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A Sonet owner adds the 2023 Seltos to his garage: Initial impressions

The car is definitely a looker with a bold stance, tall 18-inch tyres, and excellent styling all around.

BHPian yedukrishnan199 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Kia Seltos Facelift GTX+ Diesel AT Review

Introduction

The Kia Seltos had been on my shortlist ever since its launch but with the launch of the facelift it's intrigue grew even more. I had been in search of a compact SUV since 2022 but one or more reasons prevented me from taking the plunge. I had test driven every car in the compact SUV space with each one being rejected for one or the other reasons.

Pros of the Kia Seltos GTX+ Diesel AT

  • Loaded to the Brim with Features.
  • Refined and Frugal Diesel motor mated to a smooth 6-speed Torque Converter AT.
  • Planted ride with body roll well under control.
  • Excellent fit and finish and interior quality.
  • Level 2 ADAS helps a lot, especially on the highway and marked roads.

Cons of the Kia Seltos GTX+ Diesel AT

  • The Diesel isn't the most powerful at only 116 hp.
  • GTX+ variant is quite pricey at Rs. 19,79,900/- ex-showroom.
  • No wireless Android Auto or Apple CarPlay in an otherwise connected car
  • Firm suspension isn't the best on bad roads.
  • All Black cabin feels claustrophobic.

Options Considered

The cars I had considered and the reasons for each getting rejected are as follows:

1. Jeep Compass

Jeep's future in India didn't seem too promising and with the constant price hikes over the years the car didn't seem to be value for money, moreover, the Diesel AT was only available in the 4x4 guise which wasn't a necessity for me. All factors considered I decided to strike it out from the list, even though I was impressed with the car after the test drive.

2. Tata Harrier

It seemed a promising car but constant issues of niggles were reported in my friends' circle and Tata after-sales didn't have a great reputation in my city either, and dropped from the list.

3. Mahindra XUV700

My cousin has the same car and he is happy with it, so decided not to go with it, moreover, we didn't need the 7 seats nor were happy with the AX 5 Vaiant which came with 5 seats. Dropped from the list.

4. MG Hector

My Family's aversion towards Chinese cars made me drop the MGHector from the list even though it was a good car.

5. Hyundai Creta

Not a fan of the looks of the current-gen Creta, and moreover the Seltos looked better in my eyes, an impending facelift launch and not being happy with owning a car that is due for a facelift in hardly 6 months all contributed to leaving the Creta off my list.

6. Skoda Kushaq/ VW Taigun

Both came with great offers for the 1.5 DSG but were eliminated after the family felt they appeared smaller than their size, The general decline in quality over the previous generation Skoda/VW's was also evident.

7. Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara/ Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder

Only the Hybrids were considered but were dropped after the family didn't approve of the quality of the materials in the cabin and the abundance of part sharing with cheaper Maruti models.

8. Honda Elevate

It felt like a compromise and overall seemed to be an inferior car to the Honda City we already own.

Finalizing Variant and Trim

So finally, all that was left was the Kia Seltos facelift, and by god's grace everyone in the family absolutely loved it, so when the news of the facelift started making the rounds, I immediately made a booking with the Incheon Kia dealership in Thrissur, with the token amount of Rs.25,000 and the waiting began. I finally went for the GTX+ Diesel AT variant in Gravity Grey and the car definitely looks great in this shade. However, finalizing the Diesel AT was a tough task as there were different opinions all around regarding the Diesel ban, low power of diesel, and what not, moreover, the Diesel AT and Turbo Petrol DCT were priced exactly the same, so it further resulted in discussions among the family on which fuel to go for, initially we had booked the Turbo Petrol DCT but after having a test drive, I felt the Turbo Petrol DCT was a bit of an overkill for my use case, moreover mileage wasn't great as a reported by the sales personnel, moreover, a few friends who owned the Verna and Alcazar in the same engine-gearbox combo also confirmed the same and encouraged me to go for the diesel and the family agreed on it too, so immediately called up the dealership to proceed with the change.

Booking, Price and Accessories

The experience from the dealership from booking to delivery was absolutely seamless and the sales executives regularly updated me with the details of the car, expected delivery timelines, and features of the car. I got a test drive immediately within the week of the official launch and I was immediately sold on the car. The price of the car ex-showroom was Rs. 19,79,900 and it came to Rs. 24,16,852 on-road in Kerala. we, however, opted for Kia's My Convenience Plus Luxury Package as well which provided us with the triple benefits of a 5-year maintenance package, an Extended warranty with 5 years' coverage, and 5-year Roadside assistance as well. Along with this a few accessories like a side step, premium dual layer mats, boot mats, body side molding, side fenders, and an underbody coating jacked the price up to over twenty-five lakh rupees, however, for what it offers, I definitely feel it is worth the price paid. The car was delivered on time as expected and we were treated to an extensive delivery ceremony by the dealership. I literally got goosebumps and was absolutely overjoyed to get my hands on my brand-new car.

Initial Impressions

The initial impressions are great. The car is definitely a looker with a bold stance, tall 18-inch tyres, and excellent styling all around. The elegantly designed cuts and lines, the connected tail lights sequential turn signals, a big and bold front grill, DRLs, and fog lights all add to the imposing nature of the car.

