Inside Kia’s New Subcompact Seltos SUV Cabin: A Closer Look

The small 2021 Kia Seltos looks sharp, but does it offer enough cargo space?

When we first saw the new Seltos at the LA Auto Show, the stylish looks with clean lines and fitting proportions stuck out. And while the interior looked equally as nice, this was a pre-production model. So, now that the 2021 Seltos is in full production mode, what does the new interior have to offer?

Following this article, check out our full Seltos review with our drive impressions. And here’s a look all the Kia SUV models.

Below, a quick look at the pre-production Seltos from its initial car show debut compared to the production-going 2021 model – not much different:

2020 Kia Seltos Interior2021 Kia Seltos Review interior
Pre-production Seltos interior (left, photo: Amee Reehal) compared to 2021 production model (right, photo: Kia)

Quick look at the 2021 Seltos trims levels

The 2021 Seltos is available in 5 trims across the US and Canada; different names in each country but essentially the same setup. Biggest difference is the two engine choices: either a 2.0L make 146-hp at 6,200 rpm, or the 1.6L turbo producing 175-hp at 6,000 rpm.

United States

  • LX – with 2.0L engine, FWD
  • S – 2.0L engine
  • S 1.6T – with 1.6L turbo
  • EX – 2.0L engine
  • SX – with 1.6L turbo


  • LX FWD – with 2.0L engine
  • LX – with 2.0L engine
  • EX – with 2.0L engine
  • EX Premium – with 2.0L engine
  • SX Turbo – with 1.6L turbo

Larger Seltos dimensions equals more interior cargo space

2021 Kia Seltos interior cargo space and features
2021 Kia Seltos. Photo: Kia

You may think the Seltos is essentially a rebadged Hyundai on which the Korean giant slapped a different grille and logo. But you’d be wrong. While yes, it rides on the same architecture as a Kona, its wheelbase was considerably stretched and widened to provide substantially more passenger and cargo space. 

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Its roof is also taller, more angular, allowing for better ingress and egress for tall passengers.

Such dimension bloating allows the Seltos to present itself as a beefier vehicle overall, offering the highest cargo space in the segment, with a trunk that it’ll eat up 752 liters of your gear.

2021 Kia Seltos rear trunk cargo space
2021 Kia Seltos. Photo: Kia

Push that rear seat down to the floor, however, and Kia’s Greek-named crossover beats the class leader, the Nissan Rogue Sport / Qashqai (1,730 liters) with its 1,778 liters of total cargo space.

And toys this Kia has! While small and relatively affordable, consumers can choose from a full plethora of neat tech and creature comforts, like leather heated seats, dual phone connectivity, “locking” differentials and ambient relaxing noises channeled through the car’s optional Bose audio system.

We’re not sure about that last one, but Kia is at least trying something new which should please the vehicle’s target demographics.

Cargo specs as follows:

Cargo volume, Behind 1st row (dual-level cargo floor: low) (SAE cu. ft.)62.8 cu. ft.
Cargo volume, Behind 2nd row (dual-level cargo floor: low) (SAE cu. ft.)26.6 cu. ft.

Standard interior features of note

2021 Kia Seltos interior
2021 Kia Seltos. Photo: Amee Reehal
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Here’s what to expect inside (no extra upgrade) from the entry-level Seltos LX model. We’re justing listing some of the more noteworthy standard features here.

Sliding and illuminated sun visors

Air conditioning

8” Display audio with 6-speakers

USB audio input and charging port

Bluetooth hands-free cell phone connectivity

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration

Steering wheel-mounted audio controls

Cruise control

Remote keyless entry

Heated front seats (in Canada)

3.5″ Supervision LCD/TFT instrument cluster

What others are saying about the Seltos’ interior:

Christian Wardlaw from J.D. Power says: “Especially when driving the Seltos SX Turbo, the driver feels as though he or she got a deal on this Kia. Simply put, the interior looks and feels more substantial than it is.

Emme Hall from CNET, Road Show expresses: “While I wouldn’t call the interior of the Seltos luxurious, it doesn’t look bad at all. Sure, costs were obviously cut when it comes to material quality, but the fit and finish is generally pretty good, and everything is within easy reach of the driver.

Bill Howard at Extreme Tech states: “The seats are supportive and the cockpit shows good build quality, although there are some hard plastics (with no padded trim covering) that attest to the Seltos’ affordable price point…It would have been nice to have had more than one USB jack in a car with seat belts for five, even knowing that automotive-grade jacks can cost automakers $20-plus.”

Kia Seltos interior and exterior photos:

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