2021 Kia Seltos: Expectations and what we know so far

Updated Jan 29, 2021 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates

The current Seltos will likely be a carryover model.

The subcompact crossover segment is one of the most competitive markets in the country. The local market offers subcompact crossovers such as the Geely Coolray and Ford EcoSport that are marketed to come with a larger space than a sedan but more affordable than an SUV.

This is exactly the reason why subcompact crossovers are selling especially for young individuals who are just starting with their respective careers. Lucky for Korean carmaker Kia, it also has an entry in this segment called the Seltos, which was launched last November 2019.

Hay Truck | 2021 Kia Seltos AWD Compact SUV

*Disclaimer: This is the video from Kia Motors America, we will update when there's a video here

Perhaps the most noticeable feature of the Kia Seltos is its exterior appeal that looks stylish and striking. The Kia Seltos is a perfect entry to the local subcompact crossover as it undoubtedly can go head-to-head with the reigning vehicles within the said segment.

Unfortunately, it seems like the upcoming 2021 Kia Seltos will most likely be a carryover from the current model offered by Kia Philippines. Kia’s business unit in the country hasn’t released any word regarding the plans for the 2021 PH-spec Kia Seltos.

With all that being said, let’s take a look at what we can expect from the 2021 Kia Seltos and see how it will go against its competition in the subcompact crossover segment.

2021 Kia Seltos: Exterior

You could make a case that the Kia Seltos is the best-looking subcompact crossover available right now in the local market. One of the biggest competitions the Seltos in the local subcompact crossover segment is the Geely Coolray that continuous to impress Filipino car buyers due to its stylish exterior and notable interior features.

The Kia Seltos comes with a fierce front fascia thanks to its sleek LED headlights. Adding to the aesthetic of the headlights are the daytime running lights (DRL) that run above the brand’s tiger-nose grille.

Kia Seltos front view

The sleek-looking and stylish Kia Seltos subcompact crossover

The top-spec SX variant gets a blacked-out roof which creates a floating roof effect. Kia Philippines is offering the Kia Seltos with wide arrays of body color finishes such as mars orange, dark ocean blue, iron grey, gravity grey, and Starbright yellow.

The rear of the Seltos comes with LED lights as well. The bulky rear bumper is designed with a wide chrome trim that is shaped to look like the Seltos has a twin exhaust. This design feature makes the Seltos look sportier. However, the exhaust pipe of the Seltos can be found underneath the subcompact crossover and is hidden from view.

Despite no exterior updates for the 2021 model, we can expect that the Seltos will still compete at a high level in terms of styling. The current look of the Seltos looks like it could still last for more years to come.

>>> Related: List of Kia Seltos for sale by reliable sellers on Philkotse

2021 Kia Seltos: Interior

Since we are not expecting a new update, the interior of the Kia Seltos will still likely hosts passengers with an all-black interior. This type of color scheme creates a more premium and classier feel inside complemented by ambient lighting.

Interior view of the 2020 Kia Seltos

We are expecting to see the same old interior layout

As for the base LX variant, it comes with cloth seating materials. Meanwhile, both the EX and top-spec SX variants are equipped with a combination of leatherette and cloth seating materials. The Kia Seltos can seat up to five passengers with the second row of seats having a 60:40 seating configuration.

2021 Kia Seltos: Engine and performance

The Seltos is offered with a 1.6-liter diesel engine in Korea and a 1.5-liter diesel in India. However, it is unlikely that the 2021 PH-spec Kia Seltos will be offered by Kia Philippines with either of those diesel engines.

2020 Kia Seltos rear view

The Kia Seltos also comes with a sporty appeal especially when seen from the back

This means that the current 2.0-liter gasoline engine is likely to be carried over to the 2021 Kia Seltos. The said engine is capable of generating 147 hp and 179 Nm of torque. All Seltos variants such as the base LX, EX, and top-spec SX use the same gasoline engine.

The current PH-spec Seltos uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and it seems like it will roll with the same transmission for the 2021 model. CVTs are known for their good fuel efficiency rating as compared to a geared transmission.

2021 Kia Seltos: On-board tech and safety features

We can expect that the current 8-inch infotainment screen that is available for all Seltos variants will be carried over to the 2021 model. The said system supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and sends out its signals to four speakers with two tweeters.

The instrument cluster of the 2020 Kia Seltos

Same old instrument cluster gauge as well

As for safety, the 2021 Kia Seltos is still expected to be installed with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), ISOFIX child anchor, and airbags for driver and front passenger for the LX and EX variants. The top-spec SX variant gets more safety features such as electronic stability control (ESC), downhill brake control (DBC), and hill-start assist control (HAC).

>>> Related: Kia Seltos available with P80K cash discount this month

2021 Kia Seltos: Final thoughts

The Kia Seltos is still a relatively new car that was launched only in 2019 and arrived in late 2019 in the country. This means that a facelifted Seltos could happen in 2022 as most car manufacturers generally update their models three years after the production.

2020 Kia Seltos front view

Where do you see the Kia Seltos rank in its segment for 2021?

Nonetheless, the Kia Seltos is still expected to compete in the local subcompact crossover fairly since it doesn’t look outdated in terms of its exterior and interior features. Judging by the looks of it, the Seltos is still one of the most stylish subcompact crossovers available in the country.

2021 Kia Seltos: Expected pricing

We are not expecting any changes for the 2021 PH-spec Kia Seltos as other markets also aren’t launching an updated model. With that being said, the 2021 Kia Seltos is still expected to be marketed with the same price range as the current 2020 model.

The base Seltos LX variant is offered at Php 1,098,000, while the mid-spec Seltos EX variant comes with a sticker price at Php 1,198,000. Lastly, the top-of-the-line Seltos SX that comes with a handful of safety features is offered at Php 1,505,000.

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Know more about Kia Seltos 2024

Kia Seltos

The Kia Seltos 2023 is a subcompact crossover that is designed to appeal to young car buyers. It is available in the Philippines in five variants, with a price ranging from Php 1,208,000 to Php 1,580,000.  Under the hood, this model is powered by a 2.0-liter inline-4 DOHC D-CVVT gasoline engine capable of generating 147 horsepower and 179 Nm of torque. Only an Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) is paired to the engine.

When it comes to the dimensions, the Seltos spans 4,370 mm in length, 1,800 mm in width, and 1,615 mm in height (1,610 mm excluding roof rails). It also gets a wheelbase and Kia Seltos ground clearance rated at 2,630 mm and 170 mm, respectively. In the local market, this Korean subcompact crossover competes against the likes of the Geely Coolray, Mazda CX-3, and MG ZS.

₱ 1,208,000 - ₱ 1,580,000

Rex Sanchez

Rex Sanchez


Rex Sanchez grew up in Saudi Arabia where he saw and got into the automotive scene. He started his career for an aviation company in the said region, writing about turbines and rotors which are later distributed for educational purposes. And now, he joined Philkotse.com as a staff writer. Currently, he is the youngest on the team and is more than ready to grow in the field.

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