This blog is a long term review of Kia Seltos HTK+ (Petrol 1.5) Manual variant after 7 months of usage. It includes Pros and Cons of Kia Seltos found during these 7 months.
So, During Festive season of 2019, I and my family were looking for a new car for us. Our requirements were simple:
1. Good rear space
2. Powerful engine (Earlier had Alto 2009 with CNG)
3. Equipped with latest technologies (Touch screen music system, rear parking camera and sensors)
4. Large boot space
5. Petrol engine (due to fear of BS-6 norms regarding diesel engines), though this would not matter much
6. Silent cabin
7. Non- Maruti car
After searching and filtering many cars, we considered and rejected following options:
a) Maruti Suzuki Ciaz: Because Maruti!
b) Hyundai Verna: Rear lag space is lesser than Alto!
c) Honda City: Seemed expensive compared to other options
Also, majority of our travelling would have been to rural areas where you will find large bumps and uneven roads. On those large speed breakers, the under-belly of sedans are prone to get scratched. So decided not to go for sedan.
As no hatchback had satisfactory space as per our requirement, we decided not to go for Hatchback.
Lastly, we had plenty of options to choose from the wide array of Compact- SUV and Mid-size SUV. Some of the options which we considered:
Though it fulfilled almost all our requirements, it looked outdated at that time, and also the rear space is not so much accommodating.
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza:
Noisy and outdated engine immediately removed itself from the list. Also, Maruti!
Found it expensive compared to competition and rear seat space was something to compare with hatchback.
Liked the car until I stepped in the rear seats, the space is something which will make you feel claustrophobic and the all black interiors are making it worse.
Heard a lot about it's unrefined engine and reliability issues. Also, one of it's service center closed down near my house. So, service network was also an issue.
Did not like the design of the car. Also, read reviews about it's not-so-great to drive petrol engine.
It is a great car until you look at it's rear. From rear, it looks totally a different car compared to it's front end. Also, rear space and boot space was nothing special.
After filtering down all the cars, I came across only one option: Hyundai Creta, the perfect SUV!
Went to the Hyundai showroom to check out the car in person (Though I had checked it's video reviews hundreds of times), because some things can only be noticed when you are looking it in-person.
Found the Creta to be fulfilling all our requirements. Happily came out of the showroom thinking the next day I would take along my parents for a test drive.
While exiting the showroom, my Brother-in-law showed me a Kia showroom opened recently and situated exactly opposite of Hyundai showroom. I knew it was a new brand to enter in India and purchasing a new product from a new brand might have it's own consequences (Related to service, performance, reliability, etc.). Though out of curiosity we visited the showroom.
Once we reached the showroom, I was very skeptical about not to make any decision in hurry by seeing fancy features. The sales executive showed us Seltos HTK+ as it was fulfilling all our requirements. Also, I did not wanted to spend more money to have sunroof or ventilated seats. It all seemed good: The quality of materials, fit and finish, insulation in cabin (Though I had test-driven GT line model as Tech line models were not available for test drive at that time), space at rear, boot space, etc. Now I was in dilemma whether to go for Creta or Seltos, As Creta was getting an update in early 2020 and Seltos was an all new model, my mind was stuck at Seltos because of it's value for money (HTK+ variant only!). While my heart was stuck at the issues of new brand.
After so much of brainstorming and research, I decided to go for Seltos just because Creta was going to have an update in early 2020, everything else was similar between them. Also, the fact that Hyundai and Kia are subsidiary companies gained some faith in me to go for Seltos.
The next day, I along with my family visited Kia showroom (Westcoast Kia, Ahmedabad) to show my parents my choice. One thing they said is that the car was looking so huge in showroom (It might be because we had an Alto before, or cars do look huge when they are placed in showroom?). We were promised to get car delivered on Dhanteras(25 October, 2019) if we book on that day(Which was around a month before the delivery date). Once my parents got convinced, we finally booked the car and the most irritating time started: waiting for delivery of the car.
In-between the days, formalities of payment was done around 10 days prior to delivery date so that the dealer can block our car.
And Finally on 25th October, 2019, we got delivery of the CAR:
We decided to go for Intense Red color as we wanted to try color other than white and red color suited the most on this car according to us.
Some of the images and information
of the car:
1. The front part of the car looks aggressive and does feel like a SUV. It has a bit different pattern of grille compared to upper variants (It is a pain to clean all those blocks of grille). Also the headlamp unit and fog light unit is different from upper trims.
2. This is the best angle to look at the car. It is well proportioned and does not look too plain or too fancy, it is subtle.
3. From side, it looks longer compared to Creta due to it's low height. The alloy wheels are just OK, they do their job. The black cladding is used to add visual bulk to the car. While the roof-rails are also added as a style element.
4. From rear also, it is not so much busy, though the silver exhaust lines on upper trim looks balanced, this looks a bit empty on the bumper. The LED tail lamps offered on upper trims look great at night.
5. The boot is large enough to occupy luggage of a family of 4 for a trip for couple of days. Loading lip is not so significant so it becomes easy to load and unload.
