Not that long ago, Kias were more like dairy products than they were other cars.
I mean, they lasted about as long as a carton of unrefrigerated milk and once they started to stink It was time to toss him out.
But today the story could not be more different over the last 15 years or so.
This automotive brand has gone from curdle to incredible thanks to consistent improvement and excellent products.
Now in recent years, models like the Soul, Stinger, and Telluride have been absolute blockbusters.
So I have high expectations for this 2021 Kia Seltos.
Like every other automaker, this South Korean concern is keen to cash in on the continuing crossover craze.
Its Utility Vehicle lineup is already well fleshed out.
But this latest model is intended to squeeze between the soul and Sportage.
That may seem like a narrow space to occupy, but the cell toast stands apart from its siblings in a few ways, which I'll get to shortly.
This machine is offered in five trim levels.
There's LX, ES, S2 liter, S1.60 and SX.
A strong value pricing kicks off at about 23 grand including destination charges, which are $1120.
And if you've been asking yourself, what does [UNKNOWN] mean?
Now, here's the scoop.
Apparently this KIA is named after Celtus.
That's C-E-L-T-U-S, in Greek mythology, he's the son of Hercules.
The more you know.
Differentiating it from the soul and sportage, Celtus, the vehicle, is designed to be more capable off road.
No, it's not a trail rated Jeep Wrangler, but there actually is some substance Underneath all of this rugged styling, for instance, ground clearance clocks in at 7.3 inches though, I forgot to bring a tape measure to verify this claim.
The approach and departure angles should be fairly generous plus eight torque vectoring all wheel drive system with a locking center differential is available The Seltos has a wheelbase of 103.5 inches and an overall length of 172, which makes it about the same size as a Honda HRV or Nissan Kicks.
As for interior space, it's quite generous.
With these back rests up, you get about 27 cubic feet of junk-hauling capacity.
But If you fold them down, that figure grows to nearly 63, which is comparable to what you get in a Chevy Equinox, which is a larger class of vehicle.
The Seltos is spacious and capable, just don't expect any underhood fireworks.
The base engine is a naturally aspirated two liter unit that's matched to a continuously variable automatic transmission This combo was good for 146 horsepower and 132 pound feet of torque.
Now if it were 2002 I might be impressed by those figures but it's not.
So neither am I. Instead, what you'll want is this This, it's a 1.6 liter turbo charge 4 which is offered in S1.60 and SX models.
It gives you 175 horsepower with 195 pound feed of tour, and it is matched to a 7 speed dual clutch transmission.
The base engine can be had with either front or all wheel drive.
The turbo only comes with four corner traction and models so equiped should return 25 miles per gallon around town, 30 on the highway, and 27 MPG combined.
Other versions of the Seltos are slightly more efficient.
Kenya is killing it these days and the cell toeses interior is just one more example of the great job it's doing.
Yes, nearly everything is hard plastic in here, but nothing is blatantly cheap.
The buttons and switches feel good.
There are plenty of interesting textures and build quality is excellent.
As with the cargo hold, this vehicle's back seat is huge with plenty of rooms for both legs and heads.
An eight speaker Bose audio system is standard on top shelf SX models, ditto for a ten and a quarter inch high resolution touch screen.
All other versions of the Seltos come with an eight inch display, though no matter the model, Apple Car Play and Android Auto are standard.
Nearly all versions come with a ramp steering wheel and shift knob, though EAX and sx versions also feature a wireless charging pad, leather seating surfaces and push button start And once you fire that engine up you are rewarded by reasonably quick acceleration when you nail the pedal.
The Seltos moves quite well.
It's got lots of mid-range torque.
Though it does feel just a little bit soft to ride off the line.
Almost like it's a gear or two too high.
Which can make it feel a little bit slow in around town driving.
However, there is a solution to that, you can just click it over into sport mode, which seems to eliminate much of that softness.
The Celta's steering is reasonably sharp.
No, it is not a Mazda Miata, but For the class, it's really quite competitive with nice waiting, especially in sport mode, though, there is one dynamic downside and that's the brake pedal.
It's a little bit grab here than I'd like.
The thrust of this vehicle's power train provides is perfectly respectable, though.
It does sound like a four cylinder.
There's no way around that
A range of Kia DRIVE WiSE assistance features is offered in this vehicle, and that includes things like automatic high beams, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, all of which are offered on all versions of the Seltos with the exception of the most basic LX model.
Now, beyond all of that stuff you can also get blind spot And monitoring rear cross traffic collision avoidance assistance just quite a mouthful.
And even adaptive cruise control with stop and go capability.
Now just a few short years ago these are features you couldn't get on some luxury cars.
And here they are available On a small crossover at a very affordable price.
As for the suspension, it provides a reasonably compliant and controlled ride.
Up front you have MacPherson struts, so there's nothing unusual about that.
However, at the rear things are a little bit different.
Front drive models are fitted with a torsion beam.
Though models that are equipped with all wheel drive do get a multi link setup.
For extra strength, rigidity and safety.
The shell torsion's body is made up of about 61% high strength steel with some 374 feet of structural adhesive, which I'm pretty sure is just a fancy way of saying hot glue.
2021 cell toast is a damn good small crossover and a welcome addition to key is already Utility Vehicle rich lineup.
This thing is stylish has a high quality and spacious interior plus it offers loads of tech What more could you want Now this top shelf SX model, with just two options added on to it stickers for just a hair less, than $30,000 which is still quite affordable.
Of course you can look for this brand new Kia Seltos at dealerships right now.