Kia Seltos Problems and Years to Avoid: Common Issues and Complaints

Author: Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

When you’re considering purchasing a 2021 Kia Seltos, it’s essential to know potential problems you may face. While the Kia Seltos offers impressive fuel economy and roomy versatility, it’s not without its flaws.

Some common issues include a stiff ride, loud cabin, and engine problems. However, being aware of these can help you make an informed decision before buying.

Kia Seltos issues

Common Kia Seltos Problems

Engine Issues

While the Kia Seltos is generally considered a reliable vehicle, there have been reported cases of engine problems.

For the 2021 Kia Seltos, some owners have experienced issues related to the electrical system, engine, and suspension. It’s essential to monitor your Seltos for potential issues, particularly engine trouble, which may indicate a larger problem.

Regular maintenance and timely intervention can help you avoid serious engine complications.

Transmission Problems

Although transmission problems aren’t as widespread, it’s important to be aware of any abnormal symptoms in your Kia Seltos.

If you notice difficulty shifting gears, unusual noises, or a delay in acceleration, it could potentially indicate a transmission issue.

Keep an eye on your vehicle’s behavior and make sure to consult a professional mechanic if you experience any of these symptoms.

Steering and Suspension Concerns

Steering and suspension concerns have been reported with the 2021 Kia Seltos. These issues may lead to an uncomfortable ride or reduced handling capabilities.

To ensure the safety and performance of your Seltos, pay attention to any unusual noises or unusual steering behavior and have your vehicle inspected by a professional if you suspect any issues with the steering or suspension system.

Cracking Window and Windshield Issues

While not specifically reported for the Kia Seltos, cracking window and windshield issues have been known to occur in other vehicles.

To prevent this problem in your Seltos, be mindful of any impacts, chips, or damage to your windows, as these may lead to cracks or more significant issues over time. If you notice any damage, have it repaired promptly to avoid further complications.

Visibility Issues

Visibility issues might be a concern for some Kia Seltos owners. Although these problems haven’t been widely reported, it’s crucial to be aware of your vehicle’s visibility capabilities.

Ensure your mirrors, windows, and windshield are free of obstructions, and utilize your headlights correctly to promote safe driving in various conditions. Regularly clean your vehicle’s exterior to maintain optimal visibility during your drives.

By staying informed of these common problems and taking care of your 2021 or 2022 Kia Seltos, you can enjoy a reliable and safe driving experience.

Recalls and Complaints

Engine Recall

Kia has issued a recall for the 2021 Seltos and the 2020-2021 Soul models, affecting 147,249 vehicles. The issue involves an inconsistent heat-treating process for the 2.0-liter engine, which may cause engine problems.

Software Issues

Although not directly part of the recall, some owners have reported software issues in their Kia Seltos. If you’re experiencing any problems, contact your local Kia service center.

Remember, it’s important to stay informed about recalls and complaints reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). For more information, you can check your vehicle’s VIN on the NHTSA’s website or reach out to Kia customer service at 1-800-333-4542.

Engine Specifications

2.0-Liter Four-Cylinder

The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine in your Kia Seltos produces 146 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. It’s a reliable powertrain for daily driving.

However, it’s worth noting that this engine had a recall due to an inconsistent heat-treating process for the piston oil rings, which could cause damage.

1.6-Liter Four-Cylinder

Considering an upgrade? The 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine offers a more powerful 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque.

This turbocharged powertrain enhances your driving experience while still maintaining fuel efficiency. No significant issues have been reported for this upgraded engine. Enjoy your new Kia Seltos with confidence!

Reliability and Warranty

Powertrain Warranty

Kia Motors offers an impressive 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty for the Seltos, providing you with peace of mind.

This warranty covers essential components such as the engine and transmission. However, it’s important to note that if you purchase a used Kia, the term length becomes a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty.

Quality and Dependability

Kia’s quality and dependability are showcased through their Seltos model. According to the J.D. Power Quality and Reliability ratings, the Seltos has received strong scores in these areas.

Nonetheless, the 2021 Kia Seltos has had some engine problems, which were addressed with a recall. As a Seltos owner, staying informed and following maintenance guidelines will help ensure your vehicle’s ongoing reliability.

Safety Features and Ratings

Airbags and Electronic Stability Control

The Kia Seltos comes equipped with numerous airbags for your safety, including dual front, side, and curtain airbags.

It also features electronic stability control to help maintain control on challenging road conditions, enhancing your vehicle’s stability and safety.

Safety Rating

The 2023 Kia Seltos has not been subjected to safety recalls by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Additionally, the Seltos comes with a five-year/60,000-mile limited warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

With these safety features and warranty protections, you can expect the Kia Seltos to be a secure choice for you and your family.

2023 Kia Seltos

The 2023 Kia Seltos is a well-rounded subcompact SUV with roomy versatility and excellent fuel economy at an affordable price.

Let’s explore some expected updates and improvements for the 2023 model.

Expected Updates

Although the 2023 Kia Seltos is mostly unchanged from the previous year, you can expect a few minor updates, such as:

  • Improved infotainment system
  • Enhanced safety features


There are some key areas where the 2023 Seltos could see improvements:

  • Ride quality: The stiff ride may be softened for a more comfortable driving experience.
  • Cabin noise: Efforts to reduce cabin noise could make for a quieter ride.

Keep an eye on the Kia Seltos Forum for details and potential problem discussions as owners receive their new 2023 Kia Seltos vehicles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Kia Seltos reliability concerns?

While the 2021 Kia Seltos had only one recall and 62 complaints in its first year, it did face a major oil leak issue specifically related to the 2.0L “Nu” engine. In general, the model seems to have decent reliability, with no significant ongoing issues.

Acceleration troubles?

No widespread acceleration problems have been reported for the Kia Seltos. However, various models may have different engine performance and issues could arise on a case-by-case basis.

It’s essential to stay up-to-date with maintenance and address any concerns with a professional mechanic.

Holding value?

The Kia Seltos is a relatively new vehicle in the market, and its resale value remains quite competitive. Like all cars, its value will depreciate over time, but it’s still too early to determine how well it will hold its value in the long run.

Is the Kia Seltos being discontinued?

There is no information indicating that the Kia Seltos is being discontinued. The model has been well-received by consumers and automotive experts alike, giving no reason for the manufacturer to discontinue it. Keep an eye on Kia’s official announcements for any updates on this subject.


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