Seltos is the second smallest model in Kia’s SUV range, sitting above the compact
Stonic and below the Sportage. It competes against vehicles such as the MG ZS,
Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-30 and Mitsubishi ASX.

Originally launched here in late 2019 Seltos received a major upgrade in November
2022 with exterior and interior changes, safety improvements, new tech features,
plus extra power and a new transmission for the top-spec model.

The changes do come at a price with increases of at least $2200 across the range,
although they can probably be justified.

As before Seltos is available in four grades: S, Sport, Sport+ and GT Line. All get the
previous 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine that drives the front wheels, while
Sport+ and GT-Line are also available with a tweaked version of the 1.6-litre
turbocharged petrol engine along with all-wheel drive.

To our eyes Seltos is one of the best-looking vehicles in its class, with the chunky
style that’s fashionable in current SUVs. There’s a large grille with mesh fill, an array
of lights built to the side and stylish lower area that has a solid look thanks to the
expansion at the corners.

At the rear there’s a central light-bar across the top of the tail gate that expands the
visual appearance of the Seltos.

All models get alloy wheels, 16-inch with the Seltos S, 17-inch on the Sport and
Sport+ and 18-inch under the GT-Line.

Also standard are body-coloured folding side mirrors, roof rails and a rear spoiler.

Only the GT-Line gets LED head and tail lights, the others have to make do with
halogens. Other features specific to the GT-Line are a gloss black mech grille, satin
silver beltline, powered tailgate and tilt and slide sunroof.

There’s a good range of colours, with nine in total, including a couple of eye-catching
two-tone finishes.

Kia always seems to strike a nice balance with the interior of its vehicles and Seltos
is no exception. It’s neat and functional with plenty of space all round for what is a
relatively small car.

The standout feature of the dashboard in Sport, Sport+ and Gt-Line is the wide panel
housing both the infotainment and instrument display screens.

An increasingly must-have feature for us, head-up display, is only available in the

On the downside, while there are small physical knobs for the audio controls, air
conditioning adjustments for temperature and fan speed require a series of taps on
the infotainment touchscreen.

Seats in the S and Sport are cloth trim, with artificial leather trim added to the Sport+
and full premium leather in GT-Line.

Luggage space with the rear seats in place is 433 litres, expanding to 1393 litres
when they’re folded. Seltos S has a space saver spare under the boot. All other
variants get a full-size alloy.

All four Seltos variants come with a four-cylinder 2.0-litre Atkinson cycle naturally-
aspirated engine that’s carried over from the previous model. It produces 110 kW
and 180 Nm at 4500 rpm coupled with a continuously variable transmission.
Combined fuel consumption is listed at 6.9L/100km.

So, no change there. The big improvement comes from the 1.6-litre turbo-petrol
available with Sport+ and GT-Line where power increases 16 kW to 146 kW with an
unchanged 265 Nm of torque. Claimed fuel consumption is 7.4L/100km.

The previous dual-clutch automatic transmission mated to the 1.6 engine has been
replaced by an eight-speed torque converter auto that supplies drive to all four
wheels through an on-demand AWD system.

Kia Seltos comes with an impressive list of advanced safety features including rear
cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, blind spot collision avoidance, driver
inattention alert, forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, with
impact-sensing automatic door unlocking.

In addition, all models get downhill brake control, front and rear parking sensors and
two Isofix child seat anchor points.

Another very useful feature is Safe Exit Alert which warns if a vehicle is passing
within a distance that could impact your doors.

Also very useful – in its place – is Intelligent Speed Limit Assist. While we have no
problem in principle with a feature that alerts a driver to the fact they are exceeding
the speed limit, it’s far too sensitive in the Seltos coming on and off regularly when
driving in a stream of traffic at the appropriate speed.

The system can be turned off via the touchscreen but that requires going through
five screen taps. Then it automatically resets when the engine is turned off and on

Sport+ and GT-Line also come with auto-dimming rear view mirror, lead vehicle
departure alert and junction turning assist.

