2020 KIA Seltos

Clever old KIA continues its classic hit parade with new Seltos, and what a peach it is.

In this video review, David and I travel some of the best Queensland driving roads on offer. Some poor sod googled “hot gay boys” and got our channel. None the less, we were proud to show him what we had.

But, back to the car.

There are a lot of KIA firsts with technology and innovation receiving an equal punt to good looks and comfort.

Journalists rolled lazily through lush farmland, with bright red soil peeping through like rubies, scattered across velvet green fields.

South East Queensland is awash with bucolic B and B’s, with the land trimmed by pristine, white, sandy, beaches. We were headed for Noosa, and its bejewelled Hastings Street.

What’s new in KIA Seltos?

The name comes from Celtos, the son of Hercules. KIA stuck an S in, in a hopeful attempt to herald speed and sportiness.

By-George, I think they’ve done it.

There is a bevy of bright new buttons. Mood lighting pulses eerily with the beat of your music. The fit-inducing strobes can be turned off, where I’m sure most people will leave it.

The top models are lavished with a 10.25” hi-definition screen, which can split its use between functions. Navigation, Apple Carplay/Android Auto and other apps are used like you would on your trusty smart phone

What about the oily bits?

Dagnabit, KIA glued a wretched CVT on to its 2.0L 4 pot. “No”, I cried.

I sulked soporifically in to my stew for the rest of the day. “It won’t do, it won’t do at all,” I said, as I crossed my arms and pouted. Once I stopped being a drama queen, I realised the CVT, while not top of my pops, wasn’t all that bad.

Performance is not what Seltos is about, but that doesn’t mean it is a slob, oh no.

If you want more pork on your fork, the 1.6 turbo adds just the right amount of chilli, but it is still more of a rogan josh than a vindaloo.

In relative terms, these two engines merely sip the champers, getting 6.8 and 7.6L/100km respectively.

Where the 1.6 streaks ahead of its more humble cousin, is in the transmission department. Instead of the indecisive CVT with its infinitely variable ratios, there a 7 speed DCT (dual clutch trans mission). It’s a peach. KIA hasn’t had the shots fired across its bow like VW and Ford, whose dual clutch transmissions regularly fell over.

That is one of the many reasons every KIA has a 7 year warranty with roadside assist.

See other KIA reviews below:

What is KIA Seltos like to drive?

It is a peach.

Graeme Gambold, of Suspensions-R-Us, waves a white-gloved hand over every new KIA model. Not only has he set the suspension just so, he has gotten at the steering too. Seltos has a system from a new provider which allows calibrated assistance for turning in to, and out of a corner.

That may not mean much to the average punter, but a dab hand on the track will feel the burn.

Buyers who fancy a luxurious ride will find Seltos right up their street. Korean cars have a suppleness right up there with brands you pay many more shekels for.

We traversed terrible tracks, but Seltos is as much at home on highways. That is where the DCT was best. I’d happily long-haul myself into a frenzy.

Our top model had fancy mutli-link rear suspension, with the front wheel drive models having a torsion beam set up.

There are loads of Driver Aids and Safety Gizmos.

The Blind Spot Monitor gives you eyes in the back of your head. It beeps and shows a flashing symbol in the side mirrors, driver instruments, and HUD. The HUD is a nifty flip-up screen like fighter jets use.

Active steering keeps you centred in the lane, unless you indicate to change lanes. If the system sees a car you’ve missed, it will still try and stop you from having an accident.

AEB (autonomous emergency braking) will throw out the anchors if the system sees a car or bike in front. Better still, it will warn you if there is something behind when reversing. It tells you which direction it is coming from.

You’ll never bang in to another tradie at Bunnings again, unless you want to of course.

For a full list of tasty treats, see KIA HERE.

What’s my verdict?

KIA steps up its game with every new model. Seltos turns that up another notch.

The exterior is pretty beyond belief. The interiors are delicious. There is a distinct improvement in the ambience of the cabin, and technology has been laid on with a trowel.

Seltos is being marketed as an SUV, but family hatch lovers won’t feel out of place.

Seltos is close to being most things to most people.

KIA Seltos: S, Sport, Sport+, GT Line


2.0L 4cyl , 110kw/180Nm, 2WD, CVT

Econ: 6.8 L/100km, 157 gm/km CO2

1.6L turbo 4cyl , 130kw/265Nm, AWD, CVT

Econ: 7.6 L/100km, 175 gm/km CO2, 7 sp DCT

Warranty: 7 years/unlimited km/roadside assist

Safety: untested

Origin: Korea

Price: $25,990 – $41,990 drive away