The Kia Seltos is the South Korean brand’s first product for the Indian market. It’s no secret that SUVs are the trendsetters for the consumers and the manufacturers these days. Just like MG, Kia will also debut their first product in the mid-size SUV segment, competing with the likes of the Hyundai Creta and Renault Duster. We have made a list of features prior to testing the car for our Kia Seltos review.
At the 2018 Auto Expo, Kia Motors showcased the SP2 concept in all its glory. As far as the exterior is concerned, the Seltos retains most of the design cues of the SP2 concept, and in flesh, it looks absolutely stunning. The front end is dominated by the signature ‘Tiger grille’ nose that is wrapped around alluring knurled textured aluminium and piano black plastic insert. The LED headlamps and indicators are neatly integrated and the ‘Ice Cube’ style fog lamps add a sense of sportiness to the front. In profile, the GT Line trim gets a pair of snazzy 17-inch alloy wheels with red-painted callipers. On the rear, the LED tail lamps look fantastic, although the rear skid plate looks a bit overdone.
Step inside the cabin, and the first impressions are really quite staggering. The fit-and-finish of the plastics is immaculate and there are no panel gaps or hard plastics to speak of. Taking the centre stage is a massive 10.25-inch HD touchscreen with UVO Connect that is capable of usual connectivity suite as well as Apple Carplay and Android Auto. The instrument binnacle is very neatly integrated. You also get a 7.0-inch coloured MID that displays the usual data and then some. In the GT Line trim, the leather-wrapped steering, seats, and the gear lever upholstery get a contrast red stitching further adding a sense of sportiness to the cabin. The seats are well-contoured and very supportive for some long-distance driving. Speaking of the seats, the front seats also get electric-adjust and ventilated seats, just like its sister sibling (Hyundai Creta). Limited to the GT Line trim, there’s also a Heads-Up Display that shows digital speed and navigation data so that you don’t have to lay your eyes off the road. If that’s not enough for you, there’s also a built-in air purifier with three fragrances to choose from. The 8-speaker Bose sound system works fantastically well with ambient lighting that dances around the speaker grille. As far as spaces are concerned, there are a couple of storage spaces to store your knick-knacks and those one-litre bottles.
Engine and Transmission:
There are three multiple engine and gearbox options to choose from. Firstly, the entry-level engine is a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol that is capable of churning out 113bhp and 144Nm of torque. The diesel front is led by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder mill that produces 113bhp and a healthy 250Nm of torque. For the enthusiasts, there’s also a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol direct-injection engine (T-GDI) that is capable of producing 138bhp and 242Nm of torque. While the six-speed manual gearbox is standard across the range, each engine gets a different type of automatic transmission. The 1.5-litre petrol gets a continuously variable transmission (CVT), the diesel is paired to a six-speed torque converter (AT) and the T-GDI motor comes with an option of a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Having said that, all the engines – at the time of launch – will meet the stringent BS-VI emission norms.
Pricing and launch date:
While pricing still remain a mystery – at the time of writing this article – we expect Kia to aggressively place the Seltos in line with the Hyundai Creta. This means the Seltos will hamper the sales of the Creta and the Renault Duster. Plus, with some segment-first features and BS-VI enabled powertrains from the day of its launch, Kia Seltos is definitely a step up from the venerable Creta, which itself will share its platform and engine options in the next facelift. So, if Kia gets the pricing right – there’s no stopping the fact that the Seltos will be the first choice for a mid-size SUV buyer. We’ll have to wait for 22nd August to witness that. But since the Seltos has already garnered 23,000 bookings in just 15 days, there’s no stopping the fact that the Korean automaker has done an amazing job with their first product. To read our extensive Kia Seltos review, be sure to tune in to autoX.