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Wow, the 2019 LA Auto Show sure had a lot of surprises this year. One of the surprises has the internet abuzz about a new vehicle coming to the North American market. It’s the Kia Seltos crossover. Originally thought to never leave the lands of India, we were sure that the U.S. would never see this foreign vehicle. We’re glad to be wrong, because along with the big news, Kia Motors also shared the U.S. specs of the 2020 Kia Seltos, or most likely the 2021 Kia Seltos when the crossover makes it stateside. With the growing collection of SUVs and crossovers in the Kia Motors lineup, the Seltos will need to stand out a bit and so far it’s looking great.
Like many automakers, Kia Motors rarely produces a vehicle with just one trim level. The 2021 Kia Seltos overseas comes in about eight trims for various configurations. Simplifying the model for the North American market, the Seltos will come in five trim levels. Based on the trim level and available choices, there will be two powertrain options and the ability to choose front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. All models are built with a MacPherson front setup but those with front-wheel-drive (FWD) will come with a torsion beam rear axle whereas all-wheel-drive (AWD) models will come with a multilink rear suspension.
Two engine options are slated for the 2021 Kia Seltos release thus far. The standard engine under the hood will be a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, able to generate 146 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. For a smooth transition between gear shifts, the engine will be paired with a continuously variable transmission. In the high-end trims, and for consumers who want a little more juice, the second engine option is a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder. This unit is stronger, able to generate up to 175 hp and 195 lb-ft. Paired up with a dual-clutch transmission, this may be the top of the game for the 2021 Kia Seltos in terms of power.
Exterior and Interior
Although not specified on the U.S. model, the 2020 Kia Seltos in India offered LED headlamps on some trims with a sweeping, LED light bar and heartbeat LED tail lamps. Some trims also came with LED turn signals on the exterior mirror and roof rails. Kia Motors did reveal that consumers will have the option of 17- an 18-inch alloy wheels depending on the trim level selected versus the 16-inch and 17-inch wheel options that were offered in the Indian market.
A lot of the interior is uncertain, whether the premium black fabric will be replaced with leather upholstery, but we’re sure little luxuries like a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a gearshift wrapped in leather will appear in some trim levels. For easy seat configurations and getting in and out of the crossover, the 2021 Kia Seltos will come with a flexible rear-seat setup that allows rear passengers to recline or fold the rear bench seat flat.
The technology between the Indian model and U.S. model won’t be too different. Kia Motors never skimps out on the goods, meaning an UVO infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability will be installed. Consumers will find this system powering a 10.25-inch touchscreen display. Plus, for the first-time ever, an 8-speaker Bose audio system (plus with a subwoofer) has been added to a Kia Motors vehicle. There are also some nice advanced automatic safety features we know of, but we’re hoping for more. The list currently includes blind-spot collision avoidance, forward collision-avoidance assist, and highway driving assist.
That’s all Kia Motors was willing to share at the 2019 LA Auto Show, but we’re sure the good news is just starting. Follow along with NowCar on social media to learn more about the Kia Seltos crossover.