Kia Seltos 2023 Turbo Petrol First Drive Review – Safety Features

Note: If you prefer watching the review in Hindi instead of reading it in English, then you can play the following video:

2023 Kia Seltos Facelift – Safety Features

The facelift of the Seltos primarily involves cosmetic changes and feature upgrades, with no major alterations to the platform, chassis or its build quality. If there are any changes, it’s not possible for anyone to determine whether this Seltos is any safer than the older version, solely through visual inspection or by opening and closing its doors.

Side-Airbags

As of now, no third-party agency has conducted a crash test on the India-spec new Seltos facelift. Given that there’s no significant change in its structure, we will consider the injury report of the pre-facelift Seltos. According to Global NCAP data, the pre-facelift Seltos crash test offered Adequate protection to the driver’s head, Good for the neck, and Marginal for the chest. These are the three areas where injuries can potentially be fatal. We do not consider Global NCAP’s body shell integrity as, in the end, the only thing that matters is the extent of the injury to the occupant.

Airbags

If there’s no change in the construction, and the car gets more safety features – which it does – and if the car is subjected to the same test, then it’s understandable that the driver injury should not exceed that of the old Seltos.

Rear-Seats

Since there’s no weak or poor rating for the driver’s head, neck, or chest in the Seltos crash test, based on Global NCAP’s data, you can consider the Seltos from a safety perspective.

Regarding safety technology, in addition to the standard safety features, the Seltos gets the following safety features as standard:

  • 2x front side thorax curtain airbags
  • 2x curtain airbags
  • All 3-point seatbelts
  • Rear disc brakes
  • Electronic stability control (ESC)
  • Hill start assist (HSA)
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Automatic door lock/unlock

You can now see all the safety-related features of all variants in the following table:

2023 SELTOS | VARIANT-WISE SAFETY TECH

HTE

Std. safety features

2x front side thorax airbags 

Emergency stop signal

Remote central locking*

Rear disc brakes

2x curtain airbags

Day/night inside mirror*

Electronic stability control (ESC)

Halogen projector headlamps

Hill start assist (HSA)

Impact-sensing auto door unlock

Speed-sensing auto door locks

5x 3-point seatbelts with reminder

Tyre pressure monitoring system

HTK

Rear parking camera w/ live feed

Projector fog lamps

Front parking sensors

 

HTK Plus

Rear washer wiper

Rear defogger

 

2023 SELTOS | VARIANT-WISE SAFETY TECH

HTX & HTX Plus

LED headlamps

LED projector fog lamps

LED tail lamps

ISOFIX

Traction control w/ modes (Automatic Only)

Auto-dimming inside mirror

GTX Plus & X Line

Blind-spot monitoring in instrument cluster

360-degree parking camera

Electronic parking brake with auto hold

Auto wipers

ADAS Features

Blind spot monitoring, warning and avoidance assist

Auto high beam

Rear cross traffic warning and collision avoidance

Adaptive cruise control with stop and-go

Forward collision warning and avoidance assist

Safe exit warning

Cruise Control

It is worth noting that the Seltos GTX Plus and X Line variants now come equipped with ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) technology. During this initial drive, we tested the Seltos front collision avoidance, rear cross traffic avoidance assist and safe exit warning ADAS features and they worked satisfactorily. Now, let’s talk about the 2023 Seltos facelift exterior.

New Kia Seltos 2023 Turbo X Line – Exterior Review

Engine Start-Stop

Before we discuss the exterior, I believe we should talk in detail about the new key with buttons on the side — it feels nice to hold.

Kia Seltos

We drove the X Line version of the Seltos, which comes in a matte grey colour. If we compare the changes to the pre-facelift Seltos, its front grille is now larger and gets a new design for the front bumper. The honeycomb pattern of the grille is different and the new DRLs extend through the grille. Speaking of lightwork, it now includes sweeping turn indicators, front and back, and it adds a nice styling touch to the exteriors.

LED Fog Lamp

Moving to the front bumper, it now has extra cladding, giving it a more muscular design. Like before, it houses the LED fog lamps. As we mentioned at the beginning, the Seltos now comes with ADAS. It has a radar in the front bumper with the front camera behind the windshield.

