Kia has debuted an up-spec version of its new Seltos SUV in one of its most important markets, while simultaneously previewing a new, entry-level SUV.
That means a slightly more rugged look, with redesigned bumpers front and rear and a skid plate.
There are also unique wheels, black trim in place of chrome, and distinctive orange accents.
The Seltos X-Line is only a concept at this stage but it wouldn’t be surprising to see it reach production.
The Delhi motor show also saw the debut of the Sonet concept, a new micro SUV for the brand.
Kia says it previews a future compact SUV that’ll launch in the Indian market in the second half of this year.
It looks fresh and funky, though it’s recognisably a Kia due its tiger-nose grille. The taillights also resemble those of the larger Sportage.
Like all Seltos models bar the base S, the Sonet concept uses a 10.25-inch infotainment system with satellite navigation.
As in the Seltos GT-Line, there’s also a Bose premium sound system. Kia appears to be increasing its use of Bose for premium sound systems instead of long-time supplier JBL.
Kia also says the Sonet concept uses an “intelligent manual transmission”.
This is notably different from the Seltos, which uses either a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic or a CVT, referred to in some marketing materials as an iVT or intelligent CVT.
Kia didn’t reveal what engine powers the Sonet, nor its overall dimensions. It is, however, noticeably smaller than the Seltos.
Should it eventually be introduced in Australia, it’d slot underneath both the Seltos and the upcoming Stonic.
Kia’s global crossover line-up is growing rapidly and India is poised to reap the rewards.
The company previewed the Xceed at the Delhi Auto Expo. Though it’s currently sold only in Europe, where the Seltos won’t be offered, it appears Kia may sell both these vehicles in India.
The Kia brand only arrived in India last year and the Seltos was the first model introduced.
It’s also the first and thus far only Kia to be manufactured in Kia’s Indian factory in Andhra Pradesh. The production Sonet is likely to come out of the same factory.
The Seltos has become a smash hit, jockeying for first place in its segment with its in-house rival, the Hyundai Creta.
The Kia Carnival also made its Indian debut alongside the crossover concepts.
Though the current model was introduced in Australia in 2015, it’s only just reaching the Indian market where it’ll be the second vehicle sold under the Kia brand.
Recent reports indicated Kia was working on an XRio crossover for the European market. It's expected to follow the same formula as the European Xceed (above) – take a regular Kia passenger car (in this case, the Rio), raise the ride height, and give it a rakish, hatchback body.
These reports suggested the next Stonic would adopt more upright, traditional SUV styling. That would put it closer in appearance to the Seltos which, while not a problem in Western Europe where the Seltos isn't offered, would prove somewhat confusing here.
There's also the matter of Kia already having a Rio-based crossover in markets like China and Russia, badged as the KX Cross or Rio X-Line.
With the Sonet, there's another small crossover in the mix. If it's sized similarly to the Hyundai Venue, however, it'll give its larger siblings some breathing room. The Venue measures 4040mm long, while the Stonic is 4140mm long, the KX Cross 4240mm long, and the Seltos 4375mm long.