Kia Seltos (2023) First Look: Tech Makes This Car Safer, Smarter, More Fun

The Kia Seltos has been one of the most popular cars in its segment in India, since its launch in 2019. The mid-size urban SUV is also capable of driving on the highway, but what has worked for the car in India is its heavy-duty approach to the market. Various such as Kia Connect (previously known as UVO) and advanced safety systems built into the vehicle have helped make the Kia Seltos stand out from the strong competition in the segment.

Kia has now revealed the shape of the 2023 a Kia Seltos, which comes with some revisions to the already heavy vehicles, along with the new ‘X-line’ trim, and modern engines and transmission systems. I had the opportunity to drive the new Kia Seltos and see what happened on the drive from Nagpur to Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, and here are some of the highlights of Kia’s new mid-size Seltos.

The Kia Seltos (2023) X-line comes in a new Matte Graphite color and finish

Kia Seltos (2023) price in India, range

Kia Seltos (2023) is priced from Rs. 10.90 lakh to Rs. 19.99 lakh rupees (ex-showroom) in India, depending on the variant. Pricing depends on engine, transmission, and trim options, with models ranging from the entry-level HTE trim to the new X-line, which is the only one available in the new Matte Graphite color. Other color options include the new Pewter Olive, along with other shiny metallic colors.

Available in Petrol, Diesel, and Turbo Petrol variants across the range, you can also choose between a variety of transmission options, including manual, iMT (clutchless manual), and three automatic modes such as CVT, torque converter, and DCT. Some transmissions are also manual via paddle shifters. For my drive, I had a Kia Seltos (2023) GT-line with a Turbo Petrol engine in Pewter Olive, which comes with all the safety and technology related features.

Kia Seltos (2023): Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) wants to take care of you

It’s a new look at security, and You Seltos puts its ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) at the forefront of its offerings, apart from having six airbags and disc brakes on all four wheels as standard on all models. ADAS is available in various vehicles at different levels from 0 (no automation) to 5 (full automation), and the Kia Seltos enters ADAS Level 2, which can provide a certain level of autonomous power and control.

This was my first time driving a car with any systems, I found the experience a little scary at first, with the ADAS functionality controlling the car at times, which was scary. There are 17 functions that use ADAS on the Kia Seltos (2023), many of which you would expect will not be used, such as forward collision warning and forward collision assistance.

Some of the ADAS were demonstrated in a safe test environment during driving, while other minor integrations could be seen constantly at work during the few hours I drove the Seltos. All this is supported by a 360-degree camera, which provides a clear view around the car, working while driving and in slow-moving areas such as parking lots.

In a safe test environment, Kia’s trained drivers demonstrate how the car automatically brakes, emits audible warnings, or steers itself in the event of a near-collision, either with another vehicle or when a door is opened while the vehicle is approaching.

kia seltos 2023 first glimpse of Kia's interior

There are two 10.25-inch screens in the Kia Seltos – one for the infotainment system, and the second for the digital instrument cluster.

I personally can see things like lane assist, front collision assist, and intelligent flight control while driving. On highways with well-marked roads, the Kia Seltos (2023) was able to control its course most of the time, sometimes making me react quickly to make small corrections. The digital instrument cluster all showed a blind spot when pointing left or right, while the steering wheel managed to adjust its speed based on the car in front of me when needed.

As we said before, it confused me when these things started to work for me, since I’m not used to my car acting on its own, even with my safety. That said, I got used to the information in no time, and to be fair, I continued to control the car at all times, with little input through the steering wheel. That said, the Driver Attention Warning beeps every 15 minutes to tell you to stop for a quick coffee break.

Kia Seltos (2023): Kia Connect, audio system, and big screens

Kia Connect is something I have previously tested on the Kia Sonet while it was still called the Kia UVO, and things have been going well ever since. This is mainly due to the 10.25-inch touch infotainment system that is next to the same group of digital instruments. The two together give the Kia Seltos a futuristic look and feel, apart from keeping the car’s details simple.

When you have the opportunity to connect your smartphone via USB to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto UI and functionality, you can easily rely on the Kia Connect system. The car is fully connected, relying on its data connection for functions such as voice commands, detailed mapping, and more. I was able to go to very interesting places and give clear instructions, even to remote areas like the Pench tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh.

For music, you can connect various devices via wired or wireless connections, with the Kia Seltos (2023) sporting a Bose speaker system on the models I drove. The sound quality was expected to be decent even for Bluetooth connectivity, and there was also a pleasant soundtrack loaded on the Kia Connect system for quiet, peaceful listening.

kia seltos 2023 first turbo petrol Kia

The Kia Seltos (2023) now comes with a 1.5L turbo petrol engine, delivering 158bhp and 253Nm of torque, and mated to a DCT automatic gearbox.

The Kia Connect app also allows you to view vehicle information such as fuel level, status, and location, in addition to checking and parking the vehicle while you are away. Other technological highlights include full vehicle monitoring and ADAS equipment that can be controlled via graphics, navigation set up via smartphone and instructions sent to the vehicle, remote climate control, and an automatic air purifier built into the vehicle to ensure you breathe fresh air while in Seltos.

The voice dictates the function of controlling many functions of the car, such as opening the sunroof, going to certain places and places of interest, turning on or off the air conditioning, and opening or closing the windows, among other things. There were times when I had to repeat myself, but the commands were usually correct. In particular, this does not only work in English, but also in two languages ​​(Hindi and English), with rules like ‘sunroof. growth‘ or ‘AC group karo‘ working faithfully.

Kia Seltos (2023): How does it drive?

The Kia Seltos (2023) is available in three different engine options, with different transmission options associated with each variant. I had the new turbo petrol version in my test car, which is the most capable in terms of horsepower and torque, making it the most powerful of the three models. This was mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT), with paddle shifters that provided the precise control I needed.

The car is capable and responsive in the city and on the highway, thanks to the smooth and easy shifting from the DCT gearbox. It was also responsive to power fluctuations, and managed to establish itself well even on mountain roads, where automatic transmissions can sometimes be sluggish and erratic. Handwriting was a good option to have, but even when I passed through the main street, I didn’t feel the need to call; just putting my foot down sent the message, and the Kia Seltos managed to provide enough power in the city and on the highway.

It all handles well, with the Kia Seltos (2023) feeling like a sedan-like ride. Driving at 70-80 km/h on the highway in seventh gear, the Seltos was very comfortable, driving well with low revs to ensure good fuel economy. The DCT gearbox is excellent for shifting as quickly as needed, setting me up quickly to change lanes and jump when needed.

Final thoughts

Vehicle safety is an important factor in the purchasing decisions of Indian consumers, and the Kia Seltos (2023) promises a lot of this thanks to its ADAS Level-2 feature. In addition to protecting you from potential accidents, the Seltos is also well established to protect even the smallest and most avoidable, thanks to its impressive 360-degree cameras and a variety of auxiliary equipment such as the assistance system and blind assistance. Some of the ADAS features such as Driver Attention Warning were annoying, but you can disable various ADAS features according to your preferences.

Technically, this is one of the best cars in its price range right now, representing the future of connected cars and giving drivers a taste of the future in the form of a small autonomous model that aims to make driving safer and easier. Features such as voice control of the vehicle and navigation systems, as well as the Kia Connect software and vehicle monitoring system, make the experience even better.

All of this is supported by an all-terrain driving experience. That said, with the wide range of Kia Seltos prices, you need to make sure you choose the model that has everything you need. A variant with much cheaper equipment than the original; the high-end X-line models cost almost twice as much as the entry-level ones.

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