For many years, Kia and its sister brand, Hyundai, were viewed as cheap throwaway cars. Recently, they’ve stepped away from this stereotype and begun developing robust lineups or well-equipped vehicles the masses can enjoy. They’ve also made big moves in the popular SUV segments.
Kia SUVs cover all the main SUV segments, starting with the subcompact Kia Soul and ending with the upscale midsize Kia Telluride. What do each of these Kia SUVs have to offer? Continue reading to find out.
SUVs and crossovers are all the rage these days. Korean automaker Kia has five SUVs and crossovers available in 2023, and each has plenty to offer certain types of buyers. Let’s review these five Kia SUV models and who they're suited for.
The Kia Soul is the smallest of the Kia SUVs. In fact, some consider it more of a wagon or hatchback than an SUV. However, Kia still markets it and lists it as a subcompact SUV.
The Kia Soul has been around for many years but has always featured the same, funky, boxy body that set it apart from others in the segment. Other automakers have tried to capture this look — hello, Nissan Cube, Honda Element, and Scion xB — but none have come close to the success the Soul has enjoyed.
The Kia Soul’s powertrain options once included a zippy turbocharged four-cylinder, but it’s now limited to just a 2.0-litre four-cylinder that pumps out 147 horsepower (hp) and 132 pound-feet (lb-ft) of torque. This power flows through a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that Kia has named the Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT) and out to the front wheels. There’s no optional all-wheel drive (AWD) for the Soul — only front-wheel drive (FWD).
Buyers seeking a green option may prefer the Soul EV, which swaps in an electric motor that pumps 134 hp (Premium Trim) to 201 hp (Limited trim) and 291 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels. This is fueled by a standard 39.2-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that delivers up to a 248-km driving range on a full charge. The Limited trim includes a 64-kWh battery that delivers a 383-km range. Recharging the Soul EV Premium takes six hours on a 220-volt charger or 48 minutes on a 50-kW DC fast charger. The Soul EV Limited’s larger battery takes nine hours and fifteen minutes on a 220-volt charger or 64 minutes on a 50-kW DC fast charger.
While it’s not fast nor overly capable, the 2023 Kia Soul’s shining star is its cabin. For such a tiny footprint, the Soul offers a respectable 985 mm of rear legroom and 1,003 mm of second-row headroom, making it roomy enough for kids, teens, and adults. On top of that, Kia somehow pulled off up to 663 litres of cargo space with the rear seats upright.
The 2023 Kia Soul also comes very well-equipped despite being an entry-level CUV. Its standard features include heated front seats, a dual-level cargo floor, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a six-speaker audio system, rear-occupant alert, and more. Buyers can also upgrade to higher-end features, such as a 10.25-inch touchscreen, Kia Connect, dual-zone automatic climate control, adaptive cruise control, leather seats, and more.
There are also optional driver-assist features, such as blind-spot collision avoidance, lane-following assist, driver-attention alert, automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, rear cross-traffic avoidance assist, and more.
The Kia Soul’s manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) ranges from $25,116 to $32,016. This model has been around for a while, and you can get a used Soul from the 2021 model from around $20,396. The Soul EV starts from $45,916, but a pre-owned Soul electric vehicle from 2021 will save you a bit, with a typical starting price of $41,303.
The Seltos is one of the newer Kia SUVs in the lineup, as it debuted in 2021 as the bridge between the not-so-SUV Soul and Sportage. While it’s still not “rugged” by any stretch of the imagination, it’s much closer to a traditional SUV than the Soul ever will be.
The 2023 Kia Seltos comes standard with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 146 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. This power heads through a standard IVT on its way to the front wheels or all four wheels with the optional AWD system. Upgrading to the SX Turbo model adds a 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder engine that pushes out 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. This power heads through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to all four wheels. Like the Soul, Kia doesn’t recommend towing with the Seltos.
Inside, the 2023 Kia Seltos has a spacey seating area, offering rear passengers 965 mm of legroom and 975 mm of headroom. That’s plenty for kids and adults alike. As for the cargo room, the Seltos is OK at 753 litres with the rear seats upright and 1,778 litres with them folded.
The standard features are also plentiful for the typical buyer in the 2023 Seltos. They include an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a six-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated front seats, and more. Buyers can also add a 10.25-inch touchscreen, Bose audio system, ambient mood lighting, a head-up display, and more.
As for safety features and driver-assist technology, the Seltos comes standard with a safe-exit alert system, rear occupant alert, hill-start assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and more. Plus, buyers can opt for adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, lane-follow assist, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, and much more.
The Sportage was the only model in the Kia SUV lineup many years ago. Today, it sits smack in the middle of the automaker’s ever-expanding SUV lineup. This compact SUV offers more capability than the Soul or Seltos and more powertrain configurations.
As for drivetrain options, the Kia Sportage has three: a standard internal-combustion engine, a hybrid (HEV) powertrain, and a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain. The standard powertrain is a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine that delivers 187 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. This power flows through an eight-speed automatic transmission and out to a standard AWD system.
For those looking for peak fuel economy, The Kia Sportage Hybrid pairs a 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder with an electric motor for 227 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. This model uses a six-speed automatic transmission and standard AWD. The Sportage PHEV uses the same powertrain but its electric motor is more powerful, bringing the total output to 261 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The PHEV also has a 55-km electric driving range.
The Sportage is also the smallest Kia SUV with a towing capacity. The base models can tow up to 1,134 kg, and the hybrid and PHEV models can tow up to 907 kg.
