Despite the current wild popularity of subcompact SUVs; to this point, Kia has not had an all-wheel-drive entry below the compact Sportage, as both the Soul and Niro are front drive only. Well, that all changes with the 2021 Kia Seltos.

We’re just back from a Quick Spin near San Antonio, Texas; and the rugged looks of this mini-ute got our attention right away.

“I really like the style of this car; it looks like it wants to take you somewhere fun. It looks like it wants to have fun. And it’s kind of really inspiring when you’re walking up to it to get in and take it for a drive, thinking that I need to go on an adventure because that’s where this car wants to take me."

Powering those adventures will be either a naturally-aspirated 146–horsepower 2.0-liter I4 with CVT, or a 175–horsepower 1.6-liter turbo-4 with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The base S 2.0-liter is your only option for front-wheel-drive, as all other trims comes with AWD standard.

Sharing its platform with the excellent Hyundai Kona, there is impressively good comfort inside the Seltos, and lots of tech for your long journeys too. Pricing starts at around $22,000, and they’re in dealerships now.

And we’ll have more Quick Spins… soon!