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2023 Kia Seltos GT-Line review

7 days with the Seltos: Enough to ditch the old banger?

If you've had a squiz at my previous Volkswagen Touareg review, you might recall I mentioned that the missus and I have started scouring the car market for her next car.

Modern cars are to her old clunker what a smartphone is to 2 tin cans connected by string – light-years ahead in technology and safety.

And so, with safety in mind and the bar set skyscraper-high by our previous test-drive of the Touareg, we grabbed the keys to the 2023 Kia Seltos GT-Line AWD to see if it could match our lofty expectations.

2023 Kia Seltos review

What's the 2023 Kia Seltos GT-Line like to drive?

On the tarmac, the Kia Seltos GT-Line delivers a ride quality that strikes a balance between firm and forgiving.

Overall the Seltos feels fairly planted. And while the AWD system with its electronically locking diff might seem as necessary as a snorkel in the Sahara for us city slickers, it adds a layer of capability for those weekends when you decide to venture off the beaten path, say to that winery with the challenging driveway.

When you put your foot down the Seltos is fairly willing too. While it's not exactly going to set your pulse racing, it offers enough pep to make merging into traffic an easy task.

Nestled within the engine bay of the Seltos GT-Line is a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine that delivers a robust 130kW of power and 265Nm of torque.

What's the Kia Seltos like inside?

Inside, a 2023 Kia Seltos review would be remiss not to highlight the interior's coming of age. The twin screens serve as a digital command centre, making the interior look quite futuristic.

The 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system is a hub of connectivity and entertainment. It's equipped with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, ensuring seamless integration of your smartphone. Whether it's accessing maps, streaming music or hands-free messaging, these features keep you connected without taking your eyes off the road.

A fully digital instrument cluster is fully customisable, providing key driving information, tailored to your preferences.

Adding to the comfort are the leather-appointed seats, which aren't just about luxury, they're about year-round comfort. With both heating and ventilation options, they're a godsend for the Australian climate, keeping you cool during scorchers and snug on chilly mornings.

2023 Kia Seltos Interior

There is also an automatic climate control system in the Seltos GT-Line, which effortlessly maintains the cabin temperature, making adjustments a breeze, literally. The inclusion of rear air vents ensures that backseat passengers are just as comfortable as those in the front.

In terms of sound, the Seltos is fitted with a Bose premium sound system in the GT-Line trim. The high-quality audio experience is perfect for audiophiles who appreciate the finer details in their favourite tracks.

Other handy inclusions are the smart key with push-button start, which adds a layer of convenience, while the wireless phone charger keeps you powered up on the go. And for those tight parking spots? The rear-view camera and front and rear parking sensors make manoeuvring in and out a stress-free affair.

Is the Kia Seltos GT-Line a good family car?

For the family-minded, the Kia Seltos GT-Line doesn't skimp on practicality.

ISOFIX and top-tether points in the rear are as expected in this segment, ensuring your most precious cargo is as secure as Fort Knox. The car itself is a haven for parents who've grown accustomed to the idea that space and family-friendly features should be a given, not a luxury.

2023 Kia Seltos boot comparison

The Kia Seltos GT-Line plays a game of Tetris that it intends to win with boot space:

  • 433 litres of cargo space
  • Outshines the CX-30's 317 litres
  • Nudges ahead of the Kona's 361 litres

Plus as an added bonus, you get a full-size spare wheel, which is pretty rare these days.

2023 Kia Seltos gets a full size spare wheel

How safe is the Kia Seltos GT-Line?

In terms of safety systems, the Kia Seltos more or less has them all, constantly scanning and watching to keep yourself and your occupants safe. Here's a look at the main systems keeping you cocooned in safety:

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
  • Lane Keep Assist (LKA)
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
  • Blind Spot Detection (BSD)*
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • Safe Exit Warning (SEW)
  • Driver Attention Alert (DAA)
  • ISOFIX and Top-Tether Anchor Points

With these systems in place, the Kia Seltos GT-Line doesn't just aim to protect its occupants, it takes a proactive approach to prevent accidents from happening in the first place.

But, we do need to talk about the digital nanny, AKA the speed limit system.

There are constant beeps and bongs, noises coming from everywhere for one reason or another. Should the car drift merely 1 or 2 kilometres over the speed limit, it nags with the persistence of a toddler asking "are we there yet?".

The alternative is switching it off, but then you're flying blind without the current speed limit displayed, there doesn't seem to be a happy medium.

Not one that I could find, anyway.

Is the 2023 Kia Seltos fuel efficient?

The 2023 Kia Seltos GT-Line promises numbers that would make any wallet a little comfier. But, as they say, the proof is in the pudding.

Kia states an average consumption of 7.4 litres per 100km for the combined cycle, but in the real world, where traffic lights and rush hour exist, the numbers we saw were more in the region of 9L/100km when in "Normal" mode.

On the open road, Eco mode engaged, the Seltos became a more efficient companion, showing a more modest 8.4L/100km.

These figures may not be the stuff of hybrids, but they're reasonable for a vehicle of this size and stature, offering AWD capability.

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How does the price compare?

Sitting at the peak of the Seltos range, the GT-Line commands a price that's justified by its top-tier amenities and refined finish. You'll be parting with $47,990.00 drive-away for the GT-Line all-wheel drive, while if you only need front-wheel drive, which I suspect applies to the majority of customers, you're looking at $44,890.00.

Keep in mind that both of these prices are before you start adding fancy paints and the likes.

If we pit it against the aforementioned Mazda CX-30 and Hyundai Kona, you'll find that the starting price for the GT-Line variant of the Seltos is slightly loftier. However, the Mazda CX-30 in its Astina trim can surpass the Seltos GT-Line with a premium that reaches for the $52,000 range when looking at comparable AWD options. The Kona, in its premium trim, plays in the same financial ballpark as the Seltos GT-Line.

So, in terms of price then, the 2023 Kia Seltos GT-Line offers a package that blends practicality and technology with a price point that, while not the cheapest ticket in the compact SUV carnival, certainly offers a ride that could be worth the extra outlay.

The boot space triumphs over its peers and the price, when dissected for value, holds its own with stoic confidence against its closest competitors.

Servicing and warranty

Kia offers customers peace of mind with a 7-year warranty and capped price servicing plans.

But what about the price? See the breakdown:

Service interval (whichever occurs first)Price
1 year or 10,000km$308.00
2 years or 20,000km$500.00
3 years or 30,000km$373.00
4 years or 40,000km$651.00
5 years or 50,000km$346.00
6 years or 60,000km$630.00
7 years or 70,000km$671.00

When you first purchase your Kia, you will also get 12 months' complimentary roadside assistance, but if you get your vehicle serviced at Kia, this can be extended for up to 8 years.

The final verdict on the 2023 Kia Seltos GT-Line

As the week with the 2023 Kia Seltos GT-Line unfolded, it became clear that while this compact SUV might not be the final choice for my girlfriend's garage spot, it's certainly thrown down the gauntlet.

It offers space and practicality, 2 things that are crucially important and make the Seltos a good option for young families. There is also the safety aspect in which it ticks a lot of boxes, while being competitively priced.

And while we might not be signing on the dotted line just yet, we've got a new benchmark to measure against. That alone is worth the test-drive.

Make sure to check out our other car reviews. You might also be surprised to see what you can save by comparing car loans and car insurance while you're here.

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