Kia has been consistent with bold designs, and overall, pretty well-made cars for the past few years. Venturing through the Indian automotive market, it has also picked up a few laurels along the way. Now to maintain this pace, a manufacturer needs to be able to stay ahead of the curve, and with the new Seltos facelift, that’s exactly what Kia has tried to pull off. Priced from Rs 10.90 lakh to Rs 20 lakh, the SUV now gets a new powertrain option, updated interior and most significantly, level-2 ADAS features.
At first glance, it is evident that the build quality as well as the fit and finish of the SUV is pretty good. It feels premium, and the 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system and 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster add to the whole effect. The dual-pane panoramic sunroof is one awesome addition, provided one takes the car to search for awe-inducing views. Talking about views, Kia has added a 360-degree camera, adding to the convenience of assisted spatial awareness.
Sitting in the new Seltos facelift, the driver as well as the front passenger get the luxury of ventilated front seats, not to mention an eight-way electronically adjustable driver seat. For added comfort, it gets dual-zone automatic climate control (drastically reducing altercations stemming from different temperature setting preferences). Also, the facelift gets updated air purifier controls, which are now accessible by the rear passengers. It is still pretty spacious and offers quite a good deal of boot space too.
On the outside, the Seltos facelift features new LED headlamps, fog lamps, and a striking new connected tail lamp that runs across the length of the rear. The crystal-cut alloy wheels and the dual exhaust sure do make a statement, complementing the bold and suave look of the SUV. The new Pewter Olive colourway on the new Seltos facelift seems pretty fetching as well.
I only drove the new 1.5-litre turbo-petrol variant equipped with a 7-speed DCT, and it feels like quite a step up from the standard 1.5 petrol. Making around 160 bhp of power, I prefer to stick to the paddle shifters to properly enjoy all that oomph. The transmission itself is fairly good but can tend to suppress the character a tad. Having both Sport and Eco modes, the former feels decently punchy, while the latter was responsible for a 12kpl fuel-efficiency readout. Ride quality has also seen quite an upgrade from the previous iteration, owing to the reworked suspension.
Now coming to one of the most significant updates, the level-2 ADAS, encompasses 17 autonomous features like the Blind-spot Collision Warning, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist and more. We got to experience the features first-hand through a simulated course, showing exactly what situations it would take for the ADAS to kick in, and I don’t doubt for a second that it could save lives. But that brings the question again as to whether the current infrastructure (and basic driving etiquette of fellow drivers) is ready to take it on. I for one don’t think so, but I’m sure that there will be many waiting to contradict me.
Talking of futuristic updates, the new Seltos facelift gets a host of connected features like home-to-car connectivity and Google voice assistant with about 60 or more features for added convenience. In the midst of all this, I realised that it was missing wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay, which is slightly disappointing, considering the Rs 20 lakh price tag. But it does get remote climate control, voice-controlled window and sunroof functions, so does that balance stuff out?
All in all, the new Seltos facelift has managed to put together quite a decent package as far as futuristic is concerned. It features a pretty solid build and is also quite fun to drive in the new 1.5 turbo-petrol avatar. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to someone looking for a good family car that’s well-built, safe and manageably futuristic.
AUTODATAKia Seltos Facelift
1482cc, turbo-petrol/1493cc, turbo-diesel/1497cc, petrol
160 bhp(TP)/116 bhp(TD)/115 bhp(P)
25.7 kgm(TP)/25.4 kgm(TD)/14.6 kgm(P)
7-speed DCT/6-speed MT/6-speed iMT/6-speed AT
Rs 10.90-20 lakh (ex-showroom)