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I reviewed the new Seltos a few months ago. A good compact SUV by all measures and arguably even better now with the introduction of a diesel derivative – the CRDI is powered by KIA’s new-generation 1,5-l motor. This new engine delivers 86 kW of power, and 250 Nm of torque. Acceleration to 100 km/h is completed in 11,5 seconds, with a maximum speed of 176 km/h. These are all numbers but on the road the engine is punchy with strong ability to overtake while remaining very frugal.
The new KIA Seltos CRDI is available in a choice of two specification levels that mirror its petrol-powered siblings. EX models are available with a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic transmission, while EX+ models are only available with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The Seltos CRDI EX offers an entry point into the range, which includes a vast array of standard features such as air-conditioning, automatic headlight control (including an ‘escort’ and ‘welcome home’ function), electrically adjustable side mirrors with integrated indicators, cloth upholstery, steering wheel-mounted remote controls, electric windows, cruise control, and an 8-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system that incorporates a radio with RDS, linked to six speakers. The latter includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone mirroring, as well as Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition, and has charging USB ports for front and rear passengers. A full-sized spare wheel is standard. My test car was this unit. After reviewing the mid-spec model in a prior review, I would opt for that specification rather.
The mid-spec KIA Seltos CRDI EX+ is only available with a six-speed automatic transmission. Apart from the extensive features already included in the Seltos EX, the EX+ specification also includes an upgrade from cloth upholstery to leather upholstery (including leather trim on the door panels), while the electrically adjustable side mirrors gain an auto-folding function. Front passengers will also experience increased comfort thanks to the addition of a centre console armrest with an integrated storage box.
I reviewed the mid-spec EX+ model before in 1.6 petrol guise. This model offers 90 kW and 151 Nm of torque, but the EX+ is only available with a six-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration to 100 km/h takes 11.2 seconds, with a top speed of 175 km/h. Customers buying the base EX model have a choice between a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. Having tested both, I prefer the diesel motor over the petrol as its more punchy and frugal when compared to the petrol option.
There is a turbocharged petrol option, too! This engine features in the flagship GT-Line that debuts a brand new powerplant to the KIA line-up in the form of a 1.4-litre T-GDI (turbocharged gasoline direct injection) engine. This unit offers 103 kW of power and 242 Nm of torque. The 1.4 T-GDI engine is exclusively paired with a new-generation 7-speed dual clutch transmission. The sprint to 100 km/h is completed in 9.7 seconds, with a top speed of 189 km/h.
Apart from the extensive features already included in the Seltos EX, the EX+ specification also includes an upgrade from cloth upholstery to leather (including leather trim on the door panels), while the electrically adjustable side mirrors gain an auto-folding function. Front passengers will also experience increased comfort thanks to the addition of a centre console armrest with an integrated storage box, as well as 17-inch alloy wheels with 215/60R17 tyres (also with a full-sized spare wheel).
All models are equipped with six airbags as standard: One for the driver, one for the front passenger, two side airbags for the driver and front passenger, as well as two side curtain airbags that stretch across the length of the cabin. All Seltos models also feature ISOFIX child seat anchors, ABS brakes, and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), as well as rear park distance control sensors and a reverse camera with dynamic guidelines, integrated into the vehicle’s touchscreen infotainment system. Central locking and an immobiliser are also standard across the range.
An all-round good package from KIA. The entry-level EX offers value, albeit with a rather traditional engine, while the flagship GT-Line is right up to date in the tech and innovation department. Pity its price is less appealing. You cannot go wrong with the Seltos, especially with the new diesel motor.
KIA Seltos 1.6 EX Manual - R 380,995
KIA Seltos 1.6 EX Automatic - R 398,995
KIA Seltos 1.5 CRDI EX Manual - R 410,995
KIA Seltos 1.5 CRDI EX Automatic - R 428,995
KIA Seltos 1.6 EX+ Automatic - R 416,995
KIA Seltos 1.5 CRDI EX+ Automatic - R 446,995
KIA Seltos 1.4 T-GDi GT-Line - R 471,995
Service and warranty
As with all KIA models, all KIA Seltos models ship as standard with KIA’s industry-leading Unlimited Kilometre, 5-year warranty (inclusive of roadside assistance) and includes a 5-year/90,000km Service Plan.
KIA Seltos 1.5 CRDI EX+ Automatic - R 446,995
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