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The Kia Seltos receives a face lift




Kia’s first-ever small SUV has received its first-ever facelift. What’s new?


What we love
  • New eight-speed auto is great
  • Comprehensive improvements to transmission, connectivity and interior noise levels
  • Great ride and handling

What we don’t
  • Now costs nearly $50K in flagship form
  • Some interior plastics look cheap still
  • Turbo model is still thirstier than the offical claim

The Kia Seltos has become a favourite of Australian motorists.

Since launching here late in 2019, the South Korean small SUV has earned itself 10 per cent market share in our mainstream small SUV segment. That’s not a bad feat for an all-new product and all-new nameplate.

However now at the end of 2022, the brand has given its first-ever small SUV a facelift. Aside from new styling and a new interior, the 1.6-litre turbo engine has been given an update, and is also now paired to a new eight-speed torque-converter automatic.

Prices are up, but so is standard equipment to balance out the increases. Has Kia made it’s great small SUV better for 2023?

How much does the Kia Seltos cost in Australia?

As previously reported by Drive, prices are up by around $2200 on average across the range.

The brand continues to offer two engines in the 2023 Kia Seltos range: a carryover 110kW/180Nm 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine with CVT auto and front-wheel drive layout, and an updated version of 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder with 146kW/265Nm (+16kW for 2023), all-wheel drive and a new traditional eight-speed auto.

The 2023 Kia Seltos S starts from $31,690 drive-away, up $2400 for 2023. Next up are the Sport, Sport+ and GT-Line models, costing $35,390, $38,490 and $44,590 each on the road.

That means the old 2022 Kia Seltos GT-Line limited edition (with 2.0-litre/front-wheel drive layout) has now become a main stayer due to customer demand. The other turbocharged powertrain can only be had with 2023 Kia Seltos Sport and 2023 Kia Seltos GT-Line models.

The option costs $3500 on Seltos Sport+ models and $3100 on Seltos GT-Line models, showing Kia is trying its best to make prices as sharp as possible where it can. It makes the turbocharged and all-wheel drive pair worth $41,990 and $47,490 respectively.

There are no more safety packs offered on the range, and the only additional cost you’ll find is for premium paint ($520).

Key details 2023 Kia Seltos GT-Line AWD
Price $44,900 plus on-road costs
Colour of test car Pluton Blue
Options Premium paint – $520
Price as tested $45,420 plus on-road costs
Drive-away price $48,210
Rivals Mazda CX-30 | Toyota Corolla Cross | Nissan Qashqai

How much space does the Kia Seltos have inside?

The Kia Seltos remains the spacious and generous small SUV it always was – especially as its dimensions have not changed.

The design of its dashboard and the materials its made from are new however, and help improve the cabin’s looks. All 2023 Kia Seltos models now feature a digital instrument cluster of some kind instead of regular analogue dials. Entry-level Seltos S models receive a small and low-rent version with 4.2-inch LCD display, whereas Sport and above the full 10-inch LCD display with better graphics and configuration.

Both systems lift the appeal of the cabin. We spent time in Seltos Sport and GT-Line models, and found both comfortable over a few hours behind the wheel. The front row seats are supportive on both models; however the extra adjustment, heating, cooling, plus two-position memory on GT-Line models is just what you’d expect for the price.

Storage is good in the first two too, with decent-sized cup holders and an open-air storage pit giving you plenty of options for you to dump your crap. The door pockets at the front will also fit a decent-sized water bottle and your wallet.

Over in the back and sitting behind my own seating position, I found plenty of space. My knees were well clear of the seat back in front, and feet able to stretch-out under the front seat base too. The fifth (middle) seat is probably reserved for when you have kids on-board, and not two adults I reckon, and all Kia Seltos models feature rear air vents and a pair of USB-C fast charging ports.

Boot space varies depending on the model, with entry-level Kia Seltos S models having 468L, whereas all others 433L. This is because the private-buyer skewed trims of Sport, Sport+ and GT-Line feature a full-size spare wheel.

It’s a good compromise to make, trust me. Even with the full-size spare, the boot is generous for the class and still one of its best-selling points. It’s great for a young family and will just-about fit a stroller and associated bags for bub.

And, if you go for the top-spec Seltos GT-Line, you’ll also get an electric tailgate unlike before, too.

2023 Kia Seltos GT-Line
Seats Five
Boot volume 468L (with Space Saver Spare) / 433L (with Full Size Spare) seats up
1,428L (with Space Saver Spare) / 1,393L (with Full Size Spare) seats folded
Length 4,385mm
Width 1,800mm
Height 1,635mm
Wheelbase 2,630mm

Does the Kia Seltos have Apple CarPlay?

