2022 Kia Seltos S (Car review)

While some like the idea of ​​a hot, fire-breathing hatchback, others simply want to get to their destination on time, in comfort and in one piece. The 2022 Kia Seltos S is the perfect everyday car for that, offering stylish luxury without the high price tag.

With four SUVs beginning with the letter “S,” it’s easy to confuse the Stonic with the Seltos and the Sportage for the Sorento. In short, the Seltos is Kia’s second smallest SUV, located above the Stonic but below the new Sportage.

It rivals the likes of the Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-30, MG ZST, Suzuki Vitara and Nissan Qashqai — in fact there is an almost endless list of compact SUVs under $30,000. The S variant of Seltos is basically the base model.

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With the right specs, it’s a beautiful car with good proportions, sleek headlights, and a modest front grille. And while our test car was finished in a solid gray, we recommend choosing the younger Starbright Yellow or the younger Neptune Blue.

In this basic form, the Seltos receives 16 inches of steel and hubcaps, which go well over most potholes. However, go one over the entry-level ‘S’ trim and you’ll get attractive 17-inch alloy wheels as standard.

2022 Kia Seltos S
2022 Kia Seltos S

Getting into the cabin is very easy and it is easy to find a comfortable driving position. Sure, there are no electrical adjustments for the fabric seats, but that’s no problem. The overall layout of the interior is also elegant, with neat analog gauges and physical buttons.

The 8.0-inch color LCD touchscreen is the key element, but it doesn’t intrude on the great outside view. Although nothing beats BMW’s iconic “swivel wheel”, the touchscreen is intuitive and mostly lag-free.

Oddly enough, only the Seltos S comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard; The higher edges receive wired replacements instead. We’re not complaining though, it’s nice to break free from wires.

With a USB charger up front, you’re ready to hit the road and enjoy your beats, assuming you’re not a big fan of music. While the ribbed speaker housings are a quirky touch, the 6-speaker sound system is fairly average.

Sadly, you’ll also need to jump to the sporty model to enjoy DAB+ digital radio. If we’re being honest, we wish Kia would add a splash of color to the cabin, too. Once upon a time, the Italians and the French threw a colorful dashboard trim piece, but you won’t find it here.

Inside the 2022 Kia Seltos S

There are no funky badges or wacky sizing kits either. Then again, almost all of our complaints are addressed to higher standards. In terms of materials, the interior felt relatively sturdy with durable plastics and minimal squeaking.

No, not a lot of material is soft to the touch, and yes, some switches felt cheaper than a used toothbrush, but that might be justified. You see, when your toddler inevitably vomits or spills food in the back seat, you want things to be easy to clean or replace.

Family convenience continues with ISOFIX fasteners and adequate rear legroom. Individuals over 190cm tall should find long rides comfortable as well, thanks to the ample headroom, which can’t be said for all vehicles in this market segment.

Preparing for the weekend should be a breeze thanks to the 468-liter luggage compartment, which has a capacity of 1,428 liters with the rear seats stowed. As standard, the Seltos is also equipped with Kia’s latest suite of safety technologies.

This includes, but is not limited to, emergency automatic braking of cars and pedestrians, lane-keeping assist, hill brake control and a rearview camera. If you shell out an extra $1,000, Kia will offer its own “Safety Package.”

rear seats
Inside the 2022 Kia Seltos S

It was fitted to our test car, adding adaptive cruise control, AEB for cyclists and crossovers, and electric folding mirrors, among other things.

On the road, the Seltos S rides through most of the flaws thanks to the Australian suspension. An agile engine with a power of 110 kW and a torque of 180 Nm thanks to a 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine.

Power is sent exclusively to the front wheels unless you choose Sport+ or GT-Line, available with all-wheel drive. We didn’t abuse an all-new Seltos S off-road vehicle, but we found it more than efficient on soft surfaces and in wet locations.

While the Sport+ and GT-Line are equipped with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, it’s not necessary. The CVT in the Seltos S isn’t even remotely sporty, but it’s suitable for a compact SUV, and gear shifting is seamless.

Most importantly, we never found ourselves struggling to get off the highway. This is because it is indeed a peppy driving, with a low center of gravity and an empty weight of just 1,355kg. This means that you can throw it in the corners without having to recite the prayer.

2022 Kia Seltos S

The steering is overall responsive and a bit on the heavier side, ensuring it feels connected to the road and provides plenty of feedback. Despite this, there are some shortcomings, including a fuel economy of 6.8 l / 100 km.

We struggled to keep it below 8.0l/100km, which is by no means a bad number, especially for a 2.0L/100km engine. The other problem is the halogen headlights, which make you a pain for some bright xenon units.

Fortunately, the high beams are bright enough for late-night driving. With a starting price of $27,990 before road costs, the 2022 Kia Seltos S is an affordable car for reasonable people.

While the ANCAP’s five-star security rating is important, the real remedy is the 7-Year Unlimited Warranty and Price List Service. Despite the minimalist interior, we don’t hesitate to recommend the Seltos S, provided you choose a vibrant colour.

You can build your own on the Kia Australia website, and as usual, we recommend shopping around for a good deal. Alternatively, you can check out a place like PriceMyCar for the best rate.

2022 Kia Seltos S
2022 Kia Seltos S

Our test car was supplied by Kia Australia. To learn more about the 2022 Kia Seltos S, contact your local Kia dealer.

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