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World SUV from Kia


New Seltos plugs the gap between Soul, Sportage

The Seltos, latest compact SUV from Kia recently revealed in Delhi, India, has been designed to fill the gap between the Soul and Sportage models and will play a central role in the expansion of the global footprint of the Korean company, also in South Africa.

The name Seltos is rooted in the legend of Celtos (also spelt Celtus), a son of the powerful Heracles in Greek mythology, better known by his Roman name Hercules, and refers to the spirit of Celtos. However, Kia apparently changed the C in the name to an S to imply speed and sportiness … or maybe just to fit in better with the names of the other compact SUVs in its arsenal, the Soul and Sportage. It was probably also easier to trademark.

Aimed at youthful, tech-savvy buyers and packed with cutting-edge technology and safety equipment, the Seltos will compete against rivals such as the Hyundai Creta, the Mahindra XUV300, the Suzuki Vitara, Renault Duster and Ford EcoSport, and (in India) the Tata Harrier, and Nissan Kicks.

The design of the Seltos, with its long hood, strong character line on the front bumper, sharp lines on the flanks, and robust shoulder line, was clearly influenced by modern crossovers like the Volvo XC40, the SsangYong Tivoli (and XUV300), the Vitara, and the Creta but, its wide “tiger nose grille” makes it instantly recognizable as a Kia.

The Seltos will be available with full LED headlights and taillights, LED daytime running lights, and rear lamps, LED fog lamps, and 3D multi-layer indicators and will be shod with a choice of 16-, 17- or 18-inch premium crystal cut alloy wheels.

Its spacious, five-seat interior is characterized by broad, sweeping shapes and high-quality, futuristic materials. It is equipped with a range of technologies, including the Kia Uvo Connect telematics system, housed within a 10.25-inch TFT LCD widescreen, and the Uvo App, designed for compatibility on Android and Apple smartphones.


Hi-tech interior

The infotainment system is packed full of technology and gives split-screen functionality, customising the screen to display up to three applications simultaneously. Other segment-first features include a Bose eight-speaker premium sound system, an optional Sound Mood Lighting system with unique 3D-pattern surfaces on the door panels, and an 8.0-inch Head-Up Display system.

The Seltos is powered by a range of efficient third-generation Smartstream petrol- and diesel engines, and in countries such as South Africa versions with a 1.6-litre T-GDI turbocharged petrol engine delivering 132 kW, a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine producing 110 kW, and a 1.6-litre diesel engine producing 102 kW will be available.

It will be offered with up to three auto transmissions – a seven-speed dual clutch transmission (7DCT), a six-speed automatic transmission (6AT), and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) – and a Drive Mode Select system with ‘Normal’, ‘Eco’, and ‘Sport’ modes.

The Seltos is fitted with six airbags and a suite of electronic vehicle safety systems, including a Vehicle Stability Management system with traction and electronic stability control as standard, ABS, a brake-force assist system, and hill-start assist control. It will be manufactured in India and Korea and will go on sale in global markets during the second half of the year. It is expected to arrive in South Africa early next year.

Text: Ferdi de Vos | Images: Kia South Africa

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