Entry-level 2023 Kia Seltos S models feature an eight-inch touchscreen system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Seltos Sport, Sport+ and GT-Line models go one better with a 10.25-inch system with wired and wireless connectivity for both Apple CarPlay an Android Auto. It also features digital radio, native navigation and a slick new software interface.

What’s best about the system is the fact it’s permanently connected to the internet for the first time. It means you can do all sorts of smarts things with the car via your phone from anywhere, including turning on the engine, air conditioning or flash its lights. More seriously, if geofence an area in the Kia app that you wish your car not leave – say when on loan to one of your kids – the app will notify you when it does.

Great for helicopter parents, safety, or whatever you happen to think about this technology. If the car gets in an accident it’ll dial SOS too, proving the system does have some legitimate merit and safety.

The Bose premium stereo isn’t bad either, but it does struggle slightly with clarity.

Is the Kia Seltos a safe car?

The 2023 Kia Seltos uses the same 2019 five-star safety rating it did when it originally launched in Australia.

It scored well for adult occupant protection and child occupant protection (85 and 83 per cent respectively), but fell down in terms of vulnerable pedestrian protection (61 per cent).

What safety technology does the Kia Seltos have?

Every 2023 Kia Seltos model comes standard with autonomous emergency braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring with steering assist, rear-cross traffic alert, front-and-rear parking sensors as well as speed-sign recognition.

The only extra safety gear that Kia Seltos Sport, Sport+ and GT-Line models get over the entry-level Seltos S are a more advanced automatic braking system that detects junctions and intersections as well as an auto-dimming interior mirror.

It’s nice to see the cost-extra safety pack of the previous range deleted, and also that safety tech it’s pretty-much level across the range now for 2023.

How much does the Kia Seltos cost to maintain?

Maintaining a 2023 Kia Seltos with the 2.0-litre engine and front-wheel drive layout costs $288, $494 and $352, or $1134 for the first three years/45,000km of driving.

Years four and five cost $614 and $324, making five-years/$75,000km worth of maintenance worth $2072. If you want the turbo model, you’re paying more again in terms of higher prices and a lower 10,000km interval. The first three years cost $308, $500 and $373, or $1181 for three-years/30,000km worth of driving.

Years four and five cost $651 and $346 respectively, meaning five-years/50,000km costs $2178. It’s middle of the range, with maintenance pricing in-line with the 2023 Mazda CX-30, but more expensive than a 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross.

Insurance costs for a 35-year old male with a clean driving record living in Sydney’s North Shore came in at $1116 per year, or $141.74 a month.

At a glance 2023 Kia Seltos GT-Line
Warranty Seven years, unlimited km
Service intervals 12 months or 10,000km
Servicing costs $1181 (3 years)
$2178 (5 years)

Is the Kia Seltos fuel efficient?

The brand claims 2023 Kia Seltos models fitted with 1.6-litre turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive will use 7.4L/100km on the combined cycle, although we saw figures in the low 8s after a good solid drive up past the Blue Mountains region of New South Wales.

To compare, we saw 6.9L/100km in the 2.0-litre model – which is identical to the claim. Both were driven in the same manner, so do not discredit the fuel saving the lower-power engine can have when doing your sums.

Fuel Useage Fuel Stats
Fuel cons. (claimed) 7.4L/100km
Fuel cons. (on test) 7.6L/100km
Fuel type Regular Unleaded
Fuel tank size 50L

What is the Kia Seltos like to drive?

As with nearly-all its cars, the original Kia Seltos benefitted from a really good, localised ride and handling tune. A setup that Australian engineers spent weeks and weeks perfecting with a development car long-before it came out in 2019.

Thankfully it carries over unchanged, meaning the new model continues to feel great in our unique and Australian conditions. The ride quality is good, but the suspension is firm and controlled enough to feel confident.

It doesn’t mind moseying around town to be driven at 100km/h through great, winding roads (with appropriate speed limits). Potholes don’t shake it about, and the noise from grittier stretches of road surface are more oppressed than before, too.

Its handling deserves a call out, as it makes the Kia Seltos a great and safe car to put in a household where kids often nick the keys. Sure, it has all the bells and whistles in terms of Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) like others in the segment, but the Seltos also goes one further by having strong and inherent handling capabilities.

