With the new Seltos all set to go on sale in the United States by the end of the month, it is about time a brief intro be made for Kia’s contender for compact SUVs. Slotted perfectly between the iconic Soul and the sleek Sportage, the Kia Seltos gains ground to be a perfectly balanced utility vehicle. Whether it is a commute to the office or a weekend adventure out in the wildlands, the Seltos is prepared to deliver its expertise wherever required. The 2021 variant was unveiled on February 11 in Texas, and it sure looks up to the task to tackle the likes of Ford Escape and the Chevrolet Equinox.
Taking in the looks, the Seltos shares a design theme first observed on the Telluride. It has a strong and bold stance to the front that eases off as you go around to the back. With a 7.2-inch ground clearance, it can go over any sort of terrain with ease. Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille is given a diamond-like detail that separates the Seltos from the rest of the pack. There are skid plates on the front and rear that keep the main fenders from any major harm. As for the sides, the 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels are eye-catchers, with a not-so-subtle chrome finish in the roofline surprising those who observe closely. For a more modern approach, Kia supplements the LEDs in the headlamp with “Beat” lighting.
As you step inside the cabin, the Seltos continues to impress with its interior design. Each and every component is put together with great attention-to-detail. The instrument panel is intentionally favored towards the driver. There is plenty of hip, shoulder, leg, and headroom all around, so five adults can be seated without any problems. The cargo space is generous as well. With all seats up, the Seltos can easily store 26.6 cubic feet of cargo. If required, the rear seats can be folded down to provide 62.8 cubic feet of storage. For small-item storage, Kia equips the cabin of the Seltos with a lot of smart compartments and cubby storages. You can easily store smartphones, tablets, wallets, or beverages.
The technology of the Kia Seltos is well up to par. Instead of obsolete analog dials, you get an OLED 3.5-inch gauge cluster, which is upgraded to a 7-inch Supervision display on the SX trim. The backseat passengers get some goodies, too. There is an air vent to the rear with an additional USB charging port. The Seltos takes inspiration from the Soul and has ambient interior LED lighting. The color palette is customizable and can change depending on the volume level inside the car.
Speaking of volume, Bose is responsible for the premium 8-speaker sound system aboard the Kia Seltos. This 400-Watt version from one of the most renowned audio manufacturers in the world has an 8-inch subwoofer and features speed-sensitive volume control. It means that you don’t have to fiddle with the volume control the next time you take the route out of the city or vice versa.
Aside from obvious inclusions like smartphone integration, wireless charging, and multi-Bluetooth connectivity, the Kia Seltos also has various safety and drive-assist features. Some of the most notable ones include:
- Blind Spot Collision Warning
- Driver Attention Warning
- Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with pedestrian detection
- Highway Driving Assist
- Lane Departure Warning System with Lane Keep Assist
- Lane Following Assist
- Smart Cruise Control with stop & go
- Safe Exit Assist
On the powertrain side, the Kia Seltos can have either of the two engines below its hood. A 2.0-liter inline-4 MPI that produces 146 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque with a CVT transmission, or a more powerful 1.6L Turbo GDI. The latter is capable of delivering 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque while offering a slick dual-clutch 7-speed transmission. Both FWD and AWD is available for both the powertrains. There is also a choice between three driving modes: Normal, Smart, or Sport. Each with its own unique dynamics that are suitable for various situations.
The 2021 Kia Seltos has already arrived in showrooms, and the first batch already underway for San Antonio, Texas. Stay tuned for a full detailed review of the Seltos on the website, as we break down all the perks and flaws this SUV has.