Home / Home / Kia Seltos Diesel D1.5 Road Test Review


The new Seltos has been notching up quite a few milestones and accolades since it arrived so we got our hands on the Kia Seltos diesel with the manual box and put it to the test to find out just how good it really is.

Kia Seltos diesel

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

A new name. A new car. A whole new start. And what a start it has been. While many begin by making tall claims, a few begin slow and steady and build an enviable foundation. Kia may be an all-new name here, but they have been around for quite some time. Yes, overseas they have been budget carmakers but, over the years, their exponential learning curve ― in tune with parent company Hyundai ― has had a significant effect on their brand perception. Styling is one thing, but evolution of construction, quality, and equipment has seen a steady rise in takers. From competing in the budget hatch space to building Nürburgring-tackling, German sport-luxury icon-challenging cars the likes of the Stinger GT, Kia have come a long way. And now they’re here. In India. And in the bustling compact crossover space, no less.

Kia Seltos diesel

The Seltos is their challenger. They call it a mid-SUV; a term that has been reborn over the past few years. Apparently, 4×4 drive with low-range transfer cases and differential locks aren’t necessary these days to call anything reasonably high off the ground with a bit of cladding an “SUV”. So be it. That apart, the Seltos has a lot of things going for it. Chief among which is its engine. Its entire line of BS VI-ready “Smartstream” engine options actually. And that includes the 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit we have here.

Kia Seltos diesel

The exciting styling on the Kia Seltos diesel comes courtesy the balance struck between vibrant hues and futuristic design elements ― notably the LED headlamps, 17-inch alloy wheels, and crisp, clear lines accentuating its proportions. The interior carries this idea forward even more. The sturdy dashboard and panels, large central touchscreen, and driver information console behind the steering wheel are elements that, in today’s day and age, justify its seemingly steep price tag. The top-of-the-line Tech Line diesel manual “HTX+” specification we have here doesn’t come cheap at Rs 15.34 lakh (ex-showroom). We’ve spoken about the features and connectivity before, so I’ll focus on what the car is meant to do. Drive. Although the gadgets do come in handy if your drive is mostly city-based and that means slow-moving traffic 95 per cent of the time, if not a complete standstill.

Kia Seltos diesel

The Kia Seltos diesel’s 1.5-litre turbo-four engine makes a useful 115 hp and 250 Nm, the latter of which peaks at 1,500 rpm and has a strong, linear build-up. The six-speed manual is joined by a wonderfully light clutch pedal which makes changing gears nearly effortless. There is no perceptible lag and the manual helps keep the motor simmering, making it easier to get it on the boil. The Seltos D1.5 gets from zero to 60 km/h in less than six seconds and up to highway speed in just over 13 seconds. Not bad for something that weighs… well, Kia haven’t specified the weight, but the owner’s manual says 1,750 kg (gross; with all fluids, passengers and luggage).

Kia Seltos diesel

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About the author: Jim Gorde


Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez


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