Kia electrifies audiences with what they do best – SUVs

Kia electrifies audiences with what they do best – SUVs
By: Kole Rushmore Last Updated: January 10, 2020

The saying “All good things come to those who wait” is true in many aspects of life, even the automobile industry. For those who’ve been anticipating an electric option or a rugged compact SUV from Kia, the time has come at Thomas Kia of Highland. 

Following the automaker’s success from last year’s release of the 2020 Kia Telluride, Kia is expanding on what they do best by adding the rugged-looking Kia Seltos and the Kia Soul EV to its North American SUV lineup.

The all-new subcompact SUV might be small, but don’t let its size fool you - the Seltos is mighty. The Seltos offers sharp handling, a spacious cabin, impressive technology, and top-of-the-line safety features. Despite already being available in other markets of the world in 2020, the Seltos is finally hitting the North American market and is expected to roll onto Thomas Kia of Highland’s lot next month. 

Kia is offering two engines for this new model - a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 146 horsepower and a 1turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that pumps out 175. Car buyers also have the option of front or all-wheel drive (AWD). 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not yet released fuel economy estimates for the Seltos, however, it can be expected it will earn similar ratings to the Hyundai Kona. Based on the same platform as the Seltos, Kona’s fuel economy averages more than 30 MPG.

The Seltos models with All-Wheel-Drive and Lock Mode make this SUV a great choice for Northwest Indiana. Rain or shine, the Seltos maintains a 50:50 front and rear distribution of power to maintain traction through the Region’s most extreme weather conditions. 

Now let’s talk about the technology features Kia has included in the car, starting on the outside.

Built with state-of-the-art radars and sensors for optimal safety, this SUV is here to keep you safe, even in the busiest traffic or parking situations. The Seltos will feature the automaker’s driver assist technology which includes: Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist-Rear (BCA-R), Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Highways Driving Assist (HDA), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance (RCCA) and Safe Exit Assist (SEA). 

Inside, the Seltos offers an available class-leading 10.25-inch color LCD touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto navigation feature, and a premium eight-speaker Bose audio system. Those features are fantastic, but what I personally think sets this SUV apart from its competition is the ambient lighting or Sound Mood Lighting available in Seltos in the upscale SX model. Like the Kia Soul, this feature can also be set to pulse along with the music which has become a favorite among Soul owners that the automaker has really built up in the model. 

Since its initial launch in 2008, the Soul has become the most iconic vehicle in Kia’s lineup. Then, in 2014 Kia jumped into the electric vehicle game when they released the Soul EV which electrified Kia fanatics. 

When Kia debuted the Soul’s redesigned look at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, they also unveiled plans for an improved version of the Soul EV to be released in 2019. But, the combination of popularity in Europe and a limited supply of vital components for the battery and electric motors limited Kia’s ability to meet the demand around the globe. Fast forward to 2020, Kia is gearing up for the car’s North America release for 2021.

With a 64.0-kWh liquid-cooled battery pack, the Kia Soul EV has an EPA range rating of 243 miles on a single charge - more than double the 111 miles in the previous model. The new model will also have steering wheel-mounted paddles that let the driver adjust regenerative braking levels to allow the option of one-pedal driving. 

The Soul EV’s electric engine will give drivers a ride they will never forget and provides immediate torque when you need it. The electric car uses a permanent-magnet synchronous AG electric motor that produces 201 horsepower and 291 lb-ft of torque that will allow drivers to go from zero to 60 MPH in 7.0 seconds. 

Kia motorists can expect to see the all-new Kia Soul EV at Thomas Kia of Highland’s showroom later this year.