Kia Seltos Hybrid variant to be produced starting in 2025: Report

Introduced in June 2019, the Kia Seltos received its mid-life facelift in June 2022. In the U.S., the popularity of the small SUV is soaring. Last year, it created a new annual sales record, with 60,053 units delivered. Development of the next-gen Kia Seltos is underway, with initial rumors indicating it’ll be available as a hybrid. The first-ever Kia Seltos Hybrid should be the brand’s most affordable hybrid SUV.

Kia Seltos Hybrid confirmed internally

On November 6, 2023, Chosun Biz released a report claiming that the successor to the Seltos will have a hybrid powertrain. The plan was apparently confirmed during the Kia Labor-Management Employment Stability Committee, with production of the Seltos electrified variant allotted to the Autoland Gwangju factory.

It’s safe to assume that the South Korean publication was referring to the second-generation Seltos, as the current model is almost five years old, and is nearing the end of its lifecycle. The small SUV has brought immense success to Kia in South Korea and emerging markets. In the U.S., the Seltos’ sales surpassed the whole Niro family in 2023.

Hybrids & PHEVs to drive alongside EVs

Kia may be on an EV onslaught, but there are customers who cannot commit to EVs, be it because of higher cost, the lack of charging infrastructure, or insufficient driving range. The company will have to cater to these customers while keeping in mind its carbon neutrality goals, and that’s where the hybrids and plug-in hybrids step in. Recently, Kia expanded its UV hybrid line-up with the 2025 Carnival Hybrid, and offers Hybrid & PHEV variants in the Niro, Sportage, and Sorento carlines.

Low-cost Hybrid system

We feel that Kia may not employ the Niro’s hybrid system in the next-gen Seltos due to fear of cannibalization, and to keep costs in check. The company has developed a different hybrid system, one based on a 1.6-liter turbocharged gas engine, and it uses that in the Sportage Hybrid and Carnival Hybrid. However, that might prove too expensive and powerful for the Seltos Hybrid. A new, 1.5-liter naturally aspirated engine-based hybrid system would allow it to price the subcompact model competitively, even in emerging markets, offering a balance of power, efficiency, and cost.

2024 Kia Seltos interior
The Kia Seltos Hybrid could be launched as the brand’s most affordable hybrid model in the U.S. The future subcompact SUV is expected to debut a new hybrid system that is simpler than the current systems.

Release Date

Production of the Kia Seltos Hybrid will start in 2025, as per the report. Thus, we think the U.S. launch of the next-gen Seltos series could take place in early 2026, six years after the release of the first-gen model. It’s early to make predictions of the availability of the Seltos electrified variant in the states, but we’re sure that Kia’s local office is keeping a close eye on the developments.