2023 Kia Seltos Review

2023 Kia Seltos Review
  • Roomy cabin
  • Optional turbo power
  • Good infotainment
  • Lots of safety tech
  • Base version is too slow
  • Some gaudy touches
  • Clunky 7-speed gearbox
  • Where’s the hybrid?
  • Even more standard safety tech this year makes the 2023 Kia Seltos a strong buy in base form.
The 2023 Kia Seltos is a perky choice with a terrific warranty and a reasonable price tag, but we’d like to see a hybrid version.

What kind of vehicle is the 2023 Kia Seltos? What does it compare to?
The 2023 Kia Seltos is a small SUV. It’s worth shopping against the Subaru Crosstrek, Chevrolet Trailblazer, and Hyundai Kona. 

Is the 2023 Kia Seltos a good SUV?
The 2023 Kia Seltos is a good choice overall, with plenty of style and features for the money. We rate it at 5.8 out of 10, which is good for a smaller crossover SUV.

What's new for the 2023 Kia Seltos?
The Seltos sees few changes aside from a few more safety features on most versions this year. 

2023 Kia Seltos Review

Measuring about 172 inches long, the Seltos is the smallest SUV with available all-wheel drive in the Kia lineup. It may be small, but it’s packed with style—perhaps too much for some tastes. It is more conservative inside, where a choice of 8.0- or 10.3-inch screens take up a good bit of dashboard real estate. 

The base 4-cylinder pairs with a CVT for decent acceleration and about 30 mpg combined fuel economy. While the 175-hp turbo-4 in the SX trim might tempt, we’re unimpressed with its 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It also uses more fuel, so look for 27 mpg combined at best. 

The Seltos has a softer ride than its sporty styling might suggest. Quick steering makes it relatively fun to drive, though. 

For a smaller SUV, the Seltos offers up a spacious cabin with an impressive cargo area. It’s also well-equipped, with standard automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alerts, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and cruise control among its assets. 

Crash-test results have been mixed, with a four-star rating from the NHTSA canceling out a Top Safety Pick score from the IIHS in certain configurations. 

How much does the 2023 Kia Seltos cost?
The 2023 Seltos runs a little over $24,000 to start in LX trim, which strikes us as a good value on its own since all-wheel drive is standard at that price point.

Budget another $3,000 or so and the EX with its synthetic leather trim, power-adjustable driver’s seat, sunroof, and seat heaters feels almost decadent for just $27,500 or so. 
2023 Kia Seltos Review

Where is the 2023 Kia Seltos made?
In South Korea.


The 2023 Kia Seltos packs a lot of styling themes into a single package.

Is the Kia Seltos a good-looking car?
It’s a striking choice, if not an especially cohesive one. The 2023 Kia Seltos has a perky shape loaded with details, not all of which work for us. We give it a 6, with the extra point above average allocated to its busy but interesting exterior.

The smiling grille comes flanked by complex headlights, with plenty of cut-outs and lines adding intrigue—and complexity—below. From the side, the Seltos is comparatively conservative, though the belt line that arcs upward to split the body from the contrasting roof adds some fun. At the rear, big taillights connected by a matte silver bar have less character than the rest of the design.
2023 Kia Seltos Review

Things are considerably more businesslike inside with a low dash housing small groups of BMW-esque controls. Hints of chrome shoot for upscale, but they’re countered with way too much shiny black trim.  


Kia needs to send the Seltos’ gearboxes to finishing school.

Is the Kia Seltos 4WD?
All-wheel drive comes standard on all but the base Seltos S, where it costs $1,500 extra. 

How fast is the Kia Seltos?
2023 Kia Seltos Review

A 146-hp 2.0-liter inline-4 powers most versions of the Seltos, though the SX versions use a 175-hp 1.6-liter turbo-4. 

Reasonably responsive steering and a comfortable ride aren’t enough to offset dull acceleration in the base Seltos, so we land at a 5 out of 10 on the TCC scale.

