2024 Kia Seltos vs Hyundai Kona: Which Small SUV is Better?

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Kia Seltos vs Hyundai Kona

We’re going to take a look at the Kia Seltos and Hyundai Kona to find out which one is the better small SUV.

Small SUV are just exploding in popularity with many desirable options from reputable brands including Honda, Mazda and Subaru.

The Kia Seltos and Hyundai Kona are two of the most popular options at the moment.

So to find out which one is best, I’m going to review both of them for you in the areas that matter most, such as reliability, design and value for money.

What’s interesting about the Seltos and Kona is that they’re actually mechanical twins with a lot of commonality.

They actually share many of the same parts, including the same engines, transmissions and overall platform.

That means that both are very similar when it comes to overall build quality and reliability.

Engine Specs

The standard drivetrain in both cars is a two liter, naturally aspirated four cylinder engine that makes 147 HP And 132 Pound newton torque.

It comes matched to a continuously variable CVT transmission with front wheel drive and all wheel drive available as an option.

Higher trim levels on both models offer a much more powerful 1.6 liter turbocharged engine that produces 175 HP And 195 Pound Newton torque.

This engine comes matched to a set seven speed dual clutch automatic transmission.

Now here’s a reliability tipif, you’re planning on buying a seltos or a Kona to hold on to for the long term, stick with the base naturally aspirated two liter engine and CVT transmission.

It’s less complicated design with the lack of a turbocharger means that it will be much less likely to give you issues as it ages.

The same is also true of the transmissions. The more complicated DCT and the higher trim levels is known to shift a bit jerky and could be problematic as it ages.

Design & Technology

In terms of design and technology, I think the Seltos and Kona are true standouts in their segments.

The Seltos in particular has a pretty distinctive, upscale look to it, especially in one of the available two tone color options where it kind of mimics an entry level luxury suv like the Volvo XC 40, where the Seltos holds a real advantage over the Kona is in size and practicality.

Even though both of these suv’s share the same platform, the Seltos actually has more interior space and a bigger cargo area than the Kona.

Other than that though, the interior of both suv’s are fairly similar in terms of features and technology.


Both suv’s have straightforward, easy to use controls and really well designed touchscreen infotainment systems with a clear, easy to use user interface that’s compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Seltos has an advantage here as well because the top trim level comes with an extra wide 10.25 inch touchscreen that’s not available in the Kona.

Safety Feature

The best safety feature of all though is the optional highway driving assist, which is basically a semi autonomous self driving feature.

It basically takes care of the speed, braking and steering for you on the highway, keeping the car within the lanes and making the process of driving on the highway so much easier and so effortless.

It’s a great feature to have, and I wish it were available on the lower trim levels as well.

Both Kia and Hyundai have come a really long way in terms of design and technology, but even though both the Seltos and Kona are packed with loads of amazing features, they haven’t lost the value for money that both brands are really well known for.

Both of these suv’s are extremely aggressively priced, especially for all of the features that they include, and especially when compared to other small suv’s that they compete with, like the Honda HR V, Subaru Crosstrek and the Mazda CX 30.


The other value benefit that you get with either the Seltos or the Kona is in the warranty department.

Hyundai and Kia both include a five year comprehensive warranty, which is much longer than the three or four year warranties that most of their competitors come with.


Overall, these are both really well designed small suv’s that have a lot going for them in terms of styling, features, technology and value for money, the Kona is probably the better choice if you’re looking for the absolute best deal, as it does have slightly lower pricing than the Seltos.

And even though both Kia and Hyundai are known to have lots of great incentives, Hyundai was also offering much better incentives than Kia, with lower interest rates on financing and leasing and a dollar 500 rebate as well, which makes it an even better deal.

Which SUV is Better?

Overall though, if you’re okay with the price difference between the two, I think that the Seltos is the better overall crossover.

It’s slightly bigger size with more interior space just makes it more practical, which is really important to a lot of crossover buyers.

I’m a fan of the way it looks and I really like some of its unique features like the larger touchscreen infotainment system and the highway driving assist feature.

Kia has definitely come a really long way, and although the Seltos is still not as reputable as more established small suv’s like the Honda HR V or the Subaru crosstrek, I think this is still a really good option if you’re shopping for a small crossover suv, and definitely one you should consider.

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