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Old 13th September 2021, 06:11   #1
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Default Replacing my not-so-old Kia Seltos DCT

Replacing my not-so-old Kia Seltos DCT-seltos1.jpg

Circa 2019, I was hunting for an automatic. Eighty thousand kilometers in my humble remapped 1.3 S Cross had spoiled me. Age was catching up and the left knee was hurting during my routine drives. Budget was 20-25 lacs.

It was then that the Seltos was dropped from mid air with a certain unimpressive Bollywood star protégé showing off his muscles in a classical Indian “baniyan”, impressed my kids. The red color stuck, there was no looking back. My sensible friends chose the Gen 3 Octavia 1.8 TSI. The driving position was low in the Octavia and back then I wanted a commanding driving position. Moreover the Skoda dealer at Cochin had just shut shop and I had to get the Octavia delivered and serviced at Thrissur, 70km from Cochin. Dropped the Octavia plan. Then came the MG Hector. Wifey and Kids wanted the Hector. It was huge on the inside and there was this huge panoramic sunroof that they fell in love with. For me the Hector looked like one of those fancy European Coffins with a large steel grille on the front. Would be a fitting coffin for a “pseudo SUV” enthusiast. Jeep compass had impressed me, but the gearbox just put me off. Moreover only the Trailhawk had an automatic tranny. Never entertained the thought of a German car, as at that moment, all of them were out of my budget. Infact choosing the Seltos over the Hector was a cakewalk for me, not for my family. For them I did the mistake of choosing a small and uncomfortable “Jeep” over a large and luxurious “Innova”.

The Koreans had never impressed me. We had an Accent 1.5 GLS for around a decade. Except for the air conditioning and plush ride, everything about the car was a disappointment, especially the cotton ball steering and unimpressive noisy NA petrol engine. Then some one said KIA was different. Took the test drive of the Kia Seltos GTX DCT. Was not a fan of interiors, but the engine characteristics impressed me. It was tractable, more like a GT TSI than my old Accent. Confirmed GTX Plus DCT and come November 2019, GTX Plus DCT in “unimpressive RED” was in my garage. We had all the Customary Pooja done and people around were impressed. My boss was not particularly happy as he felt that I spent too much on a “luxurious car”.

The beginning of DCT troubles.

The DCT gearbox was a dream to drive. As I got used to the gear box characteristics, I enjoyed it at the same time. Troubles started showing after 2-3 months of usage. The DCT gearbox started to skip gears and gave me the headache of the decade (Read the issues in my thread). Finally after 2 months, got the car repaired and DCT stopped giving me troubles.

The Global NCAP Performance

After spending 21 big ones, once you start to feel that you are settled, here comes the paltry 2 star GNCAP rating for the Seltos (For me its still 2). I travel 40-60km a day through narrow single laned highways of Kerala darting in and out of container lorry lines. Never have I felt so low or so cheated in my life. I thought that for a product feature rich and expensive as the Seltos, a 4+ star rating is a must and Kia should have ensured that. I have never been able to enjoy my Seltos after this. Just wanted to sell of the car at that moment. However I had this apartment furnishing coming up and we were moving to a new home. My bank balance was a joke and I could not close the loan. Stuck with the Seltos for another 10k Km. We have settled in our new home and everyone around seems to be happy. Now would be the perfect time to close the loan and sell of the Seltos. Seltos does have a very long waiting period and used car market prices are quite good. So “Sell-Toss” it will be. Then comes the next question. What car are you going to buy next?

Budget: 50L max
Down payment : Seltos GTX Plus DCT – “Intense” Red

I have compromised so much till now. I want a car that can impress me with driving dynamics and I don’t want an SUV. I chose the Accent GLS over Ford 1.6 ROCAM (for my dad) in 2004, I chose the Wagon R over Swift ZXI in 2006, I chose the Dzire VDI over the Swift ZDI in 2009, I chose the S Cross 1.3 alpha over the 1.6 in 2015. And in 2019, I chose the Seltos DCT over Octavia 1.8 TSI. This could not happen again. The same thing has been happening in my life again and again. Not anymore. I would request respected BHPians to chip in with their suggestions and save my day.

