2021 Kia Seltos Safety Rating Misses Top Score for One Reason

Liz Kim | Aug 28, 2020

Sometimes, you do everything well, but still don’t get into the college you dreamed of. Such is the fate for the 2021 Kia Seltos, which performed with excellence in all Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) safety tests – except one.

2021 Kia Seltos Yellow Driving in Mud

In terms of collision protection, the Seltos aced every test, providing top protection in small overlap frontal-impact collisions for both the driver and front passenger, in side-impact collisions for front and rear seat occupants, and in terms of roof crush strength in the case of a rollover accident. The head restraints and seat designs also earned top marks for protecting the people inside of the Seltos.

Furthermore, the small SUV’s driving assistance and collision avoidance technology also performed at a Superior level, according to the IIHS.

This Kia’s weakness is its headlights, which the IIHS says do a Poor-rated job of illuminating around corners. Kia offers three headlight choices for the Seltos: halogens for the base model, halogens with automatic high-beam assistance, and full LED with automatic high-beam assistance. All three rated Poor in IIHS testing.

Had the Seltos earned a Good or Acceptable score for one of these sets of headlights, the IIHS would have made the SUV a Top Safety Pick. And if all three sets received those scores, the Seltos would receive a Top Safety Pick+ honor. So, it looks like Kia needs to add curve-adaptive LED headlights to at least one version of its plucky little sport-ute.

All Seltos models, except for the base LX trim, include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic warning, and a driver monitoring system. The top-of-the-line Seltos SX Turbo also has adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, as well as a pedestrian and cyclist detection system.

The information in this article is from the IIHS. It was accurate on August 28, 2020 but may have changed since that date.

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