Home Automotive A drive to Baler in the new Kia Seltos

A drive to Baler in the new Kia Seltos

BALER, Aurora—Members of the Philippine motoring media took 10 Kia Seltos subcompact crossovers for close to 600 kilometers of round-trip driving from Manila to the scenic seaside destination of Costa Pacifica and back last Monday until yesterday.

The motoring media headed up North Luzon en route to this scenic coastal province, the route a mix of stretches of open highway and twisty mountain roads. These driving conditions allowed drivers to experience the strong power and torque from the Seltos’s 2.0-liter Dual CVVT-equipped motor that produces 149ps at 6,200rpm and 179Nm at 4,500rpm, as well as the nimble and responsive handling from its well-developed suspension and chassis.

Mated to Kia’s Intelligent Variable Transmission with Drive Mode Select, the engine allowed drivers to enjoy their choice of relaxed, economical cruising or a bit of fun out on the open roads.

Amenities such as a modern infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto helped occupants stay connected; cruise control (EX and SX variants) for easy long drives; a reverse camera for stress-free maneuvering even in tight spaces; and six SRS airbags (SX variant) to protect occupants in the event of a mishap.

The Seltos boasts of space, comfort, and style that suits any adventure. I never felt fatigued duering my turns behind the wheel, thanks to the highly supportive seats and very ergonomic dashboard layout. Plus I managed to squeeze in some zzz’s in the spacious back seat — a testament to the Seltos’s comfortable ride.

During the drive, the participating vehicles were put into more shimmering focus with Sonax as official detailer.

The new Seltos comes to the Philippine shores boasting sterling credentials from abroad. It sold some 6,000 units in its Korean home market in only its first month last year.

Besides experiencing Kia’s newest offering, the anniversary drive was a celebration of Kia’s first year under Ayala-owned AC Motors with a 124-percent sales growth in 2019, spurred on by a triple-treat of new model launches with the Soluto, Stinger, and Seltos.

The Soluto is the brand’s entry-level subcompact sedan while the Stinger is Kia’s potent flagship midsize sports sedan that can take on Germany’s best.

Apart from the model introductions, Kia Philippines attributes its success to its distinct design language topped by its signature Tiger Nose grille. Penned by Germany’s Peter Schreyer in 2007, the Tiger Nose grille and styling elements give Kia vehicles a dold and complelling identity all their own — something that seems to appeal to many buyers both here and abroad.

The new marketing slogan developed locally was also announced by Kia Philippines’ president Manny Aligada. “The Seltos is the true embodiment of Kia Philippines’ new marketing tagline, “Designed for You.” It is not just any crossover but one that has its owner’s needs in mind,” Aligada said during the briefing. “The Seltos is not the only vehicle that is “Designed for You” but the entire Kia lineup as well,” he added.

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