8 Top Kia Seltos Competitors

The Kia Seltos is one of the best compact crossovers on the road today. Here’s how it stacks up against some of its fiercest competitors.
Written by Matt Nightingale
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
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The Honda HR-V, the Subaru Crosstrek, and the Mazda CX-30 are just a few of the top compact crossover SUVs competing with the Kia Seltos for your attention.
The 2022 Kia Seltos has very few weaknesses. Cargo space is plentiful and fuel economy is competitive, but what really makes this compact crossover stand out is the bounty of tech and driver-assistance features available for a starting price of $23,885.
The Seltos comes with standard automatic braking, pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, and lane departure warning. Adaptive cruise and cyclist detection are available as well. To top it all off,
Kia
offers an incredible 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty along with its standard 5-year/60,000-mile factory warranty—that’s among the best warranties around!
Could the Kia Seltos be the best all-around compact crossover SUV available? To find out,
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comparison app and crossover connoisseur
Jerry
has created this list of Kia Seltos’s top competitors. We'll even help you save on your
Kia Seltos car insurance costs
.
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1. Honda HR-V

Starting price: $23,115
Selling points: Roomy interior and great cargo space
Weak spot: Limited tech
The
Honda HR-V
is one of the top players in the compact crossover class. The Japanese SUV’s charm lies in its cargo capabilities, making it a top choice for city commuters with full lives. If you’re planning on moving soon, we recommend making friends with someone who owns an HR-V.
The key to the HR-V’s cargo prowess is its exclusive Magic Seat system, which allows you to maximize your cargo space by either folding the rear seatbacks down or by folding the seat bottoms up against the seatbacks. This novel system offers nearly four vertical feet of storage space, allowing you to stow taller items than most compact SUVs can accommodate.  
There is only one engine option for the HR-V—a 141 horsepower four-cylinder engine—and the available tech options are limited, too. Standard safety features are also fairly scant on the HR-V.
Overall, the Seltos offers more safety features and better tech for a starting price of just $770 more than the HR-V. It also offers more cargo space than the HR-V despite the lack of magical seats.

2. Hyundai Kona

Starting price: $22,595
Selling points: Compact and maneuverable 
Weak spot: Limited cargo space 
City drivers will love the
Hyundai Kona
. It’s sporty, it’s compact, and it’s got decent fuel economy—29 combined city/highway miles per gallon. The base trim comes equipped with a 147-horsepower engine but if you want more pep, a 195-horsepower engine is available on higher trims. You can also opt for the EV version of the Kona which boasts a 258-mile range on a full battery.
The Kona offers very similar standard tech features compared with the Kia Seltos and it is very maneuverable. But what the Kona gains in maneuverability it pays for that with a smaller cargo capacity—just 45.8 cubic feet. The Kona’s design is also a little less rugged than the Seltos—passersby would be forgiven if they mistook it for a hatchback.
In the end, the Kona and Seltos are quite similar when it comes to standard tech features, but the Seltos’s bold exterior and larger cargo capacity make it the more complete SUV.

3. Buick Encore GX

Starting price: $27,095
Selling points: Standard high-end safety tech
Weak spot: Small 3-cylinder engine
Buick has built a reputation as the luxury vehicle for the masses and the
Encore GX
carries the mantle well. It’s decked out with a  leather steering wheel and upholstery trim and has tons of great standard safety features like automatic braking, forward collision alert, and lane-keep assist. But that luxury comes at a cost—base models of the Encore GX start at $27,095.
The base Encore GX features a turbocharged 137-horsepower three-cylinder engine. With less power and fewer cylinders, you’d at least hope you’d gain some fuel efficiency compared with the Seltos, but that’s not the case. The Buick Encore GX returns a 30 combined miles per gallon fuel economy rating— slightly worse than the Seltos’s 31 mpg rating.
When it comes down to brass tacks, the Seltos delivers better power, better fuel efficiency, and competitive safety and entertainment technology for a much better price than the Buick Encore GX.

4. Subaru Crosstrek

Starting price: $23,295
Selling points: Standard AWD
Weak spot: Lacks cargo space
If you like long jaunts in the woods and leisurely trips to the beach, swipe right on the
Subaru Crosstrek
. Standard all-wheel drive and a forgiving 8.7-inch ground clearance make the Crosstrek a great outdoors companion.
The Crosstrek comes up short on cargo space with 55 cubic feet of storage—almost seven and a half cubic feet less than the Seltos’s 62.8 cubic-ft. Subaru’s Eyesight safety package, which features adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, and lane departure warning, is only available on models outfitted with CVT transmissions. Still, like the Kia Seltos, the 2022 Crosstrek earned a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS.
While good ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive appear to make the Crosstrek a more capable off-road machine, its underpowered 152-horsepower engine keeps it from veering too far off the beaten path. In fact, without significantly greater torque, the Crosstrek is pretty much limited to the same terrain as the Kia Seltos. 
Both vehicles have similar safety ratings for an identical starting price, but the Seltos offers more in the way of interior conveniences, so we give the edge to the Kia Seltos.

