Automotive

Kia Seltos small crossover packs rugged, downtown-to-desert refinement

Kia Seltos small crossover pac...
The Seltos certainly isn't a rugged off-roader, but with all-wheel drive, over 7 in of ground clearance, and integrated skid protection, it's not the worst choice to shuttle you to your favorite trailhead
The Seltos certainly isn't a rugged off-roader, but with all-wheel drive, over 7 in of ground clearance, and integrated underbody protection, it's not the worst choice to shuttle you to your favorite trailhead
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Kia grows its lineup with the Seltos SUV
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Kia grows its lineup with the Seltos SUV
The Seltos comes powered by 2.0 and 1.6 Turbo four-cylinder engine options
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The Seltos comes powered by 2.0 and 1.6 Turbo four-cylinder engine options
Kia will launch the Seltos in the first quarter of 2020
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Kia will launch the Seltos in the first quarter of 2020
Kia Seltos
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Kia Seltos
The Seltos certainly isn't a rugged off-roader, but with all-wheel drive, over 7 in of ground clearance, and integrated skid protection, it's not the worst choice to shuttle you to your favorite trailhead
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The Seltos certainly isn't a rugged off-roader, but with all-wheel drive, over 7 in of ground clearance, and integrated underbody protection, it's not the worst choice to shuttle you to your favorite trailhead
Kia offers available on-demand AWD
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Kia offers available on-demand AWD
Kia Seltos
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Kia Seltos
Kia designers spent some time on the Seltos front-end, integrating the lighting into the tiger-nose grille and developing a strong chin
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Kia designers spent some time on the Seltos front-end, integrating the lighting into the tiger-nose grille and developing a strong chin
Kia Seltos
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Kia Seltos
Three-seat rear bench in the Kia Seltos
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Three-seat rear bench in the Kia Seltos
Inside the Kia Seltos
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Inside the Kia Seltos
Kia offers an available 10.3-in touchscreen infotainment/nav system
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Kia offers an available 10.3-in touchscreen infotainment/nav system
Inside the Kia Seltos
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Inside the Kia Seltos
Kia Seltos load area
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Kia Seltos load area
Kia Seltos rear seats folded
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Kia Seltos rear seats folded
Kia Seltos X-Line Urban Attack concept
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Kia Seltos X-Line Urban Attack concept
Kia avoids another boring small SUV debut by spicing things up with the two Attack dogs
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Kia avoids another boring small SUV debut by spicing things up with the two Attack dogs
The Seltos Urban Attack may be inspired by the cityscape, but it still looks at home in the desert
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The Seltos Urban Attack may be inspired by the cityscape, but it still looks at home in the desert
The Seltos Trail Attack includes both grille and roof lighting
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The Seltos Trail Attack includes both grille and roof lighting
The Seltos Trail Attack includes a winch barely visible below its Hella lighting
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The Seltos Trail Attack includes a winch barely visible below its Hella lighting
Kia Seltos X-Line Trail Attack
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Kia Seltos X-Line Trail Attack
Kia Seltos X-Line Urban Attack concept
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Kia Seltos X-Line Urban Attack concept
The X-Line Urban Attack look is inspired by skyscrapers
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The X-Line Urban Attack look is inspired by skyscrapers
The Trail Attack clearly shows some desert inspiration
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The Trail Attack clearly shows some desert inspiration
Kia Motors America president Michael Cole says it designed the Seltos concepts to "get the creative juices flowing and illustrate what the ultimate Seltos could be."
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Kia Motors America president Michael Cole says it designed the Seltos concepts to "get the creative juices flowing and illustrate what the ultimate Seltos could be."
Smittybilt winch on the Trail Attack
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Smittybilt winch on the Trail Attack
Kia Seltos
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Kia Seltos

Adding another model to its growing lineup, Kia today revealed the all-new Seltos, a small entry-level SUV that noses its way between the Soul and Sportage. The model stands at the opposite end of the Kia SUV universe from the Telluride debuted earlier in the year, but it learns from the Telluride's stout, upright design. The small-but-rugged Seltos is built to ride comfortably on everything from village-center cobblestone to backcountry grit. To highlight the duality of the build, Kia accompanied the production Seltos on the LA stage with two fully accessorized "X-Line Attack" concepts, one for city, one for desert.

We wouldn't have believed it a few years ago, but Kia has done a pretty good job of making the Telluride more rugged than the average family-hauler through effective design and advertising – we even spotted an overlanding version at Overland Expo West earlier this year. Kia tries to build on that success with the Seltos, giving it a stronger, more upright stance and longer wheelbase than you might expect from a small crossover.

Kia will launch the Seltos in the first quarter of 2020
Kia will launch the Seltos in the first quarter of 2020

The Seltos' semi-rugged presence starts front and center with a strong tiger-nose grille and approach-optimized bumper with skid protection. Kia works the long, thin LED headlights into the nostrils of the tiger, creating a distinctive gaze. Moving back, we see a strong hood and roofline, available chrome belt line, crisply outlined fenders with black cladding, and a tautly sculpted rear-end with a skid plate of its own. The car stands 7.2 inches (18.3 cm) over top the ground below.

Equipped with buyer's choice of 146-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder or 175-hp 1.6-liter turbo, the Seltos sends power to the front wheels or all four wheels with the optional on-demand all-wheel drive derived from the Telluride. That AWD adds a locking center differential and torque-vectoring capabilities. Features available to help the driver include blind spot collision avoidance, lane keeping assist, and smart cruise control with stop and go.

Inside the Kia Seltos
Inside the Kia Seltos

Inside, Kia has focused on offering plenty of passenger and cargo space. The rear row includes a reclining function for extra comfort, and the rear load area has a lowering luggage board to adjust cargo space. Available equipment includes a 10.3-in touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, satellite radio and UVO telematics, eight-speaker Bose sound system, and wireless smartphone charging.

Kia will launch the Seltos in Q1 2020 in five trims: LX, EX, S 2.0L, S 1.6T and SX. It'll announce full pricing information closer to launch but says that the LX all-wheel drive will start below US$22,000.

Kia Motors America president Michael Cole says it designed the Seltos concepts to "get the creative juices flowing and illustrate what the ultimate Seltos could be."
Kia Motors America president Michael Cole says it designed the Seltos concepts to "get the creative juices flowing and illustrate what the ultimate Seltos could be."

Showing the rugged and refined sides of the Seltos coin, the X-Line Trail Attack and X-Line Urban Attack concepts join the production Seltos at the LA Auto Show premiere. The Trail Attack features a 2-in lift kit, Hella auxiliary lighting, hidden front winch, custom roof rack, and off-road tires around 17-in alloys. The Urban Attack features a similar package, albeit with fewer Hella lights, gold wheels and a paint scheme inspired by city skyscrapers. Kia has no plans to produce either concept, nor would we expect it to pursue the SEMA-like builds. The concepts certainly appear ready to amp up the fun factor over the stock Seltos, though.

Source: Kia

1 comment
JDC1
Not sure the world needs another small entry level SUV. Kia, people are crying for inexpensive pickups with full sized beds. Trucks are $40k and above. If you can bring one in bare bones for under $25k, you'll dominate the market for handymen, gardeners, weekend warriors, hobbyists, and folks who just don't want to lay out $40-60k for pickups as fully loaded ones cost now. Make yours entry level...rubber floor instead of carpet, heating and a/c. Make everything else optional...nav, radio, bedliner, LED headlights, etc.