Kia Seltos Review In The UAE Market, The Kona Sister

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Small SUV segments that are called crossovers is getting more popular every day and it is no surprise that all automakers are trying to have some crossovers in their lineup. Kia is one of those automakers that has many crossovers in its line up with different sizes and specifications. Kia Seltos is the newest crossover by Kia based on the same platform as Hyundai Kona. while two compact crossovers are literally built on the same structure, the Seltos offers sharper design and a more dynamic look.

Kia Seltos UAE

Kia Seltos is available with two engines in some markets and in the UAE it is available with two different options. For the U.S, Seltos is available with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbocharged unit. The Seltos is available in both front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive configuration.

Kia Seltos also hosts a big range of new driver assistant technologies like an adaptive cruise control system with lane-centering assist and automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection. Inside the cabin also driver and passengers feel comfortable with the large touchscreen infotainment screen beside other equipment.

Kia Seltos has some rivals like Kia Soul, Hyundai Kona, and Mazda CX-30. Check out our verdict on the 2021 Seltos.

Engine, Performance & Fuel Economy

Kia offers a range of engines under Seltos’ tiny body. The first available engine is a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated unit with 146 hp. There is also a more powerful engine with lower displacement. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine can produce 175 hp and 264 nm of torque. None of these engines unfortunately are available in the U.A.E.

2021 Kia Seltos

Around the Gulf, there are two engines available. One is a 1.6-liter naturally aspirated unit with 121 hp and 151 nm of torque enabling the Seltos to hit 100 kph in 11.5 seconds and hit the top speed of 180 kph. This engine is connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission and the fuel economy is rated 6.0 l/100km.

There is another engine available which is a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 138 hp and 242 nm of torque. This engine is also connected to a 6-speed automatic transmission and can hit 100 kph in 10.5 seconds. Its top speed rated 190 kph and has an average fuel economy of 6.1 l/100kph.

Kia Seltos Engine

The base model Kia Seltos is also available with a CVT transmission but the 1.6 turbo model comes standard with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. An all-wheel drive is also an extra-cost option.

In terms of riding and cornering ability Seltos can be considered as a sharp and agile car in the corners and offers way better stability than some opponents like Mitsubishi ASX and Jeep Compass.

The comfort is also good and the ride is reasonably smooth for this size car in this segment.


Stepping inside the cabin and toll find Kia Seltos a spacious and big enough to carry four adults. Good points about cabin are not only limited to space because the quality of materials used in the cabin is also good and better than most of the cars in this segment, specially on SX trim there is ambient lighting inside the cabin which makes Seltos’ cabin more upscale.

Kia Seltos Interior

The boot space is also good for a car this size and Seltos has a practical boot space. List of equipment inside the cabin contains Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a navigation system, an optional 10.3-inch infotainment screen, wireless smartphone charging pad, three USB ports, a head-up display, 7.0-inch color display in the instrument cluster, and an 8-speaker Bose sound system.


On the safety side, Kia Seltos is also a well-equipped car with six airbags, an electronic stability program, an anti-lock braking system, electronic brake-force distribution system, an emergency braking system with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring system, rear-cross traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist.

Kia Seltos Safety

Non of American organizes as NHTSA and IIHS have tested the Seltos yet but it is expected to get a good rank like the Toyota C-HR.


All in all if not the best, but Kia Seltos is one of the best cars in this segment, it is not only providing good quality and reasonable performance, but it also comes with good features and look. We should mention that the Seltos has some serious rivals like Toyota C-HR, Honda HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek, Hyundai Kona, Nissan Kicks, and Mazda CX-30 but Kia provide a package that can cover all customers needs.


With a base price of $27,890, Kia Seltos comes with a 10-years or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty and 5 years or 60,000 miles limited warranty like any other Kia Hyundai car.

The main advantages of Kia Seltos are its dynamic look, fuel economy and features and most notable disadvantages are average performance, hard-plastic cabin, and dull driving.

What do you think?