Compared: 2023 Kia Seltos vs. 2023 Kia Sportage

While there's some family resemblance, the Seltos and Sportage cut their own paths.

2023 Green Kia Sportage in the mountains and 2023 Yellow Kia Seltos on highway comparedKia

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Like many other automakers, Kia has built up its SUV lineup in the last few years, presumably to cater to every consumer need. Among the recent arrivals is the Kia Seltos subcompact crossover, which the automaker slots into the small space between the boxy Kia Soul and the Kia Sportage compact. That said, the Seltos differs quite a bit from its nearest siblings, particularly the Sportage. Here we explore how the two stack up against each other.

2023 Kia Seltos vs. 2023 Kia Sportage: Price

At a starting price of around $25,000, the Seltos undercuts the Sportage by about $3,000. Of the five trim levels, the lower three employ a 146 hp, 2.0L four-cylinder while the top two get a 175 hp, turbocharged 1.6L. Oddly, all-wheel drive (AWD) comes standard on all but the one-step-up-from-base Seltos S, which demands about an extra $1,500 for it.

Sportage buyers also have a choice of powertrains: There’s the entry-level, 187 hp, 2.5L four-cylinder, plus two new-for-2023 hybrid setups, one traditional and one plug-in. The gas-only model opens at about $28,000, and the 227 hp regular hybrid, at about $29,000. Both ask about $1,800 for AWD on the base trims — something that comes standard on the around $40,000, 261 hp PHEV.

2023 Kia Sportage X-Pro open trunk with seats downKia | Sportage

2023 Kia Seltos vs. 2023 Kia Sportage: Interior

The Seltos has a traditional-looking interior, adorned with quite a few hard buttons and an 8.0-inch (or available 10.3-inch) infotainment screen jutting up from the dash. The Sportage has a cleaner, more modern design and situates its 8.0-inch (or available 12.3-inch) infotainment screen on the same driver-canted panel as the digital instrument cluster for a nice, integrated look. Both come with cloth seats and offer leatherette somewhere in the lineup, but dual-zone climate control and ventilated front seats are available solely on the Sportage.

The PHEV Sportage boasts a little less cargo room than the gas version (34.5 cu.-ft. with the rear seats up versus 39.6 cu.-ft. in the gas and 39.5 cu.-ft. in the hybrid), but all three models beat the smaller Seltos, which provides 27 cu.-ft. of space behind its second row.

2023 Kia Seltos steering and dashboard with interiorKia | Seltos

2023 Kia Seltos vs. 2023 Kia Sportage: Fuel Economy

As mentioned above, the base Seltos pairs a 2.0L with AWD. That combination sees 29 mpg on the EPA’s combined test cycle. Choosing the front-drive S model will increase efficiency slightly, to 31 mpg. Models with the turbocharged 1.6L drink the most fuel, seeing 27 mpg combined.

Ratings for the gas-only Sportage come in a little lower, with the front-driver returning 28 mpg combined and the AWD model seeing 25 mpg. The electrified utes, though, stretch a gallon of gas much farther: The traditional hybrid boasts 43 mpg in front-drive form and 38 mpg with four driven wheels. The EPA has yet to post numbers for the PHEV, but Kia claims it’ll see up to 84 MPGe, travel 34 miles on electricity alone, and manage 35 mpg when relying solely on gas.

All vehicle pricing includes MSRP plus destination charges (set at the time of publication), and will be rounded to the nearest thousand.

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Kyle Edward
Kyle Edward has written about the auto industry since 2018 and got his start through an automotive YouTube channel. Today, Kyle writes for popular online magazines and covers everything from news to reviews and tech. He has a love for everything Porsche and spends his free time filming car reviews and traveling to exciting driving destinations.