Kia Motors has taken the wraps off its compact SUV, the Seltos, its first passenger vehicle for the Indian market. The Seltos is based on the SP Concept that was shown at the 2018 Auto Expo and bears a striking resemblance to it.
The Seltos looks striking with LED lighting (headlamps, DRLs, fog lamps and tail lights) all-around and Kia’s famous ‘tiger-nose grille.’ It will be available with 8 monotone exterior colour options and 5 dual tone options.
Powertrain options comprise two petrol engines and a diesel engine though Kia hasn't revealed their power output yet. One of the petrol engines is a 1.4-litre turbocharged unit while the other is a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated engine. The diesel engine is also a 1.5-litre unit. All three engines are BS6-compliant.
There will be three automatic (CVT, 7-speed DCT and 6-speed AT) transmissions on offer. A 6-speed manual transmission is also an option. The DCT will be offered with the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine only in the top-end GT Line variant. Three driving modes (Eco, Normal and Sport) and three terrain modes (Mud, Wet and Sand) are on offer as well.
Kia has traditionally been seen as a premium mass-market brand and the trend continues in India. The Seltos is packed with features like a 10.25-inch touchscreen, 360-degree camera, a Bose sound system, head-up display, power-adjustable driver’s seat, front and rear parking sensors, a sunroof, ventilated seats, automatic climate control, an air purifier and rear AC vents.
It also comes with connected car technology just like in the Hyundai Venue and MG Hector, which Kia calls UVO Connect. It offers 37 features, classified into five categories: Navigation, Safety and Security, Vehicle Management, Remote Control and Convenience. The software will be free for all Seltos owners to use for the first three years.
The UVO technology on offer will also have a presence on the inside-rear-view mirror so that drivers can operate the different features of the car while keeping their focus on the road. Also, the IRVM is equipped with roadside assistance (RSA) and an SOS button which will intimate a call centre in case of an emergency. It can even intimate the owner of the car and immobilise it in case the vehicle is stolen.
Other safety features will include 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, brake assist, ESC (electronic stability control), HAC (hill assist control) and VSM (vehicle stability management) on the top-spec variant. On top of these, the 360-degree camera also has an integrated blind view monitor and driving rear view monitor. The driving rear view monitor will allow the driver to switch on the reversing camera, even when driving in a forward direction.
In terms of Kia’s presence in India, the carmaker claims that is has the most touchpoints for a newcomer in the market (265 across 160 cities). Over and above, Kia intends to increase the size of its network to 300 touchpoints by 2020 and 350 touchpoints by 2021 in India, specially targeting tier 1, tier 2, tier 3 and even tier 4 cities.
Kia expect to launch the Seltos by September 2019 and price it in the Rs 10 lakh to Rs 16 lakh bracket. Once launched, it will take on the likes of the Hyundai Creta, Renault Duster and Captur, Nissan Kicks and Mahindra Scorpio. The pricing of some of its models are likely to overlap even the MG Hector, Tata Harrier and Jeep Compass.