Flash-forward to today, however, and it’s a above player, consistently converting brand-loyal buyers with a affection for all things exceptional acknowledgment to its appreciably well-equipped and well-priced top-spec offerings.
One such ambrosial aspirant is the 2020 Kia Seltos baby SUV, which accustomed in backward 2019 as Kia’s acknowledgment to accepted competitors like the Mitsubishi ASX, Hyundai Kona and Toyota C-HR.
The Seltos ambit brings the advantage of all-wheel-drive in a bunched amalgamation with avant-garde looks, an affordable access point, and a aggressive account of accepted equipment.
At atomic that’s what it says on the brochure, so I set out to bare whether the Seltos absolutely is as acceptable as it looks on paper.
What affectionate of car is the Kia Seltos?
The Seltos alternative I’m reviewing actuality is the top-of-the-range GT-Line. It’s all-wheel drive and has a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder turbo petrol agent beneath the bonnet.
The manual is a seven-speed dual-clutch automated set-up. By comparison, the lower-spec Seltos models are accessible with front-wheel drive, a continuously capricious manual and beneath able engines, admitting one footfall bottomward from the GT-Line, the Seltos Action Plus, is the alone alternative with a best of either powertrain.
The capital additions you’ll accept on top of the Action Additional brand accommodate LED headlights (the added grades get halogen lights), a sunroof, a few added alive assurance features, acrimonious and cooled bogus covering seats, rain-sensing wipers, a wireless charger, a head-up display, and a Bose complete arrangement with sound-responsive affection lighting.
How does the Kia Seltos’s amount analyze to competitors?
The GT-Line is priced from $41,400 additional on-road costs, and Kia offers a abiding civic accord of $42,990 drive-away. However, that’s with the no-cost acrylic advantage of ‘Starbright yellow’, which ability be a tad too alive for some.
If you’re afterwards added colours, like the snappier atramentous or the dejected on my analysis car, it will add an added $520 to the acquirement price.
Although some may baulk at the angle of advantageous added than $40,000 for a Kia-badged car, the GT-Line’s amount is adequately accepted for the top models in its segment.
You’re attractive at $43,490 for a top-spec, all-wheel-drive Mazda CX-30, while a agnate alternative in the Hyundai Kona agency is priced at $40,200, and an all-wheel-drive Subaru XV 2.0i-S is hardly added affordable at $36,530 – all afore on-road costs.
The flagship all-wheel-drive Toyota C-HR, meanwhile, will set you aback $36,690 additional ORCs.
A lot of buyers may additionally be absorption the Seltos’s earlier sibling, the beyond Kia Sportage, which is $45,290 additional on-road costs for an all-wheel-drive, petrol-powered GT-Line variant.
The better aberration in admeasurement amid the brace is length, area the Sportage boasts an added 11.5cm on top of the Seltos – it’s additionally 3cm taller and 5.5cm added – acceptation you’re advantageous $3890 (before on-road costs) added for a accumulated 20cm of admeasurement (that’s about $195 a centimetre, FYI).
What is the Kia Seltos like to drive?
The aboriginal affair I apprehension aback alive the Seltos is the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which is different to top-spec variants. I generally acquisition a dual-clutch manual feels a little unpolished at burghal speeds, and the Seltos is no exception.
Specifically, there’s a adjournment aback you hit the accelerator and, as a result, the car can feel hasty aback you’re parking or manoeuvring. It’s by no agency unbearable; it’s aloof a little beneath bland for accustomed alive than a continuously capricious transmission.
The accommodation is that there’s a bit of adventurous feel to the Seltos, and dispatch feels befuddled and quick, decidedly as you’re accepting up to college speeds.
The council feel is additionally a little adventurous – it’s not so ablaze you feel like you’re alive a dodgem car, but it’s additionally accessible abundant to handle in abate burghal streets.
Keeping in the adventurous spirit, there’s a action drive approach that allows drivers to about-face through apparatus application the accessory lever, or sharpens accouterment and accelerator acknowledgment if larboard in drive.
Otherwise, the behind-the-wheel feel is like that of a full-size SUV – there’s visibility, there’s power, and it feels like there’s lots of absorption address of the all-wheel drive, which additionally offers AWD lock at low speeds for decidedly glace surfaces.
The berth is quiet, abreast from a atom of tyre noise, but I will say the ride can be rougher than accepted on amiss roads, possibly because the GT-Line gets bigger auto with lower-profile tyres than some of the added grades.
Again, it’s not at all uncomfortable, but it’s additionally not as absorptive as it could be.
Is the Kia Seltos a safe and reliable car?
Safety is area the Seltos excels. It has a five-star ANCAP rating from 2019, and alike the lower grades are able-bodied able with alive features.
No amount which Seltos you buy, you’ll get essentials like free emergency braking with forward-collision admonishing and banal detection, lane-keep assist, a rear-view camera and about-face sensors.
On top of added grades, the GT-Line adds advanced and rear sensors, blind-spot monitoring, a rear cross-traffic alert, lane-following abetment and cyclist apprehension for the AEB.
While all the abject grades get cruise control, the GT-Line gets acute cruise ascendancy that can anchor and advance for you to bout the acceleration of arch vehicles, additional there’s council assistance, which keeps you centred in your lane.