Alloy Wheel

The Seltos facelift gets alloy wheels measuring 18 inches in the top variant and with a new design. This is the most prominent visual change on the side. It’s worth pointing out that the Seltos now has glossy black trim in many places, but there’s no red or any other coloured detailing in any variant. Earlier, the GTX variant had red accents on the exterior and interior to highlight its sporty nature.

Kia Seltos

In terms of the rear design, it has significant changes. The new Seltos now has a new set of tail lamps that are sleeker and almost interconnected. The design of its rear bumper is also new, and like before, it still has thick cladding. This version also gets functional dual exhausts, and the overall rear look is simple and appealing, yet sporty.

Tail-lamps

I personally feel that the exterior design of the pre-facelift Seltos is still appealing. But with the new colour options and other design upgrades, the Seltos 2023 has a fresh approach to the exterior design compared to the predecessor. It is an obvious improvement over the already pleasing exterior of the Seltos. Now, let’s look at its interior.

2023 Kia Seltos – Interior Review

Interior

In addition to beige-black, brown-black and all-black interior themes, the Seltos X-Line variant brings a greyish green-black interior. This colour combination feels premium and it also gets a leather finish on the dashboard and upholstery with some contrast red stitching.

Sunroof

The interiors instantly appear tastefully done. Along with this, the roof liner is black around the large panoramic glass sunroof. The sunroof curtain is so thick that light doesn’t pass through it. For my height of 5-feet 8-inch, there’s ample headroom in front as well as rear seats.

Touchscreen System

Now, coming to another prominent change in the cabin – the dual-screen curved housing. It integrates two 10.25-inch screens, making the dashboard layout look neat and modern at the same time. The touch feedback of its infotainment system is satisfactory, and there are a lot of features available here.

Instrument Cluster

For instance, the settings for the instrument cluster include a Dynamic theme that displays information with a landscape background. Other than that, there aren’t many design-related changes, but Kia have reduced some inserts from the dashboard, which also makes the dashboard design appear cleaner.

Centre Console

There’s a layout-related change in the air-con control panel. Just above the glovebox on the dashboard, there’s an ambient light strip, which should enhance the cabin’s ambiance during night drives. Lastly, to accommodate the electronic parking brake, its centre console has a new design.

Armrest

However, the rest of the cabin and design remain more or less the same, including the rear seat space, which is suitable for 2 adults and a child. 3 adults is a squeeze but completely doable for short trips. We have no complaints as such, because the new interior theme and dashboard layout make the Seltos interior feel richer compared to before. Now we’ll talk about the performance of the new 2023 Seltos turbo petrol engine.

Kia Seltos Facelift Turbo Petrol-Automatic – Engine Performance And Drive Review

Engine

The Seltos comes with 3 engine options: a 1.5L normal petrol engine, a 1.5L turbo diesel engine and a 1.5L turbo petrol engine. The only new addition among these is the turbo-petrol engine which replaces the olde 1.35L turbo petrol engine. This engine makes 160PS of power and 253Nm of torque. You can have it with either a 6-speed auto-clutch manual transmission or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. The X Line variant, which we drove, is only available with the automatic.

Bonnet hook

It’s the most powerful engine in the Seltos line-up, and Kia claim a time of 8.9 seconds with the dual-clutch automatic transmission and 10.1 seconds with the auto-clutch manual transmission. In our brief test in Sport mode, it easily achieved 0-100kmph in around 9.5 seconds. Under ideal test conditions, we’re sure it can achieve Kia’s 8.9 seconds of claimed acceleration time. We think any mass market car accelerating to 100kmph in less than 10 seconds is pretty quick by any standards.

Speakers

That said, when you drive it calmly, it doesn’t immediately feel energetic and instead it feels like it’s a heavy car. But rev it a little and you will realise how strong this engine’s mid-range is — and when you take it beyond the 2000rpm mark, it feels brisk and picks up speed rather quickly. We mainly drove it on the highway where it was cruising comfortably at 100kmph while revving around 1800rpm in the seventh gear.

