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2021 Kia Seltos Arrives As Funky Kona Alternative

Crossover / Comments

Subcompact crossover slots in size and style in between the Soul and Sportage.

Just this past summer, Kia revealed in India a new crossover called the Seltos. Now it's not only confirmed that it's coming to America, but brought it to the LA Auto Show to display the Seltos as part of its growing lineup of crossover SUVs for the North American market.

Arriving as a 2021 model, the Seltos slots between the Soul and the Sportage – not only in size, but also in terms of style, blurring the line between upright and boxy on the one hand and dynamic and strealined on the other.

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The subcompact crossover is closely related to (but slightly larger than) the Hyundai Kona, and arrives Stateside in five trim levels, with two engine options and the choice of front- or all-wheel drive. The base 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine provides 146 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque and comes mated to a continuously variable transmission. Though smaller, the 1.6-liter four-pot is turbocharged to deliver a (relatively) more ample 175 hp and 195 lb-ft, and comes with a dual-clutch transmission. Both versions ride on a MacPherson front setup, but front-drive models get a torsion beam rear axle while all-wheel-drive models get a multilink rear suspension.

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Buyers will also be able to choose (depending on the trim level selected) between 17- an 18-inch alloys, and select from options including a 10.25-inch touchscreen display, 8-speaker Bose audio system (a first for Kia), and a smattering of other infotainment and drive-assistance technologies, with prices starting below $22,000.

All versions come with a flexible rear-seat setup that allows rear passengers to recline or fold the rear bench flat for added cargo space – an innovative feature for such a small crossover that's sure to attract its fair share of customers once it goes on sale early in the new year ahead.

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