2020 Kia Seltos SUV Launch Review

Kia Seltos SUV Road Test Review

Kia has launched the all new Seltos, a smaller SUV aimed at a broad market segment. From the brief days drive at the launch it appears that the under $45,000 segment is in for a shakeup.

This fills a gap in their SUV line-up that is populated by quality products such as the Subaru XV, Toyota RAV4 etc.

Mr. Han-Woo Park, President and CEO, KIA Motors Corporation, commented: “The Seltos is an important car for Kia as it will play a central role in our international growth. Global sales of compact (small) SUVs are forecast to expand from 6.5 million vehicles in 2018 to more than 8.2 million by the end of 2022, and the Seltos brings Kia strengths in design, quality and technology to this popular segment.


Seltos is available in four specification levels S, Sport, Sport+ and GT Line.

There are two engines, two transmissions and two drivetrains. More later

It is available for sale October 25 and to be honest if you are interested I would turn up early as it will be popular and there are some supply limitations from the factory.

Starting from $25,990 drive away for the S through to $41,990 (D/A) for the GT Line. A $1000 safety pack will be available for the S and Sport models.

2020 Kia Seltos 4 Sport+ AWD 1.6T


Right up front the Seltos looks good. It has a subtle, sophisticated design that will age well. The grill, slimline headlights and slight bonnet bulges all portray  robust appeal.

From the side it gives a slightly sporty look with a lean forward style, accentuated by the rear quarter windows and sloping waistline. The roof rails also add to the look.

The rear of SUVs is always a difficult area, with many manufacturers going for overly styled or bland looks. The Seltos manages to sit in the middle, a bit like a Toyota RAV4.

With an overall 4370mm in length, and a wheelbase of 2630mmthe Seltos is longer than many of its rivals. It’s also not far off its older brother the Sportage.

Seltos will be available in Starbright Yellow (standard colour) and premium colours ($520) Neptune Blue, Gravity Grey, Mars Orange, Snow White Pearl, Steel Grey and Cherry Black.

A special two-tone treatment is available on GT Line at no extra cost for Clear White with Cherry Black Roof and Starbright Yellow with Cherry Black Roof.

2020 Kia Seltos


Space is the first impression.

The driver’s seat, even in the entry level model was relatively comfortable, more so in the GT line. In front of the driver is a typical Kia steering wheel and a large instrument binnacle. It’s huge and easy to read.

In the base models, some touch points for elbows are hard plastic, but in higher spec models are padded. The difference is noticeable. There is plenty of storage for cups, bottles etc.

2020 Kia Seltos

At the centre of the dashboard is a ‘floating’ infotainment system, 10.25 inches in top spec models. I’m not a fan of the stuck on tablet look, but I know others love it. The graphics were clear, but the colours seemed washed out and I disliked the orange coloured speed indicator. It was however, easy to operate.

Below this are physical dials to control the car’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning, providing a highly-ergonomic and tactile way to control the cabin environment. I prefer this style to those where you need to go into a menu on the screen.

2020 Kia Seltos 8 S with Safety FWD 2.0

Rear seats are good for this class and provide space all around. GT Line features vents in the rear for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, as well as a USB charger for rear occupants’ mobile devices and a small tray to hold them.

The rear seat back can also recline and with a temporary spare the trunk provides a cavernous space with fold flat seats.

Model Walk Up

Like a lot of KIA the Seltos is jam packed with features, even the entry level ‘S’ model for the price.

S Model includes as standard

  • AEB (car and pedestrian),
  • an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto,
  • Lane Keeping Assist,
  • Cruise Control,
  • Driver Attention Alert,
  • halogen Daytime Running Lights,
  • reversing camera with dynamic guidelines,
  • rear parking sensors,
  • six airbags, six speakers and
  • Auto headlights.

2020 Kia Seltos 3 GT-Line AWD 1.6T INTERIOR DETAIL

The optional safety pack brings

  • full AEB (car, pedestrian, cyclist),
  • Advanced Smart Cruise Control,
  • Driver Attention Alert+, electronic parking brake,
  • electric folding mirrors,
  • auto up and down driver’s window and
  • 15-inch rear disc brakes.

2020 Kia Seltos 7 S with Safety FWD 2.0

Step up to Sport and the extra equipment includes

  • 17-inch alloy wheels,
  • 25-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto,
  • satellite navigation with SUNA traffic and 10-year MapCare updates,
  • single zone climate control,
  • electric folding mirrors,
  • auto up and down driver’s window,
  • auto window defogger,
  • front halogen fog light,
  • solar windows and
  • Full size spare.

