As far as getting it right the first time goes, Kia has done a noteworthy job with the Seltos. So much so, that it finished second, but equal on points with the Toyota C-HR, in our latest SUV megatest.
Sales in Australia have reflected this, too, with the Seltos amassing 1595 registrations by the end of February. That’s more than the likes of the C-HR (1345) and Subaru XV (1321) , while it’s nipping at the Hyundai Kona’s tail (1939). Keen pricing and abundant standard features have made it a first-up success.
Read next: 2020 Toyota C-HR review
WHAT ARE THE KIA SELTOS VARIANTS?
The Kia Seltos comes in five model grades. The base-model S and the Sport and Sport+ are front-wheel drive with a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder mated to a CVT. Sport+ also is available in all-wheel drive, as is the range-topping GT-Line. Both use a 1.6-litre turbo four and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
HOW MUCH DOES THE KIA SELTOS COST?
Prices start at $24,990 for the S, which despite being the entry level variant is still feature-packed – with hubcaps to boot. The front-drive Sport and Sport+ come in at $27,990 and $31,490 respectively, while access to the more powerful all-paw 1.6-litre turbos (you also get the dual-clutch ’box plus multi-link rear suspension) costs $34,990 for the Sport+ and a rather lofty $40,400 for the GT-Line, with all the bells and whistles.
IS THE KIA SELTOS FUEL EFFICIENT?
The Seltos’s claimed figure of 6.8L/100km for its base 2.0-litre engine is significant given it easily beats the claimed 7.2L/100km of its stablemate the Hyundai Kona with the same-size donk. We achieved 8.0L/100km in the megatest, which included performance testing. The 1.6-litre turbo is thirstier, at a claimed 7.6L/100km, but pips the 7.9L/100km claim of its turbo Kona cousins.
DOES THE KIA SELTOS HAVE GRUNT?
Choose the higher-spec 1.6-turbo and you’ll be rewarded with 130kW and 265Nm – well above average in this segment. We achieved a 0-100km/h time of 8.3 seconds, which is ahead of the 9.1 seconds claimed by segment rival Mazda CX-30 when fitted with its 2.5-litre SkyActiv-G four-cylinder.
Read next: 2020 Mazda CX-30 G20 Touring review
DOES THE KIA SELTOS HAVE APPLE CARPLAY AND ANDROID AUTO?
Yes, it does. And it’s displayed on a generous touchscreen display. However, if you don’t want to use smartphone mirroring, the standard infotainment system is commendably good.
IS THE KIA SELTOS SPACIOUS?
While it’s deemed a small SUV, the Seltos is dimensionally bigger than a lot of its rivals. With head-, leg- and toe-room. The tallboy bodystyle not only affords the headroom, but generates an airy feel with impressive all-round vision.
DOES THE KIA SELTOS HAVE A BIG BOOT?
With 433 litres of cargo space with all seats in place and a massive 1393 litres with the rear pews stowed, the Seltos has one of the most commodious boots in the segment.
DOES THE KIA SELTOS HAVE GOOD WARRANTY?
The simple answer is a resounding yes. Kia’s seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty has raised the bar for the industry.
WHAT DON’T WE LIKE ABOUT THE KIA SELTOS?
It’s a case of diminishing returns. The Seltos is better the less you spend – although the base S does need the $1500 safety pack. The range-topping GT-Line is asking a bit much at $41K despite an inspired engine offering and upgraded suspension. We’ve also found that the S can get a bit noisy on the run with niggling ride issues, while the GT-Line’s DCT can be a little indecisive off the line.