndrome, receiving less attention than its Kia siblings on either side. On one hand, it’s priced higher than the funky-cool Kia Soul. On the other, the all-new Kia Sportage is making a splash with its sharp and aggressive styling that will likely dictate the look and feel of the brand’s future lineup.
Being stuck in the middle is not the only reason you might pass on the Seltos. As much as we like the Seltos for its large cargo capacity and distinctive styling, its front seats could stand some improvements in regard to long-distance comfort. It’s also not all that inspiring to drive on a winding mountain road, and even the turbocharged engine upgrade can feel underpowered from a stop.
It’s possible Kia will update the 2023 Seltos’ styling and add a hybrid powertrain to the lineup for greater fuel economy. If the rumors prove true, and the seats get reworked and suspension retuned, that might move the Seltos up out of its rather low standing in the extra-small SUV class, as documented in the Expert Rating below. As it stands, it’s a ways off from challenging Edmunds’ top-ranked Volkswagen Taos, Chevrolet Trailblazer and Mazda CX-30.
How does the Seltos drive? We tested a top-of-the-line Seltos SX, which comes with the turbocharged engine. Acceleration is sluggish from a stop, but after that this little SUV is pretty punchy. In Edmunds’ testing, the Seltos sprinted from 0 to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds. That’s great for this class and means you can quickly get up to highway speeds. The transmission shifts smoothly and quickly.
The Seltos is less impressive once the road bends, however. The responsive steering and taut suspension tuning should be beneficial, but drive with some enthusiasm and the Seltos just feels overly nose-heavy and ill-suited to the task.
How comfortable is the Seltos? The Kia Seltos is comfortable enough for your daily routine and short road trips. It absorbs most bumps without trouble and isn’t overly floaty on the highway. The front seats are OK, but they don’t have enough thigh support and cushioning to make them truly comfortable on long drives. The rear seats are actually pretty comfortable for an extra-small SUV.
There’s a fair amount of road noise that enters the cabin, and the climate control system is a little weak when it comes to thoroughly cooling the cabin down on hot days.
How’s the interior? The Seltos’ interior is simple, practical and roomy. Special mention goes to the available 10.25-inch infotainment screen; it has crisp graphics and is easy to use. The bottom screen, which displays the single-zone climate settings, is equally sharp.
As one of the larger extra-small SUVs (yes, that’s kind of an oxymoron), the Seltos has enough room for most people. As long as you’re under 6-foot-2, you should find the Seltos pretty accommodating in both front and back. The Seltos is also pretty easy to get in and out of.
Visibility is somewhat hampered by thick roof pillars. It’s always good practice to glance twice to make sure there are no pedestrians walking toward you from the right side. The wide-angle rearview camera is definitely beneficial when you’re backing up.
How’s the tech? The Seltos comes with a pleasing number of features. The Bose audio system (SX trim only) produces clear sound and punchy bass. The navigation system is easy enough to use. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration is standard across the board but works best on the available 10.25-inch infotainment display. Our test car had two USB ports, a 12-volt power port and a wireless charging pad in front. Rear passengers will fight over the single USB port.
The advanced safety and driver aids in our top-of-the-line Seltos SX worked well and weren’t overly intrusive with warnings. But the adaptive cruise control is very conservative with its following distances.
How’s the storage? You can hold a lot of stuff in the back of the Seltos. It’s one of the leaders in its class with a maximum cargo capacity of 62.8 cubic feet. Leave the rear seats up and there’s still 26.6 cubes. Loading cargo isn’t a hassle either thanks to a wide liftgate opening and decent cargo depth.
Interior storage for front passengers is sufficient. There are plenty of water-bottle-size pockets, a small cellphone tray in front of the gear shifter, a small console box and a glovebox. As for child safety-seat installation, the Seltos’ car seat anchor points are clearly marked and easy to access. You’ll be able to install a rear-facing safety seat without too much trouble.
How’s the fuel economy? The Kia Seltos has a few powertrain combinations. We tested the SX, which has the more powerful turbocharged engine, and our vehicle had all-wheel drive too. The EPA estimates that combo will get 27 mpg combined (25 city/30 highway). That’s below the class average, though a base Seltos with front-wheel drive gets a more respectable 31 mpg combined.
We recorded 27.9 mpg on our 115-mile mixed-driving evaluation route. Overall, we believe you should be able to match the EPA’s numbers without much trouble.
Is the Seltos a good value? The Seltos is a better than average value for the class thanks to its pleasing number of standard features. The top SX trim is pricey, but it adds a lot of stuff, including the turbocharged engine. Build quality is solid, but the interior materials lack substance and the abundant plastic makes it feel a tad cheap.
Kia’s limited and powertrain warranties are fantastic. You get five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage.
Which Seltos does Edmunds recommend?
Kia Seltos models
[Editor’s note: the following unofficial information is based on last year’s Seltos. We expect the 2023 model will have a similar lineup and we’ll update this section once we have complete information.] The Seltos is available in five trim levels: LX, S, EX, Nightfall Edition and SX. You’ll generally get progressively more features on each one, plus a more powerful engine for the Nightfall Edition and SX. Standard feature highlights include:
Starts you off with:
- 146-horsepower four-cylinder engine
- Continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT)
- All-wheel drive
- 17-inch wheels
- Keyless entry
- Tinted rear windows
- 8-inch touchscreen
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration
- One USB port
- Six-speaker audio system
- Automatic headlights
Every Seltos also comes with:
- Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
- Lane departure warning (alerts you if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane)
- Driver attention warning
- Lane keeping assist (steers the car back into its lane if it begins to drift over the lane marker)
- Automatic high beams (can brighten or dim automatically)
Comes standard with front-wheel drive, though all-wheel drive is an option. The S trim also adds:
- Roof rails
- Optional two-tone paint
- Heated outside mirrors
- LED daytime running lights and taillights
- Cloth and simulated leather upholstery
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- 10.25-inch touchscreen
- Navigation system and satellite radio
- Automatic climate control with rear vents
- Rear center armrest
Gains back standard all-wheel drive and also gets you:
- Proximity keyless entry and push-button start
- Full simulated leather upholstery
- Heated front seats
- Power-adjustable driver’s seat
- Wireless phone charger
- Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while in reverse)
Lacks the leather upholstery, sunroof, power-adjustable driver’s seat and wireless charger of the EX. But in return the Nightfall Edition has:
- 175-hp turbocharged engine
- Seven-speed automatic transmission
- 18-inch wheels
- Unique blacked-out exterior trim and wheels
Tops off the Seltos line with the features of the EX and the more powerful engine and bigger wheels of the Nightfall Edition. It also has:
- LED headlights
- Bose premium audio system
- Upgraded driver information display
- Sport steering wheel
- Adaptive cruise control (adjusts speed to maintain a constant distance between the Seltos and the car in front)
- Lane keeping system (makes minor steering corrections to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane)
- Cargo cover
by Mark Takahashi / edmunds
2023 Kia Seltos, On Youtube
2023 Kia Seltos Exterior & Interior review – Best car in the segment?
[CONFIRMED] 2023 kia seltos facelift – kia seltos release date canada | interior & exterior
The 2023 Kia Seltos