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2021’s Best Subcompact SUV’s Compared – Honda HR-V vs Kia Seltos

The newfound popularity of small SUVs has finally made its way to the Twin Cities. With a wide range of options, the smallest Subcompact category has quickly commanded local demand. Subcompact SUVs, better known as Crossovers, or CUV’s for short, provide the best of all worlds: affordability, amazing gas mileage, and proper space for utility.

With an abundance of comparable vehicles, Minneapolis car shoppers will be pleased to hear their local Honda dealership has narrowed down the two best Subcompact SUV options. The Honda HR-V and Kia Seltos go head-to-head, both looking to exceed the needs of the typical Crossover car buyer.

2022 Honda HR-V2022 Honda HR-V

For car enthusiasts, the Honda HR-V is a name you should recognize. Originally dating back to the ’90s, after many requests, the popular Asia-oriented car was finally reintroduced in 2015 to the US markets. Losing none of its original charms, the new Honda Crossover remains stylish and modernized receiving constant glances from passerby’s.

With small SUVs and Crossovers quickly overtaking our roads, those looking to buy a new car in Minneapolis are being drawn to this exceptional vehicle for its impressive versatility and noticeably superior performance.

Achieving an impressive fuel economy of up to 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway while remaining affordable has made the HR-V a clear choice for many. Add recognitions like its 100.1 cubic feet of passenger space, 58.8 cubic feet of cargo volume, and top safety ratings and you have a clear leader in the space.



2022 Kia Seltos2022 Seltos

Looking to dethrone Honda, the new Kia Seltos was introduced in 2019. According to Kia, the Seltos CUV is targeted specifically at millennials with its sportier facade.

That being said, its design style doesn’t necessarily correlate with its performance. A 2.0-liter inline-4 outputs 146 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque achieving a 0-60 of 10.5 seconds. The higher trim using a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 produces 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque for a 0-60 time of 6.6 seconds.

As a Crossover, the Kia Seltos CUV gets the job done with seating for five and adequate storage space for all.


Buying a new car is seen as a major life decision by most. Getting the best value for your money should always be the goal, with new car buying being no different. Both the Kia and Honda Crossovers lead the industry in terms of price. While the Kia Seltos starts at a moderate $22,490, the Honda HR-V can’t be beaten with its starting price coming in over a thousand dollars lower at $21,420. As we climb trim levels with additional added features, the Honda CUV continues to crush the Kia in terms of price.


2022 Honda HR-V Trim

MSRP 2022 Kia Seltos Trim MSRP
LX $21,420 LX $22,490
Sport $23,370 S $22,690
EX $24,620 EX $25,790
EX-L $26,220 SX Turbo



Both vehicles offer technologically advanced autonomous features like Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane-Keeping technology but at two distinct costs. The Honda HR-V features these feats as standard on the EX and EX-L models while the Kia Seltos waits until the pricier SX Turbo trim, an additional $3,370 over the Honda HR-V EX trim.


For their value, both the Honda HR-V and Kia Seltos are feature dense. Tech options such as touch-screen controls, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Keyless Entry have all become the new norm. These two compact crossovers are no different with each having its own take on tech.

For those looking for a ride of leisure, the EX trims for both vehicles offer heated seats and an automatic moonroof, with the Honda once again priced more accordingly.

Honda has chosen to distinguish itself from the competition with the inclusion of its new Magic Seat. With the Magic Seat, versatility is added to the second row with the ability to interchange between Tall, Long, and Utility positions. The “U” in CUV stands for “Utility” so Honda saw it fit to capitalize on all utilizable routes.


Tall Mode – Allows the rear seats to be folded up, allocating up to 4 feet of vertical space. Perfect for transporting a bicycle or home decors such as lamps and planters.

Utility Mode – For those transporting bulky items, Utility Mode folds the rear seats flat to access the full 58.8-cubic-foot cargo area.

Long Mode – In Long Mode, the passenger seat can be folded back to accommodate items up to 8 feet in length. The ability to transport extra-long items such as Kayaks digs into the utility aspect of this crossover.


When it comes to choosing a vehicle, safety should be a priority. After all, it’s a multi-ton block of steel capable of high-speed travel. With Crossovers being targeted as family-oriented vehicles, a spotlight is shined on their ability to keep drivers and passengers unharmed.

Both Crossovers have earned Top Safety Picks from the IIHS but only the 2021 Honda HR-V holds a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA.



For many, reliability is the most important aspect when choosing a new vehicle. The essential purchase is expected to last as long as possible with minor maintenance required. In that sense, Honda has proven itself time and time again.

The Honda HR-V is recognized by Consumer Reports as one of the most reliable new vehicles available, and the most reliable small SUV.

In Kia’s corner, the Seltos has yet to prove itself. As a newer car, little is known about its long-term durability.

Owners of the Kia Seltos have been quick to file complaints to the NHTSA, the Government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Issues with the subcompact SUV have ranged from mechanic failures, engine fires, to lack of security and easy thefts. For comparison, the Honda HR-V has limited reported complaints with no similarities.


Test Drive

When it comes down to it, the better car will be up to you, the car buyer. Things like design and driving feel can only be compared individually. Here at Walser Honda, we are ready to help you make that final purchase decision. Test drives on the new fun and energetic Honda HR-V are available at our store in Burnsville, MN, or from the comfort of your home with Walser To You, our complimentary Home Delivery service.

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