Saturday, October 12, 2019

Kia Philippines is Undercutting the Kona, Chinese SUVs with the 2020 Seltos. It Starts at P 1.098M.


We’ve outed it as Kia Philippines’s last unboxing of the year, and after that, we’ve managed to drive it too. And now, we finally have its launch date and prices.

In a rather unconventional move, Kia Philippines has already released the pricing of its all-new sub-compact crossover, the Seltos, a month before its official Philippine debut. Launching during the second week of November, the most affordable variant, the LX comes out at P 1,098,000 while the mid-trim EX is at P 1,198,000. Things are capped off by the SX at P 1,498,000.

While this is enough to whet the appetite for those shopping for a brand-new sub-compact crossover in the same guise as the Hyundai Kona (the Seltos’s platform twin actually), the Honda HR-V, and the Mazda CX-3, Kia Philippines is still keeping the final specifications close to its chest.

Everything is purely speculation at this point, but for Kia Philippines to carve inroads in the market, we’re expecting them to spec the Korean-sourced Seltos this way:

The normally-aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder will be the sole engine. With that, this Atkinson-cycle powerplant will make 149 horsepower and 180 Nm of torque. The sole transmission will be a Intelligent Continuously Variable Transmission (IVT) driving the front wheels. It should be enough for a 0-100 km/h time of 9.6 seconds and a top speed of 194 km/h.

Now, because the LX variant undercuts the Hyundai Kona, and is actually in the same price range as the Ford EcoSport and even the newly-launched Chinese crossovers such as the Geely Coolray and MG ZS, it’s likely to be solidly-equipped but not stellar: 16-inch alloy wheels, halogen headlights, reverse sensors with camera, cruise control, and an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Given the price difference between the LX and the EX is just P 100,000, it’s likely this mid-trim model will gain automatic climate control, front fog lights, and 17-inch wheels.

Now, here’s the interesting bit: the EX. With a large P 300,000 price gap from the EX, it’ll surely be the most well-equipped in the Seltos line-up. However, don’t expect it to be the GT-Line. Why? Since Kia Philippines has spent considerable marketing resources building up the GT-Line, they won’t muddle it up just to sell more Seltos units.

So what will you get in the highest trim Seltos? Likely front and rear proximity sensors, cloth/leather combination seats, push-button engine start/stop, automatic rear view mirror, cruise control, and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also, based on the teaser photo posted by Kia Philippines, LED headlights, LED fog lights, and a contrasting roof package look standard too.

Do you think we got the specs right?

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