Booked my 2023 Kia Seltos: Pros & cons after a pre-delivery test drive

At the moment, it’s between the Seltos IVT HTX versus Seltos GTX+ DCT.

BHPian headbanger recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I had pre-booked Seltos on 14 July using K-code. But was struggling to get the test drive due to below-average dealership experience. Finally was able to get a 7 km test drive.

  • Test Drive Model: Seltos Petrol DCT GTX+
  • Test Drive mix: 75% highway + 25% city
  • Existing Primary Car: Type 1 Maruti Dzire Petrol and Ritz Petrol (both 1.2K engine).

Other existing cars in the family include Sonet D AT GTX+, Seltos D AT HTK+, 2019 Swift P Vxi, Toyota Innova and Polo 1.6 TDI. I have driven all these cars for more than a minimum of 5k km each. So I know a bit about these cars and the intent of sharing this information is that any new experience is relative to what you already know. What may seem like brutal acceleration to me may be tamed linear acceleration to someone with an entirely different garage composition.

Coming back to the topic, here are my observations:


  • Exterior looks. Enough said.
  • The quality of interiors. That adjustable shutter just reeks of quality. The dashboard looks slick. The gear lever is a joy to hold.
  • Electric seat adjustment. Superb!!!
  • Paddle shifters were pure joy. Gear Lag- what is that?
  • Mid-range and those paddle shifters. D4,5,6 are fun if you play with those shifters.
  • Slick infotainment system. That screen is the cleanest implementation in sub 20L range.
  • High-speed stability. I touched 120 km/h and it can go all day long without breaking a sweat. The car masks speed as well so you don’t feel nervous. Straight-line stability is top-notch.


  • Elephant in the room is ride quality on those 18 inchers. It’s stiff. TPMS in the test drive car showed 36 psi all around. Don’t get me wrong here. The ride quality is not harsh in these new vehicles, but it’s stiff and you will feel every patchwork on the road. Since my primary ride is comparatively softly sprung, I could immediately notice the difference. If I end up buying GTX+, the first thing that will happen is a tyre swap to UC6 or a softer tire set.
  • Both previous iterations of Sonet and Seltos are stiff and the ride quality becomes progressively harsher as the tires become hard with time. The result is that these cars have to get new shoes in a quicker span of time. To conclude, the ride is stiff, you feel everything under the tire albeit in an acceptable manner. My humble Dzire irons out the expansion joints on flyovers at 100kmph. Seltos will need to be slowed down over those expansion joints.
  • The 1.5 turbo engine is not brutal – it’s linear. Let me explain!!! I already have tasted Diesel Auto in my existing garage. That 115bhp motor can put much bigger combos to shame. It’s not the number of horses that the motor has, it’s how it puts it to wheels. In my experience, Sonet D AT triumphs Seltos D AT even in the existing avatar. It pushes you back the moment you press the pedal. However, this 1.5GDI doesn’t do that on its own unless you want it to. Put the car in Sports mode and use those paddle shifters. That’s where the joy is!!! The downside is that, unlike diesel motors, this joy mode will kill your mileage in the petrol motor.
  • To conclude, unless you are living in NCR and have even 40% regular highway travel to take care of DPF issues, my suggestion will be to pick 115 diesel over 160 petrol. It’s the best of both worlds.
  • Why not have memory functions for the driver seat? Ask anyone where one car is shared by multiple drivers. Kia has already put in the electric adjustment of seats. Just add a memory function to make the functionality complete.
  • In the same vein, with so much personalization on offer on ADAS-related functionality, why not add a Driver Profile in the infotainment? While I may want ADAS to be fully active when my wife is behind the wheel since she is new to driving, I may not want to get all ding-dong tones when I am driving. Another use case can be of different settings when one is driving on highways versus in the City. Just change the driver profile to select what features you want to be working on instead of hearing those tones at the slightest flick of steering.
  • Last, but not least, I didn’t like the colour choice for GTX+. The black roof with black seats that look inferior to even the HTX variant did take some shine away from what is a beautiful cabin. Put those sage greens in GTX+ and replace the black roof liner with a beige one.
  • The same Bose music system works well in Sonet due to the smaller cabins as compared to the bigger cabins of Seltos and Carens. I noticed the same thing when I test-drove Carens during its launch. The music sounds above average at best. Don’t expect too much.

Next Action

I will also test drive Seltos HTX IVT. Let’s see where I land. I am unable to push myself to even see Elevate. If Seltos IVT ends up being a mixed bag overall, that may just push me to bring Elevate into the picture. But at the moment, it’s Seltos IVT HTX versus Seltos GTX+ DCT.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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