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Kia Seltos: It’s got the looks

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INSIDE, the Seltos is similarly a looker with its clean layout and radically-designed speakers.

Curious stares.

That’s what the Kia Seltos got when we drove it around Metro Manila last week as we tried to figure out what’s giving it that ‘heartthrob’ of an image since getting launched last year by Kia Philippines.

Could it be the star-bright yellow finish that had them get so attracted? Or was it the standout design that’s had some motorists stopping by and letting us drive through in intersections and street corners? Fact is, we didn’t get this kind of accommodation and respect from fellow motorists in some other vehicles that we tried.

Others would deliberately slow down and give it a closer look as if to say, “Hey that’s a cool car you got out there!”

In one instance a flower vendor, probably awestruck by the Seltos, told us “Ganda naman ng kotse sir. Dapat diyan bigyan niyo ng bulaklak ang mga tsiks na sasakay diyan! (Nice car sir. You should give the ladies who ride there some flowers).”

We knew she could be bluffing for us to buy her items. But the fact is, if one was to count the number of head turns the car got, the Seltos is a hands down winner.

The subcompact’s tiger nose grille that links the LED clusters is a winner, too, effectively complementing its overall look.

PHOTOGRAPHS by MANNY ANGELES
for the daily tribune @tribunephl_mba
KIA Seltos is a bold-looking car with a strong aesthetic appeal but given the chance to test one, you’ll find it’s got more than its looks.

From nose to tail, the Seltox SX we tested is a full LED affair with the blacked out sloping roof and satin chrome accents giving it a sportier appeal much like the Stonic, its younger brother recently released.

The front-wheel drive urban crossover has 17-inch Y-spoke alloys that further complements its rare design.

Inside, the Seltos is similarly a looker with its clean layout and radically-designed speakers. The seats are a combination of leather and cloth making it look premium although the amount of plastics on the dashboard, door cards and the center console isn’t so.

Of course, we liked the number of stowage areas in front with the door pockets and that area under the air-conditioning giving us enough space for small items like wallets and cellphones and what have you.

For its subcompact size, there’s plenty of trunk space too although a third passenger at the back will have to squeeze himself in between two average-size adults.

You could consider the eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system as the Seltos’ centerpiece attraction with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and tactile knobs. It also has automatic headlights, cruise control, auto climate control, speed-sensing door locks and manual headlight leveler.

Coming from a recent review of the high-end Sorento, we can’t help but miss some tech features like auto folding mirrors, auto-dimming rear view mirrors, electronic driver’s seat adjustment, tire pressure monitor, etc. but then again it’s the tradeoff you get considering its P1.5 million price tag compared to its pricier brother.

Looking at it another way, the Seltos comes with dual front, side, and curtain airbags, as well as ABS with EBD, traction control, stability control, five three-point seatbelts, and ISOFIX child seat tethers. As a bonus, it also has brake assist, hill start assist and hill descent control.

Aside from its looks, the Korean subcompact, we dare say, has the best handling one could get. It’s as nimble as a motorcycle with a light steering wheel and great driving visibility. It can squeeze itself through tight spaces and give you that spurt you need on highways.

With its stiff suspension, body roll was kept at a bare minimum when cornering even at daring maneuvers although we noticed that the vehicle tends to transfer the impact on the occupants, especially when going over road imperfections.

Oh, by the way, did we ever mention how the Seltos got its name? Like other Kia vehicles, it was derived from Greek mythology, Celtos being the name of the son of Hercules, acknowledged for his strength and masculinity.

Indeed, the Kia Seltos is a bold-looking car with a strong aesthetic appeal but given the chance to test one, you’ll find it’s got more than its looks.

Like most beauty pageant winners, it’s a beauty with a substance.

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