Ace of Base: 2021 Kia Seltos LX

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

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.

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

More by Matthew Guy

Join the conversation
2 of 21 comments
  • 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.

  • Dave M. The Outback alternates between decent design and goofy design every generation. 2005 was attractive, 2010 goofy. 2015 decent. 2020 good, but the ‘23 refresh hideous.Looking forward to the Outback hybrid in ‘26…..
  • Lorenzo Subaru had the ideal wagon - in 1995. The Legacy Outback was a straight two-box design with rear quarter and back windows you could see out of, and was available in brown with a 5-speed manual, as God and TTAC commenters intended. It's nice they're not raising prices, but when you've lost the plot, does it matter?
  • Bkojote Remember a month a go when Cleveland wanted to create a more walkable Cleveland and TTAC's 'BIG GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM' dumbest and dullest all collectively crapped their diapers? Here's the thing- look on any American highway and it's littered with people who don't /want/ to be driving or shouldn't be. Look at every Becky on her phone during the morning commute in her Tucson, look at every Brad aggro driving his 84 month loan GMC. Hell look how many drivers nowadays can't even operate a headlight switch. You expect these people to understand a stoplight? In my neighborhood alone 4 people have been rear ended at lights from someone on their phone. Distracted driving over the past 10 years has spiked, and it's only going to get worse unless Becky has an alternative, because no judge is going to pull her license when 'she needs it to get to work!' but heaven forbid she not check fb/tiktok for 40 minutes a day.
  • Scott Shouldn't the The Italian Minister for Business be criticizing The Milano for being too ugly to be Italian?Better use of resources doing that....
  • Steve Biro Frankly, while I can do without Eyesight and automatic start-stop, there is generally less B-S with Subarus in terms of design, utility and off-road chops than with many other brands. I just hope that when they adopt Toyota’s hybrid system, they’ll also use Toyota’s eCVT.