Juliet reviews…The Kia Seltos

Yet another compact SUV has arrived in South Africa. In fact, the Kia Seltos arrived last year already, but the media only got to experience it recently and boy am I glad we did. It is hard to pin point where this car fits in exactly. It is not as compact as say a Volkswagen T-Cross, but it is smaller than say a Hyundai Tucson or Toyota RAV4. It is probably most similar to the size of a Renault Duster. Either way, it is a car that will bridge the gap between the Kia Rio and the Kia Sportage that many customers have been waiting for.

Three specification grades will be on offer and Kia is known for its standard spec. Even the Kia Motors CEO, Gary Scott, will agree with me, “KIA is well known for offering exceptional quality and comprehensive specification across its model ranges. The all-new Seltos delivers all of that, and more.”

The entry point in to the Seltos does not feel at all like an entry-level Seltos. The EX offers so much in terms of standard spec that you would be forgiven for thinking it is fact a mid-range model. Take a deep breath, here we go: air-conditioning, automatic headlight control (including an ‘escort’ and ‘welcome home’ function), electrically adjustable side mirrors with integrated indicators, steering wheel-mounted remote controls, electric windows, cruise control, and an 8-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system that incorporates a radio with RDS, linked to six speakers, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone mirroring, as well as Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition, and charging USB ports for front and rear passengers. Crazy, right?

I didn’t get to experience the EX, but I did get to drive the EX+ and I can tell you that these cabins feel far more premium than you would possibly expect. It adds on to the EX’s standard spec with leather upholstery (including leather trim on the door panels), while the electrically adjustable side mirrors gain an auto-folding function. It also rides on 17-inch alloys as opposed to 16-inch. The materials used in the Seltos cabin exude quality and certainly gives the rivals a run for their money.

Your final choice in trim level is the range-topping GT Line which gives the Seltos a more sporty edge to it. It adds satin chrome and red trim detailing with gloss black to the exterior. It rides on 17-inch crystal-cut alloy wheels with red brake calipers. Inside gains GT-Line leather upholstery as well as few other sporty additions such as stainless-steel pedals. It also boasts Kia’s Drive Mode Select System. This model sports the new 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine. The other models use a 1.6-litre naturally aspirated unit. The GT-Line is mated to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.

All Kia Seltos models come standard with an unlimited kilometre, 5-year warranty (inclusive of roadside assistance), and also include a 5-year/90,000km service plan.

KIA Seltos 1.6 EX Manual                           R 353,995

KIA Seltos 1.6 EX Automatic                       R 371,995

KIA Seltos 1.6 EX+ Automatic                    R 389,995

KIA Seltos 1.4 T-GDi GT-Line                     R 444,995

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