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www.cars.com/articles/kia-teases-seltos-compact-suv-ahead-of-reveal-403322/

Kia Teases Seltos Compact SUV Ahead of Reveal

Kia’s slow-motion reveal of its coming new global compact SUV continued today with a shot of the liftgate logo and confirmation of reports that it will be called the Seltos. Kia says the production version and details will be revealed later this month, with sales to follow “in South Korea and other regions” in the second half of 2019, though a U.S. schedule was not specified.

Kia says the name is a variation on “Celtos,” which is the name of the “brave and assertive” son of Hercules in Greek mythology. It says they changed the spelling to an “S” to make a connection with speed and sportiness — or maybe just SUV, since traditionally car-centric Kia is scrambling to expand its SUV portfolio to meet market demand.

As with virtually every other new small SUV or hatchback nameplate from automakers these days, Kia says the new model has been created to lure millennials into its showrooms. A big part of that effort is adding tech appeal, which it says will include a 10.25-inch touchscreen, LED lights front and rear, and “Sound Mood” lighting that “can alter the cabin’s ambient lighting to suit occupants’ preferences,” which sounds a lot like the new multicolor music lighting in the redone 2020 Soul hatchback.

As with the interior and exterior sketches in previous teasers, Kia provided no more specifics, such as powertrains. But spy photos of a prototype show a small SUV that differs visually only in minor details from the Signature Concept that Kia unveiled in Seoul earlier this spring, saying it was a preview of a new “production-ready compact SUV.”



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2021 Kia Seltos debuts at LA Auto Show, on sale Q1 2020
Kia's Seltos might not necessarily stand out in a crowd, but it looks like it will stand up from behind the wheel.

o the casual observer, it could seem like small crossover SUVs are propagating like feral cats these days. That's why we were a little hesitant when we heard that Kia was getting ready to debut a new one on Wednesday at the LA Auto Show. But actually, the 2021 Kia Seltos makes sense in the company's lineup.

So, the Seltos initially got its debut earlier this year with plans to sell it in Asia, but Kia was acting cagey about whether the car was meant for the US. We had our suspicions to the contrary, and those doubled when they invited us out to Seoul to drive the thing this summer. Now that it's been confirmed for the US, what's it all about?

Size-wise, the Seltos slots in neatly between Kia's Soul and the larger and more expensive Sportage. Aesthetically, it skews more toward the traditional SUV styling side of the continuum than the former, but it's edgier-looking than the latter. This being 2019 and all, you can also have your Seltos with a contrasting roof color.

The Seltos is powered by one of two engines. There's the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes a reasonable 146 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque and is paired exclusively to a CVT transmission. Your other option is a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 176 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque and is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Seltos is also available with all-wheel drive.

Inside the Seltos, things are reasonably typical of a present-day Kia. The materials feel upscale for the vehicle's modest asking price (more on that later), and both technology and safety features are abundant, though some of the latter are optional.

Kia's perfectly usable UVO infotainment system is standard, and a 10.25-inch touchscreen can be optioned. Kia doesn't specify the standard screen's size, but we'd bank on it being somewhere in the neighborhood of eight inches. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are standard, but things like wireless charging, multi-device Bluetooth connectivity and three USB charging ports are optional.

Kia's Drive Wise safety suite is along for the ride once again for those who want to spend a little extra cash, and we've found the system to be perfectly competent in vehicles like the Stinger, Soul and Telluride.

Drive Wise includes features like blind spot monitoring, blind spot collision avoidance, driver attention warning, lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, highway follow assist, rear occupant alert, safe exit assist and adaptive cruise control.

Kia plans to offer the 2021 Seltos in the US starting in the first quarter of 2020, with a starting price of less than $22,000.
 
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