The introduction of the 2021 Seltos will give Kia a complete line-up of utility vehicles, according to Michael Cole, who outlined the strategy behind the vehicle after its official introduction at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
“We’re a full-line manufacturer,” said Cole, adding that the Seltos will complement the Kia Soul, the iconic small crossover vehicle that helped launch Kia’s transformation 10 years ago.
The Seltos, on the other hand, is more truck like and will slip into what is still the fastest growing segment in the industry, Cole said. “The Seltos is a truly styled SUV,” he said.
It also follows the strategy Kia implemented with the introduction of Telluride, which has been a great success. The new Seltos complements Kia’s SUV line-up and fits between the popular Soul and Sportage models, providing a comfortable and tech-savvy cabin, a choice of two engines, including a 175-horsepower 1.6-liter turbo and an available all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring control and a lock mode to handle more severe road conditions.
Similar to Telluride’s design theme, the Seltos marries bold design and delicate details, and stands apart from rivals with its strong, upright stance.
The tall front end and 7.2-inch ground clearance give the vehicle a tough attitude and an adventurous spirit. Kia’s signature tiger nose grille includes an unexpected diamond-like detail. The optional two-ton roof gives Seltos an added layer of coolness and character when it goes on sale in the first quarter.
Other key design cues include a long wheelbase and hood for a robust and substantial look, harmonized grille and headlamp design featuring full LED “Beat” lighting for a modern appearance, aggressive lower front bumper design provides sharper approach angle for adventurous driving and front and rear skid plates and black wheel arch cladding reference off-road abilities.
In addition to the showing off its newest ute, Kia also decided to offer up a couple of visions of what the Seltos could become by rolling the X-Line Trail Attack and Urban concepts. The Trail Attack features a custom two-tone paint scheme using desert-inspired colors.
Additionally, it’s equipped with electronic AWD, the center differential lock equally distributes power between the front and rear axles and the custom 2-inch lift kit raises ground clearance to 9.2-inches. Knobby off-road tires with 17×8–inch custom painted alloy wheels help improve off-road traction and security. A hidden winch behind the front valance can assist in particularly tough off-road situations, while a custom fabricated roof rack allows the Trail Attack carry plenty of equipment.
The Urban Concept also enjoys a custom 2-inch lift, raising the seating position for a better vantage point around city traffic. Electronically controlled AWD with torque vectoring puts power through the 17×8-inch alloy wheels where it’s needed most: to the tire with optimum traction. Resting below the custom hood complete with integrated intake is the same powerplant found in the Trail Attack Concept.
On the Urban Concept’s roof are four high-powered Hella auxiliary lights cut through low-hanging city fog, Kia says, as well as a roof rack for hauling furniture or other things “city folk” may haul around town.
Cole, who took over as Kia’s CEO on Nov. 11, said the Seltos will be available in five different trim levels and while the pricing isn’t complete, it should start at around $22,000.
Lastly, the company rolled out a midcycle refresh of the Niro with projector-type headlights and fog lamps, a new diamond-pattern grille and dual chevron-shaped LED daytime running lights. The rear faux skid plate is wider and more pronounced, the rear LED combination lights have more technological appeal than previous, and there are new 16-inch and 18-inch alloy wheel designs.
There are changes on the inside as well with a restyled 7-inch instrument cluster and 8-inch standard touchscreen display, or optional navigation with a 10.25-inch screen. Sound all the electronics comes from a Harman/Kardon premium audio system.
For those wanting a sportier model, optional paddle shifters are available as well as active regenerative braking control, optional electronic parking brake, and optional mood lighting with six different colors. The Niro PHEV gets all of these updates as well. No pricing information was released.