An anonymous tipster sent Motor1 a list of MSRPs for all six trims of the 2021 Kia Seltos. We can't know if the prices are all correct, but Motor1 seems to have solid underground connections into Kia's back rooms lately, and if nothing else, the numbers give us a reference for when official pricing drops. When the Seltos debuted at last year's L.A. Auto Show, the carmaker said the all-wheel drive variant of the base-model LX and the front-wheel drive version of the S will both start under $22,000. Based on the anonymous figures, a $10 bill makes Kia an honest source, both trims starting at $21,990 before destination. The reported $1,120 fee for handling takes the sum to $23,110, and puts the Seltos $2,000 under the similarly sized but more powerful Sportage.
Claimed pricing for the entire lineup after destination runs:
- LX AWD $23,110
- S FWD $23,110
- S AWD $24,610
- EX AWD $26,410
- S 1.6L Turbo $26,610
- SX 1.6L Turbo $29,010
At the time of writing, Kia has the Seltos on its U.S. website, but the information isn't all laid out yet. The starting MSRP is listed as $21,990 at the top of the page, but near the bottom of the page, the SX Turbo is listed for that price, which can't be correct. The relevant links all lead to broken pages.
The base LX packs the base 2.0-liter with 146 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque running power through a CVT, yet clearly isn't a stripper model; it adds adaptive cruise control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and 17-inch wheels to its all-wheel drive system. The S forgoes the all-wheel system to plump up on options. Installing AWD to the entry-level motor requires an additional $1,500. The upgraded 1.6-liter with 175 hp and 195 lb-ft shifts through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and only comes in AWD, and it takes the surcharge to $3,500.
As Motor1 also notes, the Seltos LX AWD and S FWD are more expensive than FWD and AWD versions of the Hyundai Venue and Kona, Nissan Kicks, Ford EcoSport, Mazda CX-3, and Toyota C-HR. When it comes to practical concerns like fuel economy, though, the Seltos 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 Kia, and 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 more expensive Honda HR-V is tied with the Kia. What we really need is to get our first drive in it, to find out how and where the Kia tries to earn its place in the segment.