Kia’s rival to the Honda HR-V launches in Singapore at S$117k with COE, a sub-S$90k model will follow
The latest addition to Kia’s growing sport utility vehicle (SUV) line-up, the Seltos, is now here in Singapore. Local distributor Cycle & Carriage Kia first previewed the Seltos at the Singapore Motor Show back in January, and the compact SUV has now officially gone on sale here locally.
The Seltos is a small SUV, which puts it in one of the hottest markets currently, but also one with plenty of competition, ranging from established Japanese favourites, like the Honda HR-V and Nissan Qashqai, as well as newer names like the Mazda CX-30 and Hyundai Kona.
You’re probably thinking – why would I pay more than S$110k with COE for a small SUV? Well, the launch model for the Seltos is the GT Line, which is the high-spec variant, and it goes for $116,999 inclusive of COE.
But C&C Kia also notes that there will be an EX variant available later in the year that will retail for less than $90,000.
In the meantime, the Seltos GT Line comes feature-packed with equipment, and some of the highlights include an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity.
There is also what Kia calls ‘Sound Mood Lighting’, which is essentially a fancy interior ambient lighting system that can pulse to music with eight colours and six themes to choose from.
Trivia: the Kia Koup and Soul both had this feature in the past. If the visuals don’t tickle your fancy, then perhaps the Bose sound system will – that’s a bit of an eye-opening feature for a Kia.
As you can see, the car measures up very closely to the competition in terms of size, so we expect it to be able to fit four adults with a decent level of comfort.
Other GT Line highlights include a wireless smartphone charger, keyless go, full LED headlights and taillights, an 8.0-inch head-up display, aluminium pedals, and ventilated front seats. There’s also a sunroof, six airbags, reverse camera and front/rear parking sensors.
Powering the Kia Seltos is a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine that produces 140hp and 242Nm of torque. That makes it slightly more powerful than the competition, mostly, although Kia has not released local performance and efficiency figures yet.
While 140hp puts it into COE Category B, it’s unlikely to be a major stumbling block now given that premiums between Cat A and B have closed up in recent months.
The bigger challenge for the Kia Seltos in this market, aside from slumping demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is the slew of rivals that it has to contend with.
Among its key competitors in this fiercely-contested segment are the ever-popular Honda HR-V and Toyota C-HR, as well as highly-impressive newer offerings like the Mazda CX-30, and the all-electric MG ZS.
READ MORE: There are no shortage of compact SUVs to choose from in the market, but here’s one with a difference: it runs on electric power. Check out our review of the MG ZS EV