My 2021 Kia Seltos X-line: Ownership Review

The X-line carries forward all the features from the Seltos GTX+ variant, along with a few cosmetic updates, both inside and out.

BHPian t_manish76 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hi everyone. Hope each of you is keeping safe. Has been a while since I posted something (years now actually) and with the new addition to the family, felt it was time to pen something in.


After moving from the Hyundai Accent to the Linea T-Jet in 2010, the turbo bug had bitten me bad. Torque is truly addictive and once you have experienced it, it is hard to go back to naturally aspirated engines.

The T-Jet did excellent duty till 2016 when I had to leave the country after which she started developing a lot of niggles which Fiat service struggled to rectify. Since it was my better half using it in my absence, a replacement was needed. Had walked into the Hyundai showroom in Feb 2020 with the intention of picking up the Venue. After seeing the space, the ladies insisted on a bigger car and we settled on the Hyundai Creta SX Auto. This was a pre-covid and pre-BSVI deadline. Hence, got fabulous discounts at the time.

With the lockdown, the Creta hardly did any km in a year. Two trips to Goa in 2021 brought the ODO up to 6000 km. It was a comfortable and easy to drive ride. But that thirst for torque would just not go away. Add to that the soft suspension of the Creta which added to the body roll meant decent speeds on ghat curves sent my luggage all over the place. And with my move back to India due to Covid, meant I was now the primary driver and not my better half.

Options considered

  • 2021 Creta - The new Turbo Petrol model ticked all the boxes for me and the panoramic sunroof was a definite plus. Add to that reliable Hyundai service and it was an easy decision. But the better half threatened me with dire consequences if I replaced a year and half old Creta for another Creta. Hence, dropped this from the list
  • Hyundai Alcazar - Decided to take a test drive. The showroom was quite empty when I visited and managed to get a Diesel 6 seater AT for the test. The rear captain seats did not feel as roomy as expected. The weight of the car was evident during the test drive and did not even match the nimble handling of my previous gen Creta. Did not have much hope for the petrol version given the weight of the car and the price of petrol. Hence dropped this from the list too
  • XUV 500 - This was one car I always looked towards owing. Fun to drive, spacious and powerful. The icing on the cake was my daughter's bestie having the same car (in addition to the same school, same tuition teacher, etc.). No test drive was offered and did not need one. Availability of versions was an issue. They could give me the red W11 from the showroom or a silver W9. Was keen on a black W11, but it was not in stock and with production winding down, it was unlikely to come in either. There were massive discounts and with an exchange for the Creta, I was looking at a down payment of just 9 lakhs. I was ready to come back the next day and book it.
  • Kia Seltos - Unlike the other showrooms, the Autobahn showroom in Powai was crowded. Took us a while to even get attended to. Managed a test drive of a GTX Diesel AT and was hooked. The same engine from the Alcazar behaved totally different here. Thought again about the increasing petrol prices and the fears around DCT - finalized on getting a Diesel instead after the test drive and looked at the Xline.

Other options considered

  1. Tata Harrier - wonderful product and within my budget. But social media is full of horror stories of Harrier owners frustrated with quality issues. Hence ruled out
  2. XUV 700 - the introduction videos had me drooling. But being a new product, was wary of picking something up from the first lot which was likely to have niggles. Plus the waiting period was too long and booking was yet to start.
  3. Jeep Compass - this was my ultimate choice if I could afford it. Handled like a dream when I drove a friend's once. But the Limited version was way above budget. I considered getting a second hand one and keeping the Creta for the better half - but she was against spending so much for a used vehicle though it was coming at half the price of a new one
  4. Renault Duster turbo - barring the gizmos in newer gen cars, the vehicle was a second choice after the Jeep Compass. Superb Ride quality and turbo petrol finally. But this iteration came too late and the model was long in the tooth

Booking experience and Delivery

The experience with Autobahn was nothing to write home about. They seemed keener on collecting feedback than actually providing service. I also visited Shivaay Kia in Mumbai and it was a similar experience. Even without a test drive, they insisted I fill-up the form for feedback on the test. Clearly getting good customer feedback was a key target for them.

The issue was that they took too long to give a quote for the Creta and started at 11.2 Lakhs plus insisted that I release the vehicle right away. This took me away from Kia and I had finalized the XUV 500 instead who was willing to let me keep the Creta and even quoted 13.6 Lakhs. The icing on the cake was that on the day I planned to book, they even called up to say they found a black W11.

But in parallel, I had also escalated on Twitter to Kia Care India which took some time as they collected my info. But the subsequent response was amazing. Autobahn Kia Powai called up and provided a revised quote and assured allocation. After weighing on the future support for the XUV, finalized the Seltos. After negotiations, the exchange price was coming to around 9.24 Lakhs.

Had hoped to get a good number, but the amount quoted by the dealer was too high and I did not have time to visit the RTO and undergo the process myself. Was informed that they had received the first lot of X-Line cars and one was allotted. I could collect it in the first week of October.

At the time of delivery, all the paperwork was ready. They did the honours of covering the car with a red cloth that we grandly pulled back. There was an advisor who was kind enough to explain everything and helped configure UVO. We got a coupon for 5 litres of diesel as the tank was near empty. (With the Creta, it already had that 5 litres filled it when we took delivery)

Following are the accessories/options that we got which I think makes sense

  • Leather Lamination of the interior body
  • Anti Rust Coating
  • Door Visor
  • 3D floor and boot mats
  • Body Cover
  • Tyre inflator (Bell Aire 3000)

The below were included and I feel these should have been allowed as optional. It took the final on-road cost of the car to 22.24 Lakhs.

  • Car Cat kit (for keeping rats away). We do not have rats in our building and this could have been avoided
  • Tissue box and Car dustbin
  • Rear sunshade - hampered the view while driving at night. Lying idle at home and can give away if anyone wants it for free
  • Premium cushions and neck rest - the latter is too low for me on the seat to be of use.
  • Box number plate - charged at Rs.1250/- with Autobahn logo on it. A normal one like Hyundai had done at zero charges would have been good enough.

Driving experience

A lot has been written across posts in several forums on the Seltos and I will avoid repeating those here. Most of the features are the same as what you would see on the GTX+ variants.

The majority of the differences are cosmetic and could be listed as follows:

  • Paint - this is one thing that stands out. From a distance, you cannot make out the difference between normal grey seltos. But when closer, it does look unique and people do ask if I repainted it. There is a bunch of dos and don'ts with the car I have shared as a picture in this post.
  • Interior - The Indigo Pera leatherette seats with matching door panel trim stands out in daylight as being different. It is subtle enough to not be an eyesore but comfortable and smooth to the touch
  • Wheels - the 18-inch alloys are different from the GT and HT line series but remind me of a similar design on the Sonet.
  • Ride quality - was expecting a harsh ride quality with the previous year Seltos having stiff suspensions and now with the lower profile R18 wheels. Was pleasantly surprised to feel it handle most broken roads almost as well as the Creta did. High-speed behaviour remains to be seen
  • TPMS - this is now showing a pressure of 47 to 49. Not sure if this is right as I expected it to be in the 33 to 35 PSI range.

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