6. Front seats offer good support for each size of a person, the side bolsters keeps you in place while speeding through corners. There are no complaints regarding fabric seats.
7. This is the minimum and maximum leg room available for rear passengers. In the minimum legroom position also, a person can sit, though not comfortably for long drives. Rear seats offer decent cushioning. Addition of adjustable headrests and arm rest would be an advantage. Also, the lid on USB charger (Not available in this model, thus covered with plastic lid) looks cheap.
8. Rear sun blinds helps limiting sunlight and offer a bit of privacy.
9. This is how the speedometer is there on lower models, on higher variants, the digital screen extends till both dials.
10. Look of the center console as a whole, the gear knob looks almost same as Alto from top!, silver lining around the gear box adds premium touch.
12. Manual Air conditioner for a car which cost in upwards of ₹13 lakhs!!
Two USB ports (out of which one is used for media) and a 12 volts charging socket keeps your gadgets charged up during the journey.
Had driven this car for 5,000 Kms during last 7 months and here are my observations:
Pros of Kia Seltos HTK+ Petrol Manual:
1. Looks (it is subjective though):
it turns heads wherever you go.
2. Silent cabin:
most of the time I can't figure out whether the engine is running or not, I have to check the RPM meter.
it sticks to the road while triple digit speeds, which adds a sense of safety.
It handles quite well in city traffic and does not get dead at high speeds (like Maruti cars!).
All the materials used in the car looks solid and not going to age soon. Panel gaps are uniform and not too wide.
6. Sound system:
The music system present in the model produces excellent sound quality, and does not distort at high volumes. Sound mood lamp looks great at night, but not visible during daylight.
Space is adequate for all the passengers and the middle rear passenger is not having large hump in middle. Space for keeping your stuff is also sufficient.
The A/C in the car performs extremely well and cools down the car within minutes.
Cons of Kia Seltos HTK+ Petrol Manual:
Yes, as the 114 HP and 144 Nm looks under powered on paper, same is the case on the road. If you are driving with 5 people on board, then it takes it's time to get going. My recent trip to Kumbhalgarh showed that this engine is not at all suitable for mountain road as it struggled to move ahead at slow speeds even in the lowest gear. It did not gave much confidence on hilly roads. If you are on highway and having 2-3 passenger, then it drives like a beast, but if you are going full load and some luggage, it shows it's shortcomings.
While it is great to see such suspensions included in car which gains stability and safety with speed, it is not suitable for Indian roads as rear passenger feel excessive jerk making long drives uncomfortable.
3. Paint Quality:
Within a couple of days after delivery, I started getting scratches and the paint started coming off as I was able to see the base layer which is colored in white. Since it was a new car, I immediately got it covered with ceramic coating (Though the ceramic coating added noticeable shine, the scratches are still prone to occur). Overall, the paint quality could have been better.
The projector headlights do not provide adequate illumination at night and you are forced to drive at lower speeds. You have to play around with headlight leveler to get to better conditions on highway.
The gearbox is smooth in 90% of the cases, but sometimes it does resists to shift, you have to move the gear stick to neutral and then you will be able to change the gear. This happens most of the times while moving from 1-2 and 3-4 gear.
6. Some of the plastics:
Overall the plastic quality is good, but there are some bits where I expect the quality to be better. For example,
a) The blacked out plastic layer on A-pillar is bit loose and flimsy.
b) The silver plastic part at bottom of the steering wheel came off within a month.
1. While closing the rear door or boot, I hear a rattle from below the car, it is not because of parcel shelf. The service station people could not hear it!
2. Front windshield fogs up if you are driving in winters or rain even when the AC is on.
3. The infotainment system sometimes do not show anything for a couple of seconds when the car is directly turned on and just lights up.
4. Mood lamp setting changes takes place only when you start the car next time.
5. There were a couple of cases while driving at high speed, that when I apply brakes hard, the brakes won't be applied immediately but after a second.
6. Once I filled petrol worth ₹ 300 and the distance to empty meter reading did not showed any changes. It was at 130 Km before and after the addition of fuel. After driving around 50-60 Kms, It started decreasing. After that it is working perfectly fine.
7. The boot door has to be closed with higher force compared to other cars, I don't know it is a bug or a feature.
Last question: Kitna Deti Hai? (What is the mileage of Kia Seltos HTK+ Petrol Manual)
In city bumper-to-bumper traffic: 12 Kmpl
In city Moderate to light traffic condition: 14-15 Kmpl
In Highway with speeds in upwards of 100 Kmph: 16 Kmpl
In Highway with speeds between 70-90 Kmph: 17-19 Kmpl
All the mileage figures are recorded when Air Conditioner was switched on all the time.
As stated, Kia Seltos HTK+ petrol manual has fulfilled all my needs and that is why I find this car to be perfect for my needs. As every new product, it has some issues which can be fixed with an update or a face-lift. The car has proven a value for money in many aspects and will prove as a benchmark for other Mid-size SUVs in the market. If you are looking for a car for usage of 2-3 people and occasional highway trips, then this car would be perfect for you in it's price range.
Source: Kia Seltos Review