In 2021, Kia released an all-new subcompact SUV called the Seltos. While this crossover received a warm welcome, it raised some questions regarding its relationship to the already-popular Kia Soul. Both are versatile and quirky automobiles, so how are you supposed to know which one is the best fit for you?
Here are some highlights comparing the Kia Soul to the Kia Seltos:
Under The Hood
The Kia Soul has a standard 2.0-liter engine that makes 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque combined with a continuously variable automatic transmission. Shoppers can also opt for a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that makes 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. The 2-liter engine earns an EPA rating of 33 mpg on the highway, 27 in the city, and 30 mpg combined. The turbo engine is good for 29 mpg combined.
One of the newest editions of the Soul is a separate EV model that has a driving range of 243 miles on a full charge.
The Kia Seltos actually offers the same powertrains as the Soul but tunes them for different results. The 2.0-liter engine now makes 146 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque, while the turbo engine creates 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. The Seltos earns the same numbers as the Soul in terms of fuel efficiency.
The biggest difference under the hood is that the Soul is only available in FWD. The Seltos has an AWD option.
What Catches the Eye
Most drivers recognize the Soul as one of the most unique and interestingly designed cars on the road. It has a boxy feel that makes it look more like a large hatchback than a small SUV. The Seltos has a more traditional SUV look to it.
The interior of these vehicles are similar but do have some noticeable differences. The Soul looks and feels a little more like an economy car. The Seltos has a little more sophistication to its design and materials.
Cargo space is surprising in these two subcompacts. Their overall dimensions and cargo areas are close enough that there’s no real distinction. The Soul, however, does offer a little more rear headroom and cargo space due to its hatchback design.
Modern Tech Galore
Both the Kia Soul and Kia Seltos offer the most advanced infotainment features on the market. You get standard items like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, and a top-trim 10.25-inch infotainment center. You can also add available elements like heated seats, automatic climate control, wireless charging, and more.
If you’re a sound snob, the vehicle you prefer may depend on which upgraded audio system tickles your ears the best. The Kia Soul can be fitted with a premium Harmon-Kardon setup, while the Seltos would upgrade with a Bose system.
The Final Numbers
The Kia Soul ends up being less expensive than the Seltos. The Soul starts at $18,610 for the base-level trim. If you go with a fully-loaded GT-Line Turbo model, it will set you back $28,610.
The Kia Seltos should start at around $23,000 for the base-level trim and $30,00 for the top-level option. The extra price goes towards the Seltos’ higher-quality interior.
Ultimately, Soul has a boxy, hatchback look to it that provides more interior spaces and cargo, while the Seltos has a more traditional look. The Soul also tunes its powertrain to be more powerful than the Seltos. The Seltos, however, offers a bit more luxury across its available trims.
If you’re still not sure which vehicle is right for you, stop by your local Kia dealer and get a closer look. You really can’t go wrong with either option, but one is going to feel more right than the other.
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