The 2021 Kia Seltos, a new small SUV, earns top ratings for crashworthiness and front crash prevention, but poor headlights prevent it from qualifying for a 2020 safety award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The Seltos, which was introduced for the 2021 model year in the U.S., earns good ratings in all six of the Institute’s crashworthiness evaluations. These include the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests.
The two optional front crash prevention systems – a camera-only system available with less costly trims and a camera-and-radar system available with the SX Turbo trim – each earn superior ratings in the Institute’s vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations. Both systems avoided crashing into a target at 12 and 25 mph in the vehicle-to-vehicle tests and avoided crashes or slowed substantially to reduce the severity of impact in three different pedestrian scenarios.
The Seltos is available with three different headlight packages: base-level halogens, halogens with high-beam assist, and LEDs. All three packages are rated poor due to inadequate illumination on curves.
With at least one good or acceptable headlight rating, the Seltos would have qualified for a 2020 TOP SAFETY PICK award. Good or acceptable headlight ratings across all trim levels would have earned it the higher-tier TOP SAFETY PICK+ award.