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2023 Kia Seltos review | CarExpert

The Kia Seltos has shortly risen to fame as one of the vital sought-after small SUVs within the Australian market.

Whereas it’s not setting the gross sales charts on fireplace because of constrained provide from Korea, the Seltos has cemented itself as a favorite amongst the punters in addition to journalists. It’s no marvel persons are keen to attend 12-18 months or longer for one.

However, it’s simply a small Kia SUV… what’s so nice about it? Properly, the Seltos packs huge automobile house and high-end tech from the Hyundai-Kia Group in an reasonably priced, city-friendly package deal. And now, it’s simply obtained a considerable mid-life replace.

There’s extra tech and extra options throughout the vary, largely primarily based on client suggestions, in addition to an upgraded drivetrain for all-wheel drive (AWD) fashions – which get extra energy and a smoother eight-speed auto.

Kia Australia is forecasting an allocation of simply 10,000 autos for 2023, so do you have to be lining up for one?

How a lot does the Kia Seltos value?

Costs are up nominally throughout the vary, with high-spec fashions topic to the largest markups of round $2900.

The vary now begins at $29,500 plus on-road prices or $31,690 drive-away for the entry-level S, climbing to $44,900 or $47,690 drive-away for the flagship GT-Line AWD. Drive-away costs are present as of launch, and will change over time.

New to the vary is the supply of the two.0 MPi FWD drivetrain throughout all variants – together with the top-spec GT-Line. Kia Australia stated sturdy buyer response to the pre-facelift GT-Line Restricted Version led it to bringing the trim and powertrain mixture full-time as a part of the up to date line-up.

Regardless of the will increase, the Seltos’s broad unfold of variants and worth brackets makes it very aggressive in opposition to a variety of sunshine and small SUVs.

2023 Kia Seltos pricing:

  • Kia Seltos S 2.0 FWD: $29,500 (+$2210)
  • Kia Seltos Sport 2.0 FWD: $32,700 (+$2410)
  • Kia Seltos Sport+ 2.0 FWD: $35,800 (+$2010)
  • Kia Seltos Sport+ 1.6T AWD: $39,300 (+$2010)
  • Kia Seltos GT-Line 2.0 FWD: $41,500 (+$2710)
  • Kia Seltos GT-Line 1.6T AWD: $44,900 (+$2200)

Costs are earlier than on-road prices

Kia can also be promoting nationwide drive-away pricing:

  • Kia Seltos S 2.0 FWD: $31,690 (+$2400)
  • Kia Seltos Sport 2.0 FWD: $35,390 (+$2600)
  • Kia Seltos Sport+ 2.0 FWD: $38,490 (+$2200)
  • Kia Seltos Sport+ 1.6T AWD: $41,990 (+$2200)
  • Kia Seltos GT-Line 2.0 FWD: $44,590 (+$2900)
  • Kia Seltos GT-Line 1.6T AWD: $47,690 (+$2400)

MORE: 2023 Kia Seltos worth and specs

What’s the Kia Seltos like on the within?

Being a mid-life facelift, the inside of the Seltos hasn’t been overhauled, however the refinements are pretty important.

Sport variants and up get a graceful new all-digital cockpit incorporating twin 10.25-inch shows for the instrument cluster and touchscreen infotainment show. It’s mainly been taken out of the Niro eco-crossover – Seltos S fashions get an 8.0-inch touchscreen sans navigation, and a ‘Fundamental’ digital instrument cluster with a 4.2-inch LCD supervision show.

It’s acquainted Hyundai-Kia fare by way of the pores and skin and interface, mirroring what’s accessible elsewhere within the vary. The shows themselves are excessive decision, supply snappy loading instances, and clean, fluid animations.

GT-Line variants additionally get a color head-up show through pop-up polariser, which whereas not as high-tech or built-in as a windscreen-projected unit locations key data like pace, navigation prompts and help features within the driver’s line of sight – it’s a disgrace this isn’t provided additional down within the vary.

What distinguishes the Seltos from most present Kia fashions is that it comes commonplace with Kia Join on-line providers for fashions with this digital cockpit i.e. Seltos Sport and up. It means you get linked navigation, a net-based voice assistant, and app-based distant features – you possibly can learn all about it right here.

Kia Join is free for seven years, which means proudly owning the Seltos throughout the guarantee interval doesn’t include any added prices or subscriptions to entry the total know-how suite. By comparability, Toyota has simply launched the Corolla Cross with only one yr of Toyota Related Providers, with ongoing month-to-month charges of as much as $20 monthly thereafter.

