2022 Kia Seltos EX Premium

A great subcompact crossover loaded with tech, safety and creature comforts.
A great subcompact crossover loaded with tech, safety and creature comforts.

by Jon Pangindian | March 1, 2022


The Kia Seltos came to market a bit behind its sibling, the Hyundai Kona. They share the same platform, transmission and engine. While the Kona racked up praise from journalists and consumers alike, the Seltos was seemingly ignored. While behind the wheel of this 2022 Kia Seltos EX Premium with the base engine, we set out to see what this volume seller feels like.

The subcompact crossover market is extremely competitive so as a manufacturer, Kia needed to bring their A-game or prepare to be left behind. With the Seltos sharing the same platform as the Hyundai Kona, they are off to a good start but added a few things that make it stand above its smaller sibling.

Inside, Seltos buyers are treated to a higher quality interior. There are more soft touch areas in comparison but the keen will still encounter hard plastics in most places. Those looking for the best quality interior should look at the Mazda CX-30. Thankfully, everything is bolted up tightly and ergonomically placed, and the interior has a modern and clean design overall. The Sofino synthetic leather feels great and a large sunroof is standard on the EX Premium model.

If interior space is a priority, skip the Konaas it’s just too small for most buyers. The Seltos’ longer wheelbase and taller ride height are huge pluses for those seated inside. First, there is more legroom in the rear of the Kia Seltos. Here you have 965mm of legroom versus 879mm in the Hyundai. My six-foot-three frame fit more comfortably in the larger Seltos and cargo volume is also more generous by over 200 liters, at 736 liters total.

Technology inside is user friendly and extremely easy to use; the user manual is strictly for reference. Kia Connect is present for your Apple CarPlay or Android Auto needs, though they require use of a wire, while most of the industry is trending toward wireless connectivity. A 10.25-inch multimedia screen with built in navigation helps elevate the Seltos from the competition. The user interface is quick, the graphics sharp and the rear view camera is crystal clear.

The exterior is clean yet unexciting; the front adopts the tiger nose grill that Kia is well known for and looks good here with the front skid plate. However, from the side and rear, it looks rather plain and run of the mill. Select the EX Premium or SX trim buyers are treated to super bright LED fog lights, LED headlights and taillights. Rivals like the CX-30, Crosstrek and Toyota C-HR compromise practicality for sharper looks.

Power comes via a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine pumping out 146 horsepower at 6,200RPM and 132 lb-ft. of torque at 4,500RPM. Kia has mated this powerplant to their continuously variable transmission (called “IVT”), and standard all-wheel-drive across all trims except the base LX. While we initially expected to be disappointed with this powerplant, there is more than enough grunt in and around town. The Seltos easily pulls away from stop lights and builds enough thrust when merging onto highways.

Prepare your passing maneuvers when pulling off higher speed passes, as this is where the engine and transmission seem to struggle. Those looking for more power will need to move up to the top SX Turbo trim that has the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which pushes 195 horsepower.

The ride in the Kia Seltos is more comfortable than the Kona, with cushier suspension and cushions occupants from potholes and other road imperfections. Handling is surprisingly capable but with more body roll than its smaller sibling. Road noise is evident, however I’m sure the winter tires mounted didn’t help in this regard. They did help during sudden blizzard conditions I encountered one evening; the little Seltos handles the slippery and snow covered roads with ease.

Safety features are  extensive, but include items essentially standard across the industry. Some of the main equipment includes Safe Exit Assist, Lane Follow Assist, Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear Occupancy Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance.

Kia Canada rates the Seltos at 8.8L/100km in the city and 7.6L/100km highway, for an average of 8.2L/100km combined. Only 87-octane fuel is required thankfully, like most competitors. We achieved 8.8L/100km in mostly city driving and under very cold conditions. This is a deciding factor for most buyers in this category with current fuel prices starting at over $1.51 cents a liter.

The base Seltos LX in front-drive form starts at $23,595, while the volume-seller EX Premium tested here coming in at $31,195. Notable features on the EX Premium include LED lighting all around, the larger infotainment interface, wireless charging, and UVO Intelligence. The EX below it really is the sweet spot, coming in at $28,195 and bringing with it Sofino leather, sunroof, and intelligent key.

For buyers looking for a great subcompact crossover loaded with tech, safety and creature comforts, the 2022 Kia Seltos EX Premium is a smart choice. Add Kia’s outstanding warranty and consumers have another fantastic option to choose from.

See Also:

2022 Hyundai Kona N-Line

2022 Toyota Corolla Cross AWD

2022 Mazda CX-30 GT AWD

Vehicle Specs
Subcompact Crossover
Engine Size
2.0L inline-four
Horsepower (at RPM)
146 at 6,200
Torque (lb-ft.)
132 at 4,500
Fuel Efficiency (L/100km, City/Highway/Combined)
Observed Fuel Efficiency (L/100km)
Cargo Capacity (in L)
Base Price (CAD)
As-Tested Price (CAD)
The DoubleClutch.ca Podcast

About Jon Pangindian

Staff Writer

An experienced detailer and diehard car guy, Jon brings a creative eye to his new vehicle road tests. Aside from writing, Jon spends most of his time tinkering with new detailing products and experimenting with ceramic coatings.

Current Toy: ’13 650i Gran Coupé