‘Unwrapping’ and driving a new car is always an exciting experience!
The Kia Seltos entered the TURBOCHARGED garage with just 442km on the odometer and also came with the seats, dashboard and various panels covered in plastic. And admittedly, it was immensely satisfying to peel the stickers off the screens and take the covers off the seats! Not to forget, the smell of fresh plastic and leatherette seats that lingers in the cabin for at least a couple of months.
Coincidentally, a very close friend has the pre-facelift Seltos in the exact same spec: GT trim, red paintjob and diesel automatic powertrain. The facelifted version gets Over The Air (OTA) for inbuilt navigation, Kia UVO connectivity features as well as a smart air purifier that claims to rid the cabin of viruses and bacteria. It even gets voice command assists for opening the sunroof and driver’s window, which is pretty cool!
The pre-facelift Seltos is my friend’s daily driver and he has some good things to say about his SUV, which I have driven myself a few times. Given that the facelift packs in more features, I am confident it will make for an even better experience.
Of all variants, I like the GT line more for its sportiness. It gets subtle GT badging on the grille, tailgate, steering wheel and seat backrests along with contrast red stitching on the steering wheel, gear lever cover and seats.
The Seltos is one of the most feature packed SUVs in its segment, and it is not just the vast list of features that impress but also the cool ones, which until a few years ago, were seen only in expensive luxury cars. Like the HUD display, which also lets you customise information you want to see. Or the more India-relevant features such like the ventilated front seats that offer a greater degree of comfort in our humid conditions. I am particularly impressed by the blind view cameras and also the 360-degree views. Switching on the turn indicator on either side turns the multi-information display in the instrument cluster into a display screen and is a big help in terms of spotting Pune’s two-wheeler riders, who are notorious for overtaking from the left. It is also quite useful when switching lanes or turning into a bylane. Parking is a breeze as well, thanks to the high-resolution 360-degree views.
The all-black cabin impresses with its soft touch plastics and tight fit-finish levels. The seats feel plush, besides which the cabin also feels spacious. The eight-speaker Bose audio system plays crisp notes and when connected to Apple CarPlay and Apple Music’s lossless audio, makes for a fantastic ambience.
The 1.5-litre diesel motor is refined and offers quick acceleration but even more impressive is the torque converter automatic gearbox. Its shifts are almost as seamless and intuitive as the DCT in the Seltos Turbo! Ambling along in city traffic, the motor is eager and does not feel lacking, allowing me to stay ahead of most vehicles. As part of the update the Seltos diesel automatic also gets paddle shifters, add novelty. I’ve also always liked the seating position, besides which electric adjustment makes finding my sweet spot easy. Overall, like I said, the Seltos diesel automatic isn’t unknown to me thanks to my friend owning one, but this one certainly feels more exciting!