In just about every Kia review, I claim to be a fan. It never changes. Back in February, when everything still appeared to be normal, I reviewed the Kia Seltos. The petrol models were launched and again, I raved about Kia. Fast forward past the craziness we have all experienced over the past few months and the diesel model has finally been able to make its way to South Africa to join the model lineup in what is a highly competitive segment.
There are so many compact SUV’s available now, especially with the introduction of the Volkswagen T-Cross and Hyundai Venue that arrived last year. Not to mention the updated Haval H2. As I mentioned in my first Seltos review, this vehicle is a bit of a stand out because it is a bit bigger than the models I just mentioned, but is smaller than say that of a Toyota RAV4 or a Hyundai Tucson. It sits in the middle somewhere. But certainly in the middle of the brands popular Rio and Sportage models, offering families the perfect inbetweener.
Like the petrol-powered models, this new diesel engine is also offered in two trim levels. The EX and EX+. The not so entry-level EX offers an extensive list of standard features which include air-conditioning, automatic headlight control, electrically adjustable side mirrors with integrated indicators, a multi-function steering wheel, electric windows, cruise control, an 8-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, not to mention Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition, as well as USB ports for front and rear passengers. A full-sized spare wheel is also on that list. EX+ adds leather upholstery, a centre armrest and a few other bits and bobs here and there. Either way, you are getting a fully kitted out car.
I am just going to add that there are also 6 airbags, Isofix anchorage points, ABS, rear park distance control, and a reverse camera. The EX+ adds Hill Start Assist and electronic stability control.
But now for the main reason I am again reviewing a Seltos. The new diesel engine on offer. It is a 1.5-litre turbodiesel which produces 86 kW of power and 250 Nm of torque. You can opt for either a manual or automatic transmission on the EX model, but the EX+ is only offered with the auto. I drove both the manual and the auto models and I can say that both are superb. The engine is super refined and power delivery is adequate. Although the manual is a smooth-shifting ‘box, you might want to consider the auto if just for convenience sake. Overall, I think you will be happy with either engine offering, but of course, the turbodiesel will offer a better fuel consumption.
Kia Seltos pricing and model lineup
Seltos 1.6 EX Manual R 380,995
Seltos 1.6 EX Automatic R 398,995
Seltos 1.5 CRDI EX Manual R 410,995
Seltos 1.5 CRDI EX Automatic R 428,995
Seltos 1.6 EX+ Automatic R 416,995
Seltos 1.5 CRDI EX+ Automatic R 446,995
Seltos 1.4 T-GDi GT-Line R 471,995