If you happen to’re not utilizing the native system, there’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, although nonetheless wired on the ten.25-inch infotainment unit with satellite tv for pc navigation. It feels contradictory to tout the high-tech linked providers and have suite, however nonetheless must wire in your telephone rendering the wi-fi telephone charger accessible in higher-spec fashions redundant.

In any other case, it’s the identical as we’ve stated beforehand for different Kia fashions. It’s one of many extra user-friendly techniques to make use of and it presents a pleasant catalogue of performance.

Under the screens is a revised local weather management pod, which options extra bodily buttons and likewise is the place the relocated exhausting controls for the infotainment system are actually positioned. Some might discover the position of the infotainment controls low down much less intuitive than having them on both facet of the display, however that’s down to private choice.

The Seltos retains its sensible cabinets and cubbies to retailer issues; together with a shelf in your telephone which doubles up as a wi-fi telephone charger in GT-Line fashions, one other cubby underneath that enormous sufficient to swallow wallets and keys, in addition to a centre console with cupholders and a slot for the automobile key, or McDonald’s chips (as demonstrated on my Instagram Tales).

Materials high quality stays a little bit of a downside in comparison with benchmarks within the phase, with the inside being nearly completely exhausting, scratchy plastics that make even a Cerato really feel luxurious, however Kia’s typical stable construct high quality in any other case stays.

Choosing the GT-Line additionally brings an eight-speaker Bose premium audio system. We didn’t get an opportunity to check it at launch, however in earlier evaluations of the Seltos GT-Line we’ve described it as “fairly good, with out an excessive amount of distortion or disagreeable vibrations throughout bass-heavy tunes”.

The second row is the place the Seltos is without doubt one of the class leaders, providing segment-busting passenger house that goes as far to make it aggressive in opposition to class-up alternate options just like the Mazda CX-5.

New for 2023 are commonplace rear air vents throughout the vary, beforehand reserved for the GT-Line, in addition to USB-C charging factors on the rear of the centre console. Props to Kia for lastly rolling this out throughout the line-up.

At a contact over 6’1 I can sit comfortably behind my very own long-legged driving place, with above common head and knee room. There’s additionally loads of glasshouse so your youngsters received’t get automobile sick, and the rear bench is good and broad so you possibly can squeeze three abreast for brief journeys if it’s essential to.

ISOFIX and top-tether factors function within the rear, in addition to a map pocket behind the entrance passenger seat. Sport+ and GT-Line grades get a fold-down centre armrest with cupholders, and there are additionally bottle holders within the rear doorways of all grades.

Behind the segment-leading rear seats is without doubt one of the largest boots within the class.

All fashions bar the entry-level S – which function a full-size spare – get 433 litres of quantity with the rear seats in play, whereas the bottom mannequin with its space-saver spare will get 468L. That’s about as a lot as a Mazda CX-5 (442 litres).

Fold the rear seats down and that determine expands to 1428 litres within the Seltos S, and 1393 litres for the whole lot else. The brand new Nissan Qashqai bests it with the seats down (1524-1513L), however presents much less capability in five-seat configuration.

As talked about above, the Seltos S will get a space-saver spare underneath the boot flooring, whereas all different variants get a full-size alloy spare. GT-Line fashions additionally get a brand new energy tailgate.

What’s underneath the bonnet?

As earlier than, two powertrains can be found relying in your variant of alternative.

The bottom possibility is a 2.0-litre MPi four-cylinder naturally-aspirated petrol working the environment friendly Atkinson cycle, which drives the entrance wheels as commonplace through a constantly variable transmission (CVT). Outputs for this engine are the identical because the pre-facelift Seltos, quoted at 110kW (6200rpm) and 180Nm (4500rpm).

Gas use within the Seltos FWD is rated at 6.9 litres per 100km on the mixed ADR cycle. It may run on 91 RON common unleaded and presents a 50-litre gas tank.

One of many headline adjustments for the facelifted mannequin is the upgraded Smartstream 1.6-litre T-GDi four-cylinder turbo petrol engine accessible on Sport+ and GT-Line grades, which now will get extra energy and a brand new transmission.

Kia quotes outputs of 146kW (6000rpm) and 265Nm (1600-4500rpm), which is up 16kW over the outdated non-Smartstream unit. Conversely, gas use is down – quoted at 7.4L/100km on the mixed cycle, a 0.2L/100km enchancment.

These outputs are channelled to an on-demand all-wheel drive (AWD) system through a brand new eight-speed computerized transmission with torque converter, changing the outdated seven-speed dual-clutch computerized. Kia confirmed the Seltos’s eight-speeder is a model of the unit used within the bigger Sportage and Sorento.

