2023 Kia Seltos Sport+ 2WD and GT-Line AWD Review

Since its debut in 2020, the current-generation Kia Seltos has proven to be popular with small SUVs buyers.

While supply issues have meant longer waiting period, the little Kia SUV holds its on with buyers willing to wait up to 18 months for one. Why? The Seltos packs big car tech and space in a compact footprint.

With supply constraints easing and competition heating up, Kia has given the Seltos a thorough mid-life facelift earlier this year, bringing a rejuvenated exterior, an updated dashboard with digital instrument cluster and even more technology, including Kia’s connected-car functionality.

All-wheel drive variants also score an updated 1.6L turbocharged petrol engine along with a smoother and much needed eight-speed automatic.

We spent some time in the 2023 Seltos Sport+ 2WD and GT-Line AWD range-topper to see if our generally positive impression from three years ago still stacks up.

How much is the Kia Seltos?

Prices are up nominally across the board. The 2023 Kia Seltos Sport+ 2WD is priced at $35,800 plus on-road costs.

It is equipped with a naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre petrol engine matched with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) driving the front wheels.

The same drivetrain is also available on the flagship GT-Line priced at $41,500, while the AWD variant tested here comes with the updated 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine at $44,900 before on-road costs.

Our Gravity Grey Seltos+ and Glacier White Pearl examples also add $520 to the price tag (along with Steel Grey, Pluton Blue (new), Neptune Blue and Fusion Black). The Mars Orange is the only no-cost paint option.

2023 Kia Seltos pricing (excluding on-road costs):

  • Seltos S 2.0 FWD – $29,500 (+2,210)
  • Seltos Sport 2.0 FWD – $32,700 (+$2,410)
  • Seltos Sport+ 2.0 FWD – $35,800 (+2,010)
  • Seltos Sport+ 1.6T AWD – $39,300 (+2,010)
  • Seltos GT-Line 2.0 FWD – $41,500 ($2,710)
  • Seltos GT-Line 1.6T AWD – $44,900 (+2,200)

What do you get?

The Seltos range is comprehensively equipped. Below are some highlights from each variant.

Seltos S:

  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Halogen headlights
  • Electric folding wing mirrors
  • 2-inch digital instrument cluster
  • Cloth upholstery
  • 6-speaker audio system
  • 0-inch touchscreen infotainment
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Front and rear USB-C ports

Seltos Sport adds:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Front fog lights
  • 25-inch digital instrument cluster
  • 25-inch touchscreen infotainment
  • Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Satellite navigation
  • Single-zone climate control
  • Kia Connect
  • Leather appointed steering wheel and gear shifter
  • DAB+ digital radio

Seltos Sport+ adds:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Keyless entry and push-button start
  • Cloth/artificial leather upholstery
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • LED interior lighting
  • Sliding centre console armrest
  • Rear-centre armrest
  • Rear privacy glass
  • AEB with cyclist avoidance and junction turning assist
  • Heated electric wing mirrors

Seltos GT-Line adds:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • LED headlights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED taillights
  • LED foglights
  • Head-up display
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Eight-speaker Bose audio system
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Wireless phone charger
  • 10-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat with memory function
  • 8-way electrically adjustable front passenger seat
  • Electric tailgate
  • Sunroof (not available with two-tone roof)

What is it like inside?

The first thing you notice when you climb onboard is the updated dashboard with its trendy one-piece cluster and infotainment screen (Sport variants and up).

It’s centred around the dual 10.25-inch displays for the instrument cluster and infotainment display, which has proliferated across various models in the Hyundai/Kia empire and lifts the interior ambience significantly.

Further down the centre stack are revised air vents and climate controls which replace the dial with a series of buttons.

What sets the Seltos apart from the rest of the Kia range is the inclusion of Kia Connect online services for variants equipped with the dual screen setup, along with complementary seven years of subscription.

It uses an onboard modem and SIM card to provide live services including real-time weather, traffic, emergency call, as well as over-the-air updates.

