Kia is late to the compact SUV party, but it’s about to enter the festivities with a stylish and feature-laden contender.
To whet your appetite, here are five things you need (okay, four things you actually NEED to know and one history lesson) about the Kia Seltos.
It heralds Kia’s new design language
The Seltos is the first production Kia to receive the SP Signature concept treatment. Its boxy proportions are accented by a newly-designed slimline grille flanked by LED headlights, while sharp lines and creases along the body create a strong shoulder line that flows through to the rear of the compact SUV.
A long chrome strip on the tailgate flows into the LED tail-lights, while further creases and sharp lines highlight details. Expect future Kias to mimic the Seltos's design language.
It’s all Greek to Kia
According to Kia, the Seltos name derives from Greek mythology. The company erroneously states Celtos was the son of Hercules, the God of Strength.
Problem is, Hercules is derived from Roman mythology. The Greek mythology equivalent is Heracles, making Seltos one very confused compact SUV in terms of its parentage.
Incidentally, Kia changed Celtos to Seltos, the ‘S’ said to highlight the SUV’s speedy and sporty characteristics.
It’s not actually that small
Kia is claiming class-leading space for the Seltos and a quick scan of its dimensions certainly bear witness to that. At 4370mm bumper-to-bumper, the Seltos is about 200mm longer than the Hyundai Kona, and around 100mm longer than the Mazda CX-3.
And its 2630mm wheelbase is just 40mm shy of stablemate – and next segment up – Kia Sportage.
That adds up to more interior space, including a generous 498-litre boot.
It has local suspension and steering tune (of course)
Like pretty much all Kia (and Hyundai) product making its way Down Under, the Seltos will receive a touch up at the wheels to better suit Australian conditions.
That means Kia’s local team will calibrate springs, dampers, roll bars and bushes to ensure the Seltos behaves impeccably on our less-than-stellar roads.
It’s worth noting that front-wheel drive versions will sport the slightly less sophisticated torsion beam setup at the rear, with independent multi-link rear suspension reserved for all-wheel drive models.
It’ll cost around $26,000-$39,000
Kia Australia hasn’t officially confirmed pricing and specification for the its new SUV, but has hinted at an entry point around $26,000 drive-away for the Seltos S.
That price nets you Kia’s 2.0-litre atmospheric four with 110kW of power and 180Nm of torque. That engine will be mated to a new CVT automatic sending drive to the front wheels. All front-wheel drive models – S, Sport, Sport+ FWD – score the same engine and transmission coupling.
Stepping into the all-wheel drive models – Sport+ AWD and GT-Line – brings with it a punchier 1.6-litre turbo four with 130kW of power and 265Nm of torque, mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch auto.
That top-of-the-Seltos-tree GT-Line is expected to be priced at around $39k drive-away.