2021 Kia Seltos Review – The Flag Bearer of Kia India Moves a Level Up
The Kia Seltos has been the stalwart for its maker since its day one in India, and in its 2021 avatar, it is back with minimal updates to take on the competition even more seriously. Read this Kia Seltos review to know all about it!
It came, it saw and it conquered (well, almost!) – that’s what the Kia Seltos has done in a nutshell, ever since its debut in India back in 2019. Kia announced its grand arrival in the Indian car market with the Seltos premium compact SUV. Thanks to its innumerable positive attributes and novelty, the Seltos has single-handedly made Kia one of the most major car makers in India. In 2021, Kia has given the Seltos its first-ever update. Although a minor one, this update in the 2021 Kia Seltos has seen variant and feature revisions in its overall lineup.
In this latest iteration, the 2021 Kia Seltos has witnessed a slight revision to its variant lineup, which now consists of 16 variants in total. First come the variants powered with a 1.5-liter petrol engine and a 6-speed manual gearbox (HTE, HTK, HTK+ and HTX), the prices of which range between Rs 9.95-13.65 lakh. This petrol engine is also offered with two additional gearbox options – 6-speed iMT and CVT, which are offered in single HTK+ (Rs 12.19 lakh) and HTX (Rs. 14.65 lakh) trims respectively.
Secondly, the 1.5-liter diesel is offered in five trims (HTE, HTK, HTK+, HTX and HTX+) with manual gearbox and two trims (HTK+ and GTX+) with an automatic gearbox. While the prices of diesel-manual powertrains range between Rs 10.45-15.79 lakh, those of the diesel-automatic combination vary between Rs 13.95-17.65 lakh.
There is also a 1.4-liter turbocharged petrol engine on offer. The prices of this engine with a manual gearbox range between Rs 15.65-16.65 lakh for the two trims – GTX(O) and GTX+. This engine is also available with a 7-speed DCT gearbox in a single trim GTX+, which carries a price tag of Rs 17.44 lakh. Overall, the Kia Seltos price in India seems appropriate considering its rival like MG Hector, which is slightly expensive in the segment.
(All prices mentioned above are ex-showroom, pan India)
Engine and Performance
The Kia Seltos has the most versatile powertrain lineup in its segment right now, and has something to offer for each and every kind of customer right now. The range commences with a 1.5-liter naturally aspirated petrol engine, which is offered with three transmission choices – 6-speed manual, 6-speed iMT and CVT. This engine is a decent performer with 115 PS of maximum power and 144 Nm of maximum torque on tap.
There is another petrol-powered engine on offer in the form of a high-performance 1.4-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine. Offered with both the choices of a 6-speed manual and a 7-speed DCT, this engine makes 140 PS of power and 242 Nm of torque. And finally, there is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder diesel engine on offer, which makes 115 PS of power and 250 Nm of torque and can be had either with a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
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Exterior and Dimension
The 2021 Kia Seltos has seen no changes to its exterior design and dimensions over the pre-updated version. The Kia Seltos has got a bold and aggressive design, with an upright stance as well as full LED headlamps with daytime LED lights and ice-cube fog lamps giving it a modern look from the front.
With taut proportions and well balanced rear profile comprising of LED highlights in its tail lamps, the Kia Seltos looks handsome and contemporary. The Kia Seltos is offered in two trim levels – HT-line and GT-line, with the latter having additional design elements like red highlights on bumpers and machined alloy wheels on the outside. The 2021 Kia Seltos retains its dimensions from the former version – 4315mm (length), 1800mm (width), 1645mm (height), 2610mm (wheelbase), 190mm (ground clearance) and 433 liters (boot space).
Like its variant lineup, even the list of color options available for the 2021 Kia Seltos is quite lengthy. There are eight monotone colors in total, namely Intense Red, Aurora Black Pearl, Glacier White Pearl, Punchy Orange, Intelligency Blue, Gravity Grey, Steel Silver and Clear White.
The range-topping HTX+ and GLX+ variants can also be had with dual-tone color schemes of Intense Red with Aurora Black Pearl, Glacier White Pearl with Aurora Black Pearl, Steel Silver with Punchy Orange, Glacier White Pearl with Punchy Orange and Punchy Orange with Clear White.
Interior and Features
At the time of its debut back in 2019, the Kia Seltos set up benchmarks with its interior layout and quality as well as a lengthy list of equipment. With new features like front ventilated seats, wireless mobile charger, heads-up display, three drive modes and three traction modes, premium 8-speaker sound system from Bose and smart air purifier, the Kia Seltos surely upped the game in the premium compact SUV space.
The new 2021 Kia Seltos has got a few additional updates in its equipment list, which has seen the addition of additional voice commands for sunroof and driver side window, paddle shifters for diesel-automatic and turbo-petrol automatic variants and more updated OTA maps. Other prominent features of the 2021 Kia Seltos include leather upholstery, automatic climate control, powered driver’s seat, auto-dimming inside rear view mirror with UVO controls and electric sunroof.
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The Kia Seltos was the first SUV in its segment to feature premium safety features like front parking sensors, 360-degree parking camera with blind view monitor and heads-up display. In addition to these, the long safety equipment list of the 2021 Kia Seltos also comprises of front, side and curtain airbags, rear parking sensors, ABS with EBD and brake assist, electronic stability control, hill hold control and vehicle stability management.
It is not only on the fronts of performance, but when it comes to fuel efficiency too, the 2021 Kia Seltos is quite a remarkable vehicle. The 1.5-liter naturally aspirated petrol engine posts 16.8 kmpl with all of its transmission options – 6-speed manual, 6-speed iMT and CVT. The more performance-oriented 1.4-liter turbocharged petrol engine returns fuel economies of 16.1 kmpl with manual gearbox and 16.5 kmpl with the 7-speed DCT. The diesel-powered variants are the most economic ones, with the manual ones returning 20.8 kmpl and the automatic ones returning 17.8 kmpl respectively. The claimed Kia Seltos mileage figures are satisfactory and surely the fuel efficiency gives it an edge over its rivals.
The chief rival of the 2021 Kia Seltos continues to be its own distant cousin, the Hyundai Creta, which offers the same levels of powertrain options and a slightly longer equipment list than it. Apart from that, the petrol variants of the Kia Seltos also compete with vehicles such as Renault Duster, Nissan Kicks and Maruti Suzuki S-Cross, all of which are petrol-only models now.
With its handsome and modern design, lengthy equipment list across all variants and wide variety of powertrain options to choose from, the 2021 Kia Seltos offers something for everyone out there who is looking for a premium compact SUV. The more premium variants of the 2021 Kia Seltos are on a pricier side, but they do offer much more premium appeal than what the competitors are offering right now, thereby justifying its feel-good image.
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