Entry-level Seltos S comes with an 8.0-inch LCD infotainment touchscreen in the
centre of the dashboard and a 4.2-inch driver information screen behind the steering

The set-up in the three other models is much more attractive and functional with a
pair of 10.25-inch screens embedded within a single panel that dominates the centre
of the dashboard.

The instrument panel can be configured to the driver’s taste to control or monitor
numerous features.

New to MY22 Seltos Sport, Sport+ and Gt-Line is Kia Connect, a smartphone-based
system that offers a wide range of digital features including the ability to remotely
lock and unlock doors, start the engine, activate and adjust air conditioning, set
satellite navigation destinations and display vehicle diagnostic information.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard although, oddly enough, they are
wireless in the Seltos S but wired in the three higher-spec’d models. Our contact at
Kia Australia explains the absence of satnav in S allowed wireless charging to be
fitted but prevented it in the others.

The three lower-spec’d variants get a pretty good six-speaker sound system, with
GT-Line stepping up to a premium eight-speaker BOSE system.

All but the S also have Sounds of Nature which provides a choice of soothing sounds
as an alternative to radio or music. At the other extreme Sound Mood Lamp turns on
disco lighting around the cabin to suit whatever music is being played.

There are USB-A and USB-C sockets in the front console and a pair of USB-Cs
behind the centre console.

Our test vehicle was the Seltos Sport+ with the 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine
and new eight-speed torque-convertor automatic.

The first thing we noticed on take-off was how much smoother it was compared to
the previous seven-speed dual-clutch system.

The upgraded 146kW engine has plenty of punch with minimal turbo lag off the line.

The steering feel is excellent and really does signal to the driver what is happening
at the front of the car. Multiple changes of direction on a twisting country road are
made with ease.

It’s a neat little car to ride in and is generally as smooth and quiet as cars of this size
around town. However, it creates quite a racket on some motorway concrete
surfaces and isn’t overly happy on country roads that are in poor condition.

As with all Kia models in Australia, the ride and handling characteristics of the car
have been optimised to provide the experience Australian drivers have come to

Kia has been steadily moving up the Australian sales ladder and now sits in a
career-best third position. While it’s still relatively new Seltos already accounts for
around 11 per cent of company sales.

The recent refresher keeps it right up there with the best in a highly-competitive
market segment.

As with all Kia vehicles Seltos is covered by the company’s seven-year unlimited
kilometre warranty together with seven years of capped price servicing and roadside

Looks: 9/10
Performance: 8/10
Safety: 8/10
Thirst: 8/10
Practicality: 8/10
Comfort: 8/10
Tech: 8/10
Value: 8/10


S 2.0 FWD: $29,500
Sport 2.0 FWD: $32,700
Sport+ 2.0 FWD: $35,800
GT-Line 2.0 FWD: $41,500
Sport+ 1.6 AWD: $39,300
GT Line 1.6 AWD: $44,900
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact
your local Kia dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Kia Seltos GT-Line 1.6-litre turbo-petrol five-door wagon)

Capacity: 1.598 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 146 kW @ 6000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 265 Nm @ 1600 rpm
Fuel Type: Standard unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.4 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 175 g/km

DRIVELINE: Eight-speed automatic

Length: 4385 mm
Wheelbase: 2630 mm
Width: 1800 mm
Height: 1635 mm
Turning Circle: 10.6 metres
Kerb Mass: 1495 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 50 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc

Seven years / unlimited kilometres

About Alistair Kennedy

Alistair Kennedy is Automotive News Service and Marque Publishing's business manager and the company's jack-of-all-trades. An accountant by profession, he designs the Marque range of motoring book titles, operates the company's motoring bookshop on the NSW Central Coast and the associated web site, as well as its huge digital and hard copy database. Whenever we can escape from the office he does so to cover new vehicle releases and contributes news stories. Alistair's other interests include cricket and family history on which he has written three books.
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