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On the way to Old Grove, Kia’s crossover star is a delightful drive

FOR Kia buyers, they now have a ride that is affordable and easy to drive like sedans, and at the same time, versatile, tall and spacious like SUVs. | PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF CHARLES E. BUBAN FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE

For a vehicle type that blends the winning attributes of both sedan and SUV, it’s not surprising that Kia’s compact crossover, the Seltos, has been able to steal market share from other segments. For buyers, they now have a ride that is affordable and easy to drive like sedans, and at the same time, versatile, tall and spacious like SUVs.

AC Motors, the official distributor of Kia in the Philippines, took us for a drive to the Old Grove Farmstead in Lipa, Batangas, via a special route that would help us appreciate the Seltos, which is a revamped version of Kia’s compact crossover and unveiled last December at the Ayala Museum in Makati City.

This writer was fortunate to be assigned to drive the range-topping SX variant (P1.688 million) that is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter Smartstream G four-cylinder engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, delivering a healthy 138 hp and 242 Nm of torque. The other variant, the P1.288-million EX, is powered by a normally-aspirated 1.5-liter Smartstream engine mated to an intelligent variable transmission, producing 115 horsepower and 144 Nm of torque.

“We are proud to have the new Seltos evaluated by [the Motoring media] during this day-long trip to Lipa, Batangas. This is an important model for us and we expect that around 12 percent of our total sales this year will be coming from the new Seltos.

“And yet, the introduction of the new Seltos is just the tip of the iceberg because Kia Philippines has some very promising plans this year as we intend to launch four new models,” said Kia Philippines president Toti Zara, during the sendoff program held at the AC Motors Centrale complex at BGC in Taguig City.

KIA Seltos not only has a good amount of space for five passengers, but it also has a cargo area that can accommodate various loading needs.


Range topping SX variant (P1.688 million) is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter Smartstream G four-cylinder engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.


EX variant of the Seltos is equipped with a fresh set of 17-inch two-tone alloy wheels, finished in semi-gloss black.

Circuitous route

On our way to our destination — which was the Old Grove Farmstead — the group of Georges Ramirez who led the convoy, took the route which led us to the Silang (Aguinaldo Highway) exit of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway toward the Tagaytay Rotunda and then to the Nuvali-Casile Road. We then made our way to the South Luzon Expressway and proceeded to the Lipa exit of the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road where we finally arrived at the Old Grove Farmstead.

During the three-hour long trip, Ramirez made us utilize the new Seltos SX’s Advanced Driver Assist System or ADAS which include the Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Following Assist, and Forward Collision Avoidance Assist. The ADAS worked as advertised, ensuring buyers that the additional P400,000 they will be spending for the SX will aid them in becoming better drivers on the road.

The SX had several enhancements like wireless charging for mobile phones, a panoramic sunroof, and a single slab that has two 10.25-inch displays showing the instrument cluster and infotainment.

This compact crossover has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus dual-zone climate control, front seats that have a cooling feature, electronic parking brake, and keyless entry.


SX variant

The SX can easily be distinguished from other variants by its more prominent grille design that accommodates longer DRLs, headlamps (with Kia’s full LED Star Map signature lighting), revised front and rear bumpers with updated turn signals, LED fog lamps, functional roof rails, satin-finish belt trims, chrome trims, connected Star Map signature LED taillamps, and a unique set of 17-inch two-tone alloy wheels.

Indeed, the new Seltos meets the needs of today’s car buyers. It’s a compact ride that is more agile than a sedan and provides better fuel economy compared to an SUV. But unlike sedans, the Seltos facilitates a good overview and thus, increases safety while driving. Getting in and out of the Seltos is also easier, which is a big help for those with mobility problems.

For small families, the size of the Seltos’ rear cargo plays an important role since it has more space than that of any sedan.

While taking various still shots of the Seltos SX at the Old Grove Farmstead, one cannot miss its stylish presence. And with several competing brands jostling for buyers’ attention, it’s obvious that the Seltos SX is a cut above the rest.

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