2021 Kia Seltos vs 2020 Hyundai Kona
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2021 Kia Seltos vs. 2020 Hyundai Kona – Like Looking In A Mirror

The 2021 Kia Seltos and the 2020 Hyundai Kona are both built on the same platform. But with all Hyundai-Kia twins, there are differences. This article will go through each of them to let you know which is a better buy for you.
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2021 Kia Seltos vs. 2020 Hyundai Kona Powertrain

I just reviewed the 2021 Kia Seltos S trim in FWD. Previously, I drove the 2020 Hyundai Kona SEL Plus. Both of these vehicles used the 2.0l four-cylinder engine producing 146 HP and 132 LB. FT. of torque. These vehicles get fitted with the incredible IVT or CVT transmission that I have praised in cars like the Kia Forte. This transmission shifts better than most true automatics.

2.0l Four-Cylinder

2021 Kia Seltos vs. 2020 Hyundai Kona Driving Differences

So, let’s get into the main differences. Despite being on the same chassis, the Seltos rides a bit higher. Because of this, you have some more ground clearance, and getting in and out of the Seltos will be a bit easier, but you should be ok in the Kona as well. Most importantly, the Seltos is going to ride a bit better than the Kona because there is more travel in the suspension. This difference is minute, however, because the Kona rides exceptionally well.

What is slightly noticeable is the handling and refinement of the Kona. I did notice the Kona had superior handling feel, and it was somewhat quieter as well. Most of the changes I am naming are slight, but the most significant difference is the handling. The Seltos handles fine and is still enjoyable to drive, but the Kona outdoes the Seltos. Both are satisfying streetcars that feel very natural to operate and are easy to place out on the road.

Both vehicles have the option of having a 1.6l turbo four-cylinder producing 175 HP and 195 LB. FT. of torque. I would skip this engine option because you must get the seven-speed dual-clutch that I don’t find smooth. A more practical choice you can pay up for is the AWD system, which is available on both cars and both engine options. The AWD option gives the Seltos and the Kona a multi-link rear suspension, whereas the FWD Seltos and Kona get the torsion beam. Because I drove FWD versions of both cars, the two vehicles used a torsion beam, and they rode just fine to me.

2021 Kia Seltos vs. 2020 Hyundai Kona Interior Comparison

Inside, the two interiors are virtually the same, but you have some key differences. If you like tech and screens, the Seltos might be your pick because you have the option of getting a 10.25” infotainment screen. But fear not, the 8” standard screen on both cars come with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. The Seltos also gets some unique looking speaker grills, but that’s about it. Interior space is the same, the rear leg space can be a bit tight, but I am 5’ 11,” and I can fit behind my driving position. The trunk isn’t massive, but you have a spare tire underneath, and the seats fold 60/40, making the Seltos/Kona duo very practical.

2021 Kia Seltos Interior

2021 Kia Seltos vs. 2020 Hyundai Kona Conclusion

Much like the 2021 Kia K5 and 2020 Hyundai Sonata comparison I did, it truly comes down to which vehicle you like the looks of the most. Many of the differences I mentioned are negligible, and the two cars are very similar in their demeanor. For me, Kia design does it again, so I’m going to have to choose Seltos.

Read the rest of my Hyundai stories here.

Kevin Meyn is an automotive journalist for Torque News concentrating on Hyundai content. Kevin is the founder of Exhaust Sports Auto Youtube channel, where he does professional car reviews on new and used vehicles. Through the use of various resources and extended Automotive expertise, Kevin documents the latest in automotive news revolving around Hyundai. Kevin graduated from NC State University studying Supply Chain Management but has had a passion for cars since he was a child. Follow Kevin on Twitter and Instagram @exhaustsports.


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