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Own your journey: The new Kia Seltos

  • Bold new look for Kia’s popular family crossover
  • Redesigned interior brings new levels of sophistication to the Seltos range
  • New powertrain and transmission options give customers greater choice
  • Repositioned line-up packs a value punch in the crossover segment
Own your journey: The new Kia Seltos

Kia South Africa this week introduces the new Seltos to the South African market with an updated exterior design, a significantly upgraded interior, and a pair of upgraded powertrains. The introduction also sees the Seltos range being revised and repositioned in the competitive crossover segment of the market, where its established quality and reliability is enhanced by an even greater value proposition.

Originally launched in South Africa in November 2019, Seltos was the first product to roll off the production line at Kia’s state-of-the-art new production facility in Anantapur, India. The range of petrol-powered models were augmented with a number of turbodiesel options in the second half of 2020. This is the model’s first major enhancement since launch.

“At the time of launch, the Kia Seltos offered customers a strikingly styled, high quality alternative to Kia’s evergreen Sportage range,” comments Gary Scott, CEO, Kia South Africa. “Up until that point, Kia’s only offering in that segment was the Kia Soul which was, arguably, well ahead of its time. The model immediately resonated with South Africans and has since become a consistent performer for Kia. We are confident that the vast enhancements on the range will build on that success.”

Own your journey: The new Kia Seltos

New design. Same visual impact.

Updated exterior design aligns Seltos with ‘Opposites United’ design language

One of the most noticeable changes to the new Kia Seltos are to its exterior design, representing a striking evolution of the original design that immediately found favour with buyers for its sporty blend of sophistication and SUV practicality. At 4,365mm long, 1,800 mm wide and 1,620 mm high, the Seltos not only looks much bigger than its closest competitors thanks to its long hood, the strong character line on the front bumper, and the sharp lines pressed into the bodywork but is easily one of the largest and most practical compact SUVs available in South Africa.

At the front, the Seltos benefits from a number of aesthetic upgrades. Following Kia’s award-winning ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy, which harnesses the creative tension generated by the divergent values of nature and modernity to deliver a harmonious whole, the Seltos headlights have been redesigned to align more closely with Kia’s new ‘Star Map’ lighting signature. Along with a larger new iteration of Kia’s trademark ‘tiger nose’ grille and repositioned LED Daytime Running Lights, Seltos also receives a redesigned front bumper with a new layout for the foglamps, the whole creating a vertically aligned visage that thoroughly updates the muscular front-end of the car.

Changes to the side of the vehicle is limited to updated mouldings at the bottom of the doorline, with the biggest exterior update reserved for the rear. Here the Seltos receives a completely redesigned tailgate that incorporate redesigned taillights connected horizontally below the rear window. The new design replaces the former chrome-look garnish that connected the Seltos taillights and allows for Kia’s new ‘Star Map’ lighting signature to be applied at the rear as well.

The new Seltos range also benefits from a set of redesigned alloy wheels, with the range now offering two 16-inch options as well as a new 18-inch design that replaces the outgoing 17-inch wheel reserved for the range-topping GT-Line model.

As a whole, the significant exterior update brings the Kia Seltos into greater aesthetic alignment with Kia’s growing range of award-winning crossovers and SUVs. As part of its refresh, a variety of colours are also available, with a striking new colour option – Pewter Olive – joining perennial favourites like Glacier White Pearl, Sparkling Silver metallic, Aurora Black Pearl, Gravity Grey metallic, Imperial Blue metallic and Intense Red.

Customers can also opt for the two available two-tone options, which combines either Glacier White Pearl or Intense Red with a black roof.

Future-ready interior.

Redesigned interior ups the ante on all fronts

The Kia Seltos has been aimed at customers who appreciate the fun side of life while retaining a need for quality, intuitive features. The interior, valued for its broad, sweeping shapes and technical design details, already delivered excellent ergonomics and a commanding driver seating position, but is taken up a notch with the introduction of the new Kia Seltos. Like its larger Sportage sibling, the new Kia Seltos interior plays with boldness in character, softness in qualities and innovation in technology and creates a driver-oriented space that is truly state-of-the-art.

