The 2022 Kia Seltos Is A Hit For First Time Car Buyers and Downsizers Alike

Blue And White 2022 Kia Seltos Outside A Baseball Park
Meet the 2022 Kia Seltos. Photo: Jill Robbins


Meet The 2022 Kia Seltos - It Just Might Be Exactly What You Are Looking For. Photo: Jill Robbins

Meet the 2022 Kia Seltos – it just might be exactly what you are looking for. Photo: Jill Robbins

The 2022 Kia Seltos really shines for people looking for a smaller car. Or for people looking to buy an affordable compact SUV.

I have a special place in my heart for the Kia Seltos– I got to drive it in early 2020 before it was introduced to the market and it impressed me as a car that could meet the needs of a lot of different drivers. 100 years later  in spring 2022 (Seriously. The space between February 2020 and May 2022 is 100 years), I got reacquainted with the Seltos by way of the 2022 model.

I drove the 2022 Kia Seltos for a week. It was my ride for a work trip from San Antonio to the Texas Hill Country, navigating both highways and back roads. It was also my “mom car” during full swing baseball season. I put the Kia through its paces during my week behind the wheel and here’s what I thought.

Related: The 2021 Kia Seltos is Here and Yes, You Want One

Me And The 2022 Kia Seltos. Photo: Jill Robbins

Me and the 2022 Kia Seltos. Photo: Jill Robbins

What I Really Loved About the 2022 Kia Seltos

Whether you’re in the market for a smaller crossover (think students, new grads, and young families) or looking to trade that minivan or seven-seater SUV in for something that fits your life better, the 2022 Kia Seltos is worth looking at.  It’s quite a bit smaller than what I usually drive and it felt fun and sporty all the while making the drive enjoyable.The 2022 Kia Seltos has a starting MSRP of $22,590. The model you see here is $28,435, delivered. It has upgraded paint and floor mats. But there are a few other features that stood out.

Related: Five things I loved about the Kia Sorent0 PHEV

The 2022 Model Has The Newer, Re-Designed Kia Logo. Photo: Jill Robbins

The 2022 model has the newer, re-designed Kia logo. Photo: Jill Robbins

The Large, Accessible Touchscreen

The 10.25 inch touchscreen with navigation seemed huge in the subcompact space. This was one of the first things I noticed when I drove the Seltos for the first time. I was heading out on an unfamiliar route and I felt like I had everything I needed within easy reach.

Related: Move Over, Minivans: The 2022 Kia Carnival Is Redefining the Multipurpose Family Car

His Was A Fun Car For Me To Drive As A Solo Driver On A Road Trip.  Photo: Jill Robbins

This was a fun car for me to drive as a solo driver on a road trip.  Photo: Jill Robbins

So. Many. Paint. Options.

This color combo is Dark Ocean Blue/Clear White. I liked the deep blue but did not care for the contrasting white roof. I thought it looked like an Air Force staff vehicle. If you don’t have a connection to the military, you probably don’t get that but if you know, you know.

Kia offers plenty of other paint choices, including three other two-tone options and eight solid colors. You can get the Dark Ocean Blue by itself, which I would much prefer. My favorite color is the Starbright Yellow, which manages to pop without being obnoxious.

Related: 2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD: Bejeweled and Enchanting like a Citrine

2022 Kia Seltos In Its (Totally Unofficial) Air Force Colors. Photo: Jill Robbins

2022 Kia Seltos in its (totally unofficial) Air Force colors. Photo: Jill Robbins

It Can Go Off Road. I’m Not kidding.

While this isn’t built for extreme adventures (it isn’t a Jeep or your farm and ranch workhorse and isn’t pretending to be) the Seltos handles well on dirt and in lighter off road situations.

My guest house in the hill country was at the end of a bumpy dirt road and the Seltos handled great. Odds are you’re probably not considering a Seltos because you want to drive it off road but if you encounter some unpaved or rougher terrain, this can handle it.

