What happens when Kia combines a Soul and a Telluride? It ends up with its newest sub-compact sport utility, the Seltos — a traditionally sculpted, modern styled, urban-sized utility that slots in between the Soul and Sportage.
Befitting today’s consumer desires, the 5-seat Seltos (which reportedly is a homonym of Celtus, the son of Heracles by a consort in what is now Ireland) will get a healthy dose of technology to appeal to the young first-time purchasers that are its prime demographic.
Unlike Soul, it will have the availability of all-wheel drive, and it will receive its motivation from either a 146-hp 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine or a 175-hp 1.6-litre turbo “four.” There are other engines available in other global regions (including smaller 4-cylinders and also a diesel), controlled by a choice of transmissions, but the North American engines will be handled by either a continuously variable or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic, respectively.
Although many buyers in this segment will likely never leave the paved evenness of the city, the Seltos can reportedly handle moderate off-roading, thanks to its 183-mm ground clearance and wheels pushed to the corners to provide high angles of approach and departure.
Inside, Seltos keys in on comfort and connectivity, ready to hook up with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, which will allow playlists to pump out through a Bosch 8-speaker audio system.
Driver and semi-autonomous technologies include lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring with avoidance assistance, lane-following, adaptive cruise, rear occupant alert (so kids aren’t left in sweltering cars), among others.
Instantly recognizable as a Kia, the 2021 Seltos is due in winter 2020 and though not much is finalized on it, it is expected to cover all the usual Kia trim levels, with prices starting in the $22,000 to $25,000 range.