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2021 Kia Seltos Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

What do you get with each? Find out below..
2021 Kia Seltos Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: LX vs S vs S Turbo, EX & SX Turbo

What 2021 Kia Seltos Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

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Kia has built a reputation for providing consumers with high-quality vehicles at an affordable price. For 2021, they are introducing an all-new subcompact SUV. Known as the Seltos, it is the smallest member of the Kia SUV family. The Sportage is bigger, but not by much. In many ways, the Seltos was designed to be a smaller version of the incredibly popular three-row Telluride.

The size of the Seltos helps it appeal to commuters and small families. Like all of their vehicles, Kia has given the Seltos a good deal of standard features. That said, each trim level up will add even more. In total, there are five different versions of this vehicle. The entry-level LX offers buyers a good deal, while the top-of-the-line SX Turbo pulls out all of the stops when it comes to both performance and luxury.

The key to buying the right vehicle is for consumers to find the trim that has the features they are after without going over budget. To help with this, the following guide details the differences found comparing Kia Seltos trim levels. Consumers can use this information to prevent going with a trim that is too low and is lacking the features they need. It is also useful for preventing consumers from buying a trim that ultimately only added bells and whistles that are never used.

Compare the 2021 Kia Seltos LX vs S Trim Levels. What is the Difference?

The Seltos aims to make its mark as a sporty little SUV. Accordingly, the entry-level LX trim comes standard with all-wheel drive. Powering the SUV is a 2.0L four-cylinder engine with the ability to make 147-horsepower as well as 132 lb-ft of torque. It works with what Kia calls an Intelligent Variable Transmission. This engine offers a decent amount of acceleration but struggles when pushed at highway speeds.

One of the big appeals of the Seltos is the fuel economy. Even with standard all-wheel drive, this SUV manages to get 27 mpg in the city along with 31 mpg on the highway. These are excellent numbers for this vehicle class. Part of the reason the Seltos is so efficient is the standard stop-and-go technology it is equipped with.

Further adding to the sporty feel of the Seltos LX is the body-colored rear spoiler. In the front of the SUV, buyers will find a black grille. Rear privacy glass as well as heated rear glass comes standard. The LX has projector-beam headlights and automatic headlight control for added convenience. Underneath the LX are 17-inch alloy wheels.

Inside the cabin, buyers will get cloth upholstery. Both the driver and front passenger get adjustable seats but they are manual rather than automatic. In the back, passengers can take advantage of the two-step recline feature to help find a comfortable position.

Single-zone manual air-conditioning is what drivers will find in the LX. When it comes to convenience features, the list is pretty short. This model does offer remote keyless entry as well as power door locks.

Kia knows that technology features are more important than ever to drivers. That is why the entry-level LX comes with an 8-inch touchscreen. The infotainment system is user-friendly and runs both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Siri Eyes Free is also included. As far as music goes, the LX gets a fairly standard six-speaker setup.

The entry-level LX comes with a single USB port. There are also two 12-volt charging ports. Rounding out tech features are the steering-wheel-mounted controls for both the audio system and the cruise.

One area that the entry-level LX does not impress is with high-tech safety features. The vehicle does come with a tire pressure monitoring system as well as a rear occupant alert. There is also a rearview camera. Other than that, safety features are more traditional. Examples include electronic stability control, traction control, and anti-lock brakes.

For the S trim, the Seltos sticks with the same engine. Surprisingly, this trim is the only one to come standard with front-wheel drive. Drivers have the option of going with all-wheel drive if they prefer. Sticking with front-wheel drive does have its perks, however. These models are estimated to get 29 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.

The S trim unlocks multiple paint choices, including some two-tone options. The grille for this model gains some stylish chrome accents. Other exterior additions found here include roof rails, foglights, and LED daytime running lights. It also upgrades from bulb to LED taillights. The side mirrors gain both heat and turn signal integration on the S.

On the inside, the S is equipped very similarly to the LX. It does gain blue accent stitching. More significantly, the backseat gets a center armrest with cupholders. For a little extra luxury, the S trim gives consumers a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob.

Where the S pulls ahead a bit is with standard driver aids. This trim level comes standard with lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and even a lane following assist. Also included is high beam assist as well as a driver attention monitor. The final standard driver aid is a forward collision avoidance-assist camera.

The LX and S actually have the exact same base price, provided the S is equipped with front-wheel drive. This puts buyers in the position of choosing between all-wheel drive or advanced driver aids if they are looking to spend as little as possible on their 2021 Seltos.

