Korea-spec Kia Seltos Test Drive Review - What Are The Differences?

by Vivaan Khatri | 06/08/2019
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Kia Seltos will go on sale on in the upcoming weeks. Before the official launch, let's find out more details about the Korean-spec Seltos and see how it differs from the Indian version.

Kia Seltos is slated to launch on August 22. This upcoming SUV will directly challenge the segment-leading Hyundai Creta. As the first vehicle of the South Korean manufacturer in the market, Kia Seltos will be fully equipped with a load of the latest technologies and premium features. Besides, Kia Seltos will also be available with a great variety of powertrain options. Along with the launch in India, Kia Seltos will make its debut in other markets. Recently a Philippine car news website, AutoIndustriya.com, has uploaded a video review of the Seltos filmed in South Korea – the mother market of this SUV. Before this model heads to the India market, let’s take a look at the Korean-spec version first.

Kia Seltos 2020 - First Drive Review 

As far as the exterior goes, Kia Seltos sports an unapologetically sporty and modern design. Its styling is a balanced combination of robustness and attractiveness. The Seltos features a wide application of LED lights throughout the exterior, from the headlights, day-running lights, headlights to foglights. Moreover, headlights seamlessly connect with the tiger-nose grille. The boxy element on the front end doesn’t make it look old-fashioned by no means. Instead, it makes the Seltos unique in its own way. The Indian version will be essentially similar to the Korea-spec model.

kia seltos 2020 front grey

India version of the Kia Seltos looks practically similar to the Korea-spec model 

On the inside, Kia Motor presents a high-quality interior. Overall, the interior is was executed with an excellent fit and finish. The seats of the Seltos are confirmed by the reviewer to be highly comfortable. Also, Kia claims to offer a spacious 498-litre room for the cargo space (with the rear seats folded up). However, while the interior of the Korean Seltos, as seen on the video, comes with a brown-black colour combination, the India-bound version will feature a black-beige interior colour scheme.

kia seltos 2020 front interior

The interior of Kia Seltos is quite premium for a car of its class

Just like the Indian version, the Korean model used here also comes with a large 10.25-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple Carplay along with internet connection and navigation function. Besides, the UVO Smart Connect system, which is Kia’s version of Hyundai’s Blue Link system, will provide car users with cutting-edge experiences. Other highlights of the interior include a head-up display, an 8-speaker Bose sound system, ambient lighting, smart air purifier, ventilated power-adjustable driver seat, leather upholstery, an electric sunroof and reclining rear seats. Compared with the Indian model, the Korea-spec Kia Seltos will get some advanced features like smart key remote engine start/stop, heated rear seats and navigation-based cruise control function. Kia also equips its first car with a long list of safety feature equipment including blind-spot monitor, front and rear parking camera, traction control, six airbags, ESC and a 360-degree camera.

kia seltos 2020 interior engine

The Indian lineup of Kia Seltos will include three engines, two petrol and one diesel 

About the powertrain, in India, Kia Seltos will be available with three engine options, two petrol motors and one diesel unit. All engines will be mated to a standard 6-speed manual transmission. Each will get a different automatic gearbox option, which is an unprecedented offering in India market. Two petrol engines comprise of a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated unit (113 Bhp/144 Nm) and a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine (138 PS/242 Nm). The former gets an optional CVT automatic gearbox while the latter is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. For our market, the turbo petrol unit will be on offer only on the sporty GT Line trim. The only diesel engine is a 1.5-litre turbocharged unit that delivers a maximum power of 113 Bhp and a peak torque of 250 Nm. The automatic option of this engine is a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission. However, on the review video, AutoIndustriya team test drives a 1.6-litre T-GDI turbocharged petrol engine version. This engine develops an impressive power output of 177 Bhp. The Seltos featured on the video is an all-wheel-drive version with a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the same unit offered on the 1.4-litre petrol unit in India. However, this high-performance engine itself will not be included in the India line-up.

Also read - 2019 Kia Seltos Brochure Leaked, Revealing Features and Specs Ahead of Launch

Kia Seltos also proves itself to be competent when it comes to the driving experience. The Seltos features light power steering, responsive braking and pleasant riding quality. However, it is unpredictable how the Seltos will behave on Indian roads because the test drive was carried taken on smooth roads of Korea which are a good deal better than ours.

This model clocked 6,000 bookings within one day after the bookings were opened. Kia Seltos will compete against the likes of Hyundai Creta, Renault Captur and Nissan Kicks.

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