A part of the developments is Hyundai and Kia’s constantly variable valve timing (CVVD) know-how, aligning the Seltos with different fashions within the Hyundai-Kia secure such because the i30 Sedan, Kona and Sportage.

By regulating the period of valve opening and shutting to go well with driving circumstances, the up to date engine can obtain as much as a 3.0 per cent enchancment in efficiency in addition to a 3.0 per cent enchancment in gas effectivity.

That is mirrored within the efficiency specs, which Kia detailed throughout the media presentation. Zero to 100km/h takes 8.4 seconds (-0.1s), whereas 80-120km/h takes 5.7 seconds (-0.5s). A much less related metric is prime pace, which has elevated by 10km/h to 210km/h.

Like the two.0-litre, Seltos 1.6T AWD fashions get a 50-litre gas tank and are rated to run on 91 RON common unleaded.

How does the Kia Seltos drive?

Our launch drive took us from Sydney’s inside suburbs out to Lithgow within the Blue Mountains, over a mixture of suburban streets, freeways and highways, in addition to winding mountain again roads.

I additionally travelled to Gerringong after which again to Sydney to attend the Peugeot 308 launch, so I had loads of wheel time within the Seltos throughout a variety of environments and site visitors circumstances.

The Kia’s driving traits are well-documented, and for probably the most half this new mannequin upholds its predecessor’s strengths whereas additionally making some enhancements – notably in 1.6 T-GDi AWD variants.

Kia Australia even admitted it retained the outdated mannequin’s locally-developed journey and dealing with tune, so the general on-road character is essentially the identical.

Which means the Seltos strikes a pleasant steadiness between consolation and engagement throughout all trim ranges. The steering is correct and calmly weighted for on a regular basis use, whereas the pliant journey doesn’t come on the expense of dealing with.

Throughout my journey all the way down to Gerringong specifically, I took the again approach by the winding high-speed Abercrombie Highway which actually demonstrated the Seltos’s spectacular physique management and cornering talents. This isn’t a correct corner-carving crossover making an attempt to be a scorching hatch, however the Seltos is certainly one of many extra linked autos within the phase.

Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) additionally obtained consideration on this replace, and whereas the pre-facelift mannequin was already good for the category, the brand new one is extra refined once more.

Kia says it added extra sound-absorbing supplies within the flooring carpet, door trims, wheel guards and C-pillars to mitigate street noise. Because of this, the brand new Seltos claims to be 0.3dBA quieter with street noise than the outdated mannequin.

Additional, the exhaust system has been retuned for decreased acceleration noise, which contributes to a 1dBA claimed enchancment for two.0 MPi fashions. In a phase the place some rivals can get fairly noisy on something however excellent bitumen, these attributes make the Seltos a sensible choice if you need a compact SUV that may do the odd street journey.

Efficiency-wise, the two.0 MPi FWD variations are just about unchanged. Hold it sedate and the petrol-CVT combo makes clean if leisurely progress, although underneath tougher throttle it may get slightly noisy.

The bottom powertrain has lengthy been my choose because of its smoothness and refinement in regular driving, and relative effectivity regardless of missing idle cease/begin know-how that’s changing into more and more frequent in rivals and helpful throughout high-traffic commutes.

However now, the 1.6 T-GDi AWD might effectively be the higher choose. The brand new eight-speed auto is a marked enchancment over the elastic, sling-shotty outdated DCT.

It’s smoother and extra constant on upshifts, has extra cogs to play with and settles higher on the freeway consequently. The revised drivetrain makes the Seltos really feel fairly grown up, and undoubtedly goes an extended solution to making up the $3500 premium over the equal FWD model.

Extra torque decrease down within the rev vary makes the Seltos AWD extra sprightly in all eventualities, and it builds tempo surprisingly shortly – although it doesn’t sound all that inspiring. General it’s now the extra rounded possibility.

My prolonged stint within the Seltos Sport+ 1.6 T-GDi AWD was met with a wide selection of climate circumstances, from sunshine to rain, even snow and a little bit of hail (in the midst of November, I do know!) on my solution to Gerringong.

The surety of all-wheel drive meant there was loads of grip in hostile climate and a few looser surfaces, in addition to driving over roads that had loads of dust and particles from current storms and floods. It actually impressed a variety of confidence.

It’s a disgrace there’s no paddle shifters even on the GT-Line to higher management shifts your self, although you should use the gear shifter to do that.

