FIRST DRIVE | Why the 2020 Kia Seltos deserves your attention
I wrote a list of all the places I wanted to visit locally as soon as lockdown travel restrictions were lifted. Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Durban were the most anticipated destinations, with additions of all the restaurants and activities I would visit during my stays.
I’ve heard of “vision boards”, where you pen everything you would like to achieve and receive, and voila! With some meditation, it’s yours!
When the invitation to journey through Tzaneen came recently, it lent some credence to this power of visualisation. What would the steed be? Introducing the Kia Seltos, now with a diesel engine offering.
If you’ve seen the Seltos on the roads, you already know it’s a looker, with a broad, assertive stance and a confident persona. My test unit was of the high-grade EX+ variety, which had an interior that could easily be described as premium, thanks to its plush surfaces and sumptuous leather upholstery.
Also included is an eight-inch infotainment system, accommodating Apple Car Play and Android Auto. With my smartphone synchronised, I sang along in perfect harmony to favourite 1990s R&B hits. Much to my drive partner’s annoyance.
Our trip took off in Pretoria, onto the N4 and straight into the lush and scenic routes of Magoebaskloof. Picturesque, majestic scenery makes it one of the most breathtaking roads to travel. For more than 300km, the 1.5-litre, turbocharged-diesel engine (86kW and 250Nm) in the Seltos impressed with its no-fuss cruising nature.
There were hints of lag when needing to quickly overtake some of the many trucks that line the N4. But I would attribute this hesitance to the six-speed automatic transmission on duty. A six-speed manual is also offered.
We made a stop for lunch at Zwakala Brewery. It is nestled within the forest, giving an opportunity to take on a decent gravel road. This is the kind of task that vehicles of this ilk will often face. And the Kia handled it without incident. We simply had to stop and take several pictures, because the untamed, outdoorsy setting complemented the character of the car extremely well.
Averaging around 7.4l/100km, the Seltos CRDI proved frugal, making the trip to and from Tzaneen on just a little over a full tank. Among its competitors in the segment, I’d say it’s a cut above the rest. With great looks, a superb interior, and a comfortable drive, it deserves to feature on your vision board.
1.5 CRDI EX Manual: R410,995
1.5 CRDI EX Automatic: R428,995
1.5 CRDI EX+ Automatic: R446,995