The cars I test drove till now

Jeep Compass Model S 9AT 2.0 Diesel 4x4
- PROS
Well within my budget
Ample space
Good dynamics
- CONS
Poor refinement
Noisy engine
Gearbox was a disaster
Performance of AT not worth asking 36 lacs

Skoda Octavia 2TSI L& K
- PROS
Nimble to drive
Okayish suspension
- CONS
Sea of Beige
“Oh that shift by wire shifter”
A bit too low for my liking
No thrill to drive

BMW 330 Li / 330i M
- PROS
Everything about it
- CONS
PRICE
Expensive spares and service

Hope I Can find my answer here

Last edited by sandygordon : 13th September 2021 at 06:12. Reason: Spellings
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Old 13th September 2021, 06:35   #2
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Default re: Replacing my not-so-old Kia Seltos DCT

It seems like you would have been the ideal candidate for the Honda Civic (sensible, reliable and fun to drive) but considering Honda has pulled the plug on the Civic in India, you would have to go the German route. I would suggest exchanging your Seltos for a similar less used Civic, if not then start off by looking at the Octavia
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Old 13th September 2021, 06:45   #3
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Default re: Replacing my not-so-old Kia Seltos DCT

Get the BMW, reasons?
  • You are not satisfied the way Jeep Compass diesel AT drives, this will always remain at back of your mind even after purchase, especially when the situation arises and car fails to perform as per your expectation.
  • Skoda Octavia is a good package sans DSG woe. You have already tasted the sour part (i.e. reliability) with Kia Seltos and it can be more worse, hence will suggest to be away from DSG technology.
A bimmer (BMW) will surely be expensive to keep, but a drive and experience of RWD pushing you into the seat will make you realise it was well worth the additional expense.
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Old 13th September 2021, 06:52   #4
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Default re: Replacing my not-so-old Kia Seltos DCT

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandygordon View Post
The same thing has been happening in my life again and again. Not anymore.
Two sedans stand out in the current market:

BMW 330i: Absolute driver's delight. The gap between Octavia and 330i is a lot now in terms of overall feel and it makes sense to skip Octavia to get to 330i directly even if pre-owned. Of course, this is a luxury segment, so one needs to do the math on budgeting - but given 50L range it is within reach if you do proper research.

Camry Hybrid: Fantastic car if you have family on mind. I would say Camry is making some giant leaps with each iteration. Design (esp front is not universally liked) + wait-time might be the issues. Test drive it before saying it's a Toyota.

Skoda has been the "default" choice for great sedans (Octavia and Superb) for a value conscious buyer but BMW 330i and Camry Hybrid are truly exceptional in their current iteration and one doesn't have to put up with the poor customer service of VW group.

Last edited by androdev : 13th September 2021 at 06:55.
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Old 13th September 2021, 07:15   #5
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Default re: Replacing my not-so-old Kia Seltos DCT

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandygordon View Post
I have compromised so much till now. I want a car that can impress me with driving dynamics and I don’t want an SUV. I chose the Accent GLS over Ford 1.6 ROCAM (for my dad) in 2004, I chose the Wagon R over Swift ZXI in 2006, I chose the Dzire VDI over the Swift ZDI in 2009, I chose the S Cross 1.3 alpha over the 1.6 in 2015. And in 2019, I chose the Seltos DCT over Octavia 1.8 TSI. This could not happen again. The same thing has been happening in my life again and again. Not anymore.
Looks like it's time for the BMW. No cons except for the price? Done deal right there!

