The Kia Seltos has made a name as a great crossover SUV with impressive storage space. But what if you're looking to load cargo behind your Seltos instead of in it? Can you tow with a Seltos? We've investigated this question thoroughly, and here's what you need to know.
Most Kia dealers do not recommend using the Seltos as a towing vehicle. If you install a tow hitch receiver and hitch on your Seltos, it is possible to tow with it after the vehicle has been broken in. However, other Kia SUVs, such as the Telluride, are better equipped for towing.
We'll take an in-depth look at issues regarding towing with the Seltos, including weights, hitches, and the breaking-in process. We'll also look at some great options for lightweight towing and how towing with the Seltos stacks up against Kia's other SUVs. Read on to learn all about it.
How much can a 2022 Seltos tow?
Kia's US website does not list towing capacities for the Seltos, and many US dealers advise against using it for towing. However, towing capacities are available for the Seltos on Kia's Australian site.
Most trim levels of the Australian Seltos have a maximum towing capacity of 600 kg [1,323 lbs] without trailer brakes and 1100 kg [2,425 lbs] when outfitted with trailer brakes.
It is best to follow your dealer's recommendation, but if you decide to tow with your Seltos, you will want to make sure you stay below those weights.
You will also need to stay below the weight rating of your trailer hitch and receiver.
Does a Kia Seltos have a hitch?
While Kia does not manufacture a hitch for the Seltos, you can find some from third parties. Curt and Draw-Tite both produce custom-fit trailer hitch receivers for the Kia Seltos. Etrailer even has a helpful video showing the installation of the Curt hitch on a 2021 Kia Seltos.
Keep in mind that both hitch receivers are weight-rated for just 2,000 lbs. Even when towing with trailer brakes, you will need to stay below this figure to tow safely.
There are factory accessory lifestyle hitches available for the Kia Seltos but beware. These hitches are meant for holding bike racks or other accessories, not for towing.
How much does it cost to add a trailer hitch to an SUV?
Having a trailer hitch installed on an SUV typically costs anywhere between $250 and $1,000. Parts make up a decent chunk of that cost, but labor is often the bulk of the price.
For the Kia Seltos, both the parts and labor will cost more than most. You will need a custom-fit trailer hitch receiver, like those mentioned above, which costs more than most. Labor costs can vary widely, but for a vehicle that is not often used for towing, like the Seltos, they tend to run higher.
Unless you have extensive experience and a properly equipped garage, your best bet is to install the trailer hitch professionally. It might cost more than doing it yourself, but it will help keep you and your vehicles safe.
How do you break in a Kia Seltos?
Whenever you get a new vehicle, it's essential to break it in. This means smoothly putting some wear on the engine under low, consistent pressure. Part of this means avoiding towing for the first 1,200 miles you drive your new Seltos.
Avoiding towing isn't the only part of breaking in your Seltos, though. The owner's manual recommends keeping the engine's RPMs between 2,000 and 4,000, avoiding hard stops, and varying the engine speed for the first 600 miles.
Properly breaking in your car will improve its performance and fuel economy and minimize oil leaks and improve the longevity of your engine.
What can you tow in the Kia Seltos?
If you've decided to use your Kia Seltos to tow, you've broken it in, and have had a trailer hitch installed, you probably already have an idea of what you want to haul. While the capacity of 2,000 lbs for most hitch receivers compatible with the Seltos can seem to limit, you may be surprised at how many possibilities there are.
The Kia Seltos already has an impressive 26.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seat, but if you've got a lot to haul, you can also pull a cargo trailer behind it.
You can easily pull U-Haul's 4x8, 5x8, and 5x10 cargo trailers that weigh 850, 900, and 1,250 lbs, respectively. You'll still have plenty of room to load up your cargo while staying under your towing capacity.
Hauling cargo isn't all that you can accomplish with your Seltos. You can have some fun in the sun too!
While you might not be able to pull a barge behind you, many options are open. You can easily pull a lightweight fishing boat like the 192-pound Lowe V1460.
Personal watercraft deliver even more adrenaline on the water. You'll even be able to haul beasts like the Jet Ski Ultra 310X by Kawasaki, which weighs in at 1052 lbs.
If you prefer having your fun on land, offroad vehicles like dirt bikes and ATVs may be the right choice for you. With a tow-ready Seltos, all you'll need is an offroader, a trailer, and a sense of adventure.
You'll need a utility trailer to load your offroaders in, like this 60" model from PJ Trailers. The trailer itself weighs just 950 lbs, leaving you plenty of wiggle room for a fun offroad vehicle like the 580-lb Fourtrax Rancher from Honda.
Although the word RV often inspires images of massive 5th wheel campers, lightweight campers have never been more popular. While keeping weights below 2,000 lbs will limit your options, you may be surprised by how many great choices there are!
Like the Happier Camper, the modern RVs deliver a lot of style, comfort, and amenities while staying light enough for a properly outfitted Seltos to handle.
You can see a tour of the Happier Camper in the video below.
Why not go for both if you can't choose between an RV and an offroader? The golden age of lightweight RVs has also ushered in a rise in brilliantly designed toy haulers that keep shedding pounds.
The biggest name in the lightweight toy hauler world is the SylvanSport Go. The living quarters are more like a tent than a traditional RV, but at just 840 lbs, it is lighter than many utility trailers and has enough cargo space for most ATVs.
The inTech Explore Flyer is a bit heavier, starting at 1,450 lbs. That still leaves you enough weight for a dirtbike or two, and the solid body feels more like your typical RV.
You can see a tour of the inTech Explore Flyer in the video below.
Which Kia SUV has the best towing capacity?
If you're looking for a little more towing power from your Kia SUV than what the Seltos can offer, consider the Telluride.
The Telluride more than doubles the Seltos's towing capacity. The Telluride can haul up to 5,000 lbs when outfitted with trailer brakes. You can learn more about towing with the Telluride in our article, "How Much Can a Kia Telluride Tow?"
While the Telluride comes out on top for towing capacity, other Kia SUVs also outperform the Seltos in this department. The base Kia Sorento can haul 2,500 lbs, and that number jumps up to 3,500 when equipped with the Sorento tow package. The Kia Carnival also has a 3,500 lbs maximum towing capacity.
Of course, Kia isn't the only SUV manufacturer producing great towing vehicles. Check out our article, "What's the Best SUV for Towing a Travel Trailer?" to learn more about this topic and get some good advice for towing in any vehicle.
If you're looking for a towing vehicle, the Seltos might not be your first choice. Other options from Kia and other manufacturers may suit you better.
However, if you have your heart set on towing with your Seltos, we've seen that it can tow more than you might expect. While your best bet may be to stay with Kia's options better equipped for towing, like the Telluride and Sorento, following our advice, you can get your Seltos as tow-ready as possible.
Whichever way you choose to go, we wish you a safe driving and happy hauling.