Kia Seltos SUV India-spec vs US-spec: What's different?
Kia Motors launched its new midsized SUV, the Kia Seltos, in the US market at the 2019 LA Motor Show. The Seltos is a global model but with a strong focus on the Indian market, right from its developmental stage. This has worked very well for the brand, with the SUV raking in over 70,000 orders since its debut here in July. In the US, the Seltos will sit below the Sportage in the brand's line-up. However, given the wide disparity in customers' needs between India and the US, the Seltos has seen numerous changes done to it to help it meet buyers' needs.
Kia Seltos US-spec
This is the biggest differentiating factor between the two cars. The Indian Seltos comes with three engine and four gearbox options here. The only diesel engine available is a 1.5-litre unit which makes 115PS and 250Nm. The top-spec petrol is the 1.4-litre turbo-petrol, available on the GT-Line trims and makes 140PS and 242Nm. Then there is the 1.-5-litre naturally aspirated petrol with its 115PS and 144Nm, available only on the Tech Line cars. The turbo petrol can be had with a 7-speed DCT, the diesel with a six-speed torque-convertor and the N/A petrol with a CVT. All three can be had with a six-speed manual too.
The line-up is more simplified in the States but with higher outputs. The base engine is a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol with 146PS and 179Nm. Buyers can also choose a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol with 175PS and 265Nm. Like in India, the base version can only be had with the naturally aspirated petrol with the turbo being an option on higher trims. Also similar is the fact that the DCT is available with the turbo only and the CVT with the 2.0-litre unit. A big differentiator for the US-spec car is the absence of a diesel unit or a manual gearbox option.
Kia Seltos India spec
The Seltos coming to USA also has had some mechanical changes done to it. The biggest of these is that it can be had with an active all-wheel drive system that can send up to 50 per cent power to the rear axle. Further, the system also uses torque vectoring for better vehicle control. The AWD versions also get a more sophisticated multi-link rear suspension set-up, as against the torsion beam axle with coil springs in the Indian car. Both versions get the Eco, Normal and Sport drive modes. The Indian Seltos doesn't get an AWD option but does get off-road modes. This system uses the traction control system and changes throttle mapping according to conditions.
The Seltos also gets larger wheels and tyres in the United States. The base option is a 215/55 17-inch wheel with the upgrade being an 18-incher with 235/45 dimensions. The spare wheel is a spacesaver. The Indian car's wheels are downsized with thicker profiles to suit our conditions better, the top trims get 215/60 17-inch alloys and the lower trims come with 16 inches at 205/65. We also get a full-sized 16-inch spare wheel.
The Indian-spec Seltos trumps the American version when it comes to creature comfort. The 360-degree camera, lane watch function, HUD, air purifier, sunroof, rear AC vents are all unique to the Indian version. The US version adds quite a bit more safety tech and assistance systems and better seating adjustment with a 12-way powered driver seat, this version gets front, side and curtain mounted bags as standard. Also available is the Kia Drive Wise suite of active driving assistance systems. This is active cruise control with stop and go, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance system and a safe exit system, all standard from the second from base trim. The Indian car gets six airbags only on the GTX variants onwards. Both the US and India Seltos get the full suite of UVO connected-car tech.
The US market Kia Seltos will see pricing start from under USD 22,000 or Rs 15.77 lakh for the base LX trim. The Indian Seltos is much more cost-effective, with prices starting at Rs 11.3 lakh on-road Mumbai with the base HTE trims. In terms of looks, very little changes with the US car. It seems to get the same styling package as the GT-Line trim in India with the honeycomb grille and knurled finish chrome elements, only missing is the red accents on the Indian car. The US car also gets different colour options, darker interior trim and a floating infotainment screen, against the widescreen look on our cars.
Watch our Kia Seltos review below
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