Yes, that name actually means something.
This summer, Kia will have a new small SUV in its arsenal. It’s called the “Seltos”, and will sit in the market alongside crossovers like the Hyundai Kona, Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade and Toyota C-HR. Before you think Kia used a random name generator to come up with Seltos, the company says it is inspired by Greek mythology.
Notice I said, “inspired by”, meaning it’s not quite identical. Instead, Kia drew from the legend of ‘Celtos’, the son of Hercules. However, they used an ‘S’ in the name instead to imply a sense of speed and sportiness. Take that for what you will, but the more likely reasoning is the letter change matches the Seltos to most of Kia’s crossover lineup. Namely, that includes the Soul, Sportage and Sorento.
Apart from today’s badge teaser and some sketches, there’s no official information on the new Kia Seltos. There are some (copyrighted) spy shots out there, in case you’re interested in the bigger picture of what this car will look like.
Powertrains are a complete mystery, so there’s little sense of how much speed or sportiness is on tap. Odds are, Kia will use a similar 1.6-liter or 2.0-liter unit to what is in the Hyundai Kona. The turbocharged unit in the Kona makes 175 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque.
That would not make the Seltos blisteringly fast, but it’s likely to have power somewhere in that range. That way it would be faster than, say, the Hyundai Venue, while leaving some breathing room for the 201 horsepower Kia Soul. Again, this is all speculative, and Kia will have an official answer soon.
Kia says it will reveal the Seltos later in June. From there, sales will start in Korea in the second half of 2019. Other regions, including North America, will follow.
While we’re on the subject of small Kias, check out our review of the 2020 Kia Soul below: