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Kia Seltos SX is winning awards so we tested it to learn why

(click the screen below to watch the latest AutoFOCUS Test drive in the Kia Seltos SX Turbo)

By Tony Lesesne

Filming the test drive program in the Kia Seltos SX Turbo was a challenge because I was really trying to find things that were wrong with the award-winning SUV. After all, the critics were drooling over the Seltos all year long and I had to see for myself if it was worth the fuss. A blog with pictures alone would not be enough. So we pulled out the video cameras and took it to the track, on the streets, highways, and more.

Winning awards is what the Kia Seltos has been doing all year long so we wanted to test drive it to learn why it's making such a fuss in the segment. Sure, there's lots to like about it but the competition is really tight in the SUV segment. The Seltos scores high on almost every category and that makes it a complete package. The Seltos SX turbo uses a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT). This type of automatic is more common in higher-end and performance-oriented vehicles. It is an automatic, but it has some characteristics that make it more like a manual. Among the features are improved fuel efficiency – a good thing – but also more noticeable shifts. If you’re the type of driver who desires little to no feel when shifts occur, the latter can be annoying.

The 2021 Kia Seltos has an impressive 26.6 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, which expands to 62.8 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. That’s a lot for such a small SUV. It even bests the Honda HR-V, which is highly regarded in this aspect. The Honda, for comparison, has 23.3 cubic feet behind the rear seat and 58.8 with them folded. I packed everything in sight into that back cargo area just to see how much I could get in there. It did the job, from groceries, appliances, yard stuff, donations to the Salvation Army and the list goes on.

Of course, the real question here is how does it drive? It scores high in that category as well. I took it through the figure eight, the zero to sixty, the tight and wide turning tests and then, out on the open road where I could open it up. Weighing in at 3,317 pounds, the SX Turbo has plenty of hustle for a small crossover and it also corners with some verve. That’s due to a multi-link rear suspension that helps keep the tire contact patch consistent – competitors, like the CX-30, HR-V, and Trailblazer, use a less sophisticated torsion-beam rear axle. Quick steering (2.5 turns lock to lock) and a 34.8-foot turning radius give the Seltos surprisingly zesty reflexes on twisty roads.

I hope you enjoy the web episode here. Please leave a comment - don't forget to subscribe to the AutoFOCUS World Youtube channel and stay in the loop for the upcoming events and special programs we have scheduled. Be safe!

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