Once upon a time, Malaysia was the darling market for Kia Motors. The local brand guardian, Naza Kia was their biggest earner in the region and the many sales awards bestowed on Naza Kia over the years can still be seen proudly displayed at Naza Kia headquarters. Today, the slow down in sales due to tough competition from Proton, Honda and Toyota, Kia in Malaysia is not a serious earner for Kia Motors and their focus turns towards India where the market has blossomed into a automotive force to be noticed in coming years.
This is why this all new Kia compact SUV was launched in India? Maybe there are other reasons also.
The new Kia Seltos brings sophistication, assertiveness and cutting-edge technology and safety features to the global compact SUV segment. Kia revealed the Seltos for the first time globally at a special event in Delhi, India.
The Kia Seltos is characterized by distinctive design details, lending the compact SUV an air of understated sportiness. It combines forward-looking technical features, class-leading space and a suite of world-class safety features, and is powered by a choice of highly-efficient Smartstream petrol and diesel engines.
The Kia Seltos provides outstanding value for money – thanks to a range of technology features that maximize connectivity and safety, a roomy interior that seats five people in comfort, and high levels of space and versatility.
Kia plans to commence retail sales in India with the highest number of dealerships ever seen from a new car entrant into the market. Kia has also partnered with India’s eight leading financial institutions to offer comprehensive financial services to customers across the country.
The Seltos will be manufactured for different regions at two of Kia’s production facilities – in Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh, India, and Gwangju, Korea. It is due on sale in global markets from the second half of 2019.
The Seltos stands apart from its rivals with thanks to its sophisticated, sporty design and the space and capabilities of a traditional SUV – all in a compact package.
The Kia Seltos offers distinctive exterior design details, such as its long hood, a strong, character line on the front bumper, and sharp lines pressed into the bodywork. It also sports a wide ‘tiger nose grille’, making the car instantly recognizable as a Kia, but with a difference. Its robust shoulder line and glasshouse shape, which tapers towards the rear of the car, lends the compact SUV an air of understated sportiness. The rear bumper with a metallic muffler effect accentuates this dynamic appearance.
Seltos is equipped with intricate and sharply designed full LED headlights and taillights, providing the car with a commanding and confident presence on the road. For daytime driving, the car also has LED daytime running lights and rear lamps, and 3D multi-layer indicators to make it clear exactly where the Seltos is heading. For driving in foggy conditions, the car is also equipped with LED fog lights.
The Kia Seltos sits on a choice of 16-, 17- or 18-inch premium crystal cut alloy wheels, which complement the dimensions of the car, lending it a powerful stance. The wheels are shod with high-grip 205/60 R16, 215/55 R17 or 235/45 R18 tyres.
The interior of the Seltos is designed with high-quality, futuristic materials. Aimed at youthful, tech-savvy buyers, the cabin is characterized by broad, sweeping shapes and highly technical details. Equipped with a range of technologies to maximize convenience, connectivity and ease of use, the bold design of the cabin incorporates a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system and Sound Mood Lighting.
The ergonomics of the cabin allow the driver to sit comfortably with a commanding view, helping to focus on driving and naturally reduce fatigue. Within the lounge-like and spacious interior, the Seltos also houses an available 8.0-inch Head-Up Display system which unobtrusively projects relevant driving information on to a small glass panel behind the steering wheel – such as turn-by-turn navigation directions and vehicle speed information.
The car is also available with a premium eight speaker Bose audio system delivering clear, lifelike sound to all Seltos passengers.
The Kia Seltos comes equipped with a range of newly developed third-generation powertrains for high efficiency and powerful performance. All powertrains are engineered with Kia’s Smartstream technology for improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions.
The vehicle is available as a 1.6-liter T-GDI turbocharged gasoline engine producing 177 PS, a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated gasoline engine producing 149 PS and a 1.6-liter diesel engine producing 136 PS. Depending on market, the Seltos will be offered with up to three automatic transmission options to suit their needs and driving style – a seven speed dual clutch transmission (7DCT), a six-speed automatic transmission (6AT) and a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
To further elevate the driving experience, the Kia Seltos is equipped with a Drive Mode Select system that lets drivers adapt the car to their preferred style or the road conditions. Drivers can choose from ‘Normal’, ‘Eco’ and ‘Sport’ mode. The Eco mode is tuned to maximize vehicle range by using fuel-saving measures, while Sport mode increases responses from the steering and electric motor to maximize the dynamic driving feel of the car. Normal mode provides a careful balance between the two.
Technologies and features
The Seltos is a technologically advanced and refined compact SUV equipped with a range of market and world-first features designed to make driving safer and less stressful, while also providing total ease of operation.
The car’s 10.25-inch advanced infotainment system is packed full of technology and gives advanced split-screen functionality. This allows users to control or monitor numerous vehicle features at the same time, and customize the screen to display up to three applications simultaneously. The driver, therefore, can choose to have a single display (such as navigation) or combine different elements on-screen.
Other segment-first features include a Bose eight-speaker premium sound system that fills the car with a rich and immersive sound, taking in-car entertainment to a new level.
The cabin is also fitted with an optional Sound Mood Lighting system, emitting soft light from panels in the doors. This includes a unique 3D-patterned surface on the door panels. The Sound Mood Lighting system pulses in time to the beat of music playing through the audio system, with eight customisable colours and six themes illuminating the cabin.
The Seltos also offers Kia’s innovative UVO CONNECT telematics system. UVO CONNECT is designed to bring driving into the digital era, connecting drivers to the world around and providing useful information – via the in-car touchscreen, and compatible smartphones.
UVO features the Kia Live system, housed within the 10.25-inch TFT LCD widescreen in the center of the dashboard. The system uses its own SIM card to retrieve and update live data during a drive, such as traffic information, weather forecasts and points of interest. The second element of the UVO system is the UVO App, designed for compatibility on Android and Apple smartphones. The app offers users peace of mind with a range of features to provide diagnostic data about their car and the trips they take.
The UVO system is free to users for the first three years, and includes stolen vehicle notification and tracking, safety alerts, auto collision notification and emergency assistance.
Kia’s passive and active safety systems ensure that Kia Seltos occupants remain well protected on every journey.
The Seltos’ body is made up of a blend of steel and aluminium, maximising torsional rigidity while keeping body weight low. With a high proportion of Advanced High-Strength Steel components, the rigid bodyshell reduces road vibrations and enhances occupant safety in the event of a collision.
The Kia Seltos is fitted with six airbags, as well as a suite of electronic vehicle safety systems. These include Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management system as standard, incorporating traction control and electronic stability control.
The car is fitted with an Anti-lock Braking System, a Traction Control System, a Brake-force Assist System and Hill-start Assist Control, as well as front and rear parking sensors, for assistance when parking.