Used car buying guide: Kia Seltos

    With sizeable waiting periods, getting a used Kia Seltos is one way to beat the queue. We tell you what to look out for.

    Published On Apr 02, 2022 08:00:00 AM


    Listen to this Article

    GOOD FOR: Lengthy equipment list, Smooth engines

    LOOK OUT FOR: DCT gearbox, Brake problem

    Even close to three years after its launch, the Kia Seltos remains one of the hottest-selling midsize SUVs on the market. And you can see why. It looks good, has refined engine options and is loaded with equipment. So getting your hands on a brand new one entails a long waiting period of a few months, depending on spec. But there is a way around it. There are plenty of used options in the market currently that are definitely worth considering if you don’t want to wait. However, there are a few things you should know before you buy one.

    The Seltos was launched in 2019 with three engine options – two petrols and one diesel. There’s a 115hp, 1.5-litre petrol that is available with a 6-speed manual gearbox and a CVT automatic, while Kia also introduced an iMT option to this engine later. The other petrol is a 140hp, 1.4-litre direct-injection turbo-petrol that comes with either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. The diesel engine, meanwhile, is a 115hp, 1.5-litre unit that can be had with either a 6-speed manual or torque convertor automatic gearbox.

    Seltos' 1.5-litre diesel engine is refined in nature.

    In terms of official fuel efficiency, the 1.5 petrol returns 16.5kpl and 16.8kpl for the manual and auto variants, respectively, while the 1.4 turbo-petrol does 16.1kpl and 16.5kpl for its manual and DCT versions. The 1.5 diesel is said to do 21kpl with the manual and 18kpl with the auto.

    Kia launched the Seltos in two distinct variant lines – the Tech Line and the GT line. These then have several variants under them which differ in equipment levels and engine-gearbox combinations. The GT Line is the sportier of the two and it gets plenty of red accents inside and out. Meanwhile, the Tech Line is the more luxurious option. It’s also worth noting that Kia has periodically been updating the Seltos, with variant additions and deletions, more features and also the brand’s new logo.

    In terms of features, top-spec Seltos comes equipped with a massive 10.25-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, Kia’s UVO Connect suite, sunroof, an eight-speaker Bose sound system, an in-car air purifier, a heads-up display, a 360-degree parking camera and ambient lighting. As for safety, the range-topping models feature six airbags, ABS, electronic stability control, vehicle stability management, hill-start assist, front and rear parking sensors and a blind-spot view monitor.

    Styling is rather contemporary; LED tail-lamps and 17-inch alloys look cool.

    It is advisable to go for either the 1.5 petrol or diesel, if efficiency is your priority. The 1.5 petrol, especially with the CVT, makes for a convenient and reasonably frugal car, while the 1.5 diesel is also a great mile muncher. However, if you enjoy driving, the 1.4 turbo-petrol is the one to buy. All variants are reasonably equipped and cover the basics. But, it’s better to opt for the higher versions as features like the Bose sound system are things that can be easily enjoyed.

    Overall, the Seltos is reliable, with spare prices at par with rivals. It also holds its value very well, and with the many price hikes it’s had, owners of older models are even quoting close to what they originally paid. So you’ll have to shell out good money, but when you do decide to sell it in the future, expect to get a decent chunk of your money back.

    Buyer, beware…

    DCT gearbox

    Some owners have faced issues with the dual-clutch auto gearbox. The most common issue is the overheating of the gearbox in heavy traffic, which requires you to stop until it cools down before carrying on. DCT-equipped Seltos’ are also known to be heavy drinkers, returning about 8kpl in the city.


    Few owners have also complained about the brake pedal going hard suddenly. This is an issue with the brake booster. On the test drive, ensure that the pedal feels progressive and that there’s no noise coming from the brakes themselves. 


    Seltos owners have also faced issues with the infotainment system. Issues include the infotainment system crashing abruptly, excessive lagging and unpairing of the Bluetooth randomly. Hence, it’s best to test out the infotainment system before you make the purchase.

    Also worth knowing

    Kia had issued a recall for diesel Seltos’ manufactured between October 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020 for a fuel pump issue. The replacement was free of cost at dealerships, so if you’re looking at a Seltos diesel manufactured in these months ensure that this has been taken care of.

    How much to spend

    Rs 12 lakh-17 lakh

    Given that it’s still on sale and has a huge demand in the new car segment, prices for used Seltos’ are on the higher side.

    Still, look hard enough and you will find some reasonably priced examples. You can try to haggle down the price, but don’t expect much. 


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