Owners can also check the vehicle’s status, remotely lock/unlock and start the car, track the vehicle’s location and control its ignition via a smartphone app should it be stolen.

There’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, though both require you to plug in the phone via USB.

As before, practicality and space are big selling points for the Seltos, with plenty of cubby holes and a sizeable centre console, as well as segment-leading second row space with an abundance of head and knee room.

The 2023 update brings new rear air vents across the board (previously only on the GT-Line) and rear USB-C points.

Further aback, Sport+ and GT-Line get an impressive 433L of boot space with the rear seats up even with a full-size spare. Drop the rear seats and it balloons to 1,393L

The GT-Line also gets the convenience of an electric tailgate.

What’s underneath the bonnet?

Starting with the Seltos GT-Line, it comes with the upgraded Smartstream 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 146kW at 6,000rpm and 265Nm at 1,600-4,500rpm.

It’s 16kW up on the old non-Smartstream unit, while rated fuel consumption is down 0.2L/100km at 7.4L/100km.

Kia has also ditched the old seven-speed dual-clutch transmission for a new eight-speed torque converter automatic which channels power to an on-demand all-wheel drive system.

The manufacturer claims the updated Seltos GT-Line will take 8.4 seconds (-0.1s) to rush from 0 to 100km/h, while top speed has increased by 10km/h to 210km/h.

The Seltos Sport+ 2WD on the other hand carries over its 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine matched to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive.

It generates 110kW at 6,200rpm and 180Nm of torque at 4,500rpm, while claimed combined fuel use is 6.9L/100km.

What is the Seltos like to drive?

On the whole, the 2023 Kia Seltos driving experience remains similar to the pre-facelifted model, which is no bad thing as Kia Australia has retained the old model’s locally tuned suspension.

It’s agile with good body control and a sharp turn-in and is certainly one of the more engaging vehicles to drive in its class.

All-wheel drive variants also employ the more sophisticated multi-link independent rear suspension as opposed to a simpler torsion beam set-up for front-drive variants.

The torque converter auto is also an improvement over the old dual-clutch unit, especially at lower speeds where it can be prone to hesitation. It’s smoother with more consistent shifts.

Additionally, Kia has retuned the exhaust system to reduce acceleration noise, making the updated Seltos a pleasant place to be.

There’s plenty of grip from the on-demand all-wheel drive system to inspire confidence in wet conditions and when coming out of corners, though don’t expect hot-hatch like handling.

The naturally aspirated unit in the Sports+ is smooth and matches well with the CVT to extract its modest power and torque.

Cabin refinement has taken a step up, too, with better road and engine noise insulation thanks to more sound deadening behind the pillars, door trims, carpet and wheelarches.

While most of the Seltos’ enhanced safety features work well including the now standard (from S trim up) Lane Following Assist, Rear-cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist and Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, the same can’t be said about the Intelligent Speed Limit Assist.

It’s essentially Kia’s speed sign recognition system and will incessantly nag with a series of bongs and chimes when it detects a speed limit change or if you go slightly over the speed limit. It’s so intrusive you are compelled to dive into three sets of menus to turn it off the moment you start the car, as it defaults to ON each time.

How safe is the Kia Seltos?

The Kia Seltos range was awarded a five-star ANCAP rating in 2019 and comes with dual front, side and curtain airbags. It lacks a front-centre airbag between the driver and front passenger as found in newer rivals.

Other safety features include:

  • AEB with pedestrian detection
  • Blind-spot assist
  • Rear cross-traffic assist
  • High beam assist
  • Intelligent speed limit assist
  • Lane following assist
  • Lane keep assist
  • Safe exit warning
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Reverse camera with dynamic guidelines
  • Driver attention alert
  • Rear occupant alert

Seltos Sport+ and above add:

  • AEB with Cyclist and Junction assist
  • Adaptive cruise control with stop and go
  • Leading vehicle departure alert


The Seltos comes with Kia’s seven-year, unlimited kilometre warranty and seven years of capped price servicing averaging $459 per service for the 1.6 turbo, and $434 for the 2.0.