Space, Features and Praciticality

The car is practical with lots of spaces to store your stuff including cup holders, bottle holders in the doors, phone charging spaces, and so on. The boot is large at 433 litres and can hold more than enough luggage for a weekend trip or for ferrying luggage to the airport. The features in the car are definitely the talk of the town with almost everything you could ask for in this budget. The wireless charging pad with cooling function, drive, and traction control modes, electronic parking brake with auto hold, 360-degree camera, dual 10.25-inch screens, ventilated front seats, dual-zone climate control, voice commands, panoramic sunroof, Kia Connect, Air purifier and Bose sound system provide you with a wholesome experience and make you feel like you are in a car from a class above. The safety features in the car are also top-notch with 6 airbags standard, ABS, EBD, VSM, TPMS, TCS, ESP, Hill Hold Control, Hill Descent Control, ADAS, and a lot more as a part of the package.

The fit, finish, and quality levels in the car are also up to segment standards and you won't feel anything cheap in the car. The space at the back is adequate for three average-sized adults with everyone getting their own headrests as well. The rear occupants also get a charging port with USB-C, sunshades, rear AC vents, and an armrest with cupholders as well. so the comfort levels are definitely top-notch.

Ride, Handling, and Mileage

The ride is a bit on the firmer side but it adds to the sporty nature of the car, however, I feel it is definitely much better than the pre-facelift version with the facelift offering a more mature suspension setup. The steering is light at slower speeds but builds up weight as you pick up the pace which definitely is confidence-inspiring, the car keeps its composure even on twisted roads and feels planted with body roll well contained.

The mileage has been great so far with it hovering around the 19 to 20 kmpl mark while on the highways and around the 14 to 15 kmpl range in the city. The performance is adequate with the car able to build up power and pick up the pace smoothly with seamless shifts from the torque converter gearbox, The engine noise, road noise, and wind noise are well contained with the engine getting audible once you floor the throttle. it's a calm and composed mile muncher that will happily serve you well be it on the highway or in the city. I have completed around 1000 km in the car and it has been on a mix of highways, heavy traffic, pothole-filled roads, and the like, still, mileage has been more or so consistent, and within the figures mentioned above, the performance is more than adequate for our highways and roads, unless you want to go pedal to the medal or want the maximum performance out of your machine or if you live in NCR, I don't think you will be left wanting the turbo petrol DCT. The Diesel will happily serve you well with good mileage, performance, and cheaper fuel costs as well, along with a reliable, trouble-free Torque Converter AT. however, if your driving is on the lower side, Diesel isn't an option for you, and you crave performance, the Turbo Petrol DCT is the way to go.

ADAS

The most intriguing feature while driving is the Level 2 ADAS which definitely helps with all the 17 or so ADAS functions. they assist the driver while on the road with timely interventions when required. Be it Adaptive cruise control which is a boon on the highways as it steers the car ahead at an appropriate distance from the car in front, braking and accelerating in tow to maintain a fixed distance, forward collision warning which warns the driver of cars coming right at you, auto emergency braking which applies the brakes when the car senses obstacles very close by, blind-spot warning which alerts the driver of vehicles coming in from his blind spot, lane-keep assist which helps you drive perfectly within the lanes on marked roads and a host of others as well. The ADAS functions can be turned off or on at your convenience using the touchscreen infotainment system, along with customizing the level of assistance, warning sound levels, etc.

Service and Maintenance

Now, moving on to service and maintenance, with Kia introducing the My Convenience Plus package in the facelift Seltos and me opting for the same, in the Luxury package, service has been taken care of for 5 years with almost everything covered, the first service comes in 1 month or within 1000 km, the next at the 1 year mark or 10,000 km and thereafter at the second year or 20,000 km and so on till five years or 50,000 km. So far I have completed the first service within the 1 month of my ownership and it was absolutely hassle-free, with the dealership providing free pick up and drop, moreover during service, the service personnel regularly sends pictures of the car undergoing service, and you feel assured that your car is in good hands. Service costs even without the maintenance package are on the lower side and definitely won't burn a hole in your pocket.

Conclusion

Overall, the Kia Seltos facelift provides you with everything you need in a compact SUV and then some, it's loaded to the brim with features without compromising on anything noticeable as such. The drive is great, mileage is excellent, fit and finish and quality levels are top notch and it has a good amount of interior space on offer too. However, the ride is a bit firm, so it doesn't sail over bumpy roads like a softer suspension would have, there are a few omissions that Kia could have taken care of like the fixed armrest and lack of wireless Android Auto and Apple car play in the 10.25-inch infotainment system, however, despite the minor shortcomings, if you are looking for a well-rounded compact SUV in this segment, The Kia Seltos facelift should definitely be on your shortlist

A few pictures of the car during PDI, Delivery, and after:

During PDI:

Left-side Profile of the car

Right-side Profile of the car

A Closer look at the front headlights

Overall Look of the car from the left side

JK UX Royale 215/55 R18 Tyres

A Look at the Rear Profile

During Delivery:

Finally taking the delivery of the car!

After a few hundred kilometres:

Front Profile

Rear Profile

Right Front Three-Quarter

Left Side Profile

Left Front Three-Quarter

Right Side Profile

Driver side view

A View of the Rear Bench

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