5. Chevrolet Trailblazer

Starting price: $22,995 
Selling points:  High safety ratings
Weak spot: Skimpy warranty 
The 2022
Chevy Trailblazer
hits all the same notes as the Kia Seltos, sometimes with better pitch. It’s a sporty number with top safety marks, earning a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS and a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA—the Seltos only managed four stars. The Trailblazer’s fuel economy rating is competitive, too, registering a 30 combined mpg—one less than the Seltos’s 31 mpg. 
The base Trailblazer’s three-cylinder engine is underwhelming and, surprisingly, cruise control is not standard fare. Chevy’s warranty is also underwhelming, offering coverage for just three years or 36,000 miles with a powertrain warranty that’s good for five years or 60,000 miles. The Kia Seltos, on the other hand, offers a robust five-year/60,000-mile limited warranty with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
These two compact utes are very evenly matched, but, for us, Kia’s strong warranty tips the scales in favor of the Seltos.
MORE: Why the Kia EV9 could convince more people to convert to electric cars

6. Jeep Renegade

Starting price: $26,290
Selling points: Off-road capability
Weak spot: Poor fuel economy 
If it’s adventure you seek, the 2022
Jeep Renegade
is your best bet in the compact SUV segment. With an 8-inch ground clearance, available all-wheel drive, and 210 pound-feet of torque, the Jeep Renegade is capable of traversing some pretty rugged terrain. Upgrade to the
Trailhawk trim
, and you can take your Renegade even deeper into the unknown.
The Renegade is armed with a comprehensive list of standard driver-assist features, including blind-spot detection, full-speed forward collision warning, cross-path detection, lane departure warning, and lane-keeping assist, to name a few. The Trailhawk trim adds hill descent control to help you navigate difficult hilly terrain.
While the Renegade is certainly the better off-road machine, on the road it registers a fuel efficiency score of 25 combined mpg, which seems rather poor when stacked next to the Seltos’s 31 combined mpg rating. To get the most out of the Jeep Renegade you’ll be paying upwards of $32K, while the top-end Seltos comes in at a much more manageable $29,385.
If hitting the dusty trail is paramount, then you might have no problem shelling out the extra cash to get you there. But, dollar for dollar, the Kia Seltos is the best bang for your buck.

7. Mazda CX-30

Starting price: $23,725
Selling points: Luxury-ish interior
Weak spot: Cramped second-row seating
When it comes to the compact crossover SUV class, the
Mazda CX-30
is valedictorian. The 2022 edition of the CX-30 has just about everything: good power, decent ground clearance, a smorgasbord of safety features, and responsive handling. For that, Car and Driver gave the 2022 Mazda CX-30 a 9.5/10 rating and an Editor’s Choice Award.
Every model in the 2022 CX-30 lineup comes with standard all-wheel drive. Base trims are outfitted with a standard 2.5-liter 186-horsepower inline four-cylinder engine. Higher trims feature a 250-horsepower turbo I-4—the most powerful engine in its class.
The CX-30 is also notable for how reliable it is. Repair Pal has given the compact SUV a 4.0/5.0 reliability rating. And talk about safe! In 2022 the CX-30 brought home a five-star NHTSA rating and an IIHS Top Safety Pick+award
The CX-30 offers an array of luxury options that rival some of the most hoity-toity makes, including leather upholstery, heated seats, and a 12-speaker sound system. The only real drawbacks for the Mazda CX-30 are its cramped second-row seating and limited cargo capacity.
If space is important to you, you may want to go with a fully loaded Kia Seltos. But, all things considered, the Mazda CX-30 may just be the best compact crossover on the market today.
MORE: The most affordable EV crossover SUVs of 2022

8. Kia Soul

Starting price: $20,585
Selling points: High-end tech
Weak spot: Boxy design
It’s time to play the Family Feud!
Despite its somewhat goofy appearance,
Kia Soul
is one of the highest-rated compact SUVs of its time and has even been included in Car and Driver’s 10 Best List. The Soul has earned a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS for the last five years running, and JD Power gives the Soul an 87/100 reliability rating. 
While its sibling, the Kia Seltos, offers a wealth of tech options, the Soul matches it with an available smartphone charging pad, push-button ignition, heated seats, and heated steering wheel—and then beats it by offering head-up display, dual-zone climate control, and a 10-way power driver’s seat.
For some, the Kia Soul’s signature boxy look might be a bit of a turn-off, but others may be willing to see the Soul for what it is on the inside: a roomy, high-tech crossover with good safety ratings and a low entry price—just $20,585.
Survey says: The Kia Soul is still the best Kia compact crossover SUV.

2022 Kia Seltos vs. the competition

To give you a better sense of how the Kia Seltos compares to the competition, we’ve laid it all out for you in the table below.
Model
Starting price range
Engine options
Maximum seating capacity
Maximum cargo volume
Maximum towing capacity
Fuel economy (city/highway/combined)
$23,885 to $29,385
I-4
5 seats
62.8 cubic ft
N/A
29/34/31 mpg
$22,595 to $29,895
Inline 4-cylinder
5 seats
58.8 cubic ft
N/A
28/34/30 mpg
$32,395 to $54,545
Inline 4-cylinder
5 seats
45.8 cubic ft
N/A
30/35/32 mpg
$27,095 to $31,620
Inline 3-cylinder
5 seats
50.2 cubic ft
N/A
29/31/30 mpg
$24,870 to $38,070
Horizontal 4-cylinder
5 seats
55.3 cubic ft
1500 lb
22/29/25 mpg
$22,995 to $27,020
Inline 3-cylinder
5 seats
54.4 cubic ft
N/A
29/31/30 mpg
$26,290 to $32,740
Intercooled turbo inline 4-cylinder
5 seats
50.8 cubic ft
N/A
24/32/27 mpg
$23,725 to $35,925
Inline 4-cylinder
5 seats
45.2 cubic ft
N/A
24/31/26 mpg
$20,585 to $29,185
Inline 4-cylinder
5 seats
62.1 cubic ft
N/A
29/35/31 mpg
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MORE: The Hyundai Kona vs the Honda HR-V: Which is better?

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