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2023 Kia Seltos: Hybrid ruled out, spec changes coming

Holding out for a Kia Seltos hybrid to take on the Toyota Corolla Cross? We won't see one in Australia.

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The Kia Seltos range won’t gain a hybrid option as part of its 2023 update.

Kia Australia’s product planning boss, Roland Rivero, has confirmed the current-generation Seltos SUV won’t feature a hybrid in Australia, despite reports suggesting it could gain a Toyota Corolla Cross-rivalling electrified option lifted from the Niro.

“At least from Australia’s perspective, this current-generation SP2 Seltos, will not have a hybrid available to it,” Mr Rivero told CarExpert.

Power in the current range comes from a choice of 2.0-litre and 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engines, the latter with a turbocharger. Versions of those engines are likely to carry over for 2023.

The Niro combines a 77kW/144Nm 1.6-litre petrol engine with a 32kW electric motor, for system outputs of 103kW and 265Nm. Drive is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch auto.

On the safety front, the base Seltos S and Sport are likely to gain blind-spot assist as standard for 2023, but buyers will lose the ability to add a full range of safety features as part of an optional Safety Pack.

The current Seltos S and Sport miss out on blind-spot, rear cross-traffic, and lane-following assists, along with the advanced autonomous emergency braking system with cyclist detection offered on Sport Plus and GT-Line models.

The Safety Pack currently offered brings cyclist detection for the AEB, adaptive cruise control, an electric parking brake, power-folding side mirrors, and junction assist.

The simpler range is a move to make life easier for dealers and stock controllers as the world grapples with shipping delays, semiconductor shortages, and COVID-related shutdowns.

Kia also points to the fact the Seltos range has a five-star ANCAP rating regardless of which AEB system is fitted as a reason for dropping the option.

Along with the shuffled safety suite, the 2023 Seltos range will likely gain rear air vents across the range, and base models will ride on alloy wheels instead of the steelies fitted to the current model.

Inside, expect an integrated screen treatment similar to that applied to the larger Sportage. Mr Rivero said the “whole interior ambience gets a bump up” for 2023.

Based on our previous spy photos, the updated Seltos will gain restyled front and rear bumpers and refreshed lighting elements.

The Kia Seltos continues to be a strong seller for Kia in Australia, despite crippling supply constraints and wait times quoted at over 12 months depending on variant.

A total of 8884 units were registered throughout the course of 2021 (-10.9 per cent), so far in 2022 its managed 2970 sales (-7.4 per cent) to the end of April – about half the volume of the Mazda CX-30 (6211 units, +53.4 per cent).

We’re expecting further official details of the facelifted Seltos range in the lead-up to its arrival on our shores during the second half of 2022.

MORE: Everything Kia Seltos

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie

Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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