2020 Kia Seltos Sport+ Review

2020 Kia Seltos Sport+ Road Test Review

Kia’s Seltos seems to have struck a chord with the buying public judging by the number you see cruising around.

They’re a good size and have attractive, functional styling that obviously has wide appeal.

And there are many other factors in Seltos favour, not the least being Kia’s 7 year warranty.

I was able to sample both the base front wheel drive 2.0-litre model and this penultimate Sport+ 1.6 AWD turbo and though similar, the latter has a whole lot more to offer especially if you want zippy performance under the right foot.

It costs $35,990 and comes complete with a stack of advanced driver assist features. Comfort is well covered too with leather look upholstery, premium audio, front arm rests and heated exterior mirrors to name just a few.

It’s a bit of an “inbetweenie” size-wise falling under something like a RAV4 but bigger than a Hyundai Kona though it’s on the same platform as that car.

With all-wheel drive and a lock mode, you could take this version of Seltos on gravel, possibly sand though the traction control would have to be turned off.

It has a touch more ground clearance than a regular passenger wagon and offers seats for 5 inside with a good load space down the back and full size spare under the floor.

You could easily entertain long trips in the Seltos Sport+ AWD as it is comfortable and practical while sipping regular 91 unleaded. Tows up to 1250kg too.

And you can get some really cool colours too like the gold test car.

Kia Seltos Sport + AWD 1.6T_


It’s an angular thing with a squared off front and headlights tucked up under the clamshell bonnet lip. Plenty of panels have a certain familiarity to them from other makes but the net result is pleasing and chunky looking with compact proportions and neat design touches like the lower bumper with integrated faux exhaust outlets.

They haven’t gone too far with wheel arch flares and the Seltos Sport + AWD has a sporty stance, not too high and not too much clearance under the guards.

Selective use of bright work lifts the Sport+ appearance and I particularly like the way a brushed metal finish adorns some panels.

When you boil it all down, Seltos and the Sport + AWD in particular is a good rendition of what a modern family wagon should look like…. not fussy but practical, handsome and to some degree utilitarian to define its intended purpose.

2020 Kia Seltos 9 GT-Line AWD 1.6T_


The inside is pretty much generic Kia sharing a lot with the likes of Cerato, Rio and Sportage.

That means neat and functional, somewhat spartan when you compare it to other cars that have multi-layer dashboards, multiple info’ screens and chrome fascia and dials everywhere… all window dressing in my opinion.

Don’t get me wrong, Seltos Sport + AWD has plenty of kit but the layout looks simple and the wheel has numerous buttons/switches right at the driver’s finger tips.

Firm sporty seats are fitted up front with perforated leather-like upholstery.

A large centre mounted info/touch screen controls many functions in Seltos Sport + AWD. It’s big and legible and is complemented by small panels of buttons on the doors, on the dash and surrounding the gear selector.

The tones are grey as that’s the go-to colour for practical car interiors these days. Beige might look good but gets dirty really quickly.

Seltos is roomy for five, not much to complain about here.

Kia Seltos Sport + AWD 1.6T_


Seltos Sport + AWD is one down from top of the range so that means plenty of kit for the $35,990 ask.

As an AWD model, it scores a better multi-link rear suspension and other goodies like;

  • Front arm rests
  • 17-inch alloys
  • Larger brakes than the 2.0-litre model
  • Dark grey mesh grille
  • Heated mirrors
  • Roof rails
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • 6-speaker audio with 10.25 colour info screen
  • Three zone climate control
  • Drive mode select

Kia Seltos Sport + AWD 1.6T_engine

Drive and Engine

This 1.6-litre, turbo petrol engine with direct fuel injections appears in numerous Kia/Hyundai vehicles and in this case, delivers some 130kW and 265Nm output.

The good thing is maximum torque comes in at just 1500rpm meaning almost instant throttle response from the get-go.

Kia calibrates the Seltos Sport+ AWD to run on regular 91 unleaded giving considerable day to day savings on running costs.

The vehicle has strong performance across the entire engine rev range and with a 7 DCT, dual clutch automated manual transmission, is never caught out in the wrong gear.

Better yet is the multi drive mode fitted that gives you a choice between normal, eco and sport set-up. And you can really feel the difference particularly from the engine, gearbox and steering.

Some of the advanced driver assist technology intrudes too much in my opinion detracting from the sporty feel of the Seltos but some can be switched off but defaults on when you restart the car..

It has decent brakes and tyres, a comfortable but controlled ride and is pleasing to drive.

Fuel economy can be really good if you control the right foot or somewhat thirsty if you boot it along.

Expect about 6 – 7.5 litres/100km with general driving remembering it’s 91 unleaded…

Long distance driving wouldn’t be an issue in the Seltos Sport+ AWD as it’s quiet and supple as well as plenty powerful for all contingencies.

The AWD system has a lock function for greasy surfaces or muddy roads.

Kia Seltos Sport + AWD 1.6T_


This one gets plenty of safety kit like lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert and autonomous emergency braking. Rear park sensors too and lane keeping assist with blind spot warning.

Particularly handy is the smart cruise control and driver attention assist that are great on a long trip.

Seltos is a 5-star ANCAP car with all that brings.  Only misses out on a few advanced safety stuff like auto headlights.

Good Bits

  • Goes great
  • Impressive auto transmission
  • Generous amount of safety and luxury kit
  • Looks good

Not So Good Bits

  • Over active advanced driver assist technology
  • Fairly beefy at 1470kg
  • Would prefer higher tow rating.

Kia Seltos Sport + AWD 1.6T_


I like Seltos in all its variants and for the money the Sport+ AWD (not available with 2.0-litre engine) is good value. It has an unbeaten warranty at 7 years/unlimited km, looks the business and is fun to drive….. happy days.

Facts and Figures: 2020 Kia Seltos Sport+ AWD

  • Engine: 1.6L four-cylinder turbo petrol producing 130kW/265Nm
  • Transmission: Seven-speed sports automatic
  • Warranty: 7 years/ unlimited km
  • Safety: Five stars
  • Origin: South Korea
  • Price: from $35,990 MLP*

*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.

Kia Seltos Sport+


I like Seltos in all its variants and for the money the Sport+ AWD (not available with 2.0-litre engine) is good value. It has an unbeaten warranty at 7 years/unlimited km, looks the business and is fun to drive….. happy days.


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