2021 Kia Seltos vs. 2020 Ford EcoSport

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Seltos are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The EcoSport doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Seltos S/EX/SX has standard Autonomous Emergency Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The EcoSport doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Seltos S Turbo/EX/SX has standard Rear Cross-Traffic Avoidance Assist that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The EcoSport doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Seltos S/EX/SX’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The EcoSport doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Seltos S/EX/SX’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The EcoSport doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Seltos and the EcoSport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The Seltos comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The EcoSport’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Seltos 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Ford covers the EcoSport. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the EcoSport ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked fourth.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 7 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine

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The Seltos’ standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 23 more horsepower (146 vs. 123) and 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (132 vs. 125) than the EcoSport’s standard 1.0 turbo 3-cylinder. The Seltos S 1.6T/SX’s standard 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder produces 9 more horsepower (175 vs. 166) and 46 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 149) than the EcoSport’s optional 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Seltos AWD CVT with its standard 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the EcoSport 4x4 4 cyl. (27 city/31 hwy vs. 23 city/29 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Seltos uses regular unleaded gasoline. The EcoSport with the 1.0 turbo 3-cylinder engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

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A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Kia Seltos S 1.6T/SX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the EcoSport.

The Seltos has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The EcoSport doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Seltos Turbo’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the EcoSport:

Seltos Turbo

EcoSport

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

11.2 inches

10.7 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Seltos has larger standard tires than the EcoSport (215/55R17 vs. 205/60R16). The Seltos Turbo’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the EcoSport (235/45R18 vs. 205/60R16).

The Seltos 2.0L’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the EcoSport’s standard 60 series tires. The Seltos Turbo’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the EcoSport SES/Titanium’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Seltos 2.0L has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the EcoSport. The Seltos Turbo’s 18-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the EcoSport SES/Titanium.

The Kia Seltos’ wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Ford EcoSport only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Seltos’ wheelbase is 4.3 inches longer than on the EcoSport (103.5 inches vs. 99.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Seltos is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 2.7 inches wider in the rear than on the EcoSport.

Passenger Space

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The Seltos has .4 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front hip room, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, 1.3 inches more rear legroom, 1.9 inches more rear hip room and 3.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the EcoSport.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Seltos’ rear seats recline. The EcoSport’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Seltos has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the EcoSport with its rear seat up (26.6 vs. 20.9 cubic feet). The Seltos has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the EcoSport with its rear seat folded (62.8 vs. 50 cubic feet).

The Seltos’ liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The EcoSport’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.

Ergonomics

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While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Seltos S/EX/SX detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The EcoSport doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Both the Seltos and the EcoSport offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Seltos S/EX/SX has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The EcoSport doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Seltos SX has a standard Smart Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The EcoSport doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Kia Seltos EX/SX has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The EcoSport doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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