Kia's critical compact crossover has finally arrived in Australia, with sharp pricing to try and entice buyers.
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Kia has today launched its compact SUV, the Seltos, with a drive away price of $25,990 drive-away and a choice of five variants across two engine options.

Despite being classified as a compact SUV, the Kia Seltos sits between the Hyundai Kona (with which it shares its platform) and the larger Kia Sportage.

As a comparison, it's 205mm longer and 50mm taller than the Kona, which means it delivers better leg room in the second row (85mm, though it's down 3mm upfront), and 12mm and 14mm better head room for first- and second-row respectively.

The 433L boot capacity isn’t class leading, but it’s merely 33L smaller than the larger Sportage.

The most affordable three variants are front-wheel drive, the two top-spec models push power to all four wheels.

Kia says it expects about 80 percent of buyers to pick the front-wheel drive models, comprised of the S ($25,990 drive-away), Sport ($29,490 drive-away) and Sport+ ($32,990 drive-away).

All three are powered by a four-cylinder 2.0-litre MPI Atkinson cycle engine pumping out a reasonable 110kW and 180Nm coupled to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Fuel economy is rated at 6.8L/100km.

Moving up from there, the options are Sport+ in AWD ($36,490 drive-away) and GT-Line AWD ($41,990 drive-away). Both of those top-spec variants are offered with a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine coupled to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission producing 130kW and 265Nm.

Claimed fuel use is 7.6L/100km on the combined cycle.

Specifications for the base model and Sport include a camera-based AEB system with pedestrian detection, as well as an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, lane-keeping assist, cruise control, driver attention alert, halogen DRLs, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors and six airbags.

The base models aren't expected to get a five-star ANCAP safety rating given the lack of cyclist detection.

An optional safety pack brings the full suite of AEB (car, pedestrian, cyclist detection) in addition to adaptive cruise control, driver attention alert, an electronic parking brake, electric folding mirrors, auto up/down driver’s window and larger 284mm rear disc brakes (262mm standard).

A worthy investment at $1000.

The difference between the two forms of AEB is the lack of radar – the more basic setup instead relies on a camera to foresee a collision.

That limits its detection to other cars and pedestrians – it won't pick up cyclists. It operates between 10 and 60km/h. The full AEB package uses a radar, detects cyclists, and works up to 80km/h.

In addition to the S's standard kit, the Sport gains 17-inch alloy wheels, a super high-res 1920x768 resolution 10.25-inch touchscreen which also has built satellite navigation with SUNA traffic and 10-year MapCare updates, single-zone climate control, electric folding mirrors, auto window defogger, front halogen fog lights, solar windows, and a full-sized spare.

Step up to the Sport+ adds cloth and artificial leather seats, and the safety pack becomes standard.

You also get blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic collision alert, smart key with push-button start, smart remote start, an electronic parking brake, heated side mirrors, LED interior lights, electrochromic rearview mirror, front parking sensors, luggage screen and 15-inch rear disc brakes.

The range-topping GT-Line gets everything available on the platform. That includes a sunroof (not available with two-tone paint), 18-inch alloy wheels, interior mood lighting, an eight-speaker Bose premium sound system, wireless phone charging, a 7.0-inch driver instrument cluster, a head-up display, artificial leather seats (powered, heated and ventilated), LED headlights and daylight running lights, LED front fog lights, and rain-sensing wipers. It surprisingly misses a powered tailgate, however.

Only the GT-Line gets rear air vents, the other models miss out.

2020 Kia Seltos pricing

  • 2.0 Kia Seltos S - $25,990
  • 2.0 Kia Seltos Sport - $29,490
  • 2.0 Kia Seltos Sport+ FWD - $32,990
  • 1.6T Kia Seltos Sport+ AWD - $36,490
  • 1.6T Kia Seltos GT Line AWD - $41,990

All prices are drive-away.