This rather conspicuous advertisement sits atop the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Folks, what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate. Or rather, we suspect that might be some of the chatter currently taking place among various departments at Kia’s U.S. headquarters right now. If you recall, yesterday the automaker dropped a teaser image that showed an obscured SUV with a reveal date of November 20.
Imagine our surprise, then, to see this freaking gigantic advertisement “introducing the tough and ready 2021 Kia Seltos.” And where do we see this? Why, right outside the Los Angeles Convention Center, where auto journalists from around the world are presently gathering en masse for the 2019 LA Auto Show. So yeah, it’s safe to assume this is Kia’s new mystery reveal, albeit a day early. Guess the advertising team didn't get the memo to keep things on the DL until the 20th.
As far as leaks go, this isn’t the worst. Kia actually revealed the Seltos several months ago in India, but the compact SUV wasn’t confirmed for the U.S. market. Technically speaking, this larger-than-life advertisement doesn’t confirm the Seltos is coming to America but come on – it’s literally plastered to the side of the LA Convention Center. We also don’t have any details about the alleged U.S-spec Seltos yet, so there will indeed be some fresh news to learn from its official unveiling.
Gallery: 2020 Kia Seltos
We can say that it launched overseas with a choice of 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines burning either gasoline or diesel, and a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine. We can also say it should hold a Kia Niro-sized place in the automaker’s lineup, though its squarish styling is reminiscent of the Kia Soul. Comparing the advertisement to the international-launch Seltos photo gallery above, there appear to be some minor styling differences to the front clip. Given the exceedingly competitive compact crossover segment in the U.S., minor changes from the international model, be them aesthetically or mechanically, certainly aren't out of the question.
We will find out for sure in about 24 hours from this posting. Until then, we suspect some advertising folks in Kia’s fold have some explaining to do.