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Discussion Starter #1
I had pretty much decided on a CX 30 GT for my next car but just finished an overnight test of a Kia Seltos SX and now I’m not sure. I’m in Canada.

Kia: More room, heated seats front and rear, cooled seats, steering wheel heated all around, great infotainment, better looking (subjective), wireless charging, longer warranty, better low end torque, $3K less.

Mazda: Nicer interior ( Kia not bad), more carlike ride, better HUD, good infotainment,Homelink, adaptive lighting

It seems like a no brainer for me but I’m new to both brands and wondering if anyone that has experience with them can offer any insight. I plan to keep it for a long time.
 

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2020 CX-30 GS FWD, Snowflake White
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well I'm a three time Kia owner and currently seriously considering the CX-30 and I've basically dismissed the Seltos (I was hoping to make a change from my current Kia Soul, but found the packaging of the Seltos all wrong for me) however, I am not interested in the top models of either brand.

You must be comparing the EX Premium to the CX 30 GT to get about $3k less . That model comes with a 2.0L MP engine with 146 hp and 132 lbs ft of torque, only the turbo SX model gives you more low end torque than the 2.5L in the CX-30
Seltos EX Premium - $30,595; CX-30 GS with Luxury package - $30,550
SX - $32,595; CX-30 GT - $33,850

I have found all my Kia models very reliable, the reasons I stuck to the brand. However, I wanted to make a change from the Soul (very good vehicle but just wanted something different), and hoping the Seltos would be that vehicle till I saw how they packaged it and then I basically removed it from my selection.
 
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It is the Seltos SX Turbo. I should have mentioned that a large part of the price difference is in my trade. The Kia dealer was much more interested in it.
The Seltos is actually packaged perfectly for me in SX trim. For instance while I forgot to mention it the Mazda has memory driver seat which I’ve never used in previous cars while the Kia has power passenger which is much more useful for us. And the Kia has remote start on the factory fob which is nice to have.
Really I just need to get over the hard plastics in the Kia. You don’t really notice it until you touch them but I’m coming from an Audi.
Long term reliability and dealer service is very important. While the Kia sales folks are easier to work with the facility itself isn’t impressive. Again, I’m used to Audi which is first class but I don’t need that. At least Mazda has a nice building, decent waiting area, an actual service counter, loaner vehicles, professional employees. Of course none of that matters much if I don’t need to be there often and issues are handled promptly.
 

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you have to decide what works best for your own use and within your budget, no vehicle is perfect, it's always a trade off.

As I mentioned I found all my Kia's very reliable, not had a single mechanical problem (transmission and engine) on any of them. I started with my first Kia in November 2007 with a 2008 Rondo EX with a 2.4L engine and 4-spd auto, I owned that for 4 years and had four warranty claims; traded that on a 2012 Soul 4u with a 2.0L and 6-spd and owned that for 4.5 years and had one warranty claim (the back-up camera lens fogged up); I then traded that for my current 2016 Soul SX which I have now owned for just over 4 years and not a single problem with it. It also has the 2.0L (164 hp) and 6-spd auto.
I use my local dealer for service (it's not necessary if you don't want too), but they have been very good and just go in once every 6 months.

The head designer and one of the CEO's for Kia came from Audi - Peter Schreyer.

Some people have found the 7-spd DCT used in the turbo model difficult to get used as it does not operate like a standard auto, particular when in slow traffic.

I have not actually sat or seen a Seltos as my local dealer has only just started to get them in recently and due to the current situation it will be some time before I will be visiting any dealer, some of them a closing for a period too.

I have heard that comment about hard plastics in many of the video reviews. Back in mid-February when I had my last service on my Soul, I checked out the Soul version that interest me (EX Premium) and then went next door to the Mazda dealership and took my first look at the specific model that got my interest and virtually the same price as the Soul EX Premium - the CX-30 GS FWD. I took lots of photos of both vehicles and then compared them side by side with comparable shots at home and this pushed me in the direction of Mazda.
It was the clean lines, and uncluttered interior and the attention to detail that I found on the Mazda that impressed me. Kia seems to be more and more of a habit of de-contenting their vehicles, but as a first time buyer you wouldn't know that.

You should fill out your location and what you are driving in "Accounts settings" and then it shows up each time you post. Canada is a big country.
 

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Ended up with the Seltos and very happy with the choice. Treatment by the Mazda dealer was the final push but I realize now I was too focused on the interior luxury treatments and not enough on the car itself.
 

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you have to decide what works best for your own use and within your budget, no vehicle is perfect, it's always a trade off.

As I mentioned I found all my Kia's very reliable, not had a single mechanical problem (transmission and engine) on any of them. I started with my first Kia in November 2007 with a 2008 Rondo EX with a 2.4L engine and 4-spd auto, I owned that for 4 years and had four warranty claims; traded that on a 2012 Soul 4u with a 2.0L and 6-spd and owned that for 4.5 years and had one warranty claim (the back-up camera lens fogged up); I then traded that for my current 2016 Soul SX which I have now owned for just over 4 years and not a single problem with it. It also has the 2.0L (164 hp) and 6-spd auto.
I use my local dealer for service (it's not necessary if you don't want too), but they have been very good and just go in once every 6 months.

