2020 Nissan Kicks SR vs. Kia Seltos: How Do They Compare?

Finding your next vehicle can be quite the daunting task. However, if you’re in the market for a small crossover, then the Nissan Kicks and Kia Seltos are likely on your short list of options.

Before you make a decision that could change your life, you need to understand how the 2020 Nissan Kicks and the 2021 Kia Seltos compare. There are some interesting tidbits that need to be considered when weighing out the pros and cons of these two contenders.

Nissan Kicks SR vs. Kia Seltos: Comparison

Sure, on the surface, the 2021 Kia Seltos may seem like the superior option — it’s a more recent model year. While that may be the case, the 2020 Nissan Kicks SR didn’t hit showroom floors too long ago. 

More importantly, we’re comparing the top-of-the-line SR model of the Kicks with the base mode LX model of the Seltos. As you’ll soon find out, there are more than a few reasons to favor the “older” of the two.

Nissan Kicks SR vs. Kia Seltos: Price

In terms of price, the contenders come in nearly neck-and-neck.

The SR trim of the 2020 Nissan Kicks starts at $21,320 MSRP and comes equipped with plenty of extra features. Meanwhile, the base LX model of the 2021 Kia Seltos starts at $21,990 (a negligible difference of only $670) but doesn’t offer nearly as many bells and whistles.

Nissan Kicks SR vs. Kia Seltos: Safety/Technology

Here’s one of the real kickers in this comparison.

On the base model, the Kia Seltos’ safety technology is nearly non-existent. Kia’s Drive Wise safety suite will be offered with the Seltos, but only as an optional package. The standard offers only the basic safety features, such as airbags, anti-lock braking, etc. In today’s high-tech automotive world, that’s a major red flag.

As for the Nissan Kicks, the following are all standard: automated emergency braking, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and more. Jump up to the SR trim, and you also tack on Intelligent Around View® Monitor, Intelligent Engine Brake and Active Ride Control. Sounds like a massive win.

The Kicks SR’s infotainment display is slightly smaller than the Seltos’, but comes with all of the same convenient features like Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, Bluetooth connectivity, and remote keyless entry. On top of that, the Kicks SR boasts a premium audio system — the Seltos LX does not.

Nissan Kicks SR vs. Kia Seltos: Engine/Performance

What’s under the hood matters, but it’s certainly not a top priority when you’re looking at smaller SUVs like the 2020 Nissan Kicks SR and the Kia Seltos.

The Kicks SR comes with a 1.6L four-cylinder engine that produces 122 horsepower. The Kia Seltos offers a slight boost in the power department from its 2L four-cylinder engine featuring 146 horsepower. With that said, the added horses may not be worth the added fuel costs, as the Kicks gets an estimated 33 mpg combined compared to the Seltos’ estimated 29 mpg combined.

Nissan Kicks SR vs. Kia Seltos: The Verdict

It seems obvious, right? For less of your hard-earned money, you can have a plethora of extra safety features, better fuel mileage and the top-of-the-line model. Sounds like the easiest decision you will have made this year.