Kelley Blue Book: The 2022 Kia Seltos is stylish, practical and affordable
Generous standard safety tech
Good passenger and cargo space
All-wheel drive standard on most trims
More expensive than most competitors
Underwhelming base engine
Inconsistent available DCT transmission
Nightfall trim replaces S Turbo model
Standard navigation on all but LX trim
More standard safety tech
Price: The 2022 Kia Seltos starts at $22,690.
The 2022 Kia
Seltos is a stylish and affordable subcompact crossover SUV. This is a well-rounded SUV that gives you the style and tech features you want with the practicality you need. The interior has a higher level of refinement than you might expect at this price point while also being roomy enough to use as a small family vehicle.
The 2022 Kia Seltos
The Seltos is a good SUV, but there are a few compromises worth pointing out. There isn’t much grunt in the base engine, making the available turbocharged engine a worthwhile upgrade. However, the dual-clutch transmission that comes with the turbo engine is a bit inconsistent. That said, most drivers in the market for a subcompact crossover won’t have much trouble overlooking these faults, which are outshined by the many virtues of the Seltos.
2022 Kia Seltos pricing
Pricing for the 2022 Kia Seltos starts at $22,490 for the LX trim. Next up is the S model starting at $22,690 for the FWD model or $24,190 if you want to add AWD. AWD is standard across the rest of the model range. The midrange EX model starts at $25,790. If you want to upgrade to a turbocharged Seltos, the Nightfall model starts at $26,690, and the range-topping SX trim starts at $27,990. This makes the Seltos slightly more expensive than some of its direct competitors like the Chevrolet Trailblazer, Mazda
CX-30, and Honda
The 2022 Kia Seltos
Driving the 2022 Kia Seltos
The driving character of the Kia Seltos changes quite a bit depending on which engine you go with. The base 2.0-liter naturally aspirated inline-4 engine linked to a CVT transmission moves the Seltos around just fine, but getting up to highway speeds requires a little patience. If lightning-quick performance isn’t a big priority for you, then you probably won’t mind this engine at all.
If you like the idea of a practical little crossover that’s also a delight to drive, then you’ll want to upgrade to the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine in the Nightfall and SX models. This energetic engine gives the Seltos some significant pep while still returning good fuel economy. We’re grateful that every turbocharged Seltos has all-wheel drive (AWD), resulting in satisfying grip even under aggressive driving.
Speaking of AWD, it comes standard on every Seltos except for the S model. The S front-wheel-drive (FWD) model is the most affordable Seltos (and arguably the best value), but for drivers who insist on AWD for all-weather traction, it’s widely available across the model range.
The interior room in the Seltos is impressive, with adult-friendly back seats and a pretty roomy cargo area to boot. It’s slotted between the Soul and the Sportage in the Kia SUV lineup, and the interior space reflects that position. As long as you don’t need to regularly haul a lot of cargo, the Seltos has enough space for most drivers’ daily needs.
This Kia also uses some pretty nice interior materials in the upper trims, and the interior design looks like it would be home in a more expensive SUV. There are also some cool interior color options available, like the new-for-2022 Plum Color Package in the SX model.
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The Kia Seltos is on the bigger side of the subcompact SUV segment. It has an exterior design that reflects the personality of the Seltos very well. It has a stylish, modern look with a hint of rugged attitude thanks to the skid plates and plastic body cladding. The aesthetic reminds us of more expensive luxury SUVs, specifically the Volvo XC40. It’s a look that stands out in traffic but isn’t too ostentatious.
A fun palette of available paint colors is another part of what gives the Kia Seltos a big personality. There are some standout paint options like Starbright Yellow and Dark Ocean Blue, both new for 2022, and both can be combined with a 2-tone roof.
UVO infotainment system
The UVO infotainment system is one of the best in the industry. Everything but the base LX trim comes with a 10.25-inch screen loaded with navigation, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a host of other useful features that are all easy to use.
The Kia Seltos is a stylish SUV, and a good way to give it a little extra flair is with an available 2-tone roof. There are 4 different 2-tone roof configurations that all give the Seltos a unique personality.
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The Kia Seltos has gotten more generous with standard features for the 2022 model year. Newly standard is an extensive suite of safety tech features, including forward-collision avoidance assist, driver attention warning, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, high-beam assist, and lane-following assist. More standard equipment includes air conditioning, three drive modes (Normal, Eco, Sport), alloy wheels, 60/40 split back seats, and an 8-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple
Other than the S FWD model, torque-vectoring AWD comes standard on every 2022 Kia Seltos. A 2.0-liter inline-4 engine with a CVT transmission is standard on most models, but the Nightfall and SX models come with a stronger 1.6-liter turbocharged engine with a DCT transmission.
Other than the LX trim, every 2022 Kia Seltos comes with a 10.25-inch infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, navigation, SiriusXM
and UVO telematics. You can get some other nice features in the upper trims, including a wireless charging pad, a Bose premium audio system, leatherette seats, heated front seats, a sunroof, LED lighting, and more.
Above the base LX trim, the model range of the Seltos ranges from the S model with a sporty appearance, the midrange EX trim with more features and technology, the Nightfall Edition, which introduces the turbocharged engine, and the range-topping turbocharged SX model that’s loaded with premium features.
Engine and transmission
There are two engines available under the hood of the 2022 Kia Seltos. The base engine is a 2.0-liter inline-4 engine linked to a CVT transmission. The available upgrade is a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with a quick-shifting DCT transmission. Except for the S FWD model, every 2022 Kia Seltos is equipped with the Dynamax torque-vectoring AWD system.
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The frugal base engine will be sufficient for most drivers in the market for a small SUV like this. The available turbo engine makes the Seltos more energetic and fun to drive. The DCT transmission with the turbo engine is pretty good, but the shifts can be a little inconsistent at low speeds.
146 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
132 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/35 mpg (FWD), 27/31 mpg (AWD)
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
175 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
195 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/30 mpg
This story originally ran on KBB.com.