2023 Kia Seltos Facelift: Which engine + gearbox option would you buy

In essence, there are 3 engine options, 2 types of MT options, and 3 types of automatic gearboxes on offer.

BHPian Omkar recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

The Kia Seltos facelift has surely managed to pick up where it left off in this highly contested segment. It’s doing good numbers which was expected from it and Kia’s strategy of something for everyone is surely a contributor to it. In fact, Kia claims to have received 31,716 bookings for the Seltos facelift in just a month since bookings began on July 14, 2023. Just look at the engine and gearbox combinations on offer and you will know why.

There are 3 engine options – a 113 BHP, 1.5-litre naturally aspirated (NA) petrol, a 158 BHP, 1.5-litre turbo-petrol and a 114 BHP, 1.5-litre turbo-diesel. You get a 6-speed manual transmission with the 1.5 NA petrol engine with an option of a CVT automatic. The 1.5 turbo-petrol can be had with a 6-speed iMT or a 7-speed DCT automatic.

Lastly, the 1.5 diesel engine gets a 6-speed iMT as standard and the top-end variants can be opted with a 6-speed torque converter automatic. In essence, there are 3 engine options, 2 types of MT options, and 3 types of automatic gearboxes on offer.

So if were to buy a Kia Seltos, which engine and gearbox combination would you pick & why?

The 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine is the go-to choice for city dwellers. It’s refined, smooth, and has enough punch to get around the city. It’s offered with a 6-speed manual transmission and a CVT automatic. Note that the CVT automatic misses out on features like the 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, wireless charger, ventilated seats, 8-way powered seats and most importantly ADAS functions (GTX+ & X-Line).

Next up you have the 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine that replaces the older 1.4-litre turbocharged engine. This engine is more powerful than before and has the highest numbers in the segment. You can have this engine with a fast 7-speed DCT automatic transmission or a 6-speed iMT. Read our detailed drive report here.

Lastly, for the mile munchers, Kia also has the 1.5-litre diesel engine on offer. This engine may not be the most powerful in the segment, but it has enough grunt to keep you engaged over those long distances. It is again offered with a 6-speed iMT and you get a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission. You can read our drive report here.

Here’s what GTO had to say about the matter:

Let me put one thing straight = You will NEVER regret going for the most powerful engine on offer. It will reward you with a million smiles & innumerable memoriesโ€ฆ priceless in my opinion! YOLO and all that. After 5 – 10 years of owning the car, that extra 1 – 4 lakhs you spent on the better engine won’t matter. But you will always give yourself a pat on the back for buying the superior, faster motor. If you are reading this on Team-BHP, odds are, you love driving and this point is all the more relevant. I paid premium money for the 1st-gen City Vtec (used one at the same price as a new 2nd-gen City), 530d M-Sport (5-lakhs in the used market) & Thar Turbo-Petrol (in terms of its abysmal 6 kmpl city FE). But I have derived a lot of pleasure & joy from these fast engines.

Conversely, I know a lot of people who regretted buying the City 1.3L instead of the 1.5L, the Creta / Seltos 1.5L NA instead of the 1.4L Turbo, the Octavia 1.4L instead of the 1.8L, the S-Cross 1.3L instead of the 1.6L. But I have yet to meet a single person who regretted buying the more powerful engine.

That’s why my first choice with the Seltos Facelift will be the ~160 BHP turbo-petrol with the DCT. Only if my monthly running was very high (it isn’t) would I choose the Diesel AT instead as that engine + gearbox are well-tuned too.

Here’s what BHPian OpenRoads had to say about the matter:

A six-speed TC with a super-refined diesel engine will definitely keep you happy for a longer time. Only if the petrol engine had a TC transmission it would have been my first choice.

Here’s what BHPian Small Bot had to say about the matter:

Assuming that I’m going to buy a Seltos, I’d rather go for the fastest and most loaded petrol car they have. What’s the point of buying a blingy car if you don’t purchase all of the bling?

Even if I had high running, I’ll never touch a BS6 diesel car. Not worth the DPF heartburns.

Here’s what BHPian yedukrishnan199 had to say about the matter:

In my opinion, there are only two options worth checking out, the 1.5 L Turbo Petrol 7DCT or the 1.5 L Diesel 6AT, both are great in their own right, the 1.5 L Turbo Petrol 7DCT offer great power and performance for those who care for getting the most powerful and fast engine out there, and don’t mind the same even at the cost of fuel efficiency.

But for others who are not living in NCR, and want a reliable, tried and tested smooth 6-speed AT that gets the job done, with great fuel efficiency at the same price as the Turbo DCT, The 1.5 L Diesel 6AT is a great option to go for.

I have more than enough experience in this case, as two of my relatives, one in his early 40s and the other in his 60s both considering the new Seltos, the choice of engine and gearbox combo was different in both cases, as their priorities were different, the first one went with Turbo Petrol 7DCT because YOLO and the elder one went for the Diesel 6AT as his priorities were different, moreover, he felt, with the sad state of roads in Kerala, where is he going to use all that 160 horses! I agree with them and feel both are right!

With the prices being exactly the same, the Diesel would make much more sense for price-conscious, mileage-conscious buyers who don’t need a fast car! but need a reliable mile muncher. So my vote goes for the Diesel AT!

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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