The most notable change to the Seltos interior is in the front of the cockpit, where a redesigned centre fascia and a beautifully sculpted, integrated curved display with a slim touchscreen pad and detailed air vents takes pride of place. The high-tech 10.25-inch touchscreen (model-specific) acts as the nerve centre for driver and passenger connectivity, functionality and usability needs, designed for highly intuitive and soft-to-touch ease-of-use and equipped with the latest-generation full thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal display for incredibly precise and clear graphics. Seltos retains a number of physical buttons for a number of functions.

“Kia’s ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy has received widespread recognition under the direction of Kia’s Global Head of Design, Karim Habib, and applied to the new Seltos, brings this very important model’s design into alignment with the bigger Kia range of models,” comments Stephen Crosse, Sales & Marketing Director, Kia South Africa. “It’s the upgrades to the Seltos interior design that truly stands out, bringing the look, feel and user interface right into the here and now. We’re confident that this upgrade will resonate with modern, discerning buyers.”

Power and efficiency for all.

New engines and transmission options across the range.

The new Kia Seltos range retains the powerful and exceptionally frugal 1.5-litre CRDi engine and introduces two new petrol-powered powertrain options to the range, along with a new transmission option.

The new Seltos CRDI is powered by Kia’s much-lauded 1,493cc UII common-rail direct injection engine, featuring a variable geometry turbocharger. The engine delivers 85 kW of power at 4,000 r/min, and 250 Nm of torque between 1,500 and 2,750 r/min. Acceleration to 100 km/h is completed in 12 seconds, with a maximum speed of 175 km/h. The engine is only available with a 6-speed automatic transmission. CO2 emissions in the combined cycle are 145 g/km.

In a real-world fuel economy test between Johannesburg and Cape Town conducted in 2020, the Seltos CRDi covered a smidgeon more than 1,100 km on a single tank of diesel, averaging a brilliant 4,37-litres/100km in the process. More impressively, the result was achieved by driving the vehicle like real customers would: sticking to the speed limit, overtaking when necessary, and with the aircon at full blast in the heat of the Karoo.

“South Africans have for a long time been enamoured with the performance and efficiency benefits that come with a turbodiesel engine,” adds Crosse. “While there is a global move away from diesel powertrains in favour of hybrid technology, we believe that there is a still a very important place for diesels in the crossover space. The 1.5-litre engine in Seltos is a proven performer, and a unique offering in a segment where diesels are the exception.”

The 1.6-litre naturally aspirated engine that has done duty in the Seltos since launch in 2019 is replaced with a second-generation version of Kia’s Gamma 1.5-litre normally aspirated engine. The 1,497cc engine develops 84 kW of power at 6,300 r/min and 144 Nm of torque at 4,500 r/min. Acceleration to 100 km/h is completed in 12,3 seconds, with a maximum speed of 170 km/h. The new engine is available paired with a 6-speed manual transmission as well as a new continuously variable transmission (CVT) to derive maximum fuel efficiency and lower emissions. CO2 emissions in the combined cycle are 149 g/km on models equipped with a manual transmission, and 154 g/km in CVT variants.

Customers who prefer a sportier drive will be delighted with the 1.4-litre turbocharged GDi engine in the GT-Line model being upgraded to a new Kappa 1.5-litre T-GDi unit. The 1,482cc turbocharged engine develops 118 kW of power at 6,000 r/min and 253 Nm of torque between 1,500- and 3,500 r/min. Acceleration to 100 km/h is completed in 8,9 seconds, with a maximum speed of 195 km/h. The new engine is only available paired with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) to derive maximum performance, fuel efficiency and lower emissions. CO2 emissions in the combined cycle are 141 g/km.

Revised range for maximum choice.

Feature-rich Seltos line-up offers multiple options for every customer.