Compare the 2021 Kia Seltos S vs S Turbo Trims. What is the Difference?

Going with the S Turbo will mean getting the same features as the S but with a more powerful engine. Underneath the hood is a turbo 1.6L four-cylinder. It makes 175-horsepower on top of 195 lb-ft of torque. This engine offers a much more satisfying drive with significantly stronger acceleration.

Getting more power does mean sacrificing a bit of fuel economy. The turbo engine is estimated to get 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, numbers that are still quite respectable.

Kia has this engine working with a dual-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission. Although the engine with the S Turbo is superior, the transmission sometimes struggles with finding the correct gear. Unlike the S trim, the S Turbo is available exclusively with all-wheel drive. The S Turbo upgrades to 18-inch alloy wheels.

Other than performance, it is safety features that set the S Turbo apart from the S. Choosing the S Turbo will mean getting a Seltos equipped with blind-spot monitoring as well as rear cross-traffic alert.

Inside, the big story is that the front seats gain heat. The S Turbo is appealing to families for its extra driver aids as well as to speed-enthusiasts for its powerful engine.

Compare the 2021 Kia Seltos S Turbo vs EX Trim Levels. What is the Difference?

The first trim to really get luxurious is the Seltos EX. It uses the same 2.0L engine that is found in the LX and S trims. It does come standard with all-wheel drive. The S Turbo and EX are almost identical when it comes to the base price. In this instance, buyers are making a choice between power and luxury.

Exterior upgrades are minimal. The EX gains a power sunroof with a sunshade as well as solar control glass. Taller drivers should be aware that this sunroof will reduce their headroom by an inch and a half. This model is not available in the fun two-tone paint options that the S and S Turbo are. It also goes back down to 17-inch wheels. On the plus side, it gains chrome door handles.

Moving into the cabin, the EX gains a second-row USB port as well as a wireless phone charger. It loses one of the 12-volt power outlets, however. It also gains a smart key along with push-button start. The most significant upgrade to the interior is the automatic climate control with an auto de-fog feature.

Further adding to the appeal of the EX is the LED interior lighting as well as the dual illuminated sun visors. Leather upholstery further adds to the sophisticated feel on this upper trim level. Comfort is also enhanced by the 10-way power-adjustable seats for both the driver and front passenger.

No changes are made when it comes to driver aids. As a result, the EX is only really a better choice than the SX Turbo for buyers who value luxury over performance.

Compare the 2021 Kia Seltos S Turbo vs SX Turbo Trims.  What is the Difference?

For those after both luxury and performance, the trim-topping SX Turbo is the way to go. This model has nearly all of the features found on the EX trim plus the more powerful turbocharged engine. It also goes back to offering two-tone paint options.

The SX Turbo does not come standard with the sunroof but this feature is optional. It is the only trim to come with LED headlights and fog lights. Like the S Turbo, the SX Turbo rides on 18-inch alloy wheels. Anyone who is wanting remote start for their Seltos will want to go with this trim level.

Serious upgrades are made inside the cabin of this trim as well. The most noticeable involves the touchscreen, which jumps up to 10.25-inches. It adds remote connectivity, satellite radio, and voice-activated navigation to the equation. Music lovers will also enjoy the standard Bose premium audio system.

A 7-inch supervision meter instrument cluster is found in the SX Turbo. This high-tech feature does a good job of both informing the driver of important information and making the Seltos look more sophisticated. The SX Turbo is the only trim to get an electronic parking brake with auto-hold as well. Finally, this trim gets an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The SX Turbo really takes safety to the next level with features like safe exit assist and highway driving assist. That second feature aims to make life easier on the highway by taking over the acceleration, deceleration, and steering of the vehicle. It will maintain the speed set by the driver, when possible, while also maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.

Also standard for the SX Turbo is smart cruise control. This operates similarly to the highway driving assist, minus the steering function. It can be used for both city and highway driving, however.

Which Trim to Choose?

There are good things to be said about all five trim levels of the 2021 Kia Seltos. The entry-level LX has the most important technology features, plus the always-appealing all-wheel drive. The S trim can be skipped over by most consumers.

Anyone not wanting to go all the way up to the SX Turbo will need to decide between power and luxury. The EX trim has a long list of popular features, like the leather upholstery and automatic climate control, but it has a somewhat lackluster engine. The S Turbo, on the other hand, offers a thrill but skimps a bit when it comes to comfort and convenience.

For most drivers, the EX trim will be the right choice.  

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