Firstly kudos to the team for the wonderful review.
I would like to write my experience with the 1.5 HTX IVT Petrol
Link to my buying experience post : https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...ml#post4714423 (The Kia Seltos SUV (SP Concept). EDIT : Launched at Rs. 9.69 lakhs)
I have driven the vehicle for 1500 Kms now and here are my impressions. Since the vehicle build and design has been well documented in the official review there is nothing more that I can add in those regards. I will focus my post on the drivability and performance of the HTX IVT.
First of all, I am quite happy with my purchase decision and so far it has been a delightful ownership experience.
HTX IVT does not have the powered driver seat adjustment available in the high end of GT and Diesel trims. I was able to quickly find the right driving position with the manual seat adjustment.
The dead pedal is quite comfortable to use as well.
When you crank up the engine, the engine noise is well contained.
Shift the gear to D and press the gas pedal with the intention of moving the vehicle, the engine revs up to 1800 - 2000 RPM. The engine noise at this stage is audible inside if you are not playing the audio system. Not a very pleasant experience in the beginning but I kind of got used it and now a days I don't notice it at all.
The vehicle pulls out of its state of rest smoothly.
What I realised after driving the IVT for some time is that there is a learning curve involved. We have to learn the language the vehicle understands. In this case, it is the rate of change of gas pedal. Over a period of time, we learn what works when. As told by many others before, flooring the pedal doesnt work. But you can get reasonably good launch and acceleration by managing the pedal in the right way. The engine is quite responsive till you reach 80 Kmph. I was quite impressed by the drivability in this speed range.
My 1500 Kms drive can be divided as 500 Kms of highway drive ( Bangalore - Hasan), 100 - Kms of curvy and ghat roads (Chikmagalur / Sakleshpur region) and rest around 800Kms of Bangalore city driving.
Bangalore traffic diving is a breeze. My left foot is now bored as it misses all action it used to have with my old manual car
. Steering is also quite light and easy.
Highway driving was also good. You do miss the lack of throttle response and wish you had a GT or Diesel when you cross the 80 Kmph mark but you cant have everything. The steering weighs up pretty well at higher speeds and I did not feel it as lifeless (I read a comment about steering being lifeless at higher speeds in our forum before)
Seltos handled the curvy village roads very well. I never felt un reasonable body roll.
One two lane roads with opposite traffic, if you are travelling at 70 - 80 kmph and wants to overtake, we have to really plan it. It may be risky to do the manoeuvre if there is a vehicle approaching in the opposite direction.
Steep inclines and hair pins were also handled well. The IVT delivers the right amount of wheel torque required for the situation.
I had to drive on a pretty steep unpaved way once. I was quite apprehensive about the same. But the vehicle handled it comfortably. I am not sure how it would have reacted if there was mud leading to wheel slip.
Road noise does creep in at higher speeds on rough roads
In some speeds, I also observed wind noise inside the cabin (sounded like it was coming from the OVRM area) Suspension
Its a love - hate feeling. As mentioned in the review, it is on the harder side. The road undulations are felt inside the vehicle. But it was not too uncomfortable to hate it most of the times. But there are certain road conditions where you feel it is bad. One thing I like is that the ride is not wobbly (like in some vehicles where you get a feeling of being on top of a water bed) and body roll is well managed.
If it was possible for Kia to make it two notches softer with out affecting wobbliness and body roll, It would have been perfect. Not sure if it is possible.
The suspension is not silent. This could have been better.
There was a comment about metal clanking noise while braking under certain situations. I have observed it too. I believe it is the ABS getting activated when brake is applied while wheel is turned or when it detects minor slips. Shouldn't be this noisy though.
Another issue that I have is that there is an irritating reminder to shift the gear to P when you switch off the engine. I am used to switching off the engine in long signals (too much of PCRA ad watching perhaps). I think it is not possible to start the vehicle unless it is in P (haven't tried it). To make it worse, you have to make sure that your foot is of the brake pedal when you want to turn on only the accessory (required to run the blower if you are waiting inside the car in a signal) and not start the engine. Anyways it has made it difficult for me to stop the engine in long traffic waits and I end up letting the engine run in most cases and add to India's trade deficit
There was a mention of OEM dust bin rattling. I agree but I was able to fix it in the front passenger door with our the rattle with some trial and error.
White interiors : Makes the cabin roomy but I gets soiled very easily. Service
I did my first service at exactly 1000 Kms (the guy who took the reading commented on it as well)
The service was un eventful. Got Teflon coating and under chassis coating done.
Assessment of the service engineers is that if there is a complex issue with the vehicle, they might sweat a bit and I wouldn't be confident to leave it completely to them. Mileage
100% Bangalore run (75% traffic and 25% on roads that are not crowded) : MID showed 10.6 and tankful method gave me 9Kmpl. This was after the first service with normal petrol from Shell.
On highway I guess I was getting around 16 Kmpl.