The 2022 Kia Seltos sees only a few changes to it, but still carries a lot of value too in its small size. Is this the subcompact SUV you’re looking for?
For 2022, Kia has started to lean into their new logo more and has decided to change some of their badging practices. The 2022 Kia Seltos has been adorned with a new silver Kia logo on the hood and liftgate, while the trim level badging has vanished across the lineup.
Other changes to the 2022 Kia Seltos include even more safety features available as standard at every trim level, the 10.25-inch infotainment display with UVO link connectivity is standard on all but the LX trim, remote start and automatic climate control is standard on all but the LX trim, and the SX Turbo gains some unique interior changes. Another addition to the trim lineup comes in the form of the all-new Nightfall Edition AWD trim which brings in blacked-out elements like the grille, wheels, roof rails, and side sills.
As for removed options, the S trim can no longer be had with the turbocharged powerplant. That engine option can only be found in the SX Turbo and the new Nightfall Edition. Past that, we have much of the same Kia Seltos from last year that burst onto the scene. Here’s a full rundown on this subcompact SUV’s sophomore year.
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Turbocharged 1.6L option is appreciated
A 10.25-inch screen on all but LX is great
Affordable SUV with standard AWD
Plenty of cargo room for its size
4-star safety rating
Cheaper feeling interior plastics
Possibly add a panoramic sunroof
The 2022 Kia Seltos is powered by one of two engine options, both with only 4-cylinders. The first is the naturally aspirated 2.0L I4 engine that makes 146 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque in the LX, S, and EX trim levels. It’s paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and sends power to all 4 wheels, except some select S trim models with the FWD drivetrain.
The other engine option can only be had in the new Nightfall Edition trim and the SX Turbo trim. The 1.6L turbocharged I4 available in the 2022 Kia Seltos generates 174 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. This turbo engine is paired with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) and is only available with the AWD drivetrain.
While the 2.0L will make a leisurely jaunt to 60 mph within the 9 second range, the turbocharged 1.6L is hitting 7 second times with some saying they’ve reached 60 mph in the mid 6 second range. That’s pretty good acceleration when you compare it with other subcompact SUVs in its class. It won’t beat the Mazda CX-30 2.5 Turbo, but the 2022 Kia Seltos SX Turbo also slots in at a couple thousand under the base turbocharged Mazda price.
As for the 2022 Kia Seltos handling, it stays planted to the road well, has a nice turning radius, and soaks up the inconvenient bumps in the road pretty well. The Seltos provides a smooth ride for passengers while also being plenty responsive for the driver. While the seltos does come with AWD, available traction control settings, 7.3 inches of ground clearance, and a 28-degree approach angle, this thing is not going to be rolling down the same trails as the Wranglers. It’ll do a decent job getting through snow and some light off-roading, but rock crawling and hardcore overlanding are not in this thing’s future.
The 2022 Kia Seltos does a decent job in the fuel economy area thanks to its fuel sipping technology like the active idle stop and go. The 2.0L engine in AWD form gets 27 mpg city and 31 highway, while the turbocharged 1.6L drops slightly to 25 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. However, the best fuel economy you can achieve with the Seltos is found in the least intriguing form. The 2.0L engine paired with the FWD drivetrain reaches 29 mpg city and 35 mpg highway, but this pairing can only be found as an S trim for the 2022 Kia Seltos.
The interior of the 2022 Kia Seltos showcases some of Kia’s new design techniques with geometric shapes and luxury-esque ornamentation, but most of the plastic components feel the same as the cheaper feeling plastics you would have found in Kia vehicles 10 years ago. Besides some material gripes, the front passengers will enjoy the Seltos seats with a decent amount of side bolstering and available heating on higher trims. Higher trims will enjoy the breathable and easily cleanable SynTex leatherette available, but the cloth and mixed cloth/leatherette options for lower trims are still appealing.
Rear passengers will want to be on the shorter side, as leg room isn’t in huge abundance. Past some tall person issues, the rear seating is nice and will act as a perfect space for kids of all ages. One thing rear passengers will miss out on though is the available sunroof, which is positioned only over front passengers and looks a little small to be honest.
