The new Kia Seltos SUV comes in three engine options: a 1.5-litre petrol, a 1.5-litre diesel, and a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol with direct injection. All three engines of the Kia Seltos are mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. In addition, you can have the 1.5-litre petrol with a 7-speed CVT automatic, the 1.5-litre diesel with a 6-speed automatic, and the 1.4-litre turbo petrol with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. All three engines are compliant with the upcoming Bharat Stage 6 emission norms.
During our test drive of the Kia Seltos SUV in Goa, we found the 1.4-litre petrol motor to be quick and free-revving. It was best driven with the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. That said, the manual wasn’t a bad ride either. The 1.5-litre diesel engine, on the other hand, issued massive amounts of torque at low speeds and a clean, linear pull across the powerband. All in all, we loved the way the Kia Seltos handled itself through the narrow, wet streets of Goa.
It’s clear that Kia has decided to put its best foot forward while entering the Indian car market. And that’s the reason it has brought in a mid-size tech-filled SUV that’s sure to catch the attention of buyers.
The headlamps on the Kia Seltos are Crown Jewel LED units with bright white daytime running lamps running almost across the entire lip of the bonnet. Like the headlamps, the tail lamps are LED too. On the top, there’s an electric sunroof, which you can deploy with the push of a button.
The Kia Seltos gets disc brakes on all of its four 17-inch alloy wheels and is supported by active safety technologies, like ABS, ESC, HAC, and VSM. What’s more, there’s an inbuilt tyre pressure monitor to keep the rubber well inflated. Kia has also made the horn louder specifically for India.
The dashboard is large and plush with multiple displays and dials. The biggest display is the one you see in the middle: it’s a 10.25-inch high-definition multi-touch colour display to control just about everything inside the car. Then there’s a 7-inch colour display in the instrument cluster to keep the driver fully informed.
But that’s not all. There’s an 8-inch combiner-type head-up display that gives the driver just the essential information while driving, such as speed, navigation route, and speed limit. It can be enabled and disabled with the push of a single button even while driving. In addition, there’s a brightness control switch for all the elements on the dashboard.
The big display in the middle of the dashboard is linked to a 400W Bose sound system with eight speakers in total. The front doors get two 6.5-inch drivers with tweeters, while the rear doors get two 5.25-inch drivers. Accompanying them is a center speaker on the dashboard and an 8-inch subwoofer in the boot. The Bose Dynamic Speed Compensation technology ensures that the volume rises with the car’s speed.
Before we go any further, we need to talk about UVO, the Kia Seltos’ big party trick. Now, UVO (or Your Voice) is to Kia what Blue Link is to Hyundai and what iSMART is to MG. What that means is that the big display you see on the dashboard works in conjunction with an app on the user’s smartphone to make life easier. Valid for three years from the time of the car’s purchase, the UVO service lets a user monitor and control their Seltos remotely. This is done using an embedded Vodafone eSIM card in the Kia Seltos.
Using the app, you can remotely check the car’s fuel level, where it is, how fast it’s going, etc. You can even set up a geo-fence around the car, which means you’ll be able to tell where all your driver has been taking it. In variants that have an automatic gearbox, you can even start the engine and air conditioner up remotely, meaning, by the time you leave the office and reach your car, the cabin will be cool.
On the inside, there’s a UVO button, which lets you talk to a Kia support agent about your problem on the road. This includes finding a proper route to your destination. If you’re too lazy or don’t know how to, you can use the concierge service to have the route inputted in the system for you. All you have to do after that is click yes on the screen and start driving.
And let’s not forget that the Kia Seltos also comes with a powered driver’s seat, a 360-degree view camera, air-con ventilation for the front passengers, a Qi-certified wireless charger on the dashboard, and ambient mood lighting.
When launched which we estimate to be by the end of August, expect the Kia Seltos to be priced between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 16 lakh (ex-showroom pan India) approximately. The Kia Seltos will take on the MG Hector, Hyundai Creta, Nissan Kicks and the Tata Harrier.
What If We feat. Monica Moser (Instrumental) by Mike Arnoult – Feeling For You | Screw That by Four Stroke Engine
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