Up Close With the 2024 Kia Seltos: Subtle Corrections

kia-seltos-2024-01-exterior-profile 2024 Kia Seltos | photo by Christian Lantry

We’ve been impressed with the Kia Seltos ever since it debuted as a 2021 model. Highlights include its “just right” sizing (occupying the middle ground between subcompact and compact SUVs) and zippy available turbocharged engine (one of the strongest in its class). In fact, in its freshman year, the Seltos nabbed first place in our most recent Affordable Small SUV comparison test. The 2022 and 2023 model years brought minor updates, but for 2024, the Seltos gets a more substantial refresh, and we got to check it out in person at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Related: More 2022 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

The available turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder should be even zippier for 2024 as it receives a 20-horsepower bump, from 175 hp to 195. The engine should also deliver its power more smoothly than before thanks to a switch from a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to a conventional eight-speed automatic. One of our primary gripes with the Seltos was the balky, hesitant shifts from the turbo engine’s dual-clutch automatic, so we’re hopeful that the new eight-speed will deliver a smoother, more refined feel.

Inside, the key update is an available panoramic dashboard display that fuses two 10.25-inch screens — one for the digital gauge panel, one for the infotainment display — into a single unified design element on the dashboard. Part of this change is simply keeping up with current automotive design fashion, but the new display really does give the interior a cleaner, more futuristic look in person. The infotainment system can now receive over-the-air updates, and thankfully, the dashboard retains a good number of physical control buttons instead of touch-sensitive virtual controls. The rest of the interior stays pretty much the same; it’s as spacious and comfortable as before, but a few plasticky finishes cheapen the look and feel.

The exterior updates are subtle, but they succeed in giving the Seltos a sharper, slightly beefier look. The new Pluton Blue paint color looked great on the show floor, too — it’s a muted blue-gray hue with a subtle metallic finish that adds interest. In keeping with other Kia SUVs, the Seltos also receives an X-Line trim level for 2024, but it’s essentially an appearance package that adds a black roof rack and cosmetic touches, including a gunmetal-finish grille and distinctive 18-inch wheels.

The updates the 2024 Seltos brings are fairly subtle at first glance, but they’re more than welcome. They correct a couple of the vehicle’s key shortcomings and should add to its appeal in the market.

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