After a series of teaser sketches and spy photos, here it is: Meet the Kia Seltos. This is the Korean carmaker’s first true global small SUV offering; it will also be the first Kia model in the Indian market.
If the Seltos looks familiar, you’ve seen it before in the form of the SP Signature Concept SUV. Kia’s head of styling, Byung Chul Juh, wanted to give the Seltos a robust yet sporty design, one that stands out in both urban and outdoor settings.
At first glance you will see its distinctive boxy SUV silhouette, a welcome change considering most other vehicles in this class have curvy car-like bodies. Like the Soul, it gets blacked-out A-pillars for that trendy floating roof effect. Up front it receives a large Tiger Nose grille with a unique diamond pattern, and this is flanked by angular LED headlights.
Moving on to the sides, it has prominent shoulder lines and muscular wheel arches. Being an SUV, it gets the mandatory matte black lower cladding which continues around the vehicle, while faux silver skid plates at both ends break the monotony. At the rear it gets slim horizontal LED taillights linked by a chrome bar. The creased sculpted surfaces of the rear complement the small SUV’s face.
Just in case you were wondering, the chrome trim piece that looks like integrated exhaust tips on the rear bumper are just decorative. Wheel sizes range from 16-inch alloys to large 18-inchers.
Its interior is modern and quite premium-looking for its segment. It features a horizontal dashboard design, and comes with an optional 8-inch heads-up display and a huge first-in-class 10.25-inch infotainment screen. It will also be available with a premium 8-speaker Bose audio system.
Three engines will be offered: a 175hp 1.6-liter T-GDI turbo gasoline mill, a 147hp 2.0-liter naturally aspirated gasoline motor, and a 134hp 1.6-liter diesel unit. Depending on the market and powerplant, there will be four transmission options: a 6-speed manual, a 6-speed automatic, a CVT, and a 7-speed DCT. While there was no mention of an all-wheel drive option during its launch, there are a spy photos floating around the web that indicate such a variant exists.
The Seltos has a host of safety and tech features, including a 360-degree camera, six airbags, ABS, and electronic stability control.
The Seltos will be manufactured in India and Korea, and will reach global markets in the second half of 2019. We hope Kia’s new entry-level SUV reaches our shores soon. With its stylish looks, it would definitely be an interesting addition to the growing subcompact SUV segment.