Kia Slams a Marketing Ace with New Seltos Crossover

SUV brings greater power, more style

Thu 25 Jan 24


If motoring writers have been left short on Kia test runs lately, then blame the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Its brand is emblazoned all over the courts, its latest electric vehicles are showcased around Melbourne Park, and a fleet of 130 tournament vehicles acts as roaming billboards around the city during the two weeks of the tournament.

This year, Kia signed a $107 million deal to extend its 22-year partnership with Tennis Australia as a major sponsor for another five years, the biggest sports sponsorship deal in Australian history. Add another $21.5 million a year in cash, and we can expect Kia exposure and sales to catapult in 2024.

But the queue of Australian Kia buyers is getting longer. But fear not. The Korean manufacturer says the wait is only around 60 days, max. To help relieve their impatience, many car builders are rolling out an online search tool that will enable customers in Australia to track the delivery of their cars from the factory gate to the showroom floor.

This rollout of technology that will enable new car buyers in Australia to track delayed vehicles from the factory gate to the showroom floor has been praised by the Australian Automotive Dealers Association. Until now, customers had to rely on updates from sales staff at dealerships, which can quickly become out of date.

We were lucky to get our hands on the 2024 Kia Seltos GT-Line 1.6L to cruise into the New Year with the model unchanged, apart from minor price increases.

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Inside Seltos,… large driver instrument panel and integrated central touch screen.

Kia sold 10,473 Seltos crossovers in Australia last year, which among small SUVs saw it outsold only by the related Hyundai Kona (11,183 sales), as well as the GWM Haval Jolion (11,252), Mazda CX-30 (13,115) and the dominant MG ZS (29,258).

All Seltos variants see an increase of $280 in the list price or $300 in the drive-away price, with Kia citing “economic reasons” as the reason for the adjustments, perhaps along with global shipping delays amid the Red Sea crisis.

The mid-life Seltos brings changed styling inside and out, a more powerful turbo-charged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine and more safety equipment. The update brings outputs to 14 6 kW and 265 Nm, while Kia has ditched its seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission for an eight-speed torque-converter unit.

All 2-litre models are front-wheel drive, while 1.6-litre models are all-wheel drive. The Seltos uses 6.9 L/100 km on the ADR combined cycle with the 2-litre engine, giving 7.4 L/100 km.

All models have a 50-litre fuel tank and can run on 91 RON regular unleaded petrol.

The GT-Line Seltos may be a little smaller than the Sportage, but there’s plenty of space in the cabin with some little luxuries, such as cooled front seating, ambient lighting, and a wireless smartphone charging tray. For the driver, there’s a large driver instrument panel and an integrated central touch screen.

With the rear seats upright, boot space with the space-saver spare wheel is 468 litres, while with the full-size spare wheel, it’s 433 litres. With rear seats folded, boot space with the space-saver spare wheel is 1428 litres, whereas, with the full-size spare wheel, there are 1393 litres.

The Seltos with the 2-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine has a maximum braked towing capacity of 1100 kg, while with the 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, it’s 1250 kg.

Unbraked towing capacity is 600 kg for both powertrains and the maximum tow ball download is 130kg.

As the top model, the Seltos GT-Line comes with the full package of safety features and Kia’s assurance of Australia’s first seven-year unlimited kilometre warranty, unlike offerings from other car brands, which cease to operate after you hit a certain mileage. 

Overall, an impressive package that brings top performance and practicality to this urban runabout. Price is around $45,000, plus the usual costs.


  • Orson Whiels

    Orson Whiels has been a motoring writer for many years and was motoring writer at Queensland Country life in the 1960s-70s and then motoring editor at Australian Timberman.)


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