With vehicle average transaction prices topping $47,000+, it’s easy to forget that there are still great vehicles under the $30,000 price point. One such vehicle is the funky but sensible 2022 Kia Seltos EX which starts under $24,000 before destination charges are added. Though the price is low, the Kia Seltos packs a value punch with a long list of features and a reasonably good driving experience.

Kia Seltos Interior and Technology

The 2022 Kia Seltos interior is stylish but is built to a budget price point. There are plenty of hard plastics throughout the cabin, but Kia has done a good job using interesting textures and colors to give the interior some visual interest. The speaker grills feature 3D geometric patterns, and the dashboard is a nice two-tone blue and black. The Kia Seltos’ cloth seats are an interesting mix of textures with faux deviated stitching that adds visual interest.

The Kia Seltos EX is loaded with a full suite of the latest technology. The 10.25-inch touchscreen is bright and easy to use and features standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Controls for the radio and HVAC are easy-to-use knobs and dials. The console has plenty of space for smartphones and other small personal items. An upper tray will easily fit phones, while the lower bin is deeper for larger objects and features two USB ports.

Visibility is good throughout the cabin, and the Seltos feels larger than it is, thanks to the large windows and high roof. Rear seats have adjustable recline and enough legroom to be passable for short to medium-distance trips for average size adults.

The Kia Seltos has 26.6 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and increases to 62.8 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down. This is fantastic cargo space for a vehicle of its size.

The Kia Seltos includes an impressive safety suite with lane-departure warning, blind-spot warning, blind-spot collision avoidance, rear cross-traffic warnings, and rear collision avoidance.

Driving Impressions, Fuel Economy, and Performance

Our Kia Seltos EX tester featured a 2.0-liter inline-four cylinder engine with 146 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque mated to a continuously variable transmission. The base Kia Seltos is the only model available in FWD-only, with every other Seltos model receiving standard all-wheel drive.

The 2.0-liter engine is modest but plenty to get the Seltos moving around town and on the highway. The CVT transmission simulates gear shifts in normal driving conditions and felt like a normal automatic transmission. When pushed, the engine is buzzy, as most small normally-aspirated four-cylinders tend to be.

In the handling department, the Seltos is confident, though not particularly sporty. It’s reasonably quiet on the highway, and the suspension is smooth on good pavement, but rougher roads can be quite noticeable.

Fuel economy is rated at 27 miles-per-gallon city, 31 highway, and 29 combined. I observed 28 miles per gallon in 139 miles of mixed driving over the week I drove the Seltos.

Final Thoughts

The Kia Seltos remains one of the standout values in its segment. A fully loaded model will cost under $30,000, while well-equipped models come in around $27,000. That’s a lot of bang for the buck. The Seltos’ styling might not be for everyone, but it stands out from the rest of the homogenous compact crossover crowd. Surprisingly, the Seltos received many compliments from people walking by parking lots. While not a class leader in any one area, the Kia Seltos is an overall winner and remains one of our favorite small vehicles of 2022.

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Zerin Dube

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