Why would I buy it?
- Smooth and punchy diesel automatic
- Practical interior
Why would I avoid it?
- Matte paint requires additional maintenance
- X Line trim is on the pricey end
- Firm ride quality
What is it?
7.5 / 10
If you are someone who is looking for a small SUV in the Rs 15 to 25 lakh rupee bracket then I am sorry, but I feel bad for you. There are way too many options at the moment and some of them are really good. The Kia Seltos is one of them and even though it’s been around for a while, Kia has been rolling out yearly updates to keep it in your sight. The X Line that you see here is the Seltos’ most affluent spec and it sits above the Tech Line and the GT Line.
On the outside, the X Line’s biggest draw is its matte paint finished in grey. Kia calls it ‘Xclusive Matte Graphite’ and over this grey paint scheme you will find orange accents on the front bumper, rear bumper and the plastic cladding on the sides. The other big change is that the X Line rides on 18-inch alloys on 55 section tires whereas the GT Line gets 17-inch alloys wrapped in 60 section tires. The alloy wheel color scheme is also slightly different and looks the part if you ask me. Lastly, all of the chrome elements as well as the mirrors have been blacked out for a more distinctive look.
What’s it like inside and what do you get?
8 / 10
There are no changes to the design or the layout of the dashboard or the door pads but there is big refreshing change and it’s the color shade for the seats and the door pads. In fact, the leatherette upholstery on the seats and the door pads are finished in a lovely albeit slightly vibrant shade of blue called ‘Indigo Pera’. Now even though the seat pattern is the same as the Tech Line version, the blue shade does a good job of amplifying the design.
Space also remains unchanged which means the X Line’s front row continues to offer a good amount of headroom and knee room. The new look seats are also supportive though we would have liked them even more if the seat base was a little longer. Space in the second row is not an issue either and the under thigh support here is better than in the front thanks to the large rear bench.
Now the X Line trim is based on the most expensive version of the Seltos which means it gets all the bells and whistles possible in the sub Rs 25 lakh segment. So there’s climate control with rear AC vents, a 360-degree view camera, electrically powered driver’s seat, an air purifier, ambient lighting, an eight-speaker Bose sound system and touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also gets a couple of neat features like an heads-up display and lane change assist which engages the side cameras when you indicate and projects the video across the digital display on the instrument cluster. For safety, the X Line has six airbags, ABS with EBD and ESP as standard.
What's it like to drive?
7.5 / 10
The X Line spec can be had with Kia’s 1.4-litre GDi turbo petrol that produces 138bhp/242Nm and paired to a seven-speed DCT, or the diesel with the 1.5-litre engine that makes 113bhp/250Nm and is offered with a six-speed torque converter automatic. For this test we have the diesel automatic version and like before, the X Line powered by this drivetrain remains a quiet operator. Turn on the ignition and there is barely any diesel clatter at idle or even off-the-line and this engine remains smooth up until 3,500rpm. What’s also admirable is that this diesel-auto combo is tractable and the mid-range is where the engine feels the happiest.
There’s ample grunt between 2,000 and 3,500rpm which is why we barely felt the need to rev the motor beyond that point even when doing highways speeds. Equally impressive are the efficiency figures. In our real-world tests, we got 16.35kmpl in the city and 19.37kmpl on the highway. The Seltos’ ride has always had a firm edge to it and with the larger 18-inch wheels on the X Line, things aren’t any better. One has to tread carefully over bad roads with sharp imperfections or ripples. Now we would like to add that it’s not uncomfortable in any manner but it’s just that it’s not as supple as we would like.
How does it compare and what’s the price?
7.5 / 10
The X Line spec is priced at Rs 18.65 lakh ex-showroom Mumbai which is around Rs 40,000 more than the most expensive GT Line trim which is the Seltos GTX. Its closest rival is the Skoda Kushaq Monte Carlo which is also a special edition based on the most expensive Kushaq variant.
Pictures by Kapil Angane