You can’t go past having good basics. The brake pedal bites nicely, and the steering reacts quickly off-centre, helping the car feel responsive when you feed it inputs. Which, in the Kia Seltos GT-Line, are handled so much better than before. The outgoing dual-clutch transmission has plenty of low-speed foibles, whereas the new eight-speed torque converter has none.

Kia has finally seen the light and fitted a buttery-smooth and lurch-free transmission to save the day. The turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine has 16kW more too (146kW/265Nm) and feels faster on the roll and from a standing start. In-gear kickdowns are now swifter with the new automatic, and fuel economy has improved for 2023 too.

However, do think hard about whether you opt for the turbo motor. Either driveline is great, and the basic 2.0-litre front-wheel drive car will be just as safe in the real world as the all-wheel drive model. It’s not underpowered by any means, and Kia’s CVT is not as dull, dreary and lifeless as the CVTs found in its Japanese competitors.

Be sure to drive both before deciding if you need the power. If you have an unsealed driveway at home or maybe a larger, more rural property, then the all-wheel drive may be worth the extra. It has some terrain management controls making it OK for basic flat soft-roading on slippery surfaces.

Key details 2023 Kia Seltos GT-Line
Engine 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol
Power 146kW @ 6,000rpm petrol
Torque 265Nm @ 1,600~4,500rpm
Drive type All wheel drive
Transmission 8-speed automatic, AWD
Power to weight ratio XXXkW/t
Weight 1,495kg
Spare tyre type Full-size alloy
Tow rating 1,250kg braked
600kg unbraked
Turning circle 10.6m

Should I buy a Kia Seltos?

Sure, the price is up, but Kia has added plenty more value for the extra asking.

Aside from the connected services, digital displays and other fancy tech, the cabin is quieter and better built than before too. Then there’s the new torque-converter eight-speed auto, which simply makes the turbo model much better than before.

Reverse parallel parking up a slight incline doesn’t require Jedi-like focus with the throttle pedal anymore, and the overall drive is smoother as a result.

Best of all is that its great ride and handling package hasn’t been touched – nor its dimensions either – meaning its a safe and spacious small SUV that’s ripe for a perfect family or empty nesters alike.

It’s well worth your consideration if you’re shopping for a small SUV. 

Ratings Breakdown

Kia Seltos

7.6/ 10

Infotainment & Connectivity

Interior Comfort & Packaging

After more than a decade working in the product planning and marketing departments of brands like Kia, Subaru and Peugeot, Justin Narayan returned to being a motoring writer – the very first job he held in the industry.

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Connecticut mansion hides 30-car underground garage




If you want a quarantine palace for the next pandemic, there’s a home in Greenwich, Connecticut that has already proven up to the task. Built in 2009, the owner could have spent years here protecting himself from the Great Recession. The 17,878 square foot main house is spread over 19.6 acres on three lots and sits on the largest lot of 8.71 acres. Apartment seekers will find 10 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, five half-baths, space to park six cars above ground in the garage and porte-cochere — and space to park an additional 30 cars in an underground garage.

This is the first time the house has been listed as a historic monument since its construction. The getaway, listed by Rob Johnson at Brown Harris Stevens, has been on the market for at least five months at a price of $33.8 million. It’s easy to call that price crazy, but every regular reader has seen a limited edition hypercars So asking for $4 million or more before it’s released isn’t necessarily the bar to possible weirdness.

If parking isn’t enough for 36 rides, the unconnected lots are 5.3 and 5.13 acres, enough to fit a few hundred cars and a few righteous man’s shelters as opposed to mere man caves.

The rest of the property includes pretty much everything you would expect from the Mansion Starter Kit: double staircase in the grand entrance foyer, master suite, huge eat-in kitchen, formal and informal dining rooms, living room and bar areas, several offices, library, mudroom off the above-ground garage, gym and “Playground”, golf simulation room, wine cellar, seven wood burning fireplaces, staff cottage, pools and spas and an indoor kennel big enough for three large dogs. The Zillow List says the house comes with a washer and dryer so don’t worry about the appliances getting nickel and did. That’s money you can save for property taxes, which will total $381,264 annually the latest mill rate for Greenwich when the property has been appraised at the asking price.

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Cadillac’s V-LMDh race car looks mean on the track




Cadillac delivered the first look at its in June new LMDh race car which will compete at the highest level in both the IMSA SportsCar Championship and the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship next year in the GTP and Hypercar classes.

