The SUV is the way of life for many in this country and Kia has released a new small model to take on the market; and this one’s a real winner.
The Kia Seltos comes in four grades, S – Sport – Sport+ – GTLine, with the Sport+ being the one we tested and one that seems to have the most appeal.
The Seltos Sport+ is available with the choice of two powertrains. The 2.0-litre front-wheel drive model costs $32,990 drive-away, while the 1.6 turbo all-wheel drive version is $36,490 drive-away.
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder ‘Atkinson cycle’ petrol engine produces 110kW of power (at 6200rpm) and 180Nm of torque (at 4500rpm), and an Aussie first for the brand it employs a CVT (continuously variable transmission) automatic, and is front-wheel drive.
The engine itself feels punchy enough to hold its own in the merciless thrust of city traffic, is quiet and subtle at cruising speeds, and officially rated to use 6.8 litres of petrol per 100km. While we got close to this combined number, it was a little higher but still excellent.
As with all other models in Kia’s range, the Seltos has had ride and handling tuned to Australian conditions. The result is good body control over our less than good roads – no jarring or bobbing over bigger hits without being too firm.
There’s positive steering feel, and a not too heavy, not too light balance that makes parking easy but freeway driving steady. As speeds rise, there’s no loss of composure or comfort either, and wind and tyre noise remain at a low level compared to other makes.
The Sport+ model is attractively specified. It runs on 17-inch alloy wheels, smart key entry and push-button start, cloth and faux-leather seating, LED interior lighting, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, heated/folding side mirrors, a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, a cargo cover, a 10.25-inch touchscreen with sat nav (including SUNA live traffic and 10 years of map updates), a second USB port, and single-zone climate control. It still runs halogen front fog-lights, and is fitted with a full-size spare, auto up/down driver’s window, auto window defogging, and ‘solar windows’.
Part of the reason it’s the pick of the range is that it offers better safety as standard. It runs a camera-based low-speed auto emergency braking (AEB) with car and pedestrian detection, plus the higher-spec AEB with adaptive cruise control and cyclist detection, which will likely score it a five-star ANCAP rating.
The Seltos Sport+ is a great look small SUV and is one of the more attractive looking cars inside and out. Kia have done themselves a favour with this car as it will take it to the other makes with class.