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BUYER’S GUIDE: 2020 Kia Seltos

With Ayala Corporation at the helm, Kia has been on hyperdrive. Bringing in new models into the Philippine auto market one after the other, the charge led with the Stinger, followed by the Soluto and Forte GT, and now, we have the 2020 Kia Seltos.

Designed as a replacement to the quirky Kia Soul, the Kia Seltos is built on the same platform as the Kona from sister company Hyundai. Now the question is, it a worthy successor to the beloved Soul? Find out in this 2020 Kia Seltos Buyer’s Guide.

Specifications

 

A lone 2.0-liter Atkinson gasoline engine that delivers 147 hp and 179 Nm powers the entire Seltos lineup, which includes the low-rung LX, the mid-level EX, and the top trim SX. This engine is mated to an infinitely variable transmission (IVT). Meanwhile, a Drive Mode Select feature allows the driver to choose between five different driving modes (Smart, Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Custom) to control different drive functions including steering response, throttle, and transmission RPM shift points, among others. Using an independent suspension that relies on a MacPherson setup, the new Seltos measures 4,370mm long, 1,800mm wide, and 1,615mm tall (with roof rail) and rides on 17-inch alloy wheels. Minimum ground clearance is a respectable 170mm.

Exterior

Kia’s signature Tiger Nose welcomes the Seltos’ onlookers, creating a thick ‘unibrow’ look that links to both LED headlamps (available in SX variant only). The overall shape resembles that of the Telluride, Kia’s North American market SUV, which practically translates to a car that’s sophisticated, stylish, and sporty in equal measures. A muscular stance complemented by curvy character lines help the Seltos stand out from the crossover market. The daytime running lights, position lamps, and taillights are LEDs as well on the SX and EX. LED fog lamps are exclusive to the SX model.

Interior

 

The Seltos interior reveals a spacious interior that can fit five adults comfortably. Driver controls take on an intuitive and ergonomic design, with a head-up display providing the driver with vital trip information while ensuring eyes are on the road at all times. Exuding an “elegant and comfortable functionality,” the roomy interior is made more welcome with comfortable seats and tasteful appointments such as an 6-speaker, 8-inch infotainment system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, automatic climate control (SX only), and Smart Entry and Push Start convenience (SX only).

Space

The Seltos’ second row comprises of 60:40-split seats, with a reclining seatback to provide rear passengers with more comfort. The seats are flat-folding, allowing form more storage volume. Meanwhile, the trunk, with its large capacity, also boasts a two-step floor that can be used to increase storage space even further.

Safety

Kia considers the safety of occupants as its number one priority when building its cars, and with that in in mind the 2020 Seltos comes equipped with a suite of standard safety features that you would expect to find exclusively in premium luxury vehicles. Check out this impressive list: an advanced high strength steel (AHSS) body, front side and curtain airbags (SX only), electronic stability control (SX only) rear parking distance warning (SX only), rear camera display with rearview driving function, downhill brake control (SX only), hill-start assist control (SX only), and cruise control (SX, EX).

Verdict

The compact crossover is the most diverse and competitive segment these days. The Kia Seltos goes against the likes of the Toyota Rush, Honda HR-V, and Mazda CX-3. Does the Seltos have what it takes to compete? With a price range of Php1.098 million to PHP1.498 million, and a slew of enticing premium features, the answer looks like a resounding “Yes.”

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