Kia Seltos: Car Review

The Kia Seltos is the second SUV in its range and it has been launched at a time when crossovers and SUVs continue to surge in popularity. The Seltos aims to compete with other affordable SUVs on the market, while also giving drivers an accessible way into the brand. Read on for our review of this exciting new car.

What are the Kia Seltos?

The KIA Seltos is Kia’s second SUV, following the CUV-like Stonic. It sits below the flagship Stinger in the range, and above the Sportage. The Seltos have been designed to appeal to buyers looking for an affordable crossover with a strong design, ample boot space, and a generous standard specification. 

It’s based on the same platform as the Sportage, although the Seltos is both longer and wider, offering a more spacious interior and a bigger boot. Kia claims the Seltos is capable of seating five in comfort, with a generous amount of head- and legroom in the back seats. 

There’s a sliding and removable center seat to make the car easier to fit three in the back. Boot space comes in at 320 liters, which is a nice size but not as big as some of its rivals.

Kia Seltos price and availability

The Seltos will be available from early September 2019. Prices start from £19,495 for the entry-level model, rising to £25,295 for the SEL Premium model. The SEL Premium is the top-spec variant, offering all the latest driver assistance systems. 

The Seltos is a compelling proposition for those looking for a stylish crossover with plenty of standard equipment. It’s also more affordable than many of its rivals, making it a great choice for first-time Kia buyers.

Kia Seltos design

As with the Stinger, the Seltos have been designed with a “tiger nose” grille, as well as LED headlamps, a raised bonnet, and alloy wheels. The Seltos’s wheelbase is 17mm longer than the Sportage, allowing Kia to fit an extra set of doors. The rear end is less dramatic than the Stinger but still features the same “tiger tail” light signature. 

The car sits on a completely new platform, which means it’s larger than the Sportage but not as large as the existing Stinger. Kia claims it has used more high-strength steel than the Sportage, giving it more rigidity and strength. 

At the front, the Seltos has a more upright design than the Sportage, with a lower bumper. The car also has a larger wheelbase, at 2771mm. All models are available in two distinctive colors, black, and silver, with the latter receiving an optional red roof. 

Inside, the Seltos has a similarly premium design to the Stinger, with Nappa leather, soft-touch plastics, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. There are three interior color combinations, including black with grey stitching, black with red stitching, and black with silver stitching.

Kia Seltos Interior

At the base level, the car comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, a 7.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, a 5-inch TFT display, and parking sensors. 

Moving up the range, the SEL model adds 18-inch wheels, LED fog lights, a panoramic sunroof, an 8.0-inch infotainment system, 10-way heated front seats, and leather upholstery. 

Moving up to the Premium model adds a heads-up display, wireless smartphone charging, a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a 360-degree camera view.

Kia Seltos Engine and Performance

The entry-level Seltos is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged petrol engine, which is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. It produces 181 horsepower and 350Nm of torque, allowing the Seltos to accelerate from 0-62mph in 9.8 seconds. 

The mid-level SEL model comes with a 2-liter turbocharged petrol engine, which is mated to a 9-speed automatic gearbox. It produces 252 horsepower and 370Nm of torque, enabling it to accelerate from 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds. 

The top-spec SEL Premium model comes with a 2-liter turbocharged petrol engine, which is mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. It produces 271 horsepower and 369Nm of torque, enabling it to accelerate from 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds.

Kia Seltos Drivetrain and Handling

All variants of the Seltos come with an all-wheel drive, which has been tuned by Kia’s European technical center. Standard all-wheel drive systems are typically rear-wheel drive, and then send power to the front wheels as and when required. 

Kia’s system is expected to be more proactive, sending torque to the front wheels when it senses that they need it. The Seltos’s chassis is made of aluminum, which is around 20 percent lighter than steel and helps reduce the car’s CO2 emissions. 

The Seltos is expected to come with the same suspension as the Sportage, but with a few small changes. Buyers can choose between a more comfort-focused suspension and a sportier setup, which is said to be more focused on handling.

Pros of Driving a Kia Seltos

The Seltos have been designed to appeal to a wide range of driving types and lifestyles. Kia claims it’s a car best suited to those who want more space than a hatchback can provide, without the cost and fuel consumption of a larger SUV. 

The Seltos sits in a sweet spot between these two types of car and is sure to appeal to this wide range of drivers. Practicality. The Seltos have been designed to be as practical as possible, with an easy-to-use interior and generous boot space. 

Cons of Driving a KIA Seltos

Initial build quality. While Kia is renowned for its build quality and reliability, there have been issues with the Sportage. The Seltos shares many of its components with the Sportage, so it’s worth keeping an eye on any potential issues. 

Unproven technology. The Seltos comes with an all-wheel-drive system that’s designed to proactively send power to the front wheels when it senses they need it. This is a new system from Kia, so there may be teething issues.


The Kia Seltos is an exciting addition to the brand’s range, with a stylish design and generous standard equipment. It’s a viable option for family car buyers who want extra space and a more appealing design than a traditional crossover. The Seltos will appeal to those looking for a car with a generous standard specification and low initial running costs. It’s a great choice for first-time Kia buyers and anyone looking for a practical and stylish crossover.

Image by Dominic Alberts from Pixabay