Sport mode was good for the undulating sections of high-speed street by the mountains, holding gears so that you don’t get caught in a torque gap if the terrain adjustments all of the sudden.

Whereas the Seltos has an enhanced array of help techniques at its disposal, some elements go away slightly to be desired.

The largest annoyance is the brand new Clever Velocity Restrict Help, which defaults to on and always bongs and chimes when the pace restrict adjustments, you go barely over the pace restrict, and should you’re 3km/h over the past detected pace restrict – even when it’s missed the newest chime.

It interrupts your music, telephone calls, however most significantly your sanity, to the purpose the place you end up diving by the settings menus within the infotainment system to show it off. Then, it’s a must to do it another time if you begin the automobile as a result of you possibly can’t preserve it off.

The adaptive cruise management labored principally positive in our Sport+ check automobile, however at instances can be caught effectively underneath or effectively over the set pace on sharper inclines or declines. My predominant challenge with the adaptive cruise function isn’t its performance both, it’s the actual fact you merely can’t get it on the S and Sport grades anymore, at the same time as an possibility.

Sure, blind-spot help and rear cross-traffic help are worthy inclusions, and are maybe favoured over adaptive cruise management by the Seltos’s goal demographic. However when most rivals supply the tech as commonplace or at minimal an possibility from the bottom stage, it’s a disgrace that you just’ll now must stump for not less than the Sport+ to get it now that Kia Australia has carried out away with the Security Pack possibility.

Can we additionally discuss all however the GT-Line getting halogen headlights?

It’s actually irritating that it’s essential to spend upwards of $40,000 to get a Kia Seltos with first rate lighting.

The bottom halogen models are fairly common, as demonstrated by our headlight comparability, they usually simply look low-cost too – absolutely it’s not that rather more cash to get the LED lighting models throughout the vary Kia?

Anyway, not less than there’s commonplace dusk-sensing and auto high-beam. However, windscreen wipers are solely computerized on the GT-Line – once more, WHY?

What do you get?

Seltos S highlights:

  • 16-inch alloy wheels (NEW)
  • Electrical folding facet mirrors (NEW)
  • Mirror-mounted facet indicators (NEW)
  • Black Matte grille
  • Physique-coloured door handles
  • Halogen headlights, projector kind
  • Halogen daytime working lights
  • Nightfall-sensing headlights
  • Rear fog mild
  • Roof rails
  • Fundamental digital instrument cluster (NEW)
  • 4.2-inch multi-function LCD driver show (NEW)
  • Fabric seats
  • 6-speaker sound system
  • 8.0-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay (wi-fi)
  • Android Auto (wired, wi-fi)
  • Halogen inside lighting
  • Rear air vents (NEW)
  • Entrance, rear USB-C cost ports (NEW)
  • Area saver spare wheel
  • Handbook air-conditioning
  • Drive Mode Choose
    • incl. Eco, Regular, Sport, Sensible
  • 12V outlet in entrance tray

Seltos Sport provides:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels (NEW design)
  • Entrance fog lights
  • Roof rails
  • Photo voltaic Glass
  • 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster
  • 10.25-inch infotainment system
  • DAB digital radio
  • Kia Join
  • Satellite tv for pc navigation
  • Sounds of Nature
  • Wired Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • Premium steering wheel, shifter
  • Auto up/down driver window
  • Single-zone local weather management
  • Auto defog

Seltos Sport+ provides:

  • Adaptive cruise management with cease/go
  • AEB with Bicycle owner, Junction help
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Fabric/leatherette seat trim
  • Driver Consideration Alert
  • Digital park brake incl. Auto Maintain
  • Heated electrical facet mirrors
  • LED inside lighting
  • Lead Automobile Departure Alert
  • Rear centre arm relaxation
  • Rear privateness glass
  • Sensible key, push-button begin

Seltos GT-Line provides:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels (NEW design)
  • LED headlights, projector kind
  • LED daytime working lights
  • LED fog lights
  • LED tail lights
  • Premium Gloss Black grille mesh
  • Satin silver belt line
  • Tilt, slide sunroof (N/A with two-tone roof)
  • Energy tailgate (NEW)
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Head-up show
  • Wi-fi telephone charger
  • 8-speaker Bose premium sound system
  • Inside ambient lighting
  • Sound Temper Lamp
  • Parcel shelf
  • Premium synthetic leather-based upholstery
  • Heated, flat-bottom steering wheel (NEW)
  • Heated, ventilated entrance seats
  • 10-way energy driver’s seat incl. 2-way energy lumbar
  • 2-position driver reminiscence perform (NEW)
  • 8-way energy entrance passenger seat


  • Mars Orange
  • Pluton Blue*
  • Snow White Pearl*
  • Metal Gray*
  • Gravity Gray*
  • Fusion Black*
  • Neptune Blue*
  • Pluton Blue & Fusion Black roof^
  • Clear White & Fusion Black roof^

*Premium paint prices $520 additional
^Two-tone roof removes sunroof; GT-Line solely

Is the Kia Seltos protected?

