Kia wants to stay one step ahead of the competition in the crowded crossover market.
The Kia Seltos was introduced for the 2021 model year in the US as a brand new subcompact crossover slotting between the full-size Telluride and the smaller Soul, sporting a stylish design that sets it apart in the crowded segment. As competition in the crossover market is so fierce, Kia is wasting no time upgrading the Seltos to stay one step ahead of its competitors.
Just one year after it debuted in America, the Seltos was updated for the 2022 model year with new standard safety tech, and now Kia is already working on a mid-cycle update that will bring more significant changes.
Under the hood, the American Kia Seltos is currently offered with either a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine producing 146 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque, or a more powerful 1.6-liter engine rated at 175 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque.
According to The Korean Car Blog, a new, more efficient hybrid version of the Seltos will join the lineup as part of a 2023 model year mid-cycle update. In overseas markets, the new hybrid Seltos will replace the diesel-powered model, which is not sold in the US. It will reportedly use the same hybrid setup as the Kia Niro, combining a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor to produce 139 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque.
As for a potential US launch, we believe the new hybrid Seltos will become the new base model in America. In terms of economy, the EPA rates the Niro at 23/30/26 mpg highway/city/combined, but we expect the larger Seltos hybrid will be slightly less frugal.
As part of the facelift, we're also expecting the Seltos to be refreshed with redesigned front and rear bumpers, a tweaked grille, and new graphics for the headlights and taillights. A prototype was spied in South Korea fully camouflaged, but it hopefully won't be long until our spy photographers catch the American model out in the wild.
Since the Seltos was only introduced for the 2021 model year in the US market, the facelift model will likely go on sale at the end of 2022 at the earliest as a 2023 model. A fully electric Kia Seltos is also in the pipeline according to leaked documents.