The new Seltos remains a high-quality crossover that prioritises safety alongside its globally renowned designs. As with all Kia vehicles, the safety shell design is inherent to the excellent safety credentials of the vehicle. Comprising a blend of steel and aluminium, the body shell is produced with a high proportion of Advanced High-Strength Steel (AHSS). The underbody is designed to absorb and disperse impact energy, while hot stamping technology is used to reinforce the core vehicle body members, ensuring a high torsional rigidity as well as a low body weight that not only enhances occupant safety, but also reduces road vibrations. Seltos makes use of a McPherson strut at the front, with a coupled torsion beam setup at the rear.

All models are equipped with six airbags as standard: one for the driver, one for the front passenger, two side airbags for the driver and front passenger, as well as two side curtain airbags that stretch across the length of the cabin. All Seltos models also feature ISOFIX child seat anchors, ABS brakes with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), central locking and an immobiliser.

All models come as standard with rear park distance control sensors and a reverse camera with dynamic guidelines, integrated into the vehicle’s touchscreen infotainment system. Mid- and high-spec models also gain front parking sensors and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC).

As part of the introduction of the new Seltos, Kia has also repositioned the entire range in line with its approach to offer customers maximum choice across a compact range without compromising on standard specification or value for money. The familiar EX, EX Plus and GT-Line models remain, albeit in a revised format, along with a new LX grade.

The Seltos LX.

The new Seltos LX takes all the best features of the outgoing Seltos EX to create a new high-value model as entry point into the Seltos range. The higher specification levels in this model is a direct result of rigorous competitor analysis and extensive research amongst existing customers as well as target customers in the segment.

“As with our other model ranges, there is truly nothing ‘entry-level’ about the new Seltos LX,” comments Crosse. “Our research has once again showed that customers not only want quality, reliability and efficiency, but also all the creature comforts and – critically – space, whether it’s for family, friends, solo adventures or taking pets along. As a new entry-point into the Seltos range, the LX model packs a significant value punch at a price that is not far removed from its predecessor.”

LX models come standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured bumpers and trim for the electrically adjustable side mirrors (which feature integrated indicator lamps), LED Daytime Running Lights and automatic headlight control. Remote central locking is a standard inclusion, along with an alarm and immobiliser, as is keyless entry. Inside, black cloth upholstery is standard, with height adjustment for the driver’s seat. The leather-clad steering wheel can be adjusted for rake and reach, with the second-row seatbacks split 60: 40 to create more or less cargo space as required. Drivers have the benefit of a 4,2-inch Supervision TFT cluster, automatic light control, electric windows all around, an electrochromatic rear-view mirror, manual air-conditioning and cruise control.

An 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system takes pride of place on the dashboard, incorporating a reverse camera that is activated when the vehicle is in Reverse and features dynamic guidance lines for reverse parking. The Seltos infotainment system includes Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with steering wheel-mounted controls for telephony, audio and cruise control. Six speakers are standard, as is a USB port in the front with additional charging USB ports in the front and rear.

The Seltos LX is available in petrol and diesel, with a choice between six-speed manual or CVT on the 1.5 MPI models. The 1.5 CRDi is only available with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The Seltos EX

The revised Seltos EX builds on the solid foundation its new LX sibling has laid.

Exterior enhancements are limited to the standard inclusion of a new 17-inch alloy wheel, with the majority of feature enhancements focused on the cabin. Inside, a storage box with integrated armrest is added between the two front seats, which are also upgraded with artificial leather upholstery, while drivers gain the convenience of an electronic parking brake and Smart Entry with push-button start. The air-conditioning system is upgraded to dual automatic climate control, a wireless charging pad is added, and the touchscreen infotainment system is upgraded to a 10,25-inch screen. Drive Mode Select is also added to the EX-grade, allowing the driver to select from Comfort, Eco, Sport or Smart sub-settings.

The Seltos EX is only available as a 1.5 CVT or 1.5 CRDi 6-speed automatic.