The Sportage’s interior is quite spacious, offering up to 1,050 mm of rear legroom, 1,000 mm of rear headroom, and up to 2,098 litres of cargo space.
Most buyers will find the Sportage’s interior well-equipped, even in its base trim. The base Sportage LX comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a six-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated front seats, and more. Buyers can also add a 12.3-inch touchscreen and digital gauge cluster, a Harmon Kardon audio system, ambient mood lighting, a head-up display, and more.
As for safety and driver-assist technology, the Sportage includes standard with rear occupant alert, hill-start assist, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, lane-follow assist, and more. Plus, buyers can opt for adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, and much more.
The gasoline-only Kia Sportage’s MSRP ranges from $33,466 to $44,266. The Hybrid model ranges from $39,166 to $45,866, and the PHEV model starts from $48,266 and rises to $51,666.
This model has been around for a while, but the current generation only just arrived in 2023. If you want to save on a used Sportage, you may have to go into the previous generation, which lacks the hybrid and PHEV options. You can get a 2021 Sportage starting at around $21,831.
For buyers with a larger family who need three-row seating and a midsize SUV, the six-passenger 2023 Kia Sorento is the place to start.
Like the Sportage, the Sorento has powertrain configurations — gasoline, hybrid, and PHEV — but it has two gasoline engine options instead of just one. The base gasoline engine is a 2.5-litre four-cylinder with 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque that pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard AWD. The X-Line and higher trims get a turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder that delivers 281 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque through the same transmission and AWD system.
The base four-cylinder engine can tow up to 907 kg, and the turbo engine can tow up to 1,588 kg.
The Sorento Hybrid and PHEV share the Sportage Hybrid and PHEV powertrains, but the larger Sorento isn’t as fuel efficient, and the PHEV model has only a 51-km electric range.
The Sorento hybrid and PHEV can tow up to 907 kg.
The Sorento has a roomy second row, offering 1,060 mm of legroom and 994 mm of headroom. However, the third-row seats are more for young kids, offering only 752 mm of legroom and 935 mm of headroom. With all three rows upright, the cargo room is tight at 357 litres, but it expands to 1,274 litres with the third row folded and 2,139 litres with all the rear seats folded.
Like the rest of the Kia SUV lineup, the 2023 Sorento has all the necessities in its base model, including heated front seats, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a six-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and more.
Buyers can upgrade to even more premium features, including a 10.25-inch touchscreen, head-up display, Bose audio system, 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster LED interior lighting, Kia Connect, a smart power liftgate, and more.
The Sorento has a handful of standard safety and driver-assist features, including hill-start assist, lane-keeping assist, lane-following assist, automatic emergency braking, rear parking sensors, and more. Buyers can add blind-spot collision warning, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, front parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, rear occupant alert, surround-view monitor, and more.
The gasoline-only 2023 Kia Sorento carries an MSRP range of $37,666 to $51,266. The hybrid model ranges from $40,166 to $45,466, and the PHEV model ranges from $49,666 to $59,066. The current-generation Sorento has been around since 2022, so you may get a great deal on a one-year-old used Sorento.
If you’re looking for a more upscale midsize SUV, the Kia Telluride is a great option. It’s not quite a luxury SUV, but it has a look and feel that can rival some premium brands.
Under its hood, the 2023 Kia Telluride features a 3.8-litre V6 engine that cranks out 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque and an eight-speed automatic transmission. AWD is also standard. This powertrain affords the Telluride a respectable 2,268-kg towing capacity.
Inside, the Telluride is plenty spacious, with seven-to-eight-passenger seating. Its second row boasts 1,077 mm of legroom and 1,022 mm of headroom while its third row has a decent 798 mm of legroom and 969 mm of headroom. Cargo space checks in at 601 litres with the third row upright, 1,304 litres with the third row folded, and 2,455 litres with all the rear seats folded.
The Telluride’s not only roomy, but it’s well-equipped too. Its standard features include synthetic leather seats, one-touch slide-and-fold second-row seats, heated front seats, a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, a universal garage door opener, a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, navigation, Kia Connect, a wireless phone charger, tri-zone automatic climate control, smart power liftgate, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and more.
Safety and driver-assist features are also abundant, including standard navigation-based adaptive cruise control, highway-driving assist, automatic emergency braking, lane-following assist, automatic high-beam headlights, safe-exit assist, blind-spot collision avoidance, rear cross-traffic avoidance assist, rear occupant alert, rear parking sensors, and much more.
There is a handful of great models in the Kia SUV lineup, making it easy to find a model that suits your needs. However, new Kia SUVs can get quite pricey, especially if you’re looking at premium models like the Telluride. With its massive inventory of quality used models, Clutch, Canada’s premier online automotive retailer, can help you save big on Kia SUVs.
All out used Kia SUVs have endured a 210-point inspection and reconditioning process to ensure they’re ready for your family. We also include a 6,000-km or 90-day warranty on every used SUV we sell.
When you purchase a used Kia SUV from Clutch, you complete the process 100% online, skipping all the headaches of going to the dealership. At Clutch, you always get the best deal without haggling, and we offer a 10-day or 750-km test-own period. If you don't love your new Kia SUV during that period, you can return it for a refund or exchange it for another vehicle.
Are you planning on trading in a vehicle on a used Kia SUV? Clutch can handle trade-ins too, and you can get your offer online. If you're satisfied with our offer, we'll pick up your trade-in vehicle and apply the trade-in value to your purchase.