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19 June


Kia launches upgraded Seltos subcompact SUV

A car that avoids the flaws commonly found in the subcompact crossover market

2021 Seltos Photo: Kia Motors

/NOVOSTIVL/ Kia Motors Corp. on Wednesday launched the upgraded Seltos subcompact SUV in South Korea as it strives to boost sales amid the new coronavirus outbreak.

The subcompact crossover class has so much potential. Best-selling “compact” models like the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Chevrolet Equinox have gotten fantastically spacious, refined - and expensive. A modern CR-V or RAV4 is just as big, fancy, and costly as midsize models used to be.

For lots of people, they’re still a great deal: for as little as $25 000, you get ample space for four or even five adults and their stuff, all the latest advanced safety features, a fully featured touchscreen infotainment system, and great gas mileage.

But lots of people don’t need or even want something this big, or at least aren’t eager to pay for it. So most automakers now offer a subcompact model that’s smaller and less expensive than their compact.

The all-new 2021 Kia Seltos is a mechanical cousin to the Hyundai Kona, but it’s taller and longer. And that’s just what was needed to address the Kona’s lower, more car-like seating position and its tight rear seating. This makes the Seltos the first truly well-rounded subcompact crossover, delivering all-around competence with no disastrous downsides. It’s handsome, functional, fun to drive, fuel-efficient, and affordable.

While no car is perfect - certain buyers will gravitate toward the specific advantages of some Seltos competitors - this is the only subcompact crossover that has something for just about everyone.

The facelifted Seltos comes with a 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine or a 1.6 diesel engine. It is priced at $16 000-$20 800, the company said in a statement.

The subcompact SUV is equipped with safety features, such as lane keeping assist and forward collision-avoidance assist-junction turning (FCA-JT) technology, which helps prevent collisions with vehicles coming from the front when turning left at intersections, it said.