The SUV market is booming, but not everyone can afford to spend a fortune on a new vehicle. That's why Cars.com conducted the 2023 Affordable SUV Challenge, where six popular subcompact SUVs priced around $30,000 competed for the title of the best value in the segment. The winner of this challenge was the 2024 Kia Seltos SX, a stylish, spacious, and fun-to-drive SUV that offers plenty of features and performance for the money.
What Makes the 2024 Kia Seltos SX Stand Out?
The 2024 Kia Seltos SX is not a new model, but it has received some significant updates that make it even more attractive and competitive than before. The exterior has been refreshed with a wider grille, updated headlights and taillights, and a rear light bar that connects the taillamps. The interior has also been upgraded with a new dual-screen infotainment system that features a 10.25-inch touchscreen and a 7-inch digital instrument cluster. The cabin is roomy and comfortable, with faux-leather upholstery, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, and a wireless smartphone charging pad.
But the most notable change comes under the hood, where the Kia Seltos SX gets a new turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 195 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with a smooth and responsive eight-speed automatic transmission that replaces the previous seven-speed dual-clutch unit. The result is a noticeable improvement in acceleration, performance, and drivability. The Kia Seltos SX can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, which is faster than any of its rivals in the challenge.
The new Kia Seltos SX also comes standard with all-wheel drive, which enhances its traction and stability in various road conditions. The SUV also has a nicely balanced ride and handling, with a firm but not harsh suspension, precise steering, and strong brakes. The Seltos SX also offers three drive modes (Normal, Sport, and Smart) that adjust the throttle response, transmission shift points, and steering effort according to the driver's preference.