Crossovers

2020 Kia Seltos offers style and tech in a compact frame

It goes on sale in "global markets" in the second half of 2019.

It looks a lot bigger than it actually is, and I think the front end design has a lot to do with that.

Kia

Kia's long tease is finally over. Hyundai has already debuted the Venue, its most compact crossover to date, and in the weeks leading up to today, sister brand Kia had been teasing its entry in this segment. Now, we get our first full look at the upcoming Seltos.

Kia on Thursday unveiled the 2020 Seltos, its debut in the growing tiny-crossover segment. Yet, despite its footprint, it's not coming up short when it comes to style, tech or anything else.

The Seltos rocks a sharp new style that was first previewed in concept form earlier this year. The LED headlights have plenty of unique details, and they blend well with Kia's "Tiger Nose" grille design. Out back, it kind of looks like a Ford Escape, albeit with some more expressive angles around the rear hatch. It's sharp, but in a different way than the Hyundai Venue, which is also a looker.

Kia will offer the Seltos with three different engines, likely depending on the target market. There's a 1.6-liter turbocharged I4 with 175 horsepower, a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated I4 with 150 horsepower and a 1.6-liter diesel I4 with 134 horsepower. Depending on the engine, it comes mated to either a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, a six-speed automatic or a CVT. Kia didn't mention drivetrain layout, but it's likely front-wheel drive, and while all-wheel drive might be an option, it's not available on the Hyundai Venue.

There's a fair chunk of tech buried in the Seltos. Its infotainment system measures up to 10.25 inches, which is pretty darn large for this segment, and it allows the screen to display multiple features at once. An eight-speaker Bose sound system is available, as is an ambient lighting system that can pulse to the beat of whatever music is playing. On the safety front, Kia didn't offer up all the details, but it did say that parking sensors are on offer, and it will likely pack the usual driver aids like automatic braking.

The 2020 Kia Seltos debuted at a special event in Delhi, India, and it will be produced in factories in both India and Korea. It should reach markets in the latter half of this year, and the US is likely on that list.

Now playing: Watch this: 2020 Hyundai Venue: Be seen in the small crossover
1:24