Really happy with my Kia SUV & hoping for hassle-free ownership similar to my old Creta.
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Hi all. After my last weekend trip to Pondy, I couldn’t update the thread immediately and could do so now only. Please note that any comparison mentioned is only with my first-generation Creta diesel AT.
The drive was actually a little tedious with very heavy traffic both ways due to Murtham dates, especially the Chennai to Tindivanam stretch. Due to this, I could not turn on the ADAS features and also couldn’t try the cruise control or paddle shifters.
The Tindivanam to Pondy stretch was, however, with moderate traffic and could finally free the legs. Wow. The car picks up speed effortlessly in the normal mode and we notice the speed only after the constant beeps keep reminding us that we should slow down. There is a definite difference we can feel in the various drive modes. The eco mode is useful only in crawling traffic for city drives. On the highway, normal mode is fine most of the time. For the moments when we want to put our foot down, sports mode is where the fun is. The tachometer dances to the tune of the acceleration and since the car is still in the running-in period, I limited the use of the sports mode to only a few minutes at a time. Waiting for another highway drive after the running-in period.
With regard to the ride quality, I stand corrected from my initial impression. On normal roads, the car is really smooth and an absolute joy to drive. On broken roads, however, the smooth ride gives way to some jarring moments and the Creta shod with Continental UC6 tyres certainly is more composed on those stretches. UC6 tyres on the Seltos could make the drive on bad roads better but I think that I will make the switch when the time comes for a change in tyres since it is not so worrisome as to do so immediately.
Another aspect I find better in the Creta is the position of the button on the gear shifter. The button at the back of the shifter in the Creta falls into place in my hand more easily than the Seltos which has the button on the side. Though it is something which I will get used to, the back seems to be the more logical location. In the Creta, I used to always use the hand brake while stopping at a signal. In the Seltos, the absence of the hand brake lever sometimes makes my hand fish for the lever at the signal.
Auto hold is a real boon in traffic. The minor downside is that the creep function does not work and in combination with the idle start-stop function, we need to apply the correct amount of pressure to prevent a hard take-off. The idle start-stop function works unobtrusively and does no harm in gaining a few sips of petrol. The idle start function cannot be disabled permanently but can be switched off whenever required at the start or during travel.
Apple CarPlay as known to all is only with the wired option and connects quite effortlessly with the USB cable. Google Maps can be used split screen as well as the whole screen and is really nice. I still have not used any other feature with Car Play. The wireless charger works well and the cooling function did prevent the phone from heating up. Full marks. I was initially a little unsure whether I had placed the phone properly and whether the phone was being charged, but later noticed that the charging indicator was lit up.
I generally only listen to FM radio while driving and for the FM channels, the Bose speakers did sound good to the ears. Only musical connoisseurs can comment on the actual performance of other modes of music. There is something called mood lighting with various colour options for the ambient lighting. In this, there is an option for the lighting to dance with the music and the cabin converts into a theatre. Really Kia.
Initially, I was a little worried about the dark seats and the dark roof, but from the driver’s seat, I didn’t even notice them. My family members in the rear seat were busy chatting and I won’t be surprised if they didn’t even know in which car they travelled so someone who has travelled and noticed things from the rear should comment. The seats however are slightly on the firmer side, probably due to the ventilation system. I would have liked a little more cushioning to the seats, but not a deal breaker. Coming to the seat ventilation, it works decently and is a nice feel-good feature to have.
The 360-degree camera is really nice with good resolution and so also the reverse parking camera and blind spot monitors. We get a red coloured indicator on the side mirrors when any object comes into the blind spot area with audible beeps. Nice to have a safety feature.
Dual-zone AC is also a good feature to have. I won’t have to keep adjusting the temperature when my co-passenger feels cold or vice versa. To each passenger, his own.
I haven’t opened the sunroof even once and most likely am not going to open it at all except probably to show someone that it is present in this car. In my opinion, sunroofs should only be sold as an option in India but when did any manufacturer give us only what we want? There is no way we can avoid the forced add-ons.
The sliding compartment in between the front seats houses two cup holders and the sliding action is sheer class but unfortunately, one slot is used for perfume and the other for hand sanitiser, so I cannot really close the compartment. Another nice feature added to the list of unused items.
Premium dual-layer mats by Kia have reduced the space on the dead pedal and it is not convenient to place the foot fully on it. I would advise buyers to personally check it out before sticking it into the accessories list.
Overall, a big thumbs up to Kia. I am really glad with my purchase and hope that it provides me with the same hassle-free ownership as my Creta which has served me well for more than a hundred thousand kilometres and almost 8 years of ownership without any major issues.
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