Servicing intervals are 15,000km for the 2.0L front-drive petrol, and 10,000km for the 1.6T AWD variants.

You also get up to eight years of roadside assistance if you service your car at a Kia dealership (first year is complimentary).


Design & Comfort


Performance & Handling






Equipment & Features




Our Score: 4/5

+ Plus

  • Good ride and handling
  • Updated 1.6 turbo engine and eight-speed auto
  • Up-to-date technology
  • Roomy cabin


  • Annoying Intelligent Speed Limit Assist
  • LED lighting only available on GT-Line
  • Cramped foot well


The 2023 Kia Seltos remains one of the most enjoyable vehicles to drive in its class. The new eight-speed auto in AWD variants is a welcome addition that improves driver enjoyment thanks to its smoother characteristic.

While comprehensively equipped, it’s a little poor the only way to get LED lighting is on the range-topping GT-Line, while adaptive cruise isn’t available on anything below the Sport+.

If all-wheel drive is not a necessity, the Seltos Sport+ FWD is all the car you need at a more affordable price.

2023 Kia Seltos Sport+ 2WD and GT-Line AWD pricing and specification

Price:Seltos Sport+ 2.0 FWD: $35,800/As tested: $36,320
Seltos GT-Line 1.6T AWD: $44,900/As tested: $45,420
Warranty:7 years/unlimited kilometers
Warranty Customer Service:1 year roadside assist
Country of Origin:South Korea
Service Intervals:Front-wheel drive: 12 months/15,000km

All-wheel drive: 12 months/10,000km

Engine:All-wheel drive:

1.6-litre turbocharged, direct-injected in-line 4-cylinder petrol:

146kW @ 6.000rpm, 265Nm @ 1,600-4,500rpm

Front-wheel drive:

2.0-litre naturally aspirated, in-line 4-cylinder petrol:

110kW @ 6,200rpm, 180Nm @ 4,500rpm

Transmission:AWD: 8-speed automatic

FWD: Continuously variable transmission

Drivetrain:All-wheel drive and front-whee drive
Power to Weight Ratio (kW/t):Seltos Sport+ FWD: 80.0

Seltos GT-Line AWD: 97.7

0-100km/h (seconds):Seltos GT-Line AWD: 8.4

Seltos Sport+ FWD: N/A

Combined Fuel Consumption (L/100km):Seltos GT-Line AWD: Claimed: 7.4 / Tested: 11.2

Seltos Sport+ FWD: Claim: 6.9/ Tested: 9.1

RON Rating:91
Fuel Capacity (L):50
Body:5-door SUV, 5 seats
  • 5-star ANCAP
  • 6 airbags
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Lane-Following Assist System
  • Safe Exit Assist
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Emergency Brake Assist
  • Emergency Stop Signal
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking
    • With Cyclist and Junction Assist
  • Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop/Go
  • Leading Vehicle Departure Alert
  • Driver Attention Alert
  • Rear Occupant Alert
  • Rear view camera
  • Front and rear parking sensors
Dimensions (L/W/H/W-B) mm:4,385/1,800/1,635/2,630
Turning Circle Between Kerbs:10.6
Ground Clearance:170
Tare Mass (kg):Seltos GT-Line AWD: 1,495

Seltos Sport+ FWD: 1,375

Boot Space (min/max)(L):433/1,393
Towing Capacity (kg):Seltos GT-Line AWD: Braked: 1,250/Unbraked: 600

Seltos Sport+ FWD: Braked 1,100/Unbraked: 600

  • 10.25-inch high-resolution colour touchscreen
  • 8-speaker Bose Premium Audio System (GT-Line only)
  • Satellite navigation with SUNA traffic
  • AM/FM/DAB+
  • Bluetooth
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • USB
  • AUX
  • iPod

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