While the Indian car market is being flooded with new SUVs, a niche segment has curiously been overlooked. We are of course talking about diesel automatic SUVs. Under Rs 25 lakh, your choices are very limited and if you discount the AMT ones, the choices are down to only three.
That said, the SUV that you see here is, according to us, the best diesel compact SUV to buy right now. The Kia Seltos with the diesel automatic comes across as something which ticks nearly all the boxes.
Typically, diesel automatics are shunned by many car makers for being too expensive but Kia has gone ahead and offered a 6-speed torque converter automatic with its 1.5l diesel.
The diesel engine in question is BS6 compliant and develops 115 bhp and 250Nm. It is the only BS6 diesel on sale now in its segment and yet runs on BS4 fuel too.
The benefits are aplenty but what you will like the most is the refinement. On ignition, the diesel is quiet and there is only a faint noise that indicates its diesel nature — no doubt this is among the most refined in its class.
The torque converter automatic is slightly old-school but has been paired well with the engine. At city speeds the automatic is responsive and smooth. The added refinement only makes this better.
The Seltos diesel AT is best driven with a sedate foot and effortless cruising is its plus point. On the highway, it settles well at 100-plus speeds and you can drive it all day like this.
However, it is only when you put your foot down that the car gets a bit noisy and instant downshifts are not available. You can shift manually using the gear-lever and that improves the response a bit but as said earlier it’s best driven a notch below.
So, why is it the best diesel AT? Simply because for the price it offers the most refined diesel and the automatic is the most responsive of the lot. You also get really good mileage as we got 13-14 kmpl with mixed city and highway driving.
The diesel Seltos has a light steering which gets a heavier at higher speeds while cornering is stable. The ride, although good on most surfaces, gets a bit choppy on bad roads.
The car you see here is the HTX+ which gets a lot of features like ventilated seats, an eight-speaker BOSE audio, an eight-way power driver seat, a bigger 10.25-inch touchscreen, a 360-degree camera, front parking sensors and more.
Further you can even get the diesel automatic in the GT line spec with even more features like a Heads-up-display.
At Rs 16 lakh (ex-showroom), the Seltos diesel AT is the perfect choice if you want a diesel with the convenience of an automatic. Factor in the BS6 compliant engine and its case only gets stronger.