Ace of Base: 2021 Kia Seltos LX

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
ace of base 2021 kia seltos lx

Kia is no stranger to the Ace of Base series, given its propensity to stuff its cars and SUVs to the gunwales with features generally found on cars one octave higher in price. What is a stranger to the AoB pages is the 2021 model year. Welcome to the future, folks (there are still no hoverboards).

While the little Seltos hasn’t yet been added to Kia’s build-n-price tool, the media site has more than enough collateral with which to determine the base car’s level of kit. Does it continue Kia’s value-added ways? Will it be another hit for Kia? Is it colder than the surface of Hoth outside your author’s home? The TTAC Magic 8 Ball says “signs point to yes” for all of these questions.

As with most other Kia vehicles, the base Seltos is called the LX. Powered by a 2.0-liter four banger, it’s good for 146 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. Neither of these figures will set the world on fire, but they are perfectly average for a car in this segment. A 175 hp/195 lb-ft turbo is available on more ‘spensive trims. A continuously variable transmission with seven Fake News gears is the lone transmission choice with the smaller mill. Alas.

Outwardly, Seltos LX is endowed with 17-inch alloys and color-keyed trim. It would seem the days of spotting base models thanks to their caster-sized steelies and black door handles are long gone. LED lighting is reserved for snazzier Seltos trims and the grille has been denuded of all brightwork. The latter will help sales staff quickly identify them on the lot as the lower-margin models from which they will inevitably steer prospective customers away.

Those customers should continue marching towards the LX, however, as its interior includes a tilt and telescope wheel, six-way adjustable cloth seats, and the same 8-inch infotainment touchscreen found in costlier EX and S models. Air, cruise, USB ports, and remote entry are all on board for the asking sum of $21,990.

And before you all carp in the comments, we know that’s not the base model shown above. Absent of the build and price tool, we went with an available picture. Use your imagination to substitute slightly smaller wheels and a lack of LED fog lamps. There’s no guarantee the jazzy blue shown here will be available gratis on base models, but Kia’s track record is pretty good in this regard.

Kia has long shed its bargain basement image, if the number of new Tellurides in the tonier parts of town is any indication. Continuing to appeal to the other end of the market is equally as important because, as we know, hooking a first-time customer often leads to repeat business.

[Images: Kia]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments and feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and priced in American Dollars. Your dealer may sell for less.

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  • Conundrum Conundrum on Jan 22, 2020

    I ask only for the sake of completeness, because the mind numbing proliferation of Hyundai and Kia models all about the same size and offering all about the same powertrains taxes my memory - what Hyundai is this THING based on? I stepped into a Hyundai showroom about six months ago and the sea of dark grey blandmobiles in 39 flavours of the week, made me turn around and leave. There is little product differentiation between all this stuff.

  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Jan 25, 2020

    About the only thing I like about this is the paint color.

  • FreedMike This article fails to mention that Toyota is also investing heavily in solid state battery tech - which would solve a lot of inherent EV problems - and plans to deploy it soon. https://insideevs.com/news/598046/toyota-global-leader-solid-state-batery-patents/Of course, Toyota being Toyota, it will use the tech in hybrids first, which is smart - that will give them the chance to iron out the wrinkles, so to speak. But having said that, I’m with Toyota here - I’m not sold on an all EV future happening anytime soon. But clearly the market share for these vehicles has nowhere to go but up; how far up depends mainly on charging availability. And whether Toyota’s competitors are all in is debatable. Plenty of bet-hedging is going on among makers in the North American market.
  • Jeff S I am not against EVs but I completely understand Toyota's position. As for Greenpeace putting Toyota at the bottom of their environmental list is more drama. A good hybrid uses less gas, is cleaner than most other ICE, and is more affordable than most EVs. Prius has proven longevity and low maintenance cost. Having had a hybrid Maverick since April and averaging 40 to 50 mpg in city driving it has been smooth driving and very economical. Ford also has very good hybrids and some of the earlier Escapes are still going strong at 300k miles. The only thing I would have liked in my hybrid Maverick would be a plug in but it didn't come with it. If Toyota made a plug in hybrid compact pickup like the Maverick it would sell well. I would consider an EV in the future but price, battery technology, and infrastructure has to advance and improve. I don't buy a vehicle based on the recommendation of Greenpeace, as a status symbol, or peer pressure. I buy a vehicle on what best needs my needs and that I actually like.
  • Mobes Kind of a weird thing that probably only bothers me, but when you see someone driving a car with ball joints clearly about to fail. I really don't want to be around a car with massive negative camber that's not intentional.
  • Jeff S How reliable are Audi? Seems the Mazda, CRV, and Rav4 in the higher trim would not only be a better value but would be more reliable in the long term. Interior wise and the overall package the Mazda would be the best choice.
  • Pickles69 They have a point. All things (or engines/propulsion) to all people. Yet, when the analogy of being, “a department store,” of options is used, I shudder. Department stores are failing faster than any other retail. Just something to chew on.
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