02 KIA SELTOS

FROM ZERO TO HERO STRAIGHT OUT OF THE BLOCKS

BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

THOUGH KIA WAS an early player on the fledgling small-SUV scene with the original Sportage of 1997, that was a crude, old (Mazda E-Series) van-based oddity that completely missed the mark. By the mid-2000s only the name carried through, onto a mid-sized SUV of much larger proportions. Thus, Kia was forced to idly sit by as small-SUV sales in Australia soared, unable to access suitable models offered elsewhere in the makerís vast portfolio because no powertrain was large enough for Aussie tastes.