Yes, never before the Kia Seltos a mid-size SUV, in the annals of India's automotive history, probably even globally, has any manufacturer offered not one but 4 transmission choices in one vehicle. As revealed today at a massive global unveiling by Kia of their new mid-size SUV Seltos, 3 of these are automatic â a continuously variable transmission or CVT, a 7-speed dual clutch automatic, a 6-speed standard automatic and a 6-speed manual. That is truly a bounty, but could also mean a lot more confusing to consumers who would find it hard to understand and make a choice between any of these transmissions. Overdrive will break this down for you when we at Overdrive get behind the wheel of each of these iterations of the Seltos, but for now suffice to say it is an astonishing choice.
What is also equally surprising is the choice of powertrains dubbed the Smartstream, principally enveloping a flagship 1.4-litre turbo petrol, in addition to a diesel and a naturally aspirated petrol engine choices. These engines are all BSVI ready, they will run just as well on the presently available fuel quality. And I'd expect the price of the Seltos, announced at a later date, will not seem as steep in the face of the tremendous amount of value Kia is injecting into the Seltos now, as against when everyone else hikes their prices significantly when BSVI finally goes on the floor pan India in April 2020. Kia also stated that their powertrains will come equipped with selectable driver assistance systems which will provide three levels of intervention. An eco-mode to maximize fuel efficiency, a sport mode that sharpens steering responses and elevates performance response and a normal mode that balances out the two.
The Seltos is Kia's first made in India product, built at their Andhra facility and featuring heavy localisation. It is an impressive looking vehicle, however I believe all the fancy bits you see, like the matrix styled LED headlamps and driving lamps, the mirror finish grille, some of the lower air dam, fender and sides stylized cladding, the beefy alloy wheels may all be optional equipment or available only on the top end trim. It matters not, all of that additional ornamentation definitely raises the Seltos styling to a whole new level. Myriad colour choices in very interesting tones including a two-tone exterior colour scheme further enhances the appeal. All the sculpting as well, clearly visible across the hood, on the door panels, at the rear on the tailgate lends the Seltos a spirited, racy and bold stance. This SUV is a head turner, and I daresay, it would make many an eager customer break the bank to get their hands on one, probably even in the current economic environment.
I can't tell you much of how the Seltos interior feels at this moment, I've only been able to glance at it through locked doors and windows rolled up. But, it looks impressive. Again I'm not sure if this is standard fitment or optional trim, because the vented (and cooled) leather upholstered seats, some of the dashboard trim, the mirror finish surfaces, the Bose speakers inside stylized covers, etc just look too rich for standard fitment. Nonetheless it is an impressive looking interior and I'm not certain if the images shot through glass convey the right message, but it is gorgeous. There is a large, I'd assume 12â touchscreen, lots of layering on the dashboard, what looks like soft-touch leather and much more inside that cabin.
Kia will also offer connected technology in the Seltos called UVO connect. It will offer a raft of navigation, comfort, security, telematics, infotainment and several more features. This will initially be a free service of subscription service, but at a later point consumers will have to subscribe to avail of the services. Read more about it here.
Detailed powertrain and chassis specifications haven't been shared at the moment, but there are tons more. Kia has left no stone unturned to offer what I think is a tremendous package the like of which we haven't seen in a long time.
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