Kia Is Over And Over Proving To Be A Solid, Fun, Auto Brand That Is In Tune What What Drivers Want And Need. Is The Seltos For You? Photo: Jill Robbins

Kia is over and over proving to be a solid, fun, auto brand that is in tune what what drivers want and need. Is the Seltos for you? Photo: Jill Robbins

It’s Comfortable

Unlike a lot of vehicles in the subcompact category, it’s comfortable. I’m 5’10 and there was adequate room in the front seat. I did not feel cramped. Taller or larger people might not find this roomy enough but I had plenty of room all around. Also, I didn’t feel like my head was grazing the ceiling, like I do in some subcompacts.

Sometimes, when I’m in a smaller car short-term, I can’t wait to get back to the comfort of my own car but that wasn’t the case here.

The Between The Seat Console Isn'T Huge But It Will Hold Your Wallet Or Small Bag. Photo: Jill Robbins

The between the seat console isn’t huge but it will hold your wallet or small bag. Photo: Jill Robbins

Who Is This Car For?

The 2022 Kia Seltos can meet a lot of car needs for a lot of different car people.

  • Anyone who wants to downsize: Empty nesters or recently divorced or widowed buyers might find the size and amenities for the price attractive.
  • Students, young professionals, recent grads and first-time buyers: If you’re in the just starting out phase, the price tag is just too good to pass up.
  • A second family car or commuter car: This is where I am. While I still need a bigger vehicle (I have two tweens in sports and we frequently road trip) this would work for shorter family outings, date nights, or a fuel-efficient commuter car for my husband.
Kids In 2022 Kia Seltos

This was a nice size for in-town driving and everyday running around. Some adults might not find the rear seat roomy enough but it’s comfortable enough for short trips and it works for two kids. Photo: Jill Robbins

Surprise! The 2022 Kia Seltos Can Function as a Family Car

While I wouldn’t choose this as a primary family car for our family of four, I was surprised at how well it did work for us. Our biggest issue was that the back wouldn’t hold the wagon we take to our kids’ sporting events but not every family needs to transport a wagon on a regular basis.

One-child families, families with younger kids, urban families who don’t have the need to transport a ton of cargo in the back might find the 2022 Kia Seltos to work very well. Grandparents or favorite aunts/uncles who transport a child occasionally would also be well-served by this one.

There’s also a rear occupant alert, although there’s no sensors. The car will automatically remind you to check your rear seat when you cut the engine. This is a great feature for families.

While The 2022 Seltos Was Not Large Enough For Our Sports Wagon, It Had Plenty Of Room For Two Kids And Their Baseball Gear Plus Four Folding Chairs. Photo: Jill Robbins

While the 2022 Seltos was not large enough for our sports wagon, it had plenty of room for two kids and their baseball gear plus four folding chairs. Photo: Jill Robbins

Specs and Other Features

Here’s what else you want to know:

  • The 2022 Kia Seltos starts at $22,590.
  • The model I drove that’s pictured here is the 2022 Kia Seltos Nightfall Turbo AWD.
  • Fuel economy: Average MPG is 27 with an estimated 30 MPG for highway and 25 MPG for city.

View the full specs on the Monroney here.

I found this car easy to drive and park. I didn’t do any real city driving or need to maneuver into any tight parking space or parallel park, but the subcompact size of the Seltos would make that easy or at least doable, speaking as someone who would walk ten blocks to avoid parallel parking.

Will the Seltos join the EV ranks? Kia has indicated yes and with the growing popularity of plug-in hybrids, I’m sure it is only a matter of time. Whether it’s gas-powered, hybrid, or fully electric, the Seltos is a great option!

We Did Not Do A Grocery Haul In The Seltos But The Back Is Pretty Roomy For A Smaller Car. Photo: Jill Robbins

We did not do a grocery haul in the Seltos but the back is pretty roomy for a smaller car. Photo: Jill Robbins


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Jill is the oldest mom with the youngest kids pretty much everywhere she goes. She has a 29-year-old daughter... More about Jill Robbins