JOHANNESBURG - Kia’s Seltos SUV is set to launch in South Africa later this month, but the local importer has released the pricing and range information on its website ahead of the official debut.

So where does it fit in?

The Kia Seltos is somewhat larger than the Volkswagen T-Cross, and even Hyundai’s Creta, but it’s slightly smaller than the Renault Duster and Mitsubishi ASX. In fact, the newcomer is not a great deal smaller than the 4485mm-long Kia Sportage, but it is R50 000 cheaper, with its entry price of R353 995.

South African cars are sourced from Kia’s new plant in India and customers can choose from three derivatives, within which there are two engine options. The EX and EX+ models are powered by Kia’s familiar 1.6-litre normally aspirated petrol engine, which is good for 90kW and 151Nm. In EX form it can be paired with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox, while the latter is standard in the EX+.

Topping the line-up is a GT Line derivative, which is powered by a 1.4-litre turbopetrol engine, credited with 103kW and 242Nm and mated to a seven-speed DCT dual-clutch automated transmission.

What features do you get?

The base EX, starting at R353 995, has most of the bells and whistles that you’re going to want, including a 20.3cm touchscreen infotainment system with CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity as well as a reverse camera, cruise control, multi-function steering wheel, manual air conditioning, auto lights, six airbags and ESP stability control.

The EX+, at R389 995, adds leather seat upholstery to the mix, along with a centre console arm rest with integrated storage box, ESC stability control and Hill-Start assist.

The snazzier GT Line will set you back R444 995, and apart from the more powerful engine, this flagship model also gains LED headlights and taillamps, unique 'Crystal Cut' 17-inch alloy wheels, as well as Drive Mode Select and push-button start.

It’s a simple but effective line-up that’s likely to improve Kia’s fortunes in the SUV market, where it currently plays second fiddle to sister brand Hyundai on the local market.

IOL Motoring