3 Best & Worst Kia Seltos Years (Stats & Examples)

The Kia Seltos is a subcompact crossover SUV manufactured by Kia. It is a vehicle loved for its spacious cabin and high-end features.

This vehicle has only three model years, so it can be difficult to accurately point out how reliable the model is.

Nevertheless, we have compiled a list of the best and worst models according to the number of reviews and complaints on each model.

The Best And Worst Years For Kia Seltos Are:

The best model years for the Kia Seltos include the 2023 and 2022 models, while, of course, the model year to avoid is the 2021 model.

What Kia Seltos Years Are The Most Reliable?

What we have below is the list of reliable Seltos models.

1. 2022 Kia Seltos

The 2022 Seltos has received a good number of excellent reviews and so we consider it to be one of the best models of this vehicle. 

This model is not exactly sporty, but it gets better with its optima turbocharged engine. With this engine option, the Seltos sprinted from 0 mph to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds, which is fair for its class.

This means that it will pick up its acceleration greatly on the highway. Thankfully, this turbocharged engine delivers a decent fuel economy, as the EPA rating of this model gets 25 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and 27 mpg combined.

The 2022 Kia Seltos comes with a firm suspension and its steering delivers good feedback, which gives the vehicle some kind of smooth handling.

However, its smoothness trembles when it gets into tight corners.

The inside of this vehicle turns out to be okay for your daily commute. The driving dynamics performed well, and it isn’t overly floaty on the highway.

Mind you, the seats run out of comfort in long drives. While they are not sufficiently padded, they also do not have enough thigh support.

Another point to note is the fact that there’s a bearable amount of wind noise with the Kia Seltos; so the cabin isn’t truly quiet on the highway. 

The 2022 Kia Seltos scores high on its controls as they are well-positioned and easy to navigate through. For the higher trim, it comes with an available 10.25 infotainment screen.

Another highlight of this vehicle is its sufficient headroom and legroom. Passengers, and even talk folks, would have no issue getting in and out of the vehicle.

The driving visibility of this model would have been great if it didn’t have thick roof pillars. Thus, it is advised to check thoroughly for pedestrians or any obstruction, especially on the right side of the car, to avoid collisions.

The wide-angle rearview camera put in place should also make it easier to be on the safe lookout.

Delving into the tech features of this car, the 2022 Kia Seltos comes with an outstanding set. Its Boss audio system on the SX trims delivers a pleasing sound and clear bass.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto work well with the 10.25-inch infotainment display. Its navigation system is also easy to use plus it supports two USB ports, a 12-volt power port, and a wireless charging pad.

Note that the wireless charging port is only available in the front; the back seats features just a single port.

Also, with the standard safety feature of this car, it is safe to say the Kia Seltos offers excellent protection for its passengers. Just note that the higher the trim, the more safety features you get.

For instance, the adaptive cruise control and cyclist detection are limited to the range-topping SX trim.

Some of the key safety features of the 2022 Kia Seltos include the following:

  • Automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
  • Adaptive cruise control and cyclist detection

The 2022 Kia Seltos is an impressive car with good value, solid build quality, and abundant interior features. Edmunds granted this car a 7.6 out of 10 for its reliability rating.

2. 2023 Kia Seltos

The 2023 Seltos is the most recent version of this model and it sits higher than most of its rivals, like the Hyundai venue and the Nissan kicks when it comes to internal volume and driving dynamics.

This model also beats its rivals because of its optional turbocharged engine, which would be discussed later. Equally, like the 2022 model, it comes with a wide range of safety and technology features. Each varies on the trim.

Delving into the engine of this vehicle, the 2022 Seltos offers two different four-cylinder engines.

The first comes with a 2.0-liter that makes 146 horsepower while the second is equipped with a turbocharged 1.6-liter that delivers 175 horsepower.

Its turbocharged engine beats the others in terms of speed, as it races between 0 mph to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds.

This model also offers a smooth shift because of its reliable continuously variable automatic transmission on the base model while the turbocharged engine is mated with a seven-speed automatic.

The driving dynamics of this Seltos conveniently outshines its rivals, such as the Jeep Compass and the Outlander Sport.

Even as the power of this engine performs effectively, owners need not worry about its fuel economy. Remarkably, the 2023 Kia Seltos gets 35 mpg combined with the 2.0-liter engine, while the turbocharged 1.6-liter gets 30mpg.

The interior of the Seltos is refined as the materials used throughout the cabin are well-built. These seats are moderately cushioned and there’s enough headroom and legroom for passengers.

Check also, 10 other SUVs, like the Kia Seltos, with the most comfortable seats.

The cargo space can also swallow up suitcases and backpacks conveniently.

Moreover, like the 2022 model, this vehicle also comes with the optional 10.3-inch infotainment screen. It also supports Apple Carplay and Android Auto integration.

Depending on the trim, the Seltos supports a wireless smartphone-charging pad, up to three USB ports, a head-up display, and a 7.0-inch color display in the gauge cluster. It may also come with the Boss audio system.

Lastly, the 2023 Kia Seltos comes with a good range of driver assistance techs, such as adaptive cruise control and cyclist detection, but this is not available on the base level.

Some of the other key safety features of the Kia Seltos include:

  • Automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Lane-departure warning 
  • Lane-keeping assist

What Kia Seltos Years Should You Avoid?

What we have below is the model year that has been flagged for having some major issues.

1. 2021 Kia Seltos

The 2021 Seltos was the first model year of this brand and it has been reported to have some major problems. One of the major problems of this vehicle was engine and transmission failure.

Some owners have reported that there were occurrences of the engine stalling which sprouted from the improperly heat-treated piston oil rings.

Several other users have also claimed that there was an oil leakage into hot exhaust components which could lead to a fire risk. When most owners took their cars to the dealership, their engines had to be replaced.

Thankfully, a recall was made on these piston oil rings.

Another problem with the 2021 Kia Seltos is its transmission failure. Cases like jerking, sputtering, and hard shifts have been recorded with the Seltos. There have also been occurrences like loss of engine power and deceleration.

One owner stated that he was moving at 50mph and the transmission began to rev uncontrollably, accompanied by the steering going out of control.

Luckily, the owner successfully made the vehicle stop after many attempts before he took it to the dealership. The failure was approximately at 4,700 miles.

The last major problem with the Seltos is its electrical malfunctions. Owners stated that the whole infotainment system is full of bugs and limited in features.

For instance, Bluetooth or the Android auto can’t be used simultaneously with the free-hands options.

There is also a problem with the Blind Spot Collision Warning as owners complained that this defect could lead to more problems on the road.

You might also want to check how long the Kia Seltos last.

What Are Some Typical Problems With Kia Seltos Cars? 

Below are some typical problems with the Kia Seltos models:

  • Engine failures
  • Transmission problems
  • Suspension problems
  • Electrical malfunctions

Make sure to learn more about the common problems of the Kia Seltos here.


Go Back: Best & Worst Years For ALL Kia Models

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.