John and Laurie Wiles Review the 2021 Kia Seltos EX AWD

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Driving Me Crazy automotive review Columnists Laurie and John Wiles.

Listen to John and Laurie Wiles’ review of the 2021 KIA Seltos EX AWD on their Driving Me Crazy radio broadcast that airs this Thursday, October 8, 2020 broadcast at 10am EST and every Thursday throughout the year at the same time. The broadcast is heard “Live” or “On Demand” by clicking onto this specific hyperlink – Piease note that the hyperlink is specific to this review. It changes every week. Listeners are welcome to call the broadcast at 347-205-9201 and are asked to stay on topic.

PINEHURST, NC —October 7, 2020 — Usually, we drive our review cars around Pinehurst and maybe get them on Highway 1, where the speed limit gets to 70 mph, but this week we got to take the 2021 KIA Seltos EX AWD on a ‘real’ road trip. We drove about 3 hours north and west of here into the North Carolina mountains to visit friends who have a mountain cabin home at 4200 feet of elevator will . It was 42°; you could see about 25 miles I think; and I drank my coffee, bundled up in sweater and vest, on the porch and simply ‘drank’ in the beauty of the mountains. It was a wonderful couple of days.

The three-hour drive was great. The Seltos was comfortable, stable, handled well, and, while the 2.0L 4-cylinder engine only generated 146 HP (no turbo), it never really seemed to struggle in the mountains; and the AWD worked well on the twisty, graveled, switchbacks as we ascended the mountains – meaning it handled great. Part of that was the Intelligent Variable Speed Transmission, and going up or down the mountain there was no gear shifting that can be so annoying in some automatics. The car simply was in the gear it needed to be. I like that.  The Torque Vectoring All Wheel Drive had a Center Lock. If you don’t know, Torque-Vectoring all-wheel drive systems monitor vehicle speed, wheel speed, gear position, steering angle, yaw rate, lateral G forces and other inputs, and automatically adds torque to the outside rear wheel in corners to make the car turn quicker. The center lock gets torque to front and rear on slippery surfaces. Truthfully, since I do my best to avoid slippery surfaces, snow, ice, mud, flooded roads, that sort of thing, I don’t know what it does and I don’t want to have to use it. Sorry.

2021 KIA Seltos Seltos AWD. Interior gallery,

Our 2021 Seltos, which is considered a ‘small’ suv, had an 8” Touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It did not, however, have GPS or satellite radio, like XM, and Laurie pointed out you couldn’t have GPS with satellite connection. Is this girl astute or what? I’m serious. I hadn’t made the connection, but she did. Anyway, without GPS, our trip to the mountains would have been interesting, EXCEPT … I have an old plug in Garmin system that works great. “Penny” I call her, and she got us there without too many “Recalculating” moments. What a gal!

I don’t want you to think I am ‘dissing’, as in ‘disrespecting’, the 2021 Seltos because it didn’t have GPS. It did have heated from seats, but not air-conditioned seats. It had combination Sofino Leatherette and Cloth Seat Trim. It had a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, but not a heated steering wheel. It had sliding front and rear center arm rests. It has multimedia USB ports and 12 Volt plug in, and the wireless charger was cool, being a ledge above the open area in front of the gear shift on which you simply placed the cell phone. It’s neat because many car companies use the space in from the gear shift at the car charger. Not bad. But KIA created this little shelf with a charging light built in for one purpose, to charge your phone, leaving the open spaces for, you know, the junk you wind up throwing in there. The Seltos had Remote Keyless Entry and Steering Wheel Controls for Bluetooth, Audio, and Cruise Control. It had Tilt and Telescopic Steering Column. It had a 60/40Split Folding and Reclining Rear Seats, and a Dual Level Cargo Floor.

2021 KIA Seltos EX AWD

Why do I tell you all this? I want you to know what it does and doesn’t have and I haven’t even gotten to Safety and Technology or the EX AWD features. Again, why? Because the Seltos itself starts at … drum roll, please … less that $22K, ten dollars less at $21,990.

The point – let me tell you some more about what it has and does, and the price of our EX AWD, so your jaw will drop again.

The following are standard:

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist Ped (Pedestrian), Lane Following Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Driver Attention Warning, and High Beam Assist. It also has lots of airbags – front, side, and full length. It also had Electronic Stability Control and Downhill Brakes/Hill start Assist Control.

But wait, there’s more – How about the EX and AWD on our Seltos:

Blind Sport Collision Warning, Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist – Rear, Rear Cross Traffic Collision Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist, Power Sunroof with Sunshade, 17” Alloy Wheels, 10 way Power Driver’s Seat with Power Lumbar,  Smart Key and Push Button Start, Remote Start on key fob, Wireless Phone Charger, Full Automatic Temperature Control (one setting for everyone), Illuminated Sunvisor Mirror, LED Interior Lamps, Rear USB Charge Port, and Rear Passenger Air Vents.

2021 Kia Seltos EX AWD rear seats folded flat – interior gallery.


Okay, here we go. All the above plus fold down rear seats to get 62.8 cu. ft of cargo space behind the 1strow.

So let’s recap – AWD, Snow White Pearl Paint (extra), carpeted floor mats (extra – hmmmmmm), plus everything mentioned here to fore, 29 average mpg, safe, rides well, handles well, gets you up and down the mountain, good looking, and so on … and the price … for all this? $25,885. Yes, your read it right, under $26K. KIA has done it again. In the market for quality at a great price? Give the 2021 KIA Seltos EX AWD a look. You won’t be disappointed.

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Southern Pines KIA, 10910 US Hwy 15, Southern Pines, NC 28387

  • Sales 910-684-1010
  • Service 910-218-1919
  • Parts 910-242-4664


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  • SALES: 844-327-7844
  • SERVICE: 866-981-4128
  • PARTS: 888-718-4159

John and Laurie WilesJohn and Laurie Wiles Review the 2021 Kia Seltos EX AWD

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