Dubbed the V-LMDh, the new racer is currently being tested at racetracks across the country, and this week Cadillac released a video showing some of the testing that was recently held at Georgia’s Road Atlanta.

Cadillac is yet to reveal full details on the V-LMDh, but we do know that the car uses a Dallara chassis and runs a hybrid powertrain with a 5.5-liter dual overhead cam V8 for the internal combustion component. There is also a single engine generator, probably positioned on the front axle. According to LMDh rules, powertrain output must be limited to 670 hp.

Cadillac describes the V-8 as a newly developed unit, meaning it’s not just the engine out of it Chevrolet Corvette C8.R Racing car, also a DOHC V8 with a displacement of 5.5 liters. Judging by the audio in the video, the V-LMDh’s engine doesn’t run with a flat crank like in the Corvette C8.R (and Corvette Z06).

Cadillac is partnering with two of its existing partner teams for its LMDh campaign in the current DPi class of the SportsCar Championship, which will be replaced by the GTP class next year. The teams are Chip Ganassi Racing and Action Express Racing. Chip Ganassi Racing was responsible for the Ford GT’s picture-perfect victory in the GTE Pro class 24 Hours of Le Mans 2016this was the 50th anniversary of Ford’s famous win over Ferrari in the GT40 at the French classic.

Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande will drive the V-LMDh for Chip Ganassi Racing in the SportsCar Championship, and Action Express Racing will drive Pipo Derani and Alexander Sims. Additional drivers for both teams will be announced at a later date.

Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook drive the V-LMDh in the World Endurance Championship. The car will be used by Chip Ganassi Racing and will run for the full season, which means one run at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It will be Cadillac’s first return to the French classic after 21 years.

The GTP and Hypercar classes in which Cadillac will compete are open to both the new LMDh cars and the current LMH cars, with Balance of Performance rules planned to ensure a level playing field.

Acura, bmwand Porsche will also use LMDh race cars, and alpine and Lamborghini will join the fight in 2024. By Kolles, Ferrari, Glickenhaus, peugeotand Toyota are all committed to the LMH category.

The first race for LMDh will be the 2023 24 Hours of Daytona next January. The race is the inaugural round of the 2023 SportsCar Championship.

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Report: Mercedes Rent-a-Horsepower Subscription Illegal in Europe




2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUVMercedes-Benz has launched a plan to do this Let EV buyers subscribe to extra power for their cars for a fee. But only in the US

Top Gear Netherlands reports: “In Europe, Mercedes electric cars will not yet offer subscriptions to add additional horsepower”. A spokesman told Top Gear: “It depends on legal matters.”

$1,200 a year here

The subscription costs US Mercedes owners $1,200 per year. It shortens the time from 0 to 100 km/h of our all-electric Mercedes models by one second or less: that EQE sedan, EQE SUV, EQS sedan, and EQS SUV.

It’s probably a sign of things to come. Many automakers have publicly toyed with locking vehicle features and performance levels behind subscriptions.

Can be a sign of the future

Now that many cars have wireless internet connections, automakers could send a signal to turn a feature — like a heated steering wheel or a software program that adds extra horsepower — on or off to a car in an owner’s driveway.

That could create a world where buyers add or remove features with a mobile app and pay subscription fees to do so.

Fees could affect convenience features — BMW has been experimenting with monthly payments for heated seats in some markets. They could affect performance, as with Mercedes’ new acceleration boost. They could even involve advanced technologies – Volkswagen recently unveiled a concept with self-driving software that calculates ticket prices depending on where you want it to take you.

Better for automakers

The idea could simplify car construction.

Today, if an automaker wants to sell a car with a choice of two audio systems, they must design and build two different audio systems. Often automakers have to stop a factory production line to switch to new equipment to build different trim levels and guess how many of each option package the market will demand.

In the subscription-based future, it could be cheaper to build every car with the same features. Automakers could then allow buyers to turn them on and off over time, with fluctuating monthly car payments based on what features owners have enabled each month.

The same automaker could design and install a 16-speaker audio system in any car. You could then have buyers pay for active eight, 12, or 16 speakers.

It would also give them a revenue stream from even used cars. You might buy a used car but still have to pay the company that built it for the automatic high beams or extra power you want.

Some consumers, lawmakers pushback

Buyers hate the idea. Our research shows that only 25% of drivers are open to it.

And apparently few European legislators.

Europe is known for stronger consumer protection than America. But the idea that governments should step in to ban subscription plans is starting to take root in the States.

Two New Jersey lawmakers have proposed a similar ban on subscription services in that state.

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