Kia will be heating up the local compact SUV segment early next year with the introduction of the all-new Seltos.
It was recently unveiled at an event in India and it’s set to take on the Renault Duster, Ford EcoSport and Mahindra XUV 300.
To compete in this segment, a manufacturer has to cater to the needs of a younger crowd and it certainly seems as if the Seltos will succeed on that front. Not only does it look funky, but it’s also equipped with a number of cool features that will likely lure prospective customers away from the previously mentioned competitors.
On the outside it’s hard to miss the long bonnet and sharp lines surrounding the now famous “tiger nose grille.” It’s most definitely recognisable as a Kia, but there are some added design cues that we hope to see in more future models. Suffice to say that it’s definitely going to attract interest purely in terms of design, so the rest of the package had better deliver.
Kia says the interior was designed using futuristic, yet high-quality materials. There are some nice sweeps and attractive lines, but the dominant feature is a 10.25-inch touch-screen infotainment system that houses the latest in electronic entertainment. There’s also a feature called “Sound Mood Lighting” that will create a light show to the beat of your tunes. Sounds like a gimmick, but that’s exactly what customers in this segment tend to appreciate.
The driver is treated to an eight-inch head-up display, which projects relevant info on to a small glass panel. Normally these kinds of displays only supply basic information, but in the Seltos you’ll also receive step-by-step navigation information. On high-spec models, an eight-speaker Bose sound system will also be included as standard.
Seltos will be available with Kia’s latest and greatest powertrain options. The line-up includes naturally-aspirated, as well as turbocharged petrol and diesel options. Other than that, there isn’t any engine information available, but Kia has stated that the engines have been tuned to provide low fuel consumption and emissions.
Three automatic transmission will be offered, depending on the market. The options include a CVT, six-speed automatic and seven-speed dual clutch transmission. The latter will likely be mated to the sportiest engine.
As an added bonus, the Seltos will feature a drive mode select system. The driving modes on offer include Normal, Eco and Sport.
Kia is also claiming a few segment firsts as far as technology is concerned. The touch-screen interface will feature split-screen functionality and the driver will be able to customise it to his/her own taste. The Seltos will be able to display up to three applications at any one time, or the screen can be dedicated to one single application, like navigation for example.
The car’s 10,25-inch advanced infotainment system is packed full of technology and gives advanced split-screen functionality. This allows users to control or monitor numerous vehicle features at the same time, and customize the screen to display up to three applications simultaneously. The driver, therefore, can choose to have a single display (such as navigation) or combine different elements on-screen.
On the safety front the Seltos is equipped with the latest active and passive systems, including six airbags, a rigid bodyshell and side impact beams. The active kit includes traction control, stability control, brake assist, hill start assist and parking sensors.
The Seltos will be built in two plants – Anantapur in India and Kwangju in South Korea.
The all-new KIA Seltos is expected to make its South African debut early in 2020. The final specification of local models as well as pricing will be available closer to its local introduction.