Remember when Kia Philippines president, Manny Aligada, said that there will be a load of all-new models coming in this year? So far, we have the Soluto, Forte (and Forte GT), and the Stinger. However, he also mentioned that there will be another surprise by the third quarter of this year.
There's still a lot of guesses going on but we reckon Kia's newest crossover could be a likely shoe-in. It's called the Seltos, and it's said to be a global model. It is, in essence, the mechanical twin of the Hyundai Venue.
But the Seltos is far from a badge-engineered model. In fact, it has its own unique design inside and out. The exterior is largely inspired by the SP Concept, so there's the high-set LED daytime running lights, accompanied by the main beam just below it. Even the shape of the front apron made it on to production.
As it gets a lot of styling elements from the design study, the Seltos almost looks unchanged from the SP Concept. The only prominent changes are the larger side mirrors and chunkier road tires. Yes, there's the en vogue 'floating roof' look, but it differs from variant to variant. At the back, one noticeable difference is on the tailgate. The Seltos gets a smaller spoiler than the concept. Also, the tail lights are much larger on the road-going version.
There are no official photos of the interior just yet. However, Kia says that it will closely resemble the one from their previous sketches. There are some photos that show that it is indeed similar to the sketch, although it has a different instrument cluster. That said, Seltos is available with a 10.25-inch touchscreen, perhaps the widest in its class.
The engine lineup is of particular interest. Arranged from lowest to highest horsepower ratings, we start with the 1.6-liter turbodiesel with 136 PS. In the middle of the range sits the 2.0-liter gas engine making 149 PS. At the top is a turbocharged 1.6-liter mill and that puts out an impressive 177 PS. With its compact dimensions, it could be a quick crossover too.
Right now, Kia has not announced what markets will be getting the Seltos. However, they did say that it will be a global model, increasing its chances of being sold here. At the moment, Kia Philippines does not have a small crossover contender, and having it here could further help them reach their goal of 10,000 units this year.