Rarely do you put the words “cute”, “quirky”, and “rugged” in the same sentence, but in the case of the Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD, it fits. This small SUV packs a big design, technology and attitude into a vehicle that starts at $21,990. Nobody is going to put this Georgia-made car into a corner — or the back of the lot.

The Kia Seltos, which fits in between the Kia Soul and the Sportage, comes in five trims. We drove the SX Turbo, which is the top of the line, but even so, the price came in at a family-friendly $29,485. But even at the lowest end, the LX, you get a lot. It features a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine with 147 horsepower, Intelligent Variable Transmission, an 8-inch touch screen display with rear camera and a combined MPG of 27.31/20. Sliding up to the premium scale, the SX adds a LED headlights and fog lamps, Bose® Premium Audio with Sound Connected Mood Lamp, and navigation with a 10.25-inch touch screen and UVO link, which lets you connect to some features of the Seltos remotely through the Kia Access with UVO link app or online portal. It also brings a sportier turbocharged 1.6-liter four cylinder engine that can bring up to 175 horsepower. The entire Kia ling gives a good bank for the buck and this Seltos is a great deal!

The Seltos was introduced last year at the Los Angeles Auto Show and it quickly became a hit with car enthusiastic and consumers. Part of this subcompact crossover’s appeal is its modern look — it stands out from the small SUV crowd thanks to some interesting colors and a hunker down look that you find from the smallest linebacker on a team. It’s a little less funky that the Kia Soul but has a lot of personality.

It measures 172 inches in length and 70.9 inches in width. The is plenty of room with the front headroom arching 40 inches (38.4 in the rear); and 41.4 inches of legroom in the front with 38 inches in the back. The cargo room comes in at 26.6 inches and a whopping 62.8 inches with the rear seat folded down. If you’re looking for an SUV with a lot of space, this is your car. It’s bigger inside than its competition and can easily accommodate a family of four.

The Kia Seltos is a good bargain for a family car that doesn’t need all the bells and whistles or a lot of space. The drive can be a bit rough and firm, which we noted more at the lower speeds than as we accelerated. For those looking in the small SUV space, this is a contender. It has Kia’s admirable warranty and quality. For this price, a family gets a lot.

Rick Case Kia, Nalley Kia, Ed Voyles Kia of Chamblee, Atlanta West Kia.

— Mary Welch


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