ESC

So, it felt at ease doing triple digit speeds while staying in the peak torque zone for quick overtakes if necessary. Most of the time, you won’t feel the need to manually downshift, but if you want that control over gear shifts, you can do so with its gear lever or paddle shifters.

Height Adjustable Driver Seat

What we also learnt about the engine on this short drive is that its noise is audible in the cabin. It is not bothersome, but it filters through at both slow as well as higher speeds. The vibrations or harshness is not much — so like we said before — it is not bothersome. Now, talking about its ride, Kia have increased the damping force of the front suspension setup compared to the old Seltos. Thus, the front might feel a little stiff now while the damping force of the rear has been reduced — so it should feel a little softer.

HUD

From an experience standpoint, it’s difficult to say how much this has affected its ride, but what we can say with some degree of confidence is that it still feels a bit firm and handles a bit better than before. You can also feel the road surface in the car and we think this may lead to rattling noises with frequent rough road usage. We would also like to draw your attention to the fact that the Seltos we drove rode on 18-inch wheels. With a lower side wall to cushion the ride, compared to the older GTX Plus variant, it felt a bit firm.

Traction Control

On the other hand, it is because of this suspension setup only, that the car also feels planted, which is confidence inspiring for the driver. It also nicely complements the 160PS power output of this new turbo petrol engine. We found its handling and braking satisfactory for the performance on offer. With this new engine, the Seltos also has an auto engine start/stop tech, and so it has become more fuel efficient.

On this short drive, we couldn’t test its fuel efficiency, but the official mileage figures claim to offer 17.70kmpl with the turbo petrol-ACMT and 17.90kmpl with the turbo petrol-automatic. We will test the real-world mileage figures once we get to review it for a longer time. With the normal petrol engine, Kia suggest an ARAI-tested mileage figure of 17.0kmpl and 17.70kmpl with the manual and automatic transmission options, respectively.

Instrument Cluster

To sum up the drive, we think that this 160PS engine completes the Seltos as a package — so you get a car that looks upmarket on the outside and inside. It also performs and rides like a more expensive car. Now, let’s look at its prices and sum up this review.

2023 Kia Seltos Facelift – Verdict And Buying Recommendation

Tail-lamps

The prices for the new Seltos start from Rs. 10.89 lakh. With the normal petrol engine, HTX is its top variant, which costs Rs. 16.59 lakh with the CVT automatic transmission. The variants available with the turbo petrol engine are HTK Plus, HTX Plus, GTX Plus and X Line. The top variant is available only with automatic transmission and costs Rs. 19.99 lakh (ex-showroom).

Front-Camera

The Seltos was already a car with mass appeal and when we had the older version of the Seltos with us for a long-term review, we were satisfied with the car. It felt like it even matched the cabin experience of more expensive cars. With this update, the cabin experience of the Seltos has improved further and it feels even more polished now with the new colour schemes. The new screens, the larger sunroof, new cabin features, ADAS and a powerful turbo-petrol engine makes it a car that is difficult to nitpick, especially in the higher variants.

Kia Seltos

More importantly, rather, most importantly, its higher variants also carry an attractive price, prices are also attractive — so we think at this moment — THIS IS THE C-SEGMENT SUV to buy if you want that premium experience with a manageable, compact dimensions.

Here’s a look at the ex-showroom prices for the 2023 Kia Seltos facelift:

SELTOS PETROL | PRICES

Variant

Manual/Auto-Clutch

Difference

Automatic

1.5L Normal Petrol

HTE

Rs. 10.89L

HTK

Rs. 12.09L

HTK Plus

Rs. 13.49L

HTX

Rs. 15.19L

Rs. 1.40L

Rs. 16.59L

1.5L Turbo Petrol

HTK Plus

Rs. 14.99L

HTX Plus

Rs. 18.29L

Rs. 0.90L

Rs. 19.19L

GTX Plus

Rs. 19.79L

X Line

Rs. 19.99L

Also Read: Kia Seltos Facelift Petrol Variants Explained – Which One To Buy?

 


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