The base engine’s CVT is geared–literally—more toward frugality than performance, so it does its best to keep engine revs low at the expense of speedy response. 

Most of our driving has been in Seltos models with the turbo, which can be fairly quick but come paired with an indecisive 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This gearbox stumbles through low-speed changes and hesitates more than it should for highway passing.
2023 Kia Seltos Review

The Seltos may look sporty, but a fairly soft ride gives it more lean than we expect. Steering response is quick but light on feel, though a Sport drive mode tightens things up a bit.

Comfort & Quality

The 2023 Seltos offers up a fairly spacious cabin.

It may stretch just 172 inches between its bumpers, but the 2023 Kia Seltos feels more spacious inside than its tidy dimensions suggest. A big cargo area earns it an extra point for a 6 on the TCC scale.

The front seats are wide enough to accommodate a range of bodies, though they’re fairly flat and light on bolstering. Standard cloth can be upgraded to synthetic leather, and heated seats are available. 

Second-row riders will find good leg room and a reclining seatback, though there’s simply not enough width here to comfortably accommodate three adults. Consider the Seltos a four-seater. 
2023 Kia Seltos Review

A disappointingly small tailgate and a somewhat high liftover reveal a big cargo area for an SUV this small. The 26.6-foot cargo area expands to a hefty 62.8 cubes with the rear seatbacks folded, too.

For the price, the Seltos has nice trim aside from all that shiny black plastic.


The 2023 Kia Seltos comes with lots of collision-avoidance tech, but crash-test ratings are mixed.

How safe is the Kia Seltos?
That depends on who you ask. The IIHS says it’s a Top Safety Pick when equipped with the LED headlights included on high-end versions. Other models perform well overall, though. The NHTSA, meanwhile, rates it a disappointing four stars overall.

Standard tech includes automatic emergency braking, active lane control, automatic high-beam headlights, and rear cross-traffic alerts.
2023 Kia Seltos Review

With points above average added for the IIHS rating, collision-avoidance tech, and outward vision balanced by a four-star NHTSA rating, we score the 2023 Seltos at 7 out of 10. 


The 2023 Kia Seltos is a right-price small SUV.

Kia packs a lot of features into the Seltos, which this year starts at $24,135 with standard all-wheel drive, crash-avoidance tech, 17-inch alloy wheels, cloth seats, air conditioning, cruise control, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto compatibility. 

Thanks to its good feature set, its big infotainment screen, and a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty, the Seltos rates 8 out of 10 on the TCC scale. 

Which Kia Seltos should I buy?
2023 Kia Seltos Review

We’d probably stick with the LX and bypass the mid-level S, even though it’s the only Seltos with available front-wheel drive ($24,185, or $1,500 more with all-wheel drive). It’s mostly an appearance package. 

The EX piles on a power-adjustable driver’s seat, synthetic leather upholstery, a sunroof, a 10.3-inch touchscreen, and 18-inch wheels for $27,500 or so, and it’s worth the splurge if you’re so inclined. 

How much is a fully loaded Kia Seltos?
The lineup tops out in turbocharged SX trim, which comes in at $30,680 with the optional sunroof and extra-cost paint. 

Fuel Economy

The 2023 Kia Seltos is a relatively thrifty choice.

Is the Kia Seltos good on gas?
It’s not too bad, though all-wheel-drive versions of the 2023 Kia Seltos are noticeably thirstier.

The base front-wheel-drive models rate 29 mpg city, 35 highway, 31 combined. They’d score a 4 on our scale if rated separately.
2023 Kia Seltos Review

Instead, more popular all-wheel-drive versions rate 27/31/29 mpg according to the EPA, which is good for a 3 from us.

Turbo versions aren’t that much thirstier at 25/30/27 mpg. 
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
2023 Kia Seltos Review 2023 Kia Seltos Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on December 05, 2022 Rating: 5


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