2022 Kia Celtos S Review

It’s hard to find a roomy family SUV for under $30,000, but the Kia Seltos are a better choice if you’re willing to do without some essentials.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Kia Seltos S.

VALUE

kiaThe small SUV line starts at $29,290 for the base S variant tested here and peaks at $45,290 GT-Line.

This is a rather primitive proposal. There are 16-inch steel wheels, halogen front and rear lights, an eight-inch touchscreen – more expensive models have a 10.25-inch unit – and a six-speaker stereo.

In a strange quirk, the base Seltos is the only version with wireless Apple CarPlay. Android Auto connects with a cord.

The cheapest model also has a boring 2.0-liter petrol engine coupled with a CVT and front-wheel drive.

If you want more power, you’ll have to pay an extra $10,500 for a Sport+ DCT with a powerful 1.6-liter turbocharged petrol engine, dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

Kia provides an outstanding seven-year, unlimited mileage warranty on its vehicles. Seven years of limited-price service will set you back approximately $2,800.

COMFORT

Passengers are greeted by supportive, manually adjustable fabric seats.

The cabin is dominated by hard plastics, and a center console with darkened buttons reminds you that you’re missing out on technology available in more expensive models.

Easily accessible air conditioning dials and steering wheel controls for entertainment functions.

There is only one USB charger on the front row, but two 12-volt sockets. Higher-end versions get two USB connectors on the front.

There is more legroom and overhead space in the rear seats, but no vents or charging points.

The S’s trunk is larger than the rest of the range, but instead of a full-size tire, it has a temporary spare under the floor.

SAFETY

Seltos S covers the basics.

It will automatically brake if it detects a possible collision with a car or pedestrian, and will return you to your lane if you get lost.

But you’ll need to spend another $1,000 on two of the most useful driver assistants: blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

The Seltos was crash tested in 2019 and received an 85 percent occupant protection rating, which is good if not best in class. Six airbags cover all rows.

DRIVING

The Kia Seltos are decent handling, good body control in corners, and comfortable city riding.

The 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine (110kW/180Nm) can feel a bit inefficient when overtaking and climbing steep hills. The CVT helps keep the engine running, but the combination can be noisy when pushed.

Kia claims fuel consumption of 6.8L/100km, but expect closer to 8L/100km, especially if you mainly drive in the city.

Seltos wins back points by only demanding cheaper regular unleaded petrol.

VERDICT 3.5/5

A reliable all-rounder at a competitive price, although it lacks protective gear.

ALTERNATIVES

Hyundai Kona, $29,490 per ride

Basically the same car, but the interior is presented a little better than the Kia. Five year warranty only.

Mitsubishi ASX ES $28,740 Ride

Looks and feels dated, but is attractively priced and comes with a 10 year warranty if you are serviced by a Mitsubishi dealer.

MG ZS Excite, $22,990 Ride

Cheap and cheerful with a seven-year warranty. Build quality and dynamics behind.

KIA SELTOS WITH VITALS

PRICE $29,290 per trip

ENGINE 2.0 liter four-cylinder, 110 kW/180 Nm

WARRANTY/SERVICE Seven years/unlimited mileage, $2818 for seven years

SAFETY 6 airbags, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist

THIRST 6.8 l/100 km

SAVE Temporary

BAGGAGE 468 liters

Originally published as 2022 Kia Celtos S Review