The Seltos EX Plus

Similarly, the revised Seltos EX Plus builds on its EX-sibling’s foundation, but with the bulk of the feature additions on the outside. In fact, the only interior difference is an upgrade of the 4,2-inch Supervision TFT cluster to a 10.25-inch fully digital cluster and the addition of mood lighting. On the outside, the headlights, front fog lamps as well as taillights are upgraded to LED units, inclusive of sequential LED indicator lamps, while the ‘tiger nose’ grille is upgraded to high-gloss black with signature satin chrome detailing. The enhanced exterior is completed by the addition of sporty 18-inch alloy wheels.

The Seltos EX Plus is only available as a 1.5 CVT or 1.5 CRDi 6-speed automatic.

The Seltos GT-Line.

Closing off the range, the new Seltos GT-Line not only benefits from an upgraded engine and performance, but also from a variety of specification upgrades. On the outside, this is immediately apparent from the GT-Line specific bumpers with colour-coded inserts, the new 18-inch alloy wheels (changed from 17-inch wheels) and the addition of red brake callipers. Also new to Seltos, and exclusive to the GT-Line model, is a panoramic sunroof.

Inside, it builds on the high specification levels of the EX Plus models, and gains sporty touches such as alloy pedals, paddle-shifters, and a head-up display unit. The cruise control system is upgraded to a Smart Cruise Control system, with a number of new Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) included. These include Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist, Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Lane Follow Assist (LFA) and Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA).

Lane Follow Assist and Lane Keeping Assist work alongside the standard Blind Spot Warning system, with the former using cameras and radar to ensure the vehicle is electronically aided to stay in its lane. Should the vehicle veer over into the adjacent lane without indicating, the system automatically assists steering to prevent the vehicle from entering the adjacent lane. If the lane markings are of poor quality, the Lane Follow Assist system automatically reverts to following the vehicle ahead of the Sportage to aid steering for a certain period of time.

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) helps avoid collisions with objects in front of the vehicle while driving. If the preceding vehicle suddenly slows down, or if a forward collision risk is detected, such as a stopped vehicle, a pedestrian, or a cyclist in front of the Seltos, FCA provides a warning. After the warning, if the risk of collision increases, FCA automatically assists with emergency braking of the vehicle.

The Seltos GT-Line is only available as a 1.5 T-GDi with 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT).

Big car value.

Award-winning quality and premium features combine to deliver exemplary value proposition.

Subscribing to the notion that what isn’t broken need not be fixed, the fact that the Kia Seltos has received its first major set of enhancements after a full five years in the market bears testimony to the award-winning design legacy that Kia has established. Now, with a raft of updates that run more than skin deep, Seltos is ready to take on the next stage in its lifecycle.

“The Kia Seltos has found strong favour amongst customers across their late-30s, 40s and early-50s. While these customers may vary across age groups, they all share the need for a great looking, high quality, reliable and feature-packed crossover with loads of space,” comments Crosse. “It was apparent throughout our research that these customers have struck a beautiful balance between settling down in their careers and family setups, while retaining a very strong sense of identity. They choose to live life to the full, on their own terms. The fact that we are able to introduce the new Kia Seltos at a lower starting price than the outgoing range is bound to resonate as well.”

The new Kia Seltos goes on sale on Thursday, 18 April 2024. Recommended retail pricing for the range is as follows:

Kia Seltos 1.5 LX Manual: R467,995
Kia Seltos 1.5 LX CVT:R492,995
Kia Seltos 1.5 CRDi LX Auto:R521,995
Kia Seltos 1.5 EX CVT:R532,995
Kia Seltos 1.5 CRDi EX Auto:R561,995
Kia Seltos 1.5 EX Plus CVT:R570,995
Kia Seltos 1.5 CRDi EX Plus Auto:R599,995
Kia Seltos 1.5 T-GDi GT-Line DCT:R626,995

All Picanto models ship as standard with Kia’s industry-leading Unlimited Kilometre/5-year warranty, inclusive of Roadside Assistance. In addition, a pre-paid five-year/90,000 km service plan is included to give customers peace of mind and predictability when it comes to vehicle maintenance. A variety of upgrade options from service plan to maintenance plan available at point of sale through Kia Financial Services for customers who require even more predictability of maintenance spend.

19 Apr 2024 12:29