The option Safety Pack adds

  • full AEB,
  • Advanced Smart Cruise Control,
  • Driver Attention Alert+,
  • electronic parking brake and
  • 15-inch rear disc brakes.

2020 Kia Seltos 6 Sport+ AWD 1.6T

For Sport+ there is the addition of

  • cloth and artificial leather seats,
  • full AEB,
  • Driver Attention Alert+,
  • Advanced Smart Cruise Control,
  • Blind Spot Detection,
  • Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist,
  • smart key with push button start,
  • smart remote start,
  • electronic parking brake,
  • heated side mirrors,
  • LED interior lights,
  • electrochromic rearview mirror,
  • front parking sensors,
  • luggage screen and
  • 15-inch rear disc brakes.

GT Line adds:

  • Sunroof (not available with two-tone paint),
  • 18-inch alloy wheels,
  • interior sound mood lighting,
  • 8-speaker BOSE premium sound system,
  • fast wireless phone charger,
  • 7-inch driver instrument cluster,
  • 0 inch Head-Up Display,
  • premium artificial leather seats,
  • powered driver and front passenger seat,
  • heated and ventilated front seats,
  • LED headlights,
  • LED daylight running lights,
  • LED front fog light,
  • rain sensing wipers,
  • Lane Following Assist,
  • Safe Exit Alert and
  • Aeroblade wipers.

2020 Kia Seltos 9 S with Safety FWD 2.0

Engine and Drivetrain

S, Sport and Sport+ front-wheel drive versions are powered by a four-cylinder 2.0-litre MPI Atkinson cycle engine producing 110kW and 180Nm coupled to the latest generation CVT.

Sport+ and GT Line all-wheel drive versions feature the 1.6T-GDI coupled to a 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission producing 130kW and 265Nm.

2020 Kia Seltos 2 GT-Line AWD 1.6T

Seltos is equipped with a Drive Mode Select system that lets drivers adapt the car to their preferred style or the road conditions. Drivers can choose from ‘Normal’, ‘Eco’ and ‘Sport’ mode.

The Eco mode is tuned to maximize vehicle range by using fuel-saving measures, while Sport mode increases turn-in responses from the steering and electric motor to maximize the dynamic driving feel of the car. Normal mode provides a careful balance between the two.

All models for Australia will have the bespoke local ride and handling package. On the launch the effectiveness was evident with a combination of freeway and back road driving.

Ironically the 2.0L 2WD versions, with higher profile tyres and different rear suspension seemed more composed on the rougher back roads and the 1.6. GT AWD version more composed on the freeway.


Full range of advanced active safety systems available, as standard in the GT Line and as a $1000 option pack in lower spec models.

Seltos is yet to receive its ANCAP rating.

Refer to the Model Walk Up section for individual specifications.

Good Bits

  • Value for money
  • Adaptive Cruise control can be selective
  • Infotainment and connectivity technology

Not so Good Bits

  • Hard plastic on lower specs.
  • Safety as an option
  • Prefer normal auto transmission

2020 Kia Seltos 5 Sport+ AWD 1.6T


Kia has issued a strong challenge in the smaller SUV segment. They predict that 80% will be 2WD versions and urban based.

In some ways this is a misnomer, having a 2WD SUV as the benefits if AWD safety far outweigh any weight or fuel savings from 2WD only. But that is a decision buyers will make.

The Seltos is really two different vehicles, the 2WD and the AWD. With different engines, suspension and drivetrains for each.

However, either choice will see buyers get a spacious, quality vehicle at a sharp price.

Also Look At

 Facts and Figures: 2020 Kia Seltos SUV

  • Engine: 1.4L four-cylinder turbo petrol producing 110kW/2500Nm
  • Transmission: Seven-speed dual clutch or CVT
  • Warranty: 7 Year/ unlimited km 7 Yr. Roadside Assist
  • Safety: TBC
  • Origin: Gwangju, Korea
  • Price: See below

Pricing (drive away):

  • S             FWD      $25,990
  • Sport     FWD      $29,490
  • Sport+   FWD      $32,990


  • Sport+   AWD      $36,490
  • GT Line  AWD      $41,990


  • Safety Pack (available on S and Sport)       $1000
  • Premium Paint    $520

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