Kia’s popular Seltos small SUV is getting a mid-life nip-and-tuck.
Exterior changes appear to be the standard fare, including restyled front and rear bumpers and refreshed lighting elements.
The updated model will launch in Australia in the second half of this year.
Though the front and rear ends are heavily camouflaged, we can see the headlights and tail lights appear to have a similar shape to those of the current car, but may feature refreshed graphics.
Other exterior changes may include a range of new wheel designs.
Kia Australia has previously said it wants to expand the availability of LED headlights, suggesting they could become available on more Seltos variants than just the flagship GT-Line.
Every member of the redesigned Sportage family, for example, comes with LED headlights: reflector-type in most models, projector-type in the top GT-Line.
The recent mid-life update for the Hyundai Kona could give us an indication of what to expect for the Seltos update.
In addition to an exterior refresh, the Kona gained a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster in some variants.
While the Kona and Seltos’ base 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines now feature identical outputs (110kW/180Nm) and a continuously-variable transmission, the Kona N Line’s turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine now outpunches the Seltos’ turbo 1.6-litre (130kW vs 146kW).
The Seltos currently only offers autonomous emergency braking with both pedestrian and cyclist detection only in the Sport+, GT-Line, and models with the Safety Pack, with regular S and Sport models featuring only vehicle and pedestrian detection.
Given the updated Kona gained this more sophisticated system across the range with its 2021 update, it stands to reason the Seltos could get it across the board, too.
Much of the Hyundai Motor Group’s newest safety technology has already been filtered into the Seltos range, including active blind-spot and rear cross-traffic assist and a junction assist feature for the AEB.
The Seltos range could gain a hybrid option, at least in markets like Korea, according to a report from The Korean Car Blog.
It could borrow the powertrain from the redesigned Niro Hybrid, which features an updated version of the outgoing model’s 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine and six-speed dual-clutch automatic, with a carryover total system output of 104kW.
The engine produces 77kW of power and 144Nm of torque and is mated with a 32kW electric motor.
Kia has struggled with supply in recent months, particularly of its up-spec SUV models.
Seltos sales slumped 10.9 per cent in 2021 to 8884 units. That put it behind the Hyundai Kona (12,748), as well as the MG ZS (18,423), Mitsubishi ASX (14,764), Mazda CX-30 (13,309) and Subaru XV (9342).
MORE: Everything Kia Seltos