Get the beemer, take good BSI coverage and enjoy. End of story. Just retain it longer to offset the high initial costs.
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Old 13th September 2021, 07:21   #6
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Default re: Replacing my not-so-old Kia Seltos DCT

You've compromised all your life for practicality so go and get yourself the 330i. Ensure the boot space and rear seat space are fine.

This is your only option if driving pleasure is your sole criteria.
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Old 13th September 2021, 07:56   #7
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Default re: Replacing my not-so-old Kia Seltos DCT

BMW 330i sport/Msport according to your budget. Get it with your eyes closed. Its an absolutely amazing machine and will keep you entertained for at least the next decade! I especially love the valve in the exhaust which opens in sport mode. What a beast. Evm autokraft has been good to me and their service is good. BMW is quite reliable too provided you maintain it well. Would recommend extended warranty. If budget is absolutely a constraint, you should go the Skoda superb sportline way. It looks smashing in Blue and has all the bells and whistles you'd need. But then BMW reliability>>> Skoda reliability in my experience.
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Old 13th September 2021, 08:02   #8
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Default re: Replacing my not-so-old Kia Seltos DCT

Hello Sandy,

Two things stand out in your requirements. A safe car and one with excellent driving dynamics. Seltos failed miserably in the first aspect and fulfilled the second one to an extend. But then how can you enjoy a car with good dynamics when you know that it isn't safe at all.

Life is only once and guess you're well placed now to take the plunge after having missed the boat a few times in the past. Isn't it a no brainer to go for the 330i if it's strictly a new car you're gunning.

With the budget you have, going down the pre owned route opens up a lot of other options. With patience, you can find well maintained X3 with service and warranty packages since a high seating position is preferred by you.

If sedan is the only choice, then 530i M Sport, 520d Luxury Line are up for grabs well within your budget. You can find real good copies with warranty still intact. You have the option of extending them too. A quick look at olx shows the below. I'm not suggesting these very particular cars in the ads nor OLX, but have a look at the indicated Kerala prices. I would say you go for a pre owned 5 series than a new 330i. Also gives the option of diesel. This is probably your last chance in your life to own a 6 cylinder diesel in the form of 530D or and 530d M Sport albeit with a slight extension of the budget.
Replacing my not-so-old Kia Seltos DCT-screenshot_20210913073743_olx-india.jpg

Replacing my not-so-old Kia Seltos DCT-screenshot_20210913082732_olx-india.jpg

In Kochi and Thrissur, there are reputed premium used car dealers. Royal Drive, Nippon group's Autostarke in Thrissur, EVM group's Autodrome, Harman Motors etc. You cut the risk by a great margin when you're dealing with such firms. I would suggest you make a visit to them and things would fall in place.

So it has to be a BMW this time, new or pre owned and there would surely be no looking back. With the "joy of driving", you don't need to look back through the IRVM either, you just need to plant your eyes firmly on that straight line and gun it. Happy hunting.

Last edited by Bibendum90949 : 13th September 2021 at 08:28.
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Old 13th September 2021, 09:44   #9
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Default re: Replacing my not-so-old Kia Seltos DCT

Hi, considering that your criteria is safety and driving performance I would say, test drive the XUV7OO once.
Pro's
-Media reviews have been good on ride and dynamics of the vehicle. It has apunchy petrol engine producing 200 ps.
-Decent torque converter.
-Spacious with a huge sunroof (family requiremet)
-Commanding driving position

Con's
-Not a BMW in terms of luxury.
-Mahindra after sales are a hit or a miss.
-Long delivery period perhaps.
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Old 13th September 2021, 10:02   #10
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Default re: Replacing my not-so-old Kia Seltos DCT

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Originally Posted by sandygordon View Post
I travel 40-60km a day through narrow single laned highways of Kerala darting in and out of container lorry lines.
Always map your car requirement to the roads you drive them on - your driving cycle. A car may be a good drivers car but you wouldn’t be able to reap that advantage if you are going to use the car on narrow single lane highways daily trying to avoid trucks and buses that would come at you with reckless abandon increasing your stress levels substantially.