It all works able-bodied enough, but I begin the council abetment tugs larboard and the alive speed-limit advice doesn’t do the greatest job of updating, so it’s best to await on your own eyes and steering.
The ‘leading agent abandonment alert’, which alerts you aback the car in advanced pulls abroad from the lights, is a acceptable abstraction if you’ve benumbed out abaft the wheel, admitting I couldn’t advice but feel it’s enabling those who argument and drive.
On the buying front, Kia’s seven-year/unlimited-kilometre assurance is an industry baton and a above drawcard.
Kia offers appointed application for the Seltos GT-Line every 12 months or 10,000km, whichever comes first, and casework are priced from $282 for the aboriginal year, accretion up to as abundant as $600 or $640 for the six- or seven-year service, respectively.
Is the Kia Seltos a fuel-efficient car?
Kia promises accumulated ammunition burning of 7.6L/100km in the GT-Line, and that’s ambrosial blast on. I recorded 7.8L/100km across several freeway stints and approved circadian alive sessions.
For an SUV, I’m ambrosial blessed with that, abnormally aback there’s no idle-stop system. In fact, these canicule I rarely drive cars – added than hybrids – that alike appear abutting to equalling their quoted ammunition burning figures. So kudos, Kia.
Is the Kia Seltos a ample and adequate car?
While it may acceptation to be a ‘small SUV’, I begin the Seltos to be big on applied amplitude – ample abundant for families, developed passengers, dogs and IKEA runs.
There’s affluence of arch allowance and leg allowance in the aback bench and basal accoutrements like air vents, an armrest with cupholders, a distinct USB anchorage and ISOFIX ports.
Slightly taller occupants will acknowledge how the rear seats can recline for added comfort, as able-bodied as folding 60:40 to advance cossack space.
The 433L of cossack amplitude on action makes the Seltos one of the bigger boots in its chic (it’s baffled by the Honda HR-V, which has an added 4L) and the Sportage alone adds an added 33L – about the aforementioned admeasurement as your boilerplate milk crate.
There’s no ability tailgate, which would accept been nice, but there is a full-size additional admixture wheel, which is article of a aberration accustomed lots of added cars action acting options. In the Seltos, you’ll get a able additional in every brand bar the base-spec S.
What accepted accessories does the Kia Seltos have?
The advanced bench of the Seltos GT-Line is a decidedly chichi situation. Any doubts you may accept about bottomward over $40K on a Kia will be dispelled by the bright 10.25-inch touchscreen, colour head-up affectation and – acclaim be – a acrimonious council wheel.
Thankfully, it additionally has my must-haves: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and acrimonious and cooled seats. Importantly, the GT-Line is the alone Seltos brand to get acrimonious seats, and with Melbourne’s winter temperatures, it’s about basic and makes lower grades anytime so hardly beneath appealing.
The 10.25-inch touchscreen is in every blueprint brand bar the abject spec, and the affectation looks absurd and is up there with the exceptional players – with the added benefit of actuality accessible to use. The colour head-up affectation is additionally accessible and stows neatly abroad in the dash, additional it has a agenda speedometer, which is acceptable article of a call in new cars.
Even admitting Kia is accurate to point out the ‘leather’ in its berth is artificial, the finishes don’t feel at all broken-down or low-budget. However, some of the acrid artificial about the dashboard can appearance scratches easily.
There’s additionally a wireless buzz charger, a sunroof, electronically adjustable seats, and a big 7.0-inch agenda affectation nuzzled in amid the apparatus dials.
Overall, there are actual few things missing from the GT-Line’s absolute package.
Specifically, there’s no dual-zone altitude control, no ability tailgate and no 360-degree-view camera. The latter, I find, is agriculture up added frequently in top-spec, mass-market SUVs.
Otherwise, the alone added acute affair to agenda is that the eight-speaker Bose complete arrangement is fantastic, and by actuality affiliated to the ambient autogenous lighting it adds a rather different touch.
Should I buy the Kia Seltos?
All in all, I was absolutely afflicted with the Kia Seltos. I account the catechism that should be advanced of apperception for abeyant buyers is not whether you should buy it, but rather which brand apparel best.
Personally, my affairs rarely warrants all-wheel-drive capabilities, and I acquainted the occasionally hasty dual-clutch manual was one of the few gripes in an contrarily able package.
As such, lower grades – like the S or Action adapted with alternative assurance backpack – accept the abeyant to save me some money and bandy out the dual-clutch manual for a continuously capricious version.
Unfortunately, the lower-spec Seltos variants cede bench heaters in exchange, but the assurance and driver-assistance alms charcoal aloof as enticing.
And while the GT-Line may not be absolutely as affordable as abounding buyers apprehend from Kia, aback you breach bottomward the arduous akin of accepted accessories on action and the exceptional way it’s all packaged together, the amount starts to accomplish sense.
Add in its aggressive berth space, solid ammunition abridgement and Volvo XC40-esque acceptable looks, and we’ve got a champ on our hands. All that’s larboard to do is for Kia to blast a amalgam powertrain in the Seltos and the top-selling RAV4 will be afraid in its boots.