Kia Seltos Years To Avoid and The Best Years

Kia Seltos Years To Avoid – As with any vehicle purchase, it’s essential to gather information about different model years to ensure you make an informed decision. We will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the Kia Seltos and shed light on the key factors to consider when it comes to the “worst” Kia Seltos years to avoid.

Kia Seltos Years To Avoid

Kia Seltos has made quite an impression since its debut in 2019, captivating car enthusiasts with its stylish design, versatility, and practicality.

However, as with any vehicle, certain model years may have their fair share of issues that you’d want to steer clear of.

By exploring this guide, you can navigate the nuances of each model year and make a well-informed choice that suits your needs and preferences.

Kia Seltos Years To Avoid

Kia Seltos Years To Avoid

When it comes to identifying the worst Kia Seltos years to avoid, it’s crucial to consider various factors such as reliability, customer feedback, recalls, and common issues reported by owners.

While the Kia Seltos generally offers a satisfying ownership experience, it’s worth delving into specific model years to gain a better understanding.

It’s important to note that Kia Seltos is a relatively new vehicle, and as of now, there haven’t been significant reports of widespread issues or specific years to avoid. Kia has consistently focused on improving their models over the years, and the Seltos is no exception.

However, it’s always a good idea to be cautious, especially when considering the earlier production years of any vehicle.

By opting for a later model year, you can potentially benefit from any updates, improvements, or recalls that may have addressed early manufacturing concerns.

2021 Kia Seltos

The Kia Seltos, launched in 2021, gained popularity within the rapidly growing subcompact SUV segment due to its larger size, offering increased passenger and cargo space.

However, like many debut models, the 2021 Kia Seltos had its fair share of reliability issues that prospective buyers should be aware of before making a purchasing decision.

1. Transmission Issues

According to reports on, the 2021 Kia Seltos has accumulated 157 complaints and one recall, with two notable problems related to the transmission. Some owners experienced transmission malfunctions characterized by gear slippage, jerking, and even complete failure.

Additionally, a couple of Seltos owners reported instances of transmission overheating, necessitating pulling over for investigation. Although this issue appears to be less widespread, it is still worth monitoring.

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These transmission problems are particularly frustrating as they occur in relatively new vehicles with mileage under 10,000 miles.

2. Recalls for Fire Risks and Engine Replacement

Kia issued recalls for fire risks and covered engine replacements in several Soul and Seltos SUVs. While not directly related to specific model years to avoid, it highlights the importance of staying informed about recalls and addressing them promptly.

3. Timing Chain Problem

Numerous discussions have taken place regarding timing chain issues affecting the 2021 Kia Seltos. In one Reddit post, a driver reported hearing fluttering noises from the engine around 8,000 miles.

Subsequently, the driver noticed “gear grinding” noises during acceleration, as described in their post:

Further investigation revealed that a worn timing chain was the cause of the problem. The damaged timing chain released tiny metal shards into the oil, resulting in engine damage. If left unaddressed, this issue could lead to long-term damage.

In this particular case, the driver had the engine replaced by Kia, but only after encountering challenges in getting the dealership to cover the cost.

While it’s important to note that individual cases do not define an entire model year, the widespread nature of the timing chain recall highlights the significance of considering this issue when purchasing a used 2021 Kia Seltos.

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Best Years for Kia Seltos

Best Years for Kia Seltos

When considering the best years for the Kia Seltos, two model years stand out as exceptional options: 2022 and 2023. Let’s delve into the features and accolades that make these particular years highly regarded by critics and customers.

2022 Kia Seltos

The 2022 Kia Seltos garnered positive feedback from both experts and owners. Appreciation was expressed for its spacious cabin, advanced infotainment features, and engaging driving dynamics.

Consumer Reports (CR) rated the 2022 Seltos favorably, awarding it a Reliability score of 4.0 out of 5.0.

Furthermore, the vehicle achieved a moderately improved customer satisfaction rating of 2.0 out of 5.0.

Notably, the 2022 Seltos performed well in common areas of reliability concern, including the engine, drive system, and transmission.

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2023 Kia Seltos

Building upon the success of its predecessor, the 2023 Kia Seltos retains the desirable qualities of the 2022 version while introducing acoustic glass windshields to reduce wind noise.

The 2023 model year received exceptional reviews from both customers and critics.

In fact, Kelley Blue Book (KBB) honored the 2023 Seltos with the prestigious “Subcompact SUV Best Buy” award, a testament to its excellence within the highly competitive subcompact SUV segment.

Starting at a price of $23,340, the 2023 Seltos delivers exceptional value, akin to purchasing a brand-new vehicle.

By considering the 2022 and 2023 model years of the Kia Seltos, you can be confident in selecting a vehicle that offers a roomy cabin, advanced features, and enjoyable driving dynamics.

These years have demonstrated favorable reliability performance, as acknowledged by Consumer Reports.

