Kia debuts the compact Seltos crossover in Delhi
21 June 2019 - Autoblog
Features, materials and detailing aimed at 'youthful, tech-savvy buyers'
The Kia Seltos has had an unusual gestation, with two concepts, exterior sketches, interior sketches, an effective reveal during a photo shoot, a christening via mythology and more teasers. Even so, since the Kia Seltos small crossover began as last year's SP concept for the Indian market, it's fitting Kia hosted the production model's debut in Delhi. We're still missing a few details, like the look of the production interior and drivetrain options, but we have a bit more to go on.
The detailing and materials are what could set the Seltos apart in the segment. The overall lines are familiar, however, Kia designers have worked to make those lines lyric instead of prosaic. The front fascia's been defined by three transverse metallic-look pieces shaping the upper and lower forms. The wide tiger-nose grille gets bracketed by crisp splashes of color with the LED headlights and intricate turn signals. The rear end's creasing, shadow and metallic effects are bounded by LED taillights and more "3D multi-layer indicators."
We've seen renderings of the interior and know to expect a 10.25-inch infotainment screen atop the instrument panel. That screen display can be split up to show three infotainment applications at once. Kia says there will be an available eight-inch heads-up display on a glass panel behind the steering wheel. Optional eight-speaker Bose audio can pump tunes that guide the optional Sound Mood Lighting, which uses ambient lighting to create a light show timed to the beat.
Indian buyers will have a choice of a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder with 175 horsepower, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 147 hp, and a 1.6-liter diesel four with 134 hp. Kia didn't specify how the transmission options will be assigned, but the selection includes a seven-speed dual-clutch, a six-speed automatic, and a CVT. A three-mode driving selector offers Eco, Normal, and Sport. The Kia release said "Sport mode increases responses from steering and electric motor to maximize the dynamic driving feel." As there's no mention of hybridization, we wonder if the electric motor refers to the electrically-assisted power steering, or something else.
Wheel choices for India start with 16-inch alloys on 205/60 rubber, moving on to 17-inchers on 215/55 rubber, topping out at 18-inch wheels on 235/45 tires.
In one of the interior drawings, we noted buttons that appeared to control all-wheel drive, hill descent control, and a locking rear differential. Kia has stayed mum on all that, so we'd expect another reveal for more markets to come soon enough.