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You’ve heard me say before – we are swimming in a sea of SUVs. This February we saw another one joining the gang, the KIA Seltos. The same name bestowed to Hercules’ son.
Compact but nicely proportioned, like Nissan’s Qashqai and almost identically sized, in fact. The Seltos slots just under the larger KIA Sportage. From a design perspective, the Seltos works – it is striking, contemporary, sophisticated, and unique within its class. On occasion, good-looking SUV’s lack practical space. Not in this baby. The Seltos offers superb rear leg and headroom with one of the largest boosts amongst its pears.
The flagship GT-Line is garnished to stand out. From the outside, the Seltos GT Line adds sporty satin chrome and red trim, with gloss black and satin chrome detailing on the front grille, as well as bespoke 17-inch crystal cut alloy wheels with red brake callipers. All exterior lights are upgraded to full LED units, with unique 3D layered indicators at the front.
On the inside, the interior gains bespoke GT-Line leather upholstery with matching embroidery, as well as a sporty D-shape steering wheel and sporty stainless-steel pedals. GT-Line models are also equipped with mood lighting, designed to highlight the design of the door-mounted speaker housings. The system offers six different colour themes and eight colours, which are accessed and controlled through the touchscreen infotainment system. Customers can change colour based on their mood and even adapt the intensity of illumination based on volume. Its like Studio 54 in here when the sunsets, people.
The Seltos GT-Line also debuts a brand new powerplant to the KIA line-up in the form of a 1.4-litre T-GDI (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) engine. This unit offers 103 kW of power and 242 Nm of torque. The 1.4 T-GDI engine is exclusively paired with a new-generation 7-speed dual clutch transmission. The sprint to 100 km/h is completed in 9.7 seconds, with a top speed of 189 km/h.
I reviewed the mid-spec EX+ model. This model along with the base EX is available with a 1.6 petrol engine offering 90 kW and 151 Nm of torque, but the EX+ is only available with a six-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration to 100 km/h takes 11.2 seconds, with a top speed of 175 km/h. Customers buying the base EX model have a choice between a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission.
Apart from the extensive features already included in the Seltos EX, the EX+ specification also includes an upgrade from cloth upholstery to leather (including leather trim on the door panels), while the electrically adjustable side mirrors gain an auto-folding function. Front passengers will also experience increased comfort thanks to the addition of a centre console armrest with an integrated storage box, as well as 17-inch alloy wheels with 215/60R17 tyres (also with a full-sized spare wheel).
All models are equipped with six airbags as standard: One for the driver, one for the front passenger, two side airbags for the driver and front passenger, as well as two side curtain airbags that stretch across the length of the cabin. All Seltos models also feature ISOFIX child seat anchors, ABS brakes, and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), as well as rear park distance control sensors and a reverse camera with dynamic guidelines, integrated into the vehicle’s touchscreen infotainment system. Central locking and an immobiliser are also standard across the range.
An all-round good package from KIA. The entry-level EX offers value, albeit with a rather traditional engine, while the flagship GT-Line is right up to date in the tech and innovation department. Pity its price is less appealing. You cannot go wrong with the Seltos.
KIA Seltos 1.6 EX Manual R 380 995
KIA Seltos 1.6 EX Automatic R 398 995
KIA Seltos 1.6 EX+ Automatic R 416 995
KIA Seltos 1.4 T-GDi GT-Line R 471 995
A 1.5-litre CRDI (Common Rail Diesel Injection) engine will join the Seltos line-up shortly, also available with a choice of 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. Pricing will be announced.
Service and warranty
As with all KIA models, all KIA Seltos models ship as standard with KIA’s industry-leading Unlimited Kilometre, 5-year warranty (inclusive of roadside assistance) and includes a 5-year/90,000km Service Plan.
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