The head designer and one of the CEO's for Kia came from Audi - Peter Schreyer.

Some people have found the 7-spd DCT used in the turbo model difficult to get used as it does not operate like a standard auto, particular when in slow traffic.

I have not actually sat or seen a Seltos as my local dealer has only just started to get them in recently and due to the current situation it will be some time before I will be visiting any dealer, some of them a closing for a period too.

I have heard that comment about hard plastics in many of the video reviews. Back in mid-February when I had my last service on my Soul, I checked out the Soul version that interest me (EX Premium) and then went next door to the Mazda dealership and took my first look at the specific model that got my interest and virtually the same price as the Soul EX Premium - the CX-30 GS FWD. I took lots of photos of both vehicles and then compared them side by side with comparable shots at home and this pushed me in the direction of Mazda.
It was the clean lines, and uncluttered interior and the attention to detail that I found on the Mazda that impressed me. Kia seems to be more and more of a habit of de-contenting their vehicles, but as a first time buyer you wouldn't know that.

You should fill out your location and what you are driving in "Accounts settings" and then it shows up each time you post. Canada is a big country.
The conventional 6 speed transmission is why I'm leaning towards the Mazda... I don't want a dual clutch or a CVT.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Exactly where I was at. Near the top of my requirements was torque converter transmission. I also didn’t want touch screen, coming from Audi. That pretty much put Mazda at the top. But I wasn’t completely sold and decided to check out the Seltos and it just worked. We had the dual clutch in an A3 and I forgot how much fun it was to drive. The fun factor and features among other things won me over. 6 months and 7000 kms in and no regrets at all. I know people have concerns about dual clutch reliabilty and I get that. Just depends on what your priorities are and I realized mine were misplaced.
 

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since my post above 6 months ago, you can now see I went for the CX-30 GS FWD. However, I did check out and test drove the Seltos and it was the EX model that was of my main interest due to it's features and similar pricing to the CX-30 GS that I finally purchased.
It was the 2.0L with the IVT Seltos that I test drove and found it drove almost identical to the 2016 Soul SX that I owned at the time. Like any vehicle you check out, it is always a compromise and you have to get what works best for your particular requirements. The Seltos had some good points and features, however it was the luxurious finish of the dash (so much hard plastic on the Seltos) the higher HP engine and 6-speed auto of the CX-30 GS that helped push it to the top for me, also the fact I didn't have much need for AWD.
I don't regret my decision, it such a nice car to drive and feels so luxurious every time I get into it.
 

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since my post above 6 months ago, you can now see I went for the CX-30 GS FWD. However, I did check out and test drove the Seltos and it was the EX model that was of my main interest due to it's features and similar pricing to the CX-30 GS that I finally purchased.
It was the 2.0L with the IVT Seltos that I test drove and found it drove almost identical to the 2016 Soul SX that I owned at the time. Like any vehicle you check out, it is always a compromise and you have to get what works best for your particular requirements. The Seltos had some good points and features, however it was the luxurious finish of the dash (so much hard plastic on the Seltos) the higher HP engine and 6-speed auto of the CX-30 GS that helped push it to the top for me, also the fact I didn't have much need for AWD.
I don't regret my decision, it such a nice car to drive and feels so luxurious every time I get into it.
Are you in Canada because we have no GS designation in the U.S. I'm not a big fan of the extra slab on top of the dash but all the Mazda's seem to have it in some form or another and I could get used to it. It is very hard to find FWD CX-30's in the U.S. The AWD rage is a sales tactic. Some regions would need it but I don't even though I live in New England. I've had many vehicles before my Legacy that were not AWD and I survived all those winters. If I buy a CX-30 I would have to order it and wait to get FWD.
 

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Are you in Canada because we have no GS designation in the U.S. I'm not a big fan of the extra slab on top of the dash but all the Mazda's seem to have it in some form or another and I could get used to it. It is very hard to find FWD CX-30's in the U.S. The AWD rage is a sales tactic. Some regions would need it but I don't even though I live in New England. I've had many vehicles before my Legacy that were not AWD and I survived all those winters. If I buy a CX-30 I would have to order it and wait to get FWD.
All posts show the flag of the country to the left next to the word "Registered" however if you hover over your avatar it will also show you your location providing you fill out that info in your account settings (I see you haven't but your US flag shows), also if you fill out what you are driving that will show up on the left of each post. Some members also post this info in a signature line - I've added some features to show how mine is equipped as some countries have different model with different features or in some cases simply not available in any model.
In my case heated front seats and heated steering wheel were an important features I wanted (as I had them on my previous vehicle) which is my I selected the GS model and also why I considered the EX Seltos model.

