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A couple of months after it was announced for Austalia, the Seltos will be offered in New Zealand as well. It's set to go on sale next month.


A just-announced Seltos pricing sees a particularly sharp price on the entry model, with the LX version sitting thousands of dollars under most natural competitors at just $25,990, only being undercut by the much smaller and less powerful Suzuki Ignis, which is categorised as a competitor.

By calling the price an introductory MRP to boost the car's November public on-sale, Kia NZ acknowledges it is reprising a pitch applied to the Sportage when it released in 2016, but with one difference.

When Kia NZ made its entry Sportage LX available for $29,990 three years ago, it also said this was a launch opportunity and that the model actually had a recommended retail of $35,990.

Implication was that it would one day revert to the full retail, which the brand says has happened. Even so, the variant is currently selling at the lower price again.

Kia NZ acknowledged the campaign has been reactivated from time to time, but also says the car has been offered as frequently at full retail as at its special price.

Will that also occur with Seltos? No price other than the special RRP has been indicated yet and Kia intends the special price as a limited period opportunity, marketing manager Greg MacDonald says.

"It's definitely an introductory deal and a limited offer."

How long will it hold? "I couldn't give you any dates on that one. It's really going to depend ultimately on the uptake of the model. If it (the promotion) is over very quickly then you know it's been a roaring success. What we're saying is that it's not going to stay there forever - we absolutely will not be able to hold that forever."

Once again the idea is to achieve the same outcome that occurred with LX Sportage: a strong introduction and good ongoing volume.

"It is obviously a launch strategy to generate as much inquiry and interest as we can, as quickly as possible."

It's not inconceivable the base Seltos might mirror the base Sportage in being the predominant family breadwinner, MacDonald agrees.

The latter achieves around 40 per cent of marque volume. Sportage is also comfortably Kia's best-selling model and it's not beyond possibility Seltos could usurp it.

"We'd love it to. It certainly has potential to. The initial reports from overseas are very positive. It's a big vehicle for its class and it has some great features."

The entry edition aside, Seltos otherwise positions in the $35,990 (LX Plus) to $46,990 (LTD) band, with an EX and another LTD between, at $37,990 and $42,990.

The $4000 difference between the two LTD models is accounted for by drivetrain choice.

The more expensive version runs a 1.6-litre turbocharged delivering 130kW/265Nm and running through a seven speed dual clutch transmission, with all-wheel-drive.

The other model has a more efficient but less energetic 110kW/180Nm Atkinson cycle 2.0-litre engine married to a continuously variable transmission and running in front-drive. Both engines are petrol. A 1.5-litre diesel offered in some other markets is not expected to arrive here.

MacDonald says having all but one edition in front-drive format is sensible business, with many buyers into this category viewing the types as direct alternates to conventional hatchbacks; they're more taken by the space and higher-set seating than any soft-roading potentials.

In measuring 4315mm long, 1800mm wide and 1620mm high, Seltos accounts for less kerbside space than Sportage, but has good interior room including a generous boot capacity of 433 litres. It seats five.

Full local specification has yet to be revealed but content available overseas includes a good spread of safety assists plus convenience features, including wireless phone charging and a 10.2 inch touch screen.

Seltos' release will potentially occur around the same time Hyundai will launch its Venue, an even smaller and not completely-related car of similar ilk.

Oh yes, the name. It's a play on Hercules' son, Celtos, from Greek mythology. The thinking is that it will imbue the vehicle with a sense of strength. While "representing the brave and assertive spirit of Celtos", Kia in Seoul has also said it changed the spelling because an 'S' "implies speed and sportiness".
 
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