The 2024 Kia Seltos gains 20 horsepower, new screens, and a digital key

The 2024 Kia Seltos gains 20 horsepower, new screens, and a digital key

In a short period of time, the rowdy little Kia Seltos has generated quite a stir. It’s designed like a tougher Soul, lending some strength to the usually gentle character of the crossover. And it’s receiving a makeover for the first time in the model’s relatively little lifespan.

The new-for-this-year vehicle was shown on Thursday at the Los Angeles Auto Show, and it features a redesigned appearance as well as a renovated interior that is—wait for it—tech-focused. First, Kia opted to give the Seltos a more aggressive aspect by redesigning the tiger snout grille, which is appropriate given that the nameplate is a mispronunciation of “Celtos,” son of Hercules. Kia’s characteristic “star map” lighting accents the grille, which is flanked on each side by optional LED projector headlights. Kia also tried to give the front end a more rough appearance by using hard forms and better integrating its vertical fog lights.

Kia provided the Seltos with distinctive geometric wheel designs across different trim levels, as well as three distinct colour options. To top it all off, the Seltos is the newest Kia to receive an “X” trim level. This package includes a distinctive front gunmetal grille, special 18-inch wheels, black door trims, a roof rack, and X-Line badging.

Kia concentrated on improving the inside of the Seltos to better showcase its in-car, er, screens. This mostly refers to the big panoramic screen that replaces the previous model’s phablet-style infotainment. This not only modernises the interior, but also combines the two 10.25-inch screens that comprise the instrument cluster and centre screen into a practically continuous one that rests just below the dashboard’s top, as seen in the Kia Sportage, EV6, and Hyundai Ioniq 5. The rest of the interior is more conservative, with clean lines, patterns, and materials. A digital key that allows iPhone and Samsung Galaxy users to unlock and operate their Seltos using only their phones or Apple Watch is new for 2024.

One final change that some will appreciate is a 20-horsepower increase to Kia’s revised Gamma 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder. This engine, coupled with a traditional eight-speed transmission, now produces a respectable 195 horsepower. A 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine paired with a CVT transmission is also available, but it produces only 174 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque.

Look, I know crossovers aren’t the sexiest cars on the market (though the 2022 Porsche Cayanne Turbo GT gets a pass), but we have to give credit where credit is due. Kia and its sister brand Hyundai have recently upped their game, offering some rather sleek options for the average driver and new EV buyer. The updated Seltos is no exception; it looks great and will almost certainly meet the needs of younger buyers, which is pretty much the entire point.