- Latest Korean SUV captivates Colombo at exclusive preview
By Darshana Abayasingha
The latest Korean small SUV on the scene, the 2020 KIA Seltos, is billed to become a global hit – and this bold new design was unveiled in Sri Lanka by KIA Motors Lanka at a gala launch ceremony in Colombo last week.
The Seltos was well received by the crowd at its launch in Colombo, just as it waas in many other parts of the world thanks to its delightful design and striking technical specs. Sitting just marginally smaller than its big brother, the KIA Sportage, the Seltos is powered by a 1.4-litre turbo-charged engine churning out 140 horsepower, and capable of doing 0-60mph in 8 seconds according to the manufacturer. The engine is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which should provide near seamless shifts be it in the city or the expressway.
But what’s most striking about the Seltos is the design – both inside and out. The wide LED-lights and grille was a departure from what we have become used to with the range-topping Sorento, but was described by some as more muscular in terms of look, even from the side. But the real party-piece in inside, and KIA has made considerable upgrades to the rather spacious cabin which includes reclining seats in the rear. The base model has an 8-inch screen whilst the others offer a 10.25-inch screen, with a great new interface. Reverse cameras, cruise control and autonomous emergency braking are all standard options on the Seltos. KIA states that the Seltos is an ideal vehicle for leisure driving, with abundant cargo space that can be expanded thanks to the adjustable luggage board.
Kia Motors (Lanka) Managing Director Mahen Thambiah said: “We are greatly impressed by the Kia Seltos not only because it has been designed to meet millennial expectations, but because it perfectly combines modern styling and sophistication with well-engineered capability; is right-sized and as important, right-priced for the market; is rugged and refined at the same time; and has a lot of coolness and character. The Seltos is a great example of Kia’s power to surprise.”
KIA Motors Lanka will also present a common rail 1.5-litre diesel to the market in the future, and all models are equipped with Electric Stability Control and Hill Start Assist Control to enhance its off-road abilities above those of its class and size. The Seltos’ strong and rigid body is composed of 61 per cent advanced high-strength steel and is further enhanced with 374 feet of structural adhesives.
This is Kia Motors Lanka’s third new vehicle launch since November 2019, and the launch event of the Seltos reflected the high expectations the company places on this new SUV. Priced between Rs 6.9 million and Rs 7.6 million, the Kia Seltos is backed by a warranty of five years or 150,000Km.
Kia Motors (Lanka) has represented the Kia brand in Sri Lanka since 1996. With its new Rs. 800 million Logistics Centre in Malabe as the hub for a network of owned subsidiaries and franchised satellite sales, service and spare parts outlets, the new operational structure is designed to drive a new phase of growth for KIA, one of the most popular automobile brands in the country.
Pix by Daminda Harsha Perera