Review by Veeno Dewan

This is the first time I have actually come across the Kia  Seltos even though it has been around since 2021 The proportions are good and it looks great from any angle and I think will it age better than some of the more swoopy looking competition. For now, it does not have a hybrid or full EV version.

The 2024 Kia Seltos has a new eight speed transmission option,  new  acoustic glass windshield  and  arrives  in five trim levels, and it is available in front-wheel or all-wheel drive, and with two engine choices. All versions include such items as heated front seats, a touchscreen infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, smartphone connectivity, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, tire pressure monitoring system, ample technology features and a high standard of safety and driver assist equipment.

In terms of powertrains, there are two options. The  base LX and EX models uses a 2.0L four-cylinder engine with 146 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque hooked up to  intelligent continuously-variable,(IVT) variable transmission. The SX Turbo has the more powerful  1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 175 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. The  transmission with this unit is a new more efficient automatic eight -speed unit  . The base LX is front-wheel drive with are all-wheel drive (AWD). as an option. While the EX, EX Premium and SX Turbo – are AWD.

The 2024 Kia Seltos in LX trim is $27,095 and continues Kia’s philosophy of offering value and features. The EX has a few more toys at s $32,095, while the EX-Premium is $35.295. Excellent value for money with LED lighting, power driver and passenger air-cooled seats, heated rear seats, 10.25-inch infotainment screen with built-in navigation, wireless phone charger, adaptive cruise control with lane centring, and  more.

The SX Turbo as tested at  $37.695 ups the ante with a peppy 175hp turbo engine and 8-Speed transmission. Buyer also gain: 18-inch alloy wheels, Sofino leather seat trim,  premium stereo, head-up display, Kia Connect Telematic, flat-bottom sport steering wheel and much more. The SX is also superb value for the price with upmarket materials and comfort features. You even get as standard items such as interior ambient lighting that can pulse along with the music like in the funky Kia Soul. Another smart feature is the cool way you can unlock,  start or share access to your Kia via a smartphone with the available Digital Key 2 Touch system. There is also a new-for-2024 X-Line version with performance and cosmetic upgrades at $40,295.

The cabin design is a standout with a choice of interesting  materials, textures and  innovative design quirks such as the s the  cool geometric 3D pattern on the speaker grilles, the abundance of sleek satin metal and silver metal trim around features such as around the con controls, console, air vents and other surfaces – such a refreshing contrast to the drab all – black cabins seen in many  competitors.

The Seltos is surprisingly roomy inside, besting most of its competitors with more passenger legroom and headroom. Diver ergonomics are fine and there is the smart  It seat four in comfort and five at a squeeze. REAR Cargo volume is 752 litres with the rear seats up, and they fold 60/40. There is a clever  two-tiered storage sett up and a rear power hatch release depending on model.

On the road, the SX Turbo 1.6 engine is paired with  a new automatic eight -speed  transmission which offers faster and smoother up and downshifts. The turbo is also quicker than the 2.0L engine option with the CVT.

The Seltos also exhibits good handling characteristics. Its nicely weighted steering makes the SUV feel responsive and light in turns. The  suspension setup handles bumps and potholes   well. The  AWD system automatically transfers power to the rear wheels when needed and can be locked into all-wheel mode to deal with difficult terrain and conditions. Overall, the combination of a willing engine and the new transmission makes for a more  entertaining drive that compares well with top rivals in its field. Fuel economy is rated at L/100KM: 9.4 City/ 8.7 Highway and 9.1 combined.

To sum up, the Kia Seltos comes very well equipped at its various price points, has excellent technology, versatility, spaciousness, and high safety ratings. The cons are few, mildly a surplus of  hard plastics and a sometimes-noisier cabin at speed. There  is  no EV or Hybrid version as yet. Kia provides a top of the class 5-year/100,000-km comprehensive and full powertrain warranty that is hard to beat. A worthy perfectly sized family CUV in this sector and to be considered. Highly recommended.

2024 Kia Seltos: SX model as tested – $38,045 occluding freight

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