The 2021 Kia Seltos made its official debut in the U.S. just a couple months ago at the L.A. Auto Show. Now its fuel economy numbers have been published by the EPA. The compact crossover's numbers are roughly on par with its smaller Soul sibling and significantly better than the larger Sportage.
The Seltos is available with two different engines, a 146-horsepower naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder coupled to a CVT, and a 175-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder with a dual-clutch transmission. The former is available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, while the latter only comes with all-wheel drive. Unsurprisingly, the most efficient model is the front-drive 2.0-liter with city fuel economy of 29 mpg, highway economy of 34, and 31 combined. Adding all-wheel drive drops those numbers to 27 in town, 31 on the highway, and 29 combined. The turbo Seltos brings up the rear with 25 mpg in the city, 30 on the highway and 27 combined.
Compared with its smaller sibling, the Soul, the Seltos performs impressively, with the front-drive model matching the Soul Eco Dynamics combined fuel economy of 31 mpg. On the other hand, the turbo Soul's 29 mpg combined rating is better than the turbo Seltos. The turbo Seltos does have all-wheel drive, which the turbo Soul lacks. In fact, no Soul is available with all-wheel drive, a worthy selling point for the Seltos. When comparing the Seltos numbers to the bigger Sportage, which also offers all-wheel drive, every version of the Seltos outperforms the best Sportage's combined fuel economy number of 26 mpg.
Comparing the Seltos with other small crossovers, it fares well. Looking at front-drive competitors, only the much more expensive Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid and the smaller, cheaper Nissan Kicks and Hyundai Venue top the Seltos in fuel economy. The Buick Encore ties it. With all-wheel drive, the Seltos is also competitive. The non-hybrid Subaru Crosstrek's 30 mpg combined beats the Seltos by just one, and the Honda HR-V is tied with the Kia.
The 2020 Kia Seltos will go on sale early this year. The base price will be below $22,000.