Despite having been in the car business for nearly 43 years, I continue to be sometimes confused by the specifications from manufacturers for their model line-up. Take this car for example – the MY21 Kia Seltos S.
Having just driven the Kia Rio GT-Line, the top of the range model in the Kia Rio, this more basic model gets adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, where the Rio GT-Line doesn’t. So what’s the answer. It’s as simple as the importer (Kia Australia) picking the options list apart and creating the vehicle that they think will sell well in our market and be price competitive. Confused? Chat to me and I’ll confuse you even more.
What does Kia say?
Finally, a small SUV that will really move you. Tech-smart. Style-conscious. Designed to adapt to you. Engineered to move you. The Kia Seltos S raises the bar on what a small SUV can be.
What is it? Kia Seltos is a small SUV – smaller than the Kia Sportage but bigger than the Kia Stonic (Due in early 2021). But a stand-out feature is the marvellous use of space in the Kia.
Competitors? From under $40,000 to over, there are 31 brands to consider in the Small SUV segment. And actually, don’t think too small – what small was once is now a fairly reasonable sized vehicle. Comparatively, the top three selling brands are Mitsubishi ASX, Hyundai Kona and Mazda CX-30
How Much? The Kia Seltos starts out from a remarkable $27,290 (Current advertised price), with the Seltos S with safety pack (the car I’m reviewing) at $28,290 moving up the range to the premium version, the GT-Line at $43,290. And for the GT-Line, you’re getting a turbocharged engine and 7-Speed DCT. Apart from Starbright Yellow, all other paints come at a $535 premium.
|Kia Seltos S with Safety Pack||S with Safety Pack|
|ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) with EBD6 & BA7||●|
|ESC (Electronic Stability Control) with TCS8||●|
|DBC (Downhill Brake Control)||●|
|HAC (Hill-start Assist Control)||●|
|Seatbelt warning chime & light on all positions||●|
|Front parking sensors||–|
|Reverse parking sensors||●|
|Parking sensor dash display||●|
|Rear view camera with dynamic parking guidelines||●|
|Electrochromic rear view mirror (auto dimming)||–|
|BCA (Blindspot Collision Avoidance Assist) with LCA (Lane Change Assist)[S]||–|
|Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist (RCCA)[S]||–|
|LKA (Lane Keeping Assist)[S]||●|
|LFA (Lane Following Assist)[S]||–|
|DAA (Driver Attention Alert)[S]||●|
|DAA+ (Driver Attention Alert+)[S]||●|
|AEB (Autonomous Emergency Brake) with FCWS (Forward Collision Warning System)- Car & Pedestrian Avoidance[S]||●|
|AEB (Autonomous Emergency Brake) with FCWS (Forward Collision Warning System)- Cyclist Avoidance with Junction Assist[S]||●|
(Junction Assist from MY21)
|High-mount rear stop light||●|
|Halogen daytime running light (DRL)||●|
|LED daytime running light (DRL)||–|
|Dusk-sensing automatic headlights||●|
|High Beam Assist (HBA)||●|
|Projector front fog lights||–|
|LED front fog lights||–|
|Rear fog light||●|
|Door open warning on driver display||●|
|Speed sensing auto door lock||●|
|Child restraint anchorage points (3 anchors + 2 ISOFIX positions)||●|
|3-Point ELR seatbelts on all positions||●|
Inside if you’re looking for comfort, then the Kia Seltos S with Safety Pack is your car. Passive Safety runs to Passive safety runs out to the likes of Driver and Passenger front SRS Air Bags, Side Airbags, and Curtain Airbags along with side-impact door beams, front seatbelt pre-tensioners, childproof rear door locks and impact sensing door unlocking
There’s enough adjustment with the driver’s seat to get very comfortable for a run to the hardware store or a long run to one of the coasts. Long-distance driving is pleasurable – I found the front cabin to be one of the best I’ve experienced – whether you’re looking at either segment. The European vehicles don’t have anything better other than a badge.
On the Road. Kia, in most of its iterations, has a mode switch – Eco, Normal and Sport. If you want to actually ‘drive’ the Seltos, switch it to Sport and the car comes alive. Sport Mode gives you a better rev range and more positive steering and you can actually feel the improvement in the way it drives.
Most dealership people won’t introduce you to Sport Mode, but let me tell you squarely, Sport Mode is fun, albeit at the expense of a bit more fuel. And t’s particularly responsive on twisty tight roads – head up to Maleny through Beerwah on the Sunshine Coast and you’ll really see what I mean.
At A Glance
Price: From $27,290 up to $43,290
Engine/Transmission 2.0 Litre Engine with CVT Auto Transmission Standard and a 1.6 Litre Turbo Engine with 7-Speed DCT optional
Warranty/Service 7-years, unlimited kilometres. Kia Capped Price Service is $2,818 for 7 years or 105,000 kilometres. That averages at $403 per year. The Kia Roadside Assistance Program runs for the period, PROVIDED that you service your car at a Kia dealer. Miss a service or go somewhere else and you forfeit the roadside program. During the warranty program, I suggest that you keep going back to a Kia dealer. They know their cars and you won’t have to buy a roadside program from somewhere else
Safety 5-Stars. Kia Seltos was tested by ANCAP in 2019, so pretty current. And IMHO, would achieve the same rating if tested this year.
Economy 6.8 Litres per 100 kilometres combined and runs 91 RON Unleaded through the range. Bargain!
Boot Space Rear seatback folded 1428 litres. Rear seatback raised – 468 litres
Whenever I’m looking for a new car dealer, I always search on Google.
In this case, I’d search for “Kia Dealers” and then the city (Brisbane) or even the suburb I live in. For Kia, here are the 6 dealers I’d consider visiting. Google provides a star rating and I suggest that you look for dealers who score more than 4 stars in the Google rankings with at least 10 reviews.
|Brisbane Northside||Brendale Kia||4.5 Stars|
|Brisbane Southside||Motorama Kia Moorooka||4.8 Stars|
|Brisbane Eastside||Keema Bayside Kia||4.2 Stars|
|Brisbane Westside||Ipswich Kia||4.2 Stars|
|Gold Coast||von Bibra Kia Helensvale||4.6 Stars|
|Sunshine Coast||Pacific Kia||5.0 Stars|
Hello. I’m Bob Aldons, the owner and editor of The Car Guy.
The Car Guy is an independently owned car review website. I’m currently testing cars for Mazda, Nissan, Kia, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Renault, Subaru, and Hyundai. Through Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport I’m also writing about the 2020 Formula 1 season
I’m not paid by any car company for my opinion and my companies don’t receive advertising revenue to say nice things about them. I call it as I see it.
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