I like that "extra slab" which I think is a nice design element and blends right into to each front door. It is also soft material too.
I have lots of comparison photos between the CX-30 and Seltos if you wish to see more, here is one:
996
 

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Mazda has a very good warranty.. full vehicle for 3 years .. unlimited km for Canada anyways.. most are 3 year 60 k .. Mazda power train after the 3 year is 5 and this is my first Mazda btw and I love it 🙂 came from owning two Nissan's the last one was a Nissan Qashqai.. that was total pile of garbage .. hit 8 k and the trips to the dealership for warranty work started .. totally not acceptable.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The Seltos had some good points and features, however it was the luxurious finish of the dash (so much hard plastic on the Seltos) the higher HP engine and 6-speed auto of the CX-30 GS that helped push it to the top for me, also the fact I didn't have much need for AWD.
The more luxurious touches in the Mazda was the one thing that weighed on my mind. Years spent owning Audi and VW products had set a standard. I managed to convince myself that the hard plastics were in places you don’t touch and that I would not notice over time. Thankfully I was right. The Seltos in the SX trim in Canada is the perfect car for me in this stage of life.

I will say though that if I was shopping lower trims I would have either bought the Mazda or kept looking mostly because of the IVT even though it performs very well, having tested the Soul.
 

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to be fair, Kia's warranty in the US is far longer than Mazda's.
Kia US: 5 yrs / 60k miles for most of the vehicle, 10 yrs / 100k miles for the power-train (to the first owner)
Mazda US: 3 yrs / 36k miles, 5 yrs / 60k miles for the power-train

Kia Canada: 5 yrs / 100k km for the full vehicle and power-train
Mazda Canada: 3 yrs / unlimited; 5 yrs / unlimited on power-train
 

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I test drove the Seltos, but bought the Mazda. Seltos was fun to drive with the faster engine, felt like I was sitting in a bigger vehicle and had more space inside... But call me shallow, the KIA badge turned me off. I liked the maturity and elegance of the Mazda, plus I had a Mazda before and wanted to dive a Mazda again.

I think maybe if I was younger and was after speed or needed the space inside I wouldn't mind the Seltos.

The Mazda's interiors just felt much nicer and quieter, I figured I'll enjoy the interior 100% of the time I'm driving the car vs the speed advantage I will use 5% of the time since I'm not a lead foot. Also I love the exterior too.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I did the opposite and went for the Seltos but 100% get it as the Mazda interior almost sold me especially coming from an Audi. And I admit the badge also affected me. Plus we also owned Mazdas in the past.
I’m 67 and far from a lead foot but found the Seltos power train more to my liking. What really did it was the combination of features and space just suited us more as a retirement vehicle at this stage. The CX5 actually compared better but price was outside our budget and the exterior was larger than what we wanted.
While I agree that most of the time is spent inside, the Seltos interior is not bad, better than some others. I’m quite comfortable in it.
One other thing that one lives with while inside the car is the infotainment which I found much better in the Kia and was also important to me.
7 months in and no regrets although I was a bit apprehensive at the beginning but only because of the badge and really nice Mazda interior. And at my age the badge really means nothing.
Bottom line is both are great choices. Just depends on what is right for you.
 

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I did the opposite and went for the Seltos but 100% get it as the Mazda interior almost sold me especially coming from an Audi. And I admit the badge also affected me. Plus we also owned Mazdas in the past.
I’m 67 and far from a lead foot but found the Seltos power train more to my liking. What really did it was the combination of features and space just suited us more as a retirement vehicle at this stage. The CX5 actually compared better but price was outside our budget and the exterior was larger than what we wanted.
While I agree that most of the time is spent inside, the Seltos interior is not bad, better than some others. I’m quite comfortable in it.
One other thing that one lives with while inside the car is the infotainment which I found much better in the Kia and was also important to me.
7 months in and no regrets although I was a bit apprehensive at the beginning but only because of the badge and really nice Mazda interior. And at my age the badge really means nothing.
Bottom line is both are great choices. Just depends on what is right for you.
Interesting. I was totally splitting hairs between these two cars, Seltos has a great interior, one of the reasons why I had it on my list. I think my last car (mini cooper) totally burned me with high service costs and things going wrong way too early that I went for something familiar.

I'll for sure have a slight buyer's remorse for not getting the Seltos.

I think objectively the Seltos has great features, higher ride, AWD (in Australia, same price Mazda does not have AWD), more room, impressive interior, longer warranty, turbo engine.

Anyways, it's good everyone is enjoying their cars no matter the badge 😉

Lol, also I wonder if the salesman had something to do with my choice. I test drove the Seltos first, then the Mazda and I think I might have got the Seltos had it been the other way around haha. Those salesmen can be very persuasive!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
That’s funny. After several test drives I was really close on the Mazda vs my emotional choice, Tiguan, but the sales manager turned me off. Decided to check Kia and never turned back. The sales experience was one of the best I’ve ever had. I wasn’t expecting that. Not why I bought it but at least it didn’t chase me away.
 
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