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Kia Seltos review: Kia Seltos First Drive Review: A new benchmark in the segment, Auto News, ET Auto

The name ‘Seltos’ is inspired by ‘Celtos’, the son of Hercules in Greek mythology. “S” here employs sportiness and strength and speed of the new SUV. Targeted to young-at-heart people who like to take risks and embrace the outdoors, Kia Seltos is pitted against the likes of Hyundai Creta, Tata Harrier, MG Hector and Nissan Kicks.

Kia Seltos will be launched in three engine options along with three transmission variants. It has dual trims - Tech line and GT line, spoiling the intended buyers.

The Tech line of Kia Seltos offers premium look, family-oriented comfort and technology features. While the GT line offers sporty design and innovative features. Both the lines will have three variants - eXtreme, Klass and Energy.

Kia has left no stone unturned by increasing the feature list across its variants. With some of the segment’s first features like air purifier with perfume dispenser, Bose eight-speaker systems with mood lighting and heads up display units make Seltos stands out.

Can these strong features and multiple options really translate into high sales volumes? We give you our perspective based on the first drive we had in Goa recently.

Kia Seltos Exteriors
Yet again, we would like to reiterate that car/SUV design are subjective and hence it may vary from person to person. As far as the exterior design is concerned, it did not really impress me much as it stands at a time when carmakers have taken a massive leap in terms of design, specially taking massive cues from premium brands. The front of mid-size SUV Kia Seltos looks unnecessarily busy, cluttered and too jazzed up.
In the front, Seltos gets knurled-effect chrome trim around Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille, which gives it a bold and distinctive look. It also boasts of crown-jewel LED headlamp and ice-cube shaped fog lamps.
From the side, it gets a floating sunroof and door garnish with silver accents in Tech Line models, while the GT variants come with red accents in place of silver, mounted on 17-inch premium alloys with red calipers. This gives Seltos a dynamic and characteristic body silhouette.
Come to the rear, Kia Seltos certainly carries one of the best rears to look at. Seamless lamp and tailgate garnish give it a wider stance. Apart from this, it gets a dual muffler design with rear skid plates and reflectors with dynamic air dam design, which make it look sporty. In the GT trim, the skid plate gets red accents with GT Line emblem, below the tail lamp with 3D effect.

Kia Seltos Dimensions

Kia Seltos Interiors and Safety
Step inside Kia Seltos, you are greeted with a fresh and bold interior. Kia has tried to put its heart inside the cabin of Seltos. With all black or beige interiors, the cabin of Seltos looks upmarket and uniform.
D-cut steering wheel along with 10.25-inch HD touchscreen navigation, 7 colour odometer display and smart head-up display make the interior of Seltos as one of the best cabins to be in. To go beyond what is normal, Kia Seltos comes with 8 speaker audio system of Bose, fitted with mood lighting that will certainly up the game in the segment.
In terms of seat comfort and space, Seltos gets 8-way driver power seat, while the co-driver seats can be adjusted manually. Front seats are adequately cushioned with good back and thigh support. But the rear seats which can be reclined to 26 degrees and 36 degrees, do not give enough thigh support.
Tall passengers above Indian average height might have some discomfort in long travel. While the legroom and shoulder room is ample because of 2,610 mm wheelbase. The rear seat can be split into 60:40 ratio.

In terms of storage space, Kia Seltos gets a front console arm storage, front console cup holders, 7.85-litre glove box and rear armrest cup holders.

The boot of Kia Seltos can carry 433 litre of luggage which is higher by 31 litres in the segment.
In terms of safety, Seltos comes with six airbags and iso-fix child anchor. Along with active safety features like vehicle stability management, electronic stability control, front and rear parking sensors, anti-lock brake system, brake-force assist system and hill-start assist control.

Kia Seltos Engine and Transmission
The Seltos comes with three engines and three transmission options, which are - 1.4 T GDI Petrol, 1.5 Petrol and Diesel 1.5 VGT along with 6-speed manual transmission (MT), smart stream 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) and a 6-speed advance automatic (AT).
In terms of performance, 1.4 GDI petrol churns out 140 PS of power and 242 Nm torque which comes with an option of 6-speed MT and smart stream 7-speed DCT.

While the 1.5 petrol churns out 115 PS of power and 144 Nm which is mated with 6-speed MT and smart stream IVT.

Talking about the 1.5 VGT diesel engine, it churns out 115 PS power and 250 Nm mated with 6-speed MT and 6-Speed advance AT.

All three engines get Drive and Traction modes. In drive mode, Seltos offer Eco, Normal and Sports, while Traction mode offers has Mud, Snow/Wet and Sand. Kia Motors will launch BS-VI compliant engines from day one.

Kia Seltos Performance and NVH
Due to rains and limited time, we were able to drive only 1.5 VGT diesel AT, 1.4 GDI petrol MT and 7-Speed DCT.

Talking about 1.5 VGT diesel AT, it gives an initial punch because of 250 Nm torque which can be felt in the range of 1500 rpm - 2750 rpm.

However, pushing it beyond 80 Kmph requires little extra effort. But, it does not disappoint in terms of overall performance as gear shifts are smooth and rightly on time. It performs much better on the highways compared to the city.

The company claims that Seltos delivers 18 km/l mileage. However, we could not independently assess the mileage.

Talking about 1.4 GDI petrol, it is quick and fast when compared to the diesel variant. The torque punch is felt when you rev from 1500 rpm - 3200 rpm. It churns out 242 Nm torque and 140 PS power at 6000 rpm.

In terms of noise, vibration and harshness level, Kia Seltos scores full marks in petrol variants. The diesel unit is a bit noisy.

In terms of handling, the Kia Seltos’ steering is light and responsive. When you push the pedal to the metal, the steering gets a bit stiff and gives confidence to the driver.

ETAuto Verdict on Kia Seltos
If we minus the current slowdown, Kia Seltos is a winner which ticks all the boxes to attract buyers with modern and first-in-class features like the heads-up display, mood lighting, 360-degree camera, air purifier and UVO connect app with 37 features.

Similarly, with a wide range of engine and transmission options with two trim lines will surely hold the customers in the showroom. Kia has received 23,000 orders of Seltos till now.