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If you’re in the market for a stylish and capable SUV, you’ve probably seen the Kia Seltos and Toyota RAV4. These two SUVs have competed head-to-head and captured market share in a crowded segment. But, some buyers find it challenging to sort through all the trim levels and option packages. To help, we asked our SUV experts to compare and contrast these two SUVs. Here’s what they found.
2023 Kia Seltos vs. Toyota RAV4: Trim Levels and Pricing
Kia makes the Seltos in five trim levels, while Toyota offers the RAV4 in six models. Here’s a look at the pricing for each trim.
|2023 Kia Seltos Trim Level||MSRP||2023 Toyota RAV4 Trim Level||MSRP|
|2023 Kia Seltos LX||$23,340||2023 Toyota RAV4 LE||$27,975|
|2023 Kia Seltos S||$23,390||2023 Toyota RAV4 XLE||$29,485|
|2023 Kia Seltos EX||$26,640||2023 Toyota RAV4 XLE Premium||$32,375|
|2023 Kia Seltos Nightfall Edition||$27,540||2023 Toyota RAV4 Adventure||$34,170|
|2023 Kia Seltos SX||$28,840||2023 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road||$37,595|
|2023 Toyota RAV4 Limited||$36,280|
As the table shows, the lowest RAV4 trim has a higher price than all but one Kia Seltos model. However, the lower three models for each brand have similar features. The Seltos Nightfall Edition matches up well against the RAV4 Adventure model, as does the Seltos SX with the RAV4 Limited.
Edge: 2023 Kia Seltos
Both brands offer similar features we’ll explore below. But from a pure price standpoint, the Seltos will keep you on budget.
2023 Kia Seltos vs. Toyota RAV4: Powertrain
Seltos LX, S, and EX models have a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine with multiport fuel injection technology and an intelligent variable transmission. As a result, this powertrain makes 146 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. According to EPA estimates, this engine gets 29 mpg on surface roads, 35 mpg on the highway, and 31 mpg combined.
The Seltos Nightfall Edition and SX models offer a 1.6-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with gasoline direct injection technology. Kia swaps out the Intelligent Variable Transmission for a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This powertrain puts out 175 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. And it gets an EPA-estimated 25 mph in the city, 30 mpg on the freeway, and 27 mpg combined.
Every RAV4 has the same 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain produces 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. RAV4 efficiency ratings come in at 27 mpg around town, 34 mpg on the interstate, and 30 mpg combined.
Edge: 2023 Kia Seltos
Seltos’ two engine options let you decide if you want maximum economy or more power. You don’t have that opportunity with the RAV4. When comparing power numbers, the Seltos has a little more torque output and slightly lower horsepower than the RAV4. But, these differences are marginal, and the efficiency ratings are enough to give Seltos the edge.
2023 Kia Seltos vs. Toyota RAV4: Performance and Driver-Assist Systems
Four-wheel drive is standard on the Kia Seltos S, with an option for all-wheel drive (AWD). All other Seltos models come with AWD included. Toyota makes the RAV4 model with front-wheel drive, offering AWD as an option. Kia charges $1,500 for this option, while Toyota charges $1,400. When you leave the pavement in the rearview mirror, you might want AWD. But it’ll cost you more if you want it on a RAV4.
Kia includes its suite of driver-assist technologies, Kia Drive Wise, with every Seltos, and it’s an impressive list. These systems have quickly become must-haves for drivers. You’ll get the following:
- Smart cruise control with stop and go.
- Blind-spot collision avoidance assist-rear.
- Auto-emergency braking with cyclist detection.
- Lane-keeping assist.
- Lane-following assist.
- Rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist.
- Safe exit warning.
- Rear occupant alert.
- High beam assist.
Toyota adds its Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 suite to each RAV4. It includes the following:
- Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection.
- Full-speed range dynamic radar. Cruise control.
- Automatic high beams.
- Lane-departure alert with steering assist.
- Lane-tracing assist.
- Road sign assist.
- Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.
Edge: 2023 Kia Seltos
Kia and Toyota have only minor differences in driver-assist technologies. However, the Seltos comes standard with AWD on all but one trim, while Toyota charges extra for the option. This add-on charge makes the RAV4 even more expensive if you try and match features.
2023 Kia Seltos vs. Toyota RAV4: Interior
Both brands get more comfortable and add features as you move up the trim levels. So we’ll compare the top tiers here to give you an apples-to-apples view.
The Seltos SX model has Syntex upholstery, a beautiful and durable material. A 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat has two-way power lumbar support. Heated front seats come standard, along with a leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel and shift knob.
In-vehicle tech operates on the 10.25-inch touch-screen display with built-in navigation. You also get pre-loaded Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth systems for your convenience. A Bose premium eight-speaker audio system pounds out the music while the front door speaker lights pulsate and change color to the beat. You’ll have USB data and charging ports in the front and a USB charging port for the rear passengers. Passengers can also use the wireless charging pad to power up.
The top-tier RAV4 Limited has an eight-way power-adjustable front seat made with SynTex, Toyota’s synthetic upholstery. Also, the front seats heat and ventilate, and you get a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
RAV4’s infotainment system runs on a 10.5-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth. You get an 11-speaker JBL audio system on the Limited trim and an extra USB charging port in each row. Unfortunately, you’ll have to buy the wireless charging pad as part of an option package.
Edge: 2023 Kia Seltos
While both vehicles have similar cabin features for comfort and technology, Toyota’s upcharge for the wireless charging station gives the edge to the Kia Seltos.
2023 Kia Seltos for the Win
After a careful review, it’s apparent that Kia believes its customers deserve the best and shouldn’t have to pay extra for it — as much as $8,000 or more at the top of the range. Do you want to save money and still get the performance, comfort, and technology you crave? If you do, we invite you to shop our online inventory.