The Seltos wears a five-star ANCAP security score primarily based off assessments carried out on the pre-facelift mannequin in 2019.

It obtained an grownup occupant safety rating of 85 per cent, little one occupant safety rating of 83 per cent, susceptible street consumer safety rating of 61 per cent, and a security help rating of 70 per cent.

Commonplace security options embrace:

  • 6 airbags
  • AEB with Pedestrian detection
  • Blind-spot help (NEW)
  • Rear cross-traffic help (NEW)
  • Excessive Beam Help
  • Clever Velocity Restrict Help (NEW)
  • Lane Following Help (NEW)
  • Lane preserve help
  • Secure Exit Warning (NEW)
  • Entrance (NEW), rear parking sensors
  • Reversing digicam
  • Driver Consideration Alert
  • Rear Occupant Alet

Seltos Sport provides:

  • eCall perform through Kia Join

Seltos Sport+ provides:

  • AEB with Bicycle owner, Junction help
  • Adaptive cruise management with cease/go
  • Main Automobile Departure Alert

How a lot does the Kia Seltos value to run?

The Seltos continues to be coated by Kia’s seven-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee with capped-price servicing for a similar interval and roadside help for as much as proper years. Kia Join is complementary for seven years additionally.

Kia can even offer you free map updates in your satellite tv for pc navigation system (the place relevant) for as much as 10 years,

Scheduled upkeep is required each 12 months or 15,000km for the two.0 MPi, or barely shorter 10,000km intervals for the 1.6 T-GDi. Kia Australia says it’s international coverage for its turbo fashions to have shorter intervals.

The Seltos 2.0 MPi will set you again $288, $494, $352, $614, $324, $624 and $344 for the primary seven visits ($3040), whereas the 1.6 T-GDi prices $308, $500, $373, $651, $346, $630 and $671 ($3479). Each value simply over $2000 over 5 years, which is aggressive with most manufacturers aside from Honda and Toyota.

We weren’t in a position to precisely gauge real-world gas economic system given the character of the routes pushed, however we did see 5.5-6.0L/100km on prolonged, flat freeway sections and 8-9L/100km on the town and thru a few of the hilly, extra spirited sections in each engine variants. Might be higher, however could possibly be worse.

Keep tuned for a extra correct studying as soon as we get the Seltos by the CarExpert storage.

CarExpert’s Tackle the Kia Seltos

The Seltos stays one of many picks of the small SUV phase, and regardless of business developments the up to date vary hasn’t been met with sharp worth will increase to go together with the extra fulsome specification checklist throughout the line-up.

As earlier than, the Seltos is without doubt one of the extra sensible autos in its class, mixing its load-lugging capabilities with polished on-road manners that even add a splash of enthusiasm. The brand new digital shows accessible throughout a lot of the vary actually transfer the cabin upmarket, and the vary of Kia Join providers are additionally considerably distinctive at this finish of the market.

Fashions with the turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive are extra worthy of consideration than ever, because of the additional grunt on supply in addition to the wonderful new transmission. Kia’s CVVD engine tech additionally means it’s extra environment friendly than the outdated one, too.

However that’s to not say there aren’t nonetheless drawbacks.

LED lighting continues to be reserved for the flagship GT-Line which in comparison with rivals is a bit behind the instances, the Clever Velocity Restrict Help comes off extra annoying and dim-witted, and options accessible in South Korea just like the 360-degree digicam system, rotary shift-by-wire dial and prolonged vary of exterior and inside choices stay off the desk for the Australian market.

We’d additionally prefer to see Kia take initiative and supply fuel-saving applied sciences like idle cease/begin regardless of the absence of Australian gas requirements and emissions rules, whereas the unavailability of adaptive cruise management till the Sport+ grade now that the Security Pack is not an possibility on decrease grades is one other head-scratcher.

That stated, few rivals supply such a well-rounded package deal for a broad vary of demographics, and the Seltos will little question enchantment to the younger, outdated, single, coupled and kid-laden Australian public alike.

Click on the photographs for the total gallery

MORE: Every thing Kia Seltos

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