Moreover, the 2023 Seltos has received high praise from industry experts, solidifying its position as an outstanding choice within its class.

Kia Seltos Problems

Kia Seltos Problems

It’s important to have a clear understanding of potential problems that may arise with this vehicle model. With an informative overview of some commonly reported Kia Seltos problems, empowering you to take proactive measures for a reliable and enjoyable driving experience.

1. Engine Issues

While the Kia Seltos is generally regarded as a reliable vehicle, there have been reported cases of engine problems. It is advisable to be attentive to any signs of engine trouble, such as unusual noises, poor performance, or warning lights.

Prompt maintenance and addressing any issues promptly can help prevent more significant engine complications.

Read Also: Kia Forte Years to Avoid

2. Transmission Problems

Though not as prevalent, transmission problems can occur in the Kia Seltos. Keep a lookout for symptoms like difficulty shifting gears, unexpected noises during gear changes, or delays in acceleration. If you notice any of these signs, it’s wise to consult a professional mechanic to diagnose and resolve the issue.

3. Steering and Suspension Concerns

Some owners have reported steering and suspension concerns with the 2021 Kia Seltos. Unusual noises while turning or driving on uneven surfaces, along with a decrease in handling comfort, might indicate potential issues.

To ensure safety and optimal performance, have a qualified technician inspect the steering and suspension system if you suspect any problems.

4. Cracking Window and Windshield Issues

While not specifically associated with the Kia Seltos, cracked windows and windshields can be a problem in various vehicles. To prevent such issues, pay attention to any impacts, chips, or damage to your windows, and promptly repair them to avoid further complications and potential safety hazards.

5. Visibility Issues

Although not widely reported, visibility issues can be a concern for some Kia Seltos owners. Ensure that your mirrors, windows, and windshield are clean and unobstructed, allowing for clear visibility while driving. Additionally, use your headlights appropriately to enhance visibility in different driving conditions.

By familiarizing yourself with these common Kia Seltos problems, you can take a proactive approach to vehicle maintenance and address any issues promptly.

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Regular inspections, adherence to maintenance schedules, and swift action, when problems arise, will help ensure a reliable and safe driving experience with your 2021 or 2022 Kia Seltos.

Stay informed, practice good vehicle care, and enjoy the journey with peace of mind.

Is the Kia Seltos being discontinued?

No, the Kia Seltos is not being discontinued. However, Kia has made some changes to its variant offerings. They have discontinued the diesel manual variants and temporarily stopped offering the turbo-petrol option.

Currently, if you are considering buying a new Seltos, your options are limited to the 1.5-liter naturally aspirated petrol or the 1.5-liter turbo diesel engine.

Is the 2021 Kia Seltos Reliable?

According to Consumer Reports, the 2021 Kia Seltos received a reliability rating of 3.0 out of 5.0, which is considered average. Since the 2021 model year is relatively new, there is limited data available on its long-term reliability.

However, customer satisfaction ratings from CR indicate a lower score of 1.0 out of 5.0, suggesting that some owners may have experienced issues.

Nonetheless, buying a used 2021 Seltos can still be a viable option, especially if you find a good deal.

Which Kia Seltos was recalled?

Kia Motors America issued a recall for certain vehicles equipped with 2.0L Nu MPI engines. This includes the 2020-2021 Kia Soul and the 2021 Kia Seltos. The recall was due to a potential issue with the piston oil rings not being properly heat-treated, which could result in engine damage.

It is essential to stay informed about recalls and have any necessary repairs addressed promptly.

Is Kia Seltos expensive to maintain?

The Kia Seltos has a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 according to the Kia Reliability Rating, which places it in a favorable position compared to other car brands. With an average annual repair cost of $474, the Seltos falls within the range of above-average ownership costs.

It’s worth noting that maintenance and repair costs can vary based on several factors, including the specific model year, location, and individual driving habits.

Regular maintenance and timely servicing can help minimize potential issues and keep ownership costs manageable.


When considering the Kia Seltos, there are certain factors to keep in mind. While the diesel manual variants have been discontinued and the turbo-petrol option is temporarily unavailable, the 1.5-liter naturally aspirated petrol and 1.5-liter turbo diesel engines remain options for those interested in purchasing a new Seltos.

Reliability ratings for the 2021 Kia Seltos indicate an average score, with limited information available due to its relatively recent release.

Customer satisfaction ratings suggest that some owners may have encountered issues, but buying a used 2021 Seltos could still be a viable choice for those seeking a good deal.

With careful consideration and proper maintenance, one can enjoy a satisfying ownership experience with the Kia Seltos.

When it comes to Kia Seltos’ years to avoid, understanding the specific details and potential concerns surrounding the 2021 model is crucial. By staying informed and making well-informed decisions, buyers can navigate their way toward a satisfying Kia Seltos ownership experience.

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