2020 Kia Seltos Review | Asian Car Guide
March 5, 2021

2020 Kia Seltos Review

2020 kia seltos suv

The Kia Seltos first appeared in South Korea in July 2019, with Australia’s launch in October 2019. (The Seltos name refers to the son of Hercules – and the marketing focus is indeed on young buyers).

This is called a compact SUV, but it is not much smaller than the existing mid-sized Sportage. Long wheelbase and maximised use of space inside make it capable of comfortably housing 5 occupants with plenty of leg, shoulder and head space all around.

Comparing this new SUV to Kia’s existing Sportage, there are a number marked differences. The front has layers of wide curving surfaces, and a wide clam-shell look bonnet and diamond pattern grill, with lights and openings all part of that transformation.

The straight line bottom of the clam-shell bonnet continues along the side, fading into the front door, and then re-appearing on the back door to sweep around the rear, to give a distinctive styling to the car.

Overall it’s intriguing and interesting.

Although you might say the general shape is similar, the front has very different treatment to the Sportage. Another difference is the angled up-sweep of the back corner pillars, creating better rear vision for the driver than the Sportage rear pillers, which rise vertically and obstruct vision more.

The four Australian specification grades for the 2020 Kia Seltos are S, Sport, Sport+ and GT-Line.

Both the S and Sport are front-wheel drive with naturally aspirated multi-point injected 2 litre 4 cylinder engine and CVT transmission, and both with safety pack option ($1000 extra).

Sport+ with 2-litre engine, or with smaller but more powerful 1.6 litre turbocharged 4 cylinder engine, coupled with a more fancy 2nd generation 7-speed dual clutch transmission, CVT or DCT and FWD or active AWD (part-time and lockable), and 2-litre engine option.

The GT-Line is only available with 1.6 litre turbo engine, DCT and active AWD. This variant has Led lighting.

The GT-Line model is clearly the preferred choice, and costs the most, however, we had the 2-litre base model S grade to try out, and found its performance to be very satisfying.

As with all Hyundai and Kia models, this car was tuned under the exhaustive Local Ride and Handling program over thousands of kilometres, to adapt it where necessary for Australian conditions, and driving it around; we found it to be very dynamically competent, tight and precise on manoeuvring, and adept at absorbing and handling speed humps and road corrugations.

The electrically powered steering functions really well with lots of feedback.

The CVT transmission is excellent, and the 2 Litre motor is responsive with very adequate power for its intended use. No doubt the 1.6-litre turbo would be even better.

Inside the new Kia Seltos

Adjustability, versatility, and forward-thinking features were top of mind in the design, with a simplified and elegant layout.

Some features include:

  • 10.5 inch HD touch screen
  • Ventilated and heated front seats
  • Bose premium speaker system with sub-woofer on GT-Line
  • Sound mood lighting
  • Fast wireless charging
  • Optional sliding sun-roof

Driving aids and safety systems include:

  • Advanced high-strength steel chassis
  • Active or passive cruise control
  • Tilting and telescoping steering
  • AEB
  • Side door impact beams (front & rear)
  • Anti-lock Braking System
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Downhill Brake Control
  • Hill-start Assist
  • Seatbelt warning chime and light on all positions
  • Reverse park sensors & front on Sport+
  • Park sensor dash display
  • Rear-view camera with dynamic parking guidelines
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Driver Attention Alert
  • High-mount rear stop light
  • Halogen daytime running lights
  • Dusk-sensing automatic headlights
  • Rear fog light
  • Child restraint anchorage points (3 anchors + 2 ISOFIX positions)
  • 3-Point ELR seatbelts on all positions

The Kia Seltos has quite a big range of specification options available, depending on how much you want to spend, but knowing that the base model is very impressive, take it from there.

It is very impressively styled and current and is really good to drive, roomy and capable.

The engine needs a service every 15,000km or 12 months, and servicing rounds out to approximately $380 per year.

2020 Kia Seltos Specifications:

  • Engine: 2L naturally aspirated multi-point injected inline 4 cylinder, or 1.6L turbo 4 cyl
  • Transmission: CVT or DCT
  • Max Power kW: 110 @ 6,200, 130 @ 6,000
  • Max Torque Nm: 180 @ 4,500, 265 @ 1,500~4,500
  • Suspension: Macpherson strut front, coupled torsion beam or multilink rear
  • Fuel: regular unleaded, 50 Litres tank
  • Economy L/100km: 5.5/8.8 or 6.3/9.5
  • Dimensions mm: L 4,370 W 1,800 H 1,650 WB 2,630
  • Luggage Litres: 433, 1393 rear seats down
  • Turning Circle metres: 10.6
  • Tare Weight kg: 1,355, 1,470 with DCT
  • Towing kg: 600, 1,100 braked, 1,250 with DCT, 130 tow-ball download

Cost: Drive away prices on offer when checked were about $26.69k for S, $30.19k for Sport, $33.69k for Sport+ (extra $3.5k with DCT), and GT-Line $42.69k.

Kia has an unlimited kilometre, 7 Year Warranty. Capped Servicing: Maximum for specified maintenance services, 7 years or 105,000kms. Complimentary Roadside Assistance first year. Renewed yearly by completing scheduled services, max 8 years.