If you’re looking for a subcompact SUV that can haul all the groceries and then some, the 2022 Kia Seltos may fit the bill. Behind the second-row seats is 26.6 cu-ft of cargo space with the dual-level cargo floor positioned lower. That’s right it has an adjustable height floor so you can adjust for your needs. Otherwise, for those longer loads that need more space, the second-row can easily fold down for 62.8 cu-ft of available cargo space.
Kia has upped its infotainment game for the 2022 Kia Seltos by making the 10.25-inch screen standard on all trims except the LX, which gets last year’s 8-inch screen. All of the models with the 10.25-inch infotainment system have Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and UVO link connectivity.
The UVO link connectivity give the Seltos navigation, voice commands, and connected phone app. From the phone app you can check the condition of the Seltos, remote start the vehicle, lock and unlock the vehicle, remote adjust the climate controls, use security controls, keep up to date on service appointments, and keep track of where the vehicle is located. It’s a pretty nifty add on for the Seltos.
On the audio front, the standard 6-speaker system does a decent job of pumping out the tunes, but the available Bose premium audio takes it up a notch. Not only does the Bose 8-speaker system sound better, it also makes better use of those geometric looking speaker areas with some ambient mood lighting inside.
Every trim for the 2022 Kia Seltos has Forward Collision Avoidance-Assist, Driver Attention Warning, High Beam Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Rear Occupant Alert, dual front airbags, dual front seat-mounted side airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags. Higher trim levels add Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance, while Safe Exit Assist, Highway Driving Assist, and Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go are standard only on the SX Turbo.
The NHSTA only gave the Seltos a 4-star rating, which is a little disheartening but the same as last year. While the IIHS has yet to give their review the 2022 model, we could give a pretty good guess that it’d be a Top Safety Pick like last year being that it’s much of the same car with more standard safety features.
The base 2022 Kia Seltos LX comes with AWD, the 2.0L I4 engine, and CVT. The LX trim also starts with 17-inch alloy wheels, a spare tire, the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, rearview camera, cloth seats, and a host of standard safety tech.
The S trim is the only one available in either FWD ($22,690) or AWD ($24,190). It gains everything from the LX trim and adds optional heated front seats, roof rails, LED daytime running lights, front fog lights, the 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen with UVO link connectivity, navigation, SiriusXM, USB charging ports, automatic climate control, cloth and SynTex seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and additional exterior color options.
The EX trim gets everything from the S and adds the Dynamax AWD with Lock Mode, 17-inch machine finished alloy wheels, Qi wireless phone charger, power sunroof with sunshade, full SynText seating, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumber support adjustment, standard heated front seats, and adds in the Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist.
The Nightfall Edition is new the Kia Seltos. It gets everything from the S Trim and adds a unique black grille, unique black roof rails, 18-inch matte black finished wheels, Dynamax AWD with Lock Mode, and also adds in the Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist. This trim also receives the 1.6L turbocharged I4 engine with the 7-speed DCT.
The SX Turbo is the 2022 Kia Seltos top trim. It gains everything from the EX trim and adds in more chrome accenting, LED headlights, LED fog lights, 18-inch machine finished alloy wheels, the Bose Premium Audio 8-speaker system with ambient mood lighting, a 7-inch LCD color instrument cluster, a leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel, a cargo cover, and gains a couple more safety features as standard. There is also a Plum color interior package available to this trim only, but it’s an interesting design move by Kia in my opinion.
Kia offers its industry leading 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile limited basic warranty, a 5-year/100,000-mile limited anti-perforation warranty, and a 5-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance plan. That roadside assistance is available 24 hours a day and is available anywhere in the US. Kia also will provide reimbursement for meals, lodging, or rental car expenses if a warranty related issue arises when you’re 150 miles away from your home. Sadly, complimentary maintenance isn’t available with purchase, but the Kia Care plans are available for customers to purchase.
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If you’re in the market for an SUV that gets decent gas mileage, provides plenty of cargo room, has all the latest vehicle technology, and comes standard with a capable AWD to geth you around, then the 2022 Kia Seltos should be on your list. It’s not the best in every category, but it’s one of the most well-rounded subcompact SUVs on the market today. Plus, the Kia Seltos comes in at an affordable price that’s hard to compete with when you add up all the available standard features.