Prices set to start at around $25k.
After an extensive leak from the set of its TV commercial, Korean automaker Kia has decided to lift the veil off its new Seltos compact SUV, a global offering that’ll take the fight to cars like the Mazda CX-3 and Toyota C-HR. With two powertrains confirmed for our market and an October landing pencilled in, it should make for quite the contender.
The Seltos is the production interpretation of the acclaimed SP & SP Signature concept cars that we’ve seen before. We’re made to understand that the design of the Seltos, which is an alternative interpretation of Kia’s prevailing SUV aesthetic language, will lead the way for the next-wave of Kia SUVs. Which is no bad thing, considering how good it looks.
The front-end is tall and bluff, featuring a rather buff iteration of the Tiger Nose grille, flanked by ‘tiered’ headlights that allow for 3D-effect LED-powered indicators, beneath which sit stacked LED foglights. We also quite like the pronounced ‘scuff plate’ on the front bumper, that adds further dimension to the fascia.
Work your way towards the rear and you see the usual application of black body cladding (a must on something with ‘lifestyle’ pretensions), as well as a rather interesting chrome window garnish. But at the rear the LED light stuff goes nuts again, with a 3D-effect design, bisected by a wide chrome garnish across the bootlid. On the bumper there’s that same scuff-plate thing going on, but above it sits another wide chrome piece that ‘outlines’ 0some fake exhaust exits.
The Seltos will ride on either 16-, 17-, or 18-inch wheels, depending on spec and market.
There wasn’t an included photograph of the interior, but based on sketches, we can expect to see a 10.25” floating touchscreen, an 8” driver supervision display nestled between analogue dials, and a rather minimalist layout. Kia assures that the Seltos features “high-quality, futuristic materials,” though we’d be happy with good quality materials of today, thanks.
And while Kia’s confirmed the availability of an 8-speaker Bose system on some models, they did not say whether or not we can expect to see the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that was recently seen in the European Kia XCeed. There will be 3D-effect ambient lighting though, which is nice.
Motivation from the Seltos will come from one of three globally-available engines, but locally, our small Kia SUVs will get their power only two petrol mills – a 110kW 2.0-litre N/A petrol mill running the Atkinson cycle, sending power to the front wheels, or a 130kW turbo-petrol 4-pot mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch auto and all-wheel drive.
Regardless of engine, all Seltos models will offer drive mode selection (between Normal, Eco, and Sport). There will also be a comprehensive list of advanced driver assistance features given the car’s global aspirations, but as the Seltos was launched today in India (where active safety isn’t a major priority for buyers), those won’t really be talked about until Australian or European landings are imminent.
But as to tout a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, we’re confident the local Seltos offerings will come with AEB as standard.
Already though, the Seltos is fitted with the usual safety aids (ABS, EBD, TSC, brake-assist, hill-start assistance, parking sensors), and six airbags.
The Kia Seltos is expected to go on sale locally by October, with our supply of sharply-styled Korean crossovers coming from South Korea. More specifics around the local Seltos lineup will be offered up in time, but we figure an asking price in the vicinity of $25k.