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Discussion Starter #1
Read about how the Seltos compares to the pricier Lexus UX from Kelley Blue Book.


Kia Seltos vs. Lexus UX: Small in size, big on experience

Kia Seltos
The new 2021 Kia Seltos slots between the Soul and Sportage. Though small, the Seltos has commendable cargo capacity and a roomy-for-its-size interior. This new Kia SUV also packs technology like standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and available premium equipment such as a 10.25-inch touchscreen. Two engines are available, including a turbocharged variant with a dual-clutch transmission that makes the Seltos spry. Models with the base engine and CVT are still quite light on their feet and easy to drive and park. The Seltos is excellent for city errands yet composed enough for highway treks. Kia offers a choice of two base models, Seltos S and LX at the $21,190 MSRP without delivery. With the former, you get front-drive and the standard driver assists, the latter, you forego that suite in favor of all-wheel drive. It gives this Kia unexpected capability for off-pavement adventures.

Lexus UX
The 2020 Lexus UX is the luxury brand’s smallest crossover. Billed as an “urban explorer,” the UX is offered in two main variants. UX 200 models are front-wheel drive and powered by a 169-horsepower 4-cylinder engine connected to a CVT. The more recommendable UX 250h is a hybrid that includes all-wheel-drive to aid traction at lower speeds and slightly more output of 181 horsepower. Neither model is all that quick, but both showcase Lexus’ comfort and refinement. In the UX, Lexus has been able to bring its trademark refinement to a smaller scale. This small luxury SUV is also very efficient. UX 200 models earn up to 37 mpg and UX 250h hybrids tout up to 41 mpg. For 2020, just one year after its debut, the Lexus UX further improves with Android Auto integration joining Apple CarPlay, plus a rear cross-traffic alert safety system.

Similarities
Premium accommodations and features, active safety systems, good driving manners.

Kia Seltos Advantages
Pricing, warranty, available premium features, optional turbo engine, active driver-assistance features.

Lexus UX Advantages
Fuel efficiency, hybrid variant, luxury badge, comfortable manners.

Final recommendation
The Kia Seltos may wear a mainstream badge, but its feature set, design and available turbo powertrain give it the chops to compete with a luxury vehicle costing over $10,000 more. If you’re set on a luxury brand or demand a hybrid subcompact SUV, the Lexus UX smartly checks those boxes at a sensible price.


2021 Kia Seltos2020 Lexus UX
Engine2.0-liter I42.0-liter I4
Horsepower146 hp @ 6,200 rpm169 hp @ 6,600 rpm
Torque132 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm151 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm
TransmissionContinuously variableAutomatic, 10-Spd
Fuel Economy31 mpg (29 city/34 hwy)33 mpg (29 city/37 hwy)
Also Available1.6-liter turbo I4Hybrid AWD
Specs
Warranty5 years/60,000 miles4 years/50,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating5 Stars5 Stars
Max Seating Capacity55
Wheelbase103.5 inches103.9 inches
Overall Length172.0 inches177.0 inches
Width70.9 inches72.4 inches
Height63.6 inches60.6 inches
Turning Diameter34.8 feet34.2 feet
Headroom, Front40.0 inches37.2 inches
Headroom, Rear38.4 inches36.3 inches
Legroom, Front41.4 inches42.1 inches
Legroom, Rear38.0 inches33.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Front55.5 inches55.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear54.7 inches52.9 inches
EPA Passenger Volume102.2 cu. ft.90.4 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume31.0/61.9 cu. ft.21.7/NA cu. ft.
 

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I wouldn't cross shop a Kia and a Lexus, regardless of any comparisons made between the two. The fit, finish, paint, and quality are not equal. Nor will the ownership experience be the same. I own a near luxury brand car as well and you can see all the corners cut on the Seltos to reach a price point. I like my Seltos but I'm under no illusions that it is more than it is, a value proposition vehicle with compromises made to reach a price.
 

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2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo Lunar Orange
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I traded my Audi on a Seltos and absolutely cross shopped luxury brands. I’ve owned 6 Audis along with a BMW, a couple of Acura’s and an Infiniti and what you say is absolutely true especially for the German ones but shopping different “classes” can help. In my case now that I’m retired cost is a factor so I needed to see if the price differences were worth it. I found the value proposition with the Seltos overcame what I knew I would be shortcomings. For me, other than the dealer experience it’s really not that much especially with the price difference.
In fact I now regret not shopping more types of cars over the last few years. I could have saved a lot and been just as happy. There are some great products available now.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I traded my Audi on a Seltos and absolutely cross shopped luxury brands. I’ve owned 6 Audis along with a BMW, a couple of Acura’s and an Infiniti and what you say is absolutely true especially for the German ones but shopping different “classes” can help. In my case now that I’m retired cost is a factor so I needed to see if the price differences were worth it. I found the value proposition with the Seltos overcame what I knew I would be shortcomings. For me, other than the dealer experience it’s really not that much especially with the price difference.
In fact I now regret not shopping more types of cars over the last few years. I could have saved a lot and been just as happy. There are some great products available now.
What other vehicles were you cross shopping before you decided on your Seltos?
 

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2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo Lunar Orange
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Q3, Q5, Tiguan, Alltrack, Crosstrek, Outback, CRV, Mazda 3 hatch, CX30, CX5,Equinox,RDX, QX50, Soul. And GTI Which I’ve always wanted and still may get someday (or golf R). These were all test driven, many overnight.
The following were researched and sat in at the dealer but never made it to test drive: RAV4, Kona, Sportage, Encore, Forester
This was over about 2 years, while searching for the ideal retirement vehicle.
 

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Q3, Q5, Tiguan, Alltrack, Crosstrek, Outback, CRV, Mazda 3 hatch, CX30, CX5,Equinox,RDX, QX50, Soul. And GTI Which I’ve always wanted and still may get someday (or golf R). These were all test driven, many overnight.
The following were researched and sat in at the dealer but never made it to test drive: RAV4, Kona, Sportage, Encore, Forester
This was over about 2 years, while searching for the ideal retirement vehicle.
Lots of research, especially when tested overnight. I was fortunate that for work I had to rent several vehicles. I used that as an opportunity to test drive several over a longer period. The RAV4, Roque, and Mazda3 were the longest ones. Made the test drive in the Seltos much easier.
 
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