First sample of the new Kia Seltos

Although the Seltos were introduced in November 2019, I travel down to picturesque Western Cape, to sample the new model for the first time.


While retaining the familiar ‘tiger-nose grille’, the new Seltos certainly seem as it was designed with the western market in mind, not a bad thing, just prevalent. You will find blade-like design LED headlights and taillights and the headlights feature LED daytime running lights and 3D multi-layer indicators. The Seltos in GT-Line specification illustrates its sporty nature with details such as the front splitter on the lower front bumper and the rear diffuser, as well as a decorative feature on the rear bumper. The crystal cut alloy wheels do fill the sculpted fenders well and finish off the premium look on the exterior with customers having a choice of sizes ranging from 16-inches to 18-inches.


Moving to the inside and one of the first features you will notice is the 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system which can be configured to split the screen for both driver and front passenger. The screen even let you control the Sound Mood Lighting feature which includes eight colours and six themes following the beat of your music on the 3D-patterned door panels. This bolsters the effect you get from the optional eight-speaker Bose audio system. Consistent with the tech theme throughout the cabin, the driver gains access to a clever 8.0-inch Head-up display system which not only displays the vehicle speed but also navigation directions. We had the opportunity to sample both the EX+ and GT-Line derivatives and both displayed high-quality fit and finish. The GT-Line features leather cladding on the dashboard and interior door handles with sporty red stitching to contrast the dark tones of the leather seats, however, the EX+ still offer a premium look and feel with interesting patterns in the seats and decorative panels.

While luckily we did not get to sample these, the Seltos does have six airbags if things had to go that way. The Vehicle Stability Management system which includes traction control and electronic stability control does inspire confidence in sticky situations and comes as standard. With this many features, you cannot help but notice that this is an important car for Kia and rightly so looking at growing SUV trend. Although rear passengers do gain some extra centimetres for their knees, the most noticeable increase in size in comparison to its direct competitors is in the luggage compartment, offering 433-litres.

Under the bonnet

Navigating the picturesque roads of the Western Cape, the Seltos provided for a soft and comfortable ride and yet had almost no body-roll. Powering us on the beautiful roads, in the EX+ derivative, was the 1.6-litre petrol motor which produces 90 kW and 151 N.m, while sufficient for a vehicle in this segment, it was not as punchy as the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol motor in the GT-Line which provided us with 103 kW and 242 N.m of torque. The power delivery and gear changes from the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission were more refined in the GT-Line whereas the six-speed automatic did hunt for the appropriate gear when taking on longer inclines.


The Kia Seltos joins a variety of new compact SUVs and crossovers to hit the market, a growing trend internationally. The Seltos’s unique design and sporty nature will certainly gain the attention of potential customers and if that doesn’t, the impressive tech-filled cabin will. One thing is a certainty; the Seltos offers a more premium look and feel on both the exterior and interior when compared to some of its direct competitors which translates to it being a great value for money option in the saturated market.


The Kia Seltos comes standard with a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty including roadside assistance and a five-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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