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Review: 2023 Kia Seltos

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Review: 2023 Kia Seltos

In a competitive small SUV market, the Kia Seltos has been a hit with Australian drivers since its introduction in 2019.

Now, Kia has given the popular model an upgrade which you can get in four trim levels: S, Sport, Sport+ and GT-Line.

We took the top-of-the-line GT-Line model featuring a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol all-wheel drive powertrain for a test drive to see how it performs.

Initial Impressions

For this update, Kia has retained a lot of what made the first Seltos, including the dimensions. This means the 2023 Seltos continues to feel open and spacious to ride in despite falling into the “small” SUV category. It has received a modest styling update with sharper looks up front, along with some interior updates to keep it fresh.

The first thing you notice upon taking a seat behind the steering wheel is the sweeping screen across the dashboard that gives off futuristic vibes. The digital instrument cluster and infotainment display are beautiful to look at, reflecting the advanced technology available in the Seltos. 


The Seltos is available with two power plant options. Continuing from the previous model, a 4-cylinder, 2.0-litre petrol engine option paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive (FWD) is available from the base model, S, through to the top-spec GT-Line. 

For the Sport+ and GT-Line models, you also have the option of a 4-cylinder, 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. 

The turbocharged power plant is an update on the previous generation's 1.6-litre engine which had the noteworthy claim of being the world’s first production engine to use Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology. You can do a quick Google search to get a comprehensive understanding but, in basic terms, CVVD technology allows for intake valve adjustments that increase both performance and efficiency while decreasing tailpipe emissions. That’s pretty neat technology.

While the Seltos is by no means a performance car, the turbo petrol engine is smooth and responsive while offering a subdued ride in terms of engine noise. The all-wheel-drive system and suspension setup provides reassuring stability.  Combine this with the suite of active safety features and you’ll always feel safe behind the wheel.


The GT-Line was loaded with features to keep us extra comfy. We enjoyed the plush Premium Artificial Leather seats with their extra-customisable seating position options. The heating and ventilation in the front seats added an even more luxurious feel.

The expansive interior extends to the rear seats with plenty of space available for a couple of adults. It also features its own dual set of USB-C charging ports and air vents.

The boot is also exceptionally spacious and we love that the Seltos includes a full-size spare wheel (although you can opt for a space-saver if you want a little bit more cargo space).

In terms of technology, the GT-Line doesn’t leave much to spare. The 8-speaker Bose Premium Sound System provided unreal sound quality and we loved the sharp, geometric design of the door speakers.

The colour heads-up display was a great addition and can be conveniently switched off if it's not your thing. The little transparent display it projects onto also tucks away neatly every time you exit and lock the car which we thought was a nice touch.

You’re also provided with multiple charging options including 12V, USB-A, USB-C and a wireless charging station. Surprisingly, however, only the base model, S, features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto while all other models featured these systems in their wired forms.


The range starts at a competitive $31,690 driveaway for the 2023 Kia Seltos S - the base 2.0-litre CVT front-wheel drive model. Add another $3,700 and you can get yourself into the Sport model that shares the same drivetrain. 

For the Sports+ model, the 2.0-litre version comes in at $38,490 or, for an extra $3,500, you can upgrade to the 1.6-litre turbo, eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive version. 

Topping out the range, the GT-Line model is also available in both 2.0-litre and 1.6-litre drivetrains, coming in at $44,590 and $47,690 respectively. 

You can choose from seven colours for your 2023 Seltos with all but the Mars Orange costing an extra $520. If you opt for one of the GT-Line models, however, you can also choose from two two-tone options - Pluton Blue & Fusion Black roof or Clear White & Fusion Black Roof - at no extra cost.


Overall, we see the 2023 Kia Seltos retaining its popularity with Aussie drivers.

Despite the saturated market segment, the Seltos is an exceptionally well-rounded offering that seems to be almost perfectly optimised in terms of overall size and interior space for wide-ranging appeal.

It offers a competitive range of variants with loads of features to please just about anybody and is sure to be a car that will win over many prospective buyers.

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