You have many options in the world of affordable subcompact SUVs. The Kia Seltos and Honda HR-V are two popular options you should know about. They’re both fuel-efficient, easy to drive, and roomy for their size, but there are some key differences that we’ll point out below.
2022 Kia Seltos
Most trims of the Kia Seltos are powered by a 4-cylinder engine rated at 146 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. The Nightfall Edition and SX Turbo models get a stronger, turbocharged 4-cylnder engine making 175 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. The base engine with front-wheel drive (FWD) gets 29 city/35 highway mpg but those numbers drop to 27 city/31 highway mpg with all-wheel drive (AWD). The turbo engine comes standard with AWD and returns 25 city/30 highway mpg.
Kia Seltos Highlights
Great tech features — The standard infotainment system is an 8-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Most trims have a bigger 10.25-inch screen with more features like navigation, SiriusXM, and a Bose premium audio system. These systems are preferable to the relatively outdated tech features in the HR-V. Other available tech features in the Seltos include wireless charging, a digital gauge cluster, remote start, and more.
Available turbo engine — Unlike the HR-V, the Seltos is available with a punchy turbocharged engine. Standard in the Nightfall Edition and SX Turbo models, this engine brings a big boost in performance to the Seltos, making it more fun to drive. Another perk is that every turbocharged Seltos has standard all-wheel drive for improved grip on dry pavement and better all-weather traction. If you’re looking for a small SUV that’s fun to drive, a turbocharged Seltos is a good pick.
IIHS Top Safety Pick — The Seltos has earned the coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick designation. The SX Turbo trim gets the best safety ratings because of its LED reflector headlights. However, every Seltos is well-equipped with standard safety tech features like automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, a driver attention monitor, automatic high beams, and more. Additional optional safety features include full-speed adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and the Highway Driving Assist semi-autonomous driving system.
2022 Honda HR-V
Every Honda HR-V is powered by a 4-cylinder engine that produces 141 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque. This little SUV gets up to 28 city/34 highway mpg with front-wheel drive, 27 city/31 highway mpg with all-wheel drive. These performance and fuel economy numbers are similar to the base engine in the Seltos.
One thing to keep in mind about the 2022 Honda HR-V is that it’s in its final model year before a full redesign. If you’re considering the HR-V, do a little research on the all-new 2023 model on the way, which looks like it will be worth the wait.
Small SUV, big interior — Despite its small size, this subcompact SUV has a super roomy interior. While the Seltos has more cargo room, the HR-V boasts more space in the back seat.
Affordable pricing — The Honda HR-V is an affordable choice in subcompact SUVs and it has a lower starting price than the Kia Seltos. This Honda is a great value not only because of its sticker price, but it’s also reliable, fuel-efficient, and comes with low ownership costs. Even the top EX-L trim with AWD starts at less than $30,000.
Magic Seat — The exclusive Magic Seat system is a clever feature that you’ll only find in the HR-V. You can fold the back seats down for more cargo space like you can in any SUV. But you can also fold the rear seat bottoms up against the rear seatbacks, to accommodate taller items in the back with almost 4 feet of vertical space. The front passenger seat also folds all the way back to accommodate long items up to 8 feet long. If you need flexible cargo space in a small SUV, you’ll love the HR-V.
Similar sizing, available AWD, 4-cylinder base engine, roomy interior, good fuel economy
The Honda HR-V is a more value-conscious SUV, but the Kia Seltos has more going for it if you have a little extra room in your budget. The Seltos has more modern tech features, more standard safety features, and an available turbocharged engine, all at an affordable price point. The IIHS Top Safety Pick designation and a lengthy warranty are other nice perks for the Seltos.
|2022 Kia Seltos||2022 Honda HR-V|
|Engine||2.0-liter inline-4||1.8-liter inline-4|
|Horsepower||146 hp @ 6,200 rpm||141 hp @ 6,500 rpm|
|Torque||132 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm||127 lb-ft @ 4,300 rpm|
|Transmission||CVT automatic||CVT automatic|
|Fuel Economy||31 mpg (29 city/35 hwy)||30 mpg (28 city/34 hwy)|
|Also Available||1.6-liter turbo inline-4; 7-sp automatic; AWD||AWD|
|Warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Powertrain warranty||10 years/100,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety||4 stars||5 stars|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||103.5 inches||102.8 inches|
|Overall Length||172.0 inches||170.4 inches|
|Width||70.9 inches||69.8 inches|
|Height||64.2 inches||63.2 inches|
|Turning Diameter||34.8 feet||37.4 feet|
|Headroom, Front||40.0 inches||39.5 inches|
|Headroom, 2nd row||38.4 inches||38.3 inches|
|Legroom, front||41.4 inches||41.2 inches|
|Legroom, 2nd row||38.0 inches||39.3 inches|
|Shoulder Room, front||55.5 inches||56.8 inches|
|Shoulder Room, 2nd row||54.7 inches||54.5 inches|
|Cargo Volume||26.6 cubic feet||24.3 cubic feet|