SUVs are the flavour of the season. One of the most-awaited SUVs, the Kia Seltos, was unveiled at a "global premiere" in Gurugram today. This five-seater luxury compact SUV, will compete with the Tata Harrier, Jeep Compass and its cousin the Hyundai Creta as well in the Rs 12 lakh to Rs 17 lakh price segment.
Kia hasn't revealed all the details of the Seltos SUV as of now. However, it did give us a good look at the vehicle, but was reluctant to let us take a look at the interiors or engine of the vehicle. Most of the technical specifications, Kia says, will be available at launch, which should be around end July.
Kia Seltos Design
The talking point of the Kia Seltos is its design. In one word, it looks good. It has a futuristic styling to it, with LED headlamps and daytime running lamps dominating the front. It also gets vertically stacked LED fog lamps.
The rear also gets unique LED tail lamps. In profile, you would find the Seltos looks fairly similar to the Jeep Compass – and that's probably going to be its main rival.
It comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof and even offers dual-tone shades. There are a total of eight colours to pick from. The design has an edgy feel to it with sleek cuts and creases along the body line, while the window line is outlined in chrome. The overall use of chrome is pretty tastefully done.
With no specs forthcoming it's hard to tell the exact ground clearance or wheelbase that the Seltos has, but it seems adequate for most purposes. The interior seemed spacious enough as well.
Kia Seltos Engine Choices
Kia hasn't given out all the details of its engine line up, so power and torque specs are not available. What we do know is that Kia has three engines on offer. There's a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol motor, a 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel engine and a 1.4-litre gasoline direct injection, turbo-petrol motor. The last one is what will probably be the pick of the lot for enthusiasts.
Along with this line up of engines, Kia is offering four transmission choices – there's a dual-clutch 7-speed automatic transmission mated to the 1.4-litre GDI turbo-petrol motor. Then there's the six-speed manual transmission that is available with the 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines. It also has a 6-speed automatic (torque converter) that will come with the diesel and a CVT (or as Kia calls it - IVT) with the 1.5 petrol motor.
The international spy-shots and some slides in Kia's presentation showed it has an all-wheel drive variant as well, but that's not likely to be launched in India just yet. That's most likely for the export markets.
Kia Seltos Features
Everybody is going one up when it comes to features. Since the Kia Seltos will be competing in the same segment as the MG Hector, it has loaded up the SUV with as many features as you can think of. There's the usual sunroof, DRLs, 360 degree camera, climate control etc.
It also adds a 10.25 inch infotainment system that blends in with the LCD instrument console. This has Apple Car Play, Android Auto and even ambient lighting that includes a "party mode". The 12-speaker system is from Bose, which adds a touch of premiumness to the vehicle.
Like Hyundai, its sister company, Kia has an app called Uvo (similar to Hyundai's Bluelink) which controls 37 functions of the car including remote lock/unlock and immobilising it in case of theft.
A couple of unique features it has is a head's up display that shows navigation and other essential information on the windscreen and a blind spot monitor that shows warnings and images in the instrument panel.
The boot seems spacious enough for weekend luggage, although interior space seemed just about as much as the Jeep Compass. The rear seats have a recline function too.
Kia Seltos Competitors
The Kia Seltos is likely to be priced at Rs 12 lakh to Rs 17 lakh. In this price bracket, it will take on the Hyundai Creta, Jeep Compass, Tata Harrier and even the MG Hector among the five-seater SUVs.
Compared to the Jeep Compass, the Seltos has a clear advantage in terms of the sheer number of features it comes loaded with. It sports a similar size, so customers will definitely be looking at these two.
The MG Hector has a clear size advantage over the Kia Seltos, but the Seltos hits back with a more harmonious design and again a long list of features. It will be a close call between these two – since size and edgy looks do matter to buyers.
Against the Tata Harrier, the Kia Seltos is much smaller in size. However, it will be looking to woo buyers with its feature list and better engine choices (the Harrier only has a 2-litre diesel as of now).
And finally, its cousin, the Hyundai Creta. The Hyundai Creta looks dated in design compared to the Kia Seltos. It's also one size smaller. There will be an overlap in variants between the top-end Hyundai Creta and the Kia Seltos mid variants, but with a refreshed Creta coming soon, expect Hyundai to bump up the feature list too.
Kia Seltos: What We Think
We've not driven the Kia Seltos yet, nor have we had a good look at its innards. Yet, the overall design has sparked considerable interest, going by the buzz online. The futuristic looks and the long feature list will definitely be an attraction. With Kia offering a choice of three engines and four transmissions, with eight colours and different variants, it is bound to have a variant for every kind of buyer.
The company intends on selling 300,000 cars per year by 2022, with three more models to be launched in the next three years. A lot rides on the Kia Seltos to set the tone. What do you think? Share your thoughts with us and watch this space for a review as well.