The Seltos? Why test this and not the newer Stonic?
First things first—we’ve already driven the Stonic. Granted, we’ve already tried out the Seltos before as well, but this is the first time we’re driving the base LX variant. Besides, the Seltos was just launched in November 2019, meaning it was just a few months old when this COVID-19 pandemic struck. That’s why this subcompact crossover still looks new to the eyes of many. Frankly, I’d even bet that a lot of people would believe you if you told them the Seltos was just launched yesterday.
Very well. Can you now give us a rundown of the Seltos LX?
The Kia Seltos is powered by a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated four-banger gasoline mill that generates 147hp and 179Nm of torque. The engine sends power to the front wheels via Kia’s CVT, the ‘Intelligent Variable Transmission.’
As mentioned, this LX variant sits at the bottom of the range and it carries a P1,095,000 price tag. Worth noting here, however, is that the powertrain we mentioned above comes standard across the range.
How does this one differ from the range-topping Seltos SX, then?
The top-of-the-line variant has a lot more going for it than this one, of course. The headlights, foglamps, taillights, and DRLs on the SX are all LED. It also gets automatic climate controls, a smart entry system with a push-to-start ignition, cruise control, and safety features such as rear parking sensors, hill descent and hill start assist, and electronic stability control.
The aesthetic elements, though, are mostly standard. The aggressive tiger nose grille and sporty swept-back headlamps up front as well as those snazzy 17-inch alloy wheels are available across the lineup. The LX only gets fabric seats whereas the SX gets a touch of leather, but the interior bits are basically the same for all variants. Ah, and before we forget: the eight-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is also fitted in the base Seltos.
So, is it safe to assume all variants drive the same?
Yes, more or less. Like we said, all variants have the same engine under the hood, so if there’s any difference in performance, ride, or handling, it’s negligible. What’s more, the drive mode select feature comes standard, too. And the Sport mode available can make you forget you’re driving the base variant Seltos because damn, this thing pulls.
Okay. If you were to get a Seltos, which variant would you opt for?
If I had the money right now? I’d probably go with this LX variant. Of course, I wouldn’t talk anyone out of getting the top-of-the-line SX, but personally, I’m already content with what the Seltos LX has on offer. You’d still get a stylish subcompact crossover packing a very potent engine, a decent interior, a nifty touchscreen display with smartphone connectivity, and a reversing camera to boot. If settling for these means I can save almost half a million pesos (the SX stickers for P1,505,000), it’s a compromise I’d be more than happy to make. I’m sure a lot of you might feel the same way, too.
More photos of the Kia Seltos: