Kia Seltos: PROs & CONs

The Philippine automotive market is flooded with subcompact SUV options, especially those with powertrains below the 1.5-liter mark. That’s because Chinese rivals have increased the competition in the small crossover segment.

The Kia Seltos have made a strong impact since its debut. I had a positive experience with its previous iteration, so the expectation with the updated version is generally high. Thankfully, it caught my attention for its stylish design and an array of features.

However, like any vehicle, the Kia Seltos comes with its own set of strengths and weaknesses. I’ll delve into the pros and cons of the Kia Seltos, exploring key aspects that potential buyers should consider.


1. Comfortable Ride

One of the standout features of the Kia Seltos is its comfortable ride. The well-tuned suspension system absorbs bumps and irregularities in the road, providing a smooth and enjoyable driving experience. Whether you’re navigating city streets or tackling uneven terrain, the Seltos delivers a plush ride that enhances overall comfort for both the driver and passengers.

2. Looks Premium

The Kia Seltos stands out in the crowded SUV segment with its premium aesthetics. The exterior design is both modern and stylish, featuring sleek lines and a distinctive front grille. Despite being sourced in China, the attention to detail extends to the interior, where high-quality materials and a thoughtful layout create an upscale ambiance. The Seltos successfully combines an affordable price point with a premium look, making it an attractive option for those seeking a stylish ride without breaking the bank.

3. Great Handling

In terms of handling, the Kia Seltos excels, offering precise and responsive control. Whether navigating tight city streets or cruising along the highway, the Seltos exhibits impressive stability and agility. The steering is well-weighted, providing a confident and connected feel for the driver. This combination of nimble handling and responsive steering contributes to an enjoyable driving experience, making the Seltos a great choice for those who appreciate a car that is both easy to maneuver and fun to drive.

4. Tech Features That Make Sense

Kia has equipped the Seltos with a range of technology features that enhance convenience and safety. The infotainment system is user-friendly, with an intuitive interface and responsive touchscreen. Standard features such as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration further enhance connectivity, paired thoughtfully with wireless charging. There’s seat ventilation, as well, which is quite useful when you have no choice but to park under the sun.

Additionally, advanced safety and driver-assist features like adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and automatic emergency braking provide an added layer of protection for both the driver and passengers.


1. Lackluster Power

While the Kia Seltos offers a comfortable ride and competent handling, some may find the powertrain options to be a bit lackluster. The turbocharged 1.4-liter gasoline engines provide adequate performance for daily commuting, but the Seltos may feel underpowered for those seeking a more spirited driving experience. The acceleration may be sluggish, especially when fully loaded or during highway merging. Buyers prioritizing robust performance may want to explore other options in the subcompact SUV market.

2. Short on Horizontal Space

Despite its compact SUV classification, some users may find the Seltos lacking in horizontal space, particularly in the rear seats. Taller passengers might feel a bit cramped, and the width of the cabin could be a concern for those who prioritize spaciousness. While the Seltos maximizes vertical space effectively, potential buyers who frequently carry taller passengers or require ample horizontal room may need to consider larger alternatives in the SUV segment.

3. Piano Blacks

A common point of contention among Seltos owners is the presence of piano black finishes in the interior. While these glossy surfaces can add a touch of sophistication, they are notorious for showing fingerprints, scratches, and dust easily. Keeping the interior looking pristine may require frequent cleaning, and the aesthetic appeal might diminish over time as these surfaces accumulate wear and tear. Some buyers may find this to be a minor inconvenience, but for those who prioritize low-maintenance interiors, the piano black finishes could be a drawback.

The Kia Seltos offers a compelling package for those in the market for a stylish and practical compact SUV. Its comfortable ride, premium appearance, great handling, and sensible tech features make it a strong contender in its class. However, potential buyers should carefully weigh the cons, such as the lackluster power, limited horizontal space, and the presence of piano black finishes. Ultimately, the decision to choose the Kia Seltos depends on individual preferences, priorities, and how well the pros align with one’s driving needs and lifestyle.

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