Driven: 2020 KIA Seltos CRDI EX+
The diesel version of the KIA Seltos may have taken longer to come than the petrol one, but none the less, KIA did keep its promise of releasing its diesel variation. Whether the eight months wait was worth it, we will have to find out. This past year, we got to spend some time we the latest KIA Selto CRDI, the EX+ trim in particular.
Big and stylish
One thing that is quite admirable is its size however, sitting at 4,315mm long, 1,800mm wide, the Seltos is larger than most in its current segment. The CRDI stays as attractive as its petrol, with KIA making sure that its signature ‘Tiger Nose’ front stays intact. The CRDI does stick to its market of being a family-orientated SUV but given its big size, certainly sits well on top in comparison to its rivals. If you do however hope to stand out from the rest, we suggest their special two-tone colour options, which range from Glacier White Pearl and Intense Red, which both come with a black roof, while its vibrant Punchy Orange which sits on its own with a white roof.
Finally, a diesel engine
Whether you’re a petrol head or not, there’s no denying that a good diesel engine does sit well in an SUV, especially being as large as the Seltos. Of course, we did have to wait to feel the difference between the two, but after a few trips, you come to realize that the eight-month delay may have been worth it. The CRDI makes a pleasant drive with the new and light 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine delivering an impressive 86kW of power, and 250 Nm of torque. The EX+ models are only available in a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The inside of the Seltos CRDI is comfortable, practical, and offers a solid build quality. The EX+ trim comes with air-conditioning, electrically adjustable side mirrors that gain an auto-folding function, leather upholstery, steering wheel-mounted remote controls, and electric windows. At the centre sits an 8-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system that incorporates a radio with RDS and is linked to six speakers. To further ensure a smooth road trip, the CRDI comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone mirroring, as well as Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition. Front passengers also benefit further in comfort as the EX+ comes with an additional centre console armrest with an integrated storage box.
KIA holds back nothing in terms of safety on the Seltos, with exceptional safety features that have scored the Seltos 5 stars in ANCAP (Australasian NCAP) testing. The EX+ trim comes equipped with six airbags: one for the driver, one for the front passenger, two side airbags for the driver and front passenger, as well as two side-curtain airbags that stretch across the length of the cabin. It also features ISOFIX child seat anchors, ABS brakes, and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD). Rear park distance control sensors with a reverse camera also comes integrated into the vehicle’s touchscreen infotainment system. All EX+ models also get additional features such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC).
Overall, the Seltos CRDI is a solid offering from KIA. It thrives in terms of family appeal and the diesel option is the more sensible option. Our recommendation is the manual EX which offers better the driver more control and a better driving experience. In addition, you will save the extra bucks as it is the cheaper option than the auto.
KIA Seltos 1.5 CRDI EX+ Automatic R446 995
KIA Seltos 1.5 CRDI EX Automatic R428 995
KIA Seltos 1.5 CRDI EX Manual R 410 995
All KIA Seltos models come standard with KIA’s industry-leading Unlimited Kilometre, 5-year warranty (inclusive of roadside assistance) and will also include a 5-year/90,000km Service Plan.