Frugal oil-burning heart gives this SUV massive appeal.
Seltos CRDI offers alternative to petrol versions
We have spoken about Kia’s Seltos a number of times since the car’s local introduction in November of last year. But what has happened since then, and is worth noting, the range now offers a trio of turbodiesel models to go with the existing petrol offerings.
The talking point of this review comes in the form of Kia’s new-generation 1.5-litre common-rail direct injection engine, that features a variable geometry turbocharger. This engine offers 86 kW of power, and a decent 250 Nm of torque that is nicely spread between 1 500 and 2 750 rpm.
For those that are interested in such when buying a car like this, the performance claims come in at a 0 to 100km/h time of 11.5 sec, while the top speed is said to be 176 km/h. Neither of which I tested for accuracy, but I can tell you that driving around in this CRDI version was an absolute pleasure.
There was enough urge off the line with almost no turbo lag to make city driving a breeze and out on the open road, trundling along at the national speed limit of 120 km/h, or any speed limit you might deem as acceptable, was effortless. As was the Seltos CRDI’s ability to overtake when required to do so thanks to that spread of torque and easy shifting six-speed automatic transmission that comes as the only choice for the EX+ derivative. (A six-speed manual is available in the lower level EX model.) And this was something I had to put to the test a few times to get past traffic or away from dangerous driving when I went out to Sondela in Bela Bela for a mountain bike race.
In South Africa, we all know that the rules of the road are interpreted as mere rough guidelines. And the fact that these guidelines are in turn very poorly policed don’t help matters. So, one of the fundamental rules of the road “keep left, pass right” is an alien term to many. What should be keeping left is dawdling along oblivious to the world around them in the right hand lane, and what should be a little more patient is flying past everything on the left of the road, on the right road, or even on the shoulder of the road.
The N1 highway is a lovely piece of almost dead straight double lane tar, and by simply keeping left and passing right when safe to do so, driving this road would be a pleasure and a whole lot safer too. But, because we refuse to abide by the law or have no idea what the law actually is, the N1 becomes a dangerous double lane racetrack filled with very slow-moving traffic and very fast-moving traffic all competing for the same piece of tar. Anyway, enough of this topic, lets rather move back onto the positive aspects of the Seltos CRDI.
Being a turbodiesel meant it was frugal too. I returned an impressive 6.0-litres per 100 km for the full duration of my test. Which is a number that was below five on the open road. Space-wise, it was pretty good too. I could fit my mountain bike in the back with the front wheel off, and that is all that counted for me on the weekend.
For those that will spend a lot more time in the Seltos as an owner, you will be happy to know that you get a vast array of standard features such as aircon, automatic headlight control, electrically adjustable and auto folding side mirrors, leather interior, steering wheel-mounted remote controls, electric windows, cruise control, and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone mirroring, as well as Bluetooth with voice recognition, and USB ports front and back.
For those travelling on the N1, safety is covered by six airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchors, ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Control and Hill-start Assist Control, as well as rear park distance control sensors and a reverse camera with dynamic guidelines, integrated into the vehicle’s touchscreen infotainment system.
Coming in at R446 995, the Seltos CRDI EX+ is covered by an industry-leading unlimited kilometre/five year warranty and a five year/90 000 km service plan.
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