Engine availability options include - a base 1.5-litre petrol, 1.5-litre diesel and a 1.4-litre turbo petrol. All of these are BS6 compliant. Apart from a standard six-speed manual, Kia is offering three automatic gearbox options as well – a seven-speed DCT, IVT and a six-speed AT. This will give buyers more options to suit their needs. We first put up the turbo petrol manual under our test cycle. This 1.4-litre turbocharged direct-injection mill is a silent and smooth motor that churns out 138bhp of power at 6,000rpm. It revs freely up to its redline at 6,200rpm showing off its excellent NVH levels as the engine is hardly audible inside the cabin. One wouldn't require to rev so much anyway as there's loads of torque available (242Nm) right from 1,500rpm. And though it’s linear, this torque surge is quickly evident and enjoyable in this 1.4 T-GDI. This helped it put up a 9.8s timing for the 0-100kmph sprint. It’s quite commendable for a mid-size SUV weighing 1,310kg.
Then, the six-speed transmission complements this engine well to match the torque curve with quick gearshifts. Though a bit notchy, these slot in without much fuss. I remember there wasn't a need to shift to a lower gear often as the torque is available over a wide range. Yet, the gearbox is fun to use and I ended up running through the gears quite often. But that's just me, as this trim scores high on tractability with the 20-80kmph run in third gear coming up in just 8.95s. The car even managed to pull from 40-100kmph in the fourth gear in just 10.38s. This speaks so much about its excellent mid-range grunt. Pottering around in traffic will never be boring and even out on the highway it manages to cruise at triple digit speeds and low revs.
Even the 1.5-litre diesel engine is a very refined motor and is surprisingly silent for being an oil-burner. Its power output is rated at 114bhp at 4,000rpm and 250Nm of torque at 1,500rpm. This variable geometry turbocharger spools in fast and never lets the engine feel bogged down. A 0-100kmph run in 12.23s shows it’s slower than the petrol, but not at all sluggish. In fact, the gear acceleration times show that the diesel is fun to drive too especially on the highway. The 20-80kmph run in third gear was completed in 9.77s, while the 40-100kmph sprint in fourth gear took 11.16s. That's quite similar to the petrol despite being heavier at 1,370kg. These figures also prove that one wouldn't feel nervous even while overtaking a long truck. Yet, unlike the petrol's lighter clutch, this one is slightly on the heavier side, but not troublesome to use.