A BMW would have been ideal if you had the roads to drive them on, but given your situation for use on narrow single laned roads with trucks and buses coming at you, it would not fit the bill.

I would suggest the Jeep Compass amongst your selection or other large SUV such as a Fortuner that would get you the respect and space on single laned roads from trucks and buses and wouldn’t increase your stress levels every day.
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Old 13th September 2021, 10:11   #11
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Default re: Replacing my not-so-old Kia Seltos DCT

Pick up the Jeep Compass, especially if you are traversing bad roads regularly. Love the way that the car drives. The Beemer would be a second choice, but it is pretty expensive to upkeep towards the later part of the ownership period, from what a lot of owner friends tell me. Recently, my uncle in the USA sold his BMW and upon being questioned why, he said BMW stands for "Break My Wallet"

On another note, interesting to see the Kia being called out for its poor safety rating and gearbox woes from an actual owner on the forum. It is pathetic and ridiculous that once has to face these fundamental issues after paying north of INR 20 lakhs. The mind boggles, really.
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Old 13th September 2021, 10:38   #12
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Default re: Replacing my not-so-old Kia Seltos DCT

Make no compromise and get the 330i. It's a fantastic machine to drive. Narrow highways of Kerala require a quick responding gearbox and compact size to make sudden overtaking and the 3 series is the best choice among the three. I own a 3 series for 7 years. The car has been very much reliable and it has not been heavy on maintenance even after 2 years of expiry of warranty/BSI.

Last edited by anb : 13th September 2021 at 10:40.
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Old 13th September 2021, 11:30   #13
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Default re: Replacing my not-so-old Kia Seltos DCT

I think you should fallback to your original shortlist, i.e. the Octavia.

If you not too much into performance etc., the Octavia should serve you rather well.

You may also consider the Superb. It is whisker away from the Octavia.
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Old 13th September 2021, 11:51   #14
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Default re: Replacing my not-so-old Kia Seltos DCT

Given that you have driven SUVs (okay the SCross is a crossover) for the last two iterations would a sedan make sense? Especially as you mentioned darting in an out on two lane roads in Kerala, the extra visibility sure helps versus a low slung sedan. The 330i is an excellent choice standalone but if you haven't already get an extended drive on the same on one of the two lane highways. I think BMW advisors are usually ready to facilitate this.

Since the NCAP rating is important for you, why not pick the new Tiguan. It comes with the same 2.0L TSI in the Octy and gives the advantages of an SUV. Falls well within your budget too.

A couple of other options would be the X3 (stretches your budget a bit) or the Fortuner with a Tien suspension upgrade.

Drive on,
Shibu.

Last edited by shibujp : 13th September 2021 at 12:02.
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Old 13th September 2021, 11:54   #15
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Default re: Replacing my not-so-old Kia Seltos DCT

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMG Power View Post
Always map your car requirement to the roads you drive them on - your driving cycle. A car may be a good drivers car but you wouldn’t be able to reap that advantage if you are going to use the car on narrow single lane highways daily trying to avoid trucks and buses that would come at you with reckless abandon increasing your stress levels substantially.

I would suggest the Jeep Compass amongst your selection or other large SUV such as a Fortuner that would get you the respect and space on single laned roads from trucks and buses and wouldn’t increase your stress levels every day.
This is just *SO* true. When I was buying, I really wanted to get myself a Skoda Octavia, but I knew, I would be doing the car a great injustice as I drive a lot, to varied places, where roads can exist or can not. This (Sheel's Mahindra Scorpio S10 4WD. EDIT: 90K done.) sums up my experience and the reason to get a Mahindra 4WD over an Octavia.

While I have never been to Kerala, have been reading that road width is less, has lots of curves and the state transport buses are unruly.

Secondly, it does take time to adjust to a SUV, but once you get used to one, there is no looking back.
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