How much is too much? When one tends to plan a road trip or pack for one. Just how much is too much? For some of us, too much is never enough. Be it our luggage or our mode of transport. I'm overpacked for a two-day road trip, but you may never know what you need on the road. The Kia Seltos follows the same sentiment and overpacks nearly every feature one may need out on the road. I intend to explore those features on my little road trip to Daman. A bit more on that later, but for now, let's talk about the star of the show.
Presenting the all-new Kia Seltos. Though Kia as a brand has only been around in India since 2019, the Seltos has put Kia ahead of its competition. Every 1 out of 10 Kia cars sold globally is a Seltos, and the Seltos contributes up to 50-60% to Kia's sales in India. The Seltos is India's second highest-selling mid-size SUV, and its sales figures have only increased. As if it wasn't feature-packed already, now, for 2023, it comes even more feature-packed and loaded, but more on that later. As a Mumbaikar, time is of the essence, and traffic waits for no one. So, without any delay, I hopped inside my swanky SUV and hit the highway heading to Daman.
Daman is a union territory located about 170 kms away from Mumbai. Once under Portuguese rule for about 400 years, traces of Portuguese influence can be seen in the architecture and lifestyle of the people of Daman. It was liberated by India back in 1961 and became a union territory in 1987. It is a perfect getaway for those who desire a weekend trip away from the hustle and bustle of a city in the company of sand, sea and sun. Though the day was hot and the road was long, the well-bolstered seats and ventilation helped beat the heat and drive off fatigue. The road we took was the Mumbai-Gujarat highway, a well-paved tarmac. Crossing the Mumbai and Gujarat borders, I finalised our first destination in Daman.
My first stop in Daman was the Moti Daman Fort. Built in the year 1581, it spans about 30,000 square meters. It encloses the Government House, a Cathedral, a Dominican Monastery, an old lighthouse, a convent school, some government quarters, and several government organisation buildings such as the public health centre, the district library, three gardens, the district court, Daman Municipal Council, etc. All were ideally housed in a fortress that took about 22 years to construct.
Driving around the well-paved streets of Moti Daman, you realise that building something back then meant you had to build it robustly and hope for the best. But in today's day and age, we can build structures that are not only solid but smart. Take the Kia Seltos, for example, which boasts over 30 safety features and showcases a Level 2 ADAS system with up to 17 features! With its radar and camera-based technologies, Kia boasts the most evolved ADAS in its segment. Additionally, you get six airbags as standard and have up to 11 active safety features. Modern-day technology ensures one can prepare for the worst and ensure the best.
Since we are at Daman, hitting the beach and watching the waves is only fair. We headed to Jampore Beach, also known as Daman's cleanest beach. It certainly lives up to its name, with clean sand spread over as far as the eye can see and the setting sun shining upon the wet sand. What also caught my attention was the brand new paint scheme on the new Seltos that looked especially eye-catching in the sunlight. I found an excellent spot to sit back and admire the beautiful design of the new Kia Seltos. As a brand, Kia's design philosophy is "Opposites United", which takes inspiration from contrasts found in nature and humanity. Everything exudes that philosophy, from the iconic tiger-nose grille to KIA's new crown jewel LED headlamp, its ice cube LED fog lamps and sequential LED turn indicators, creating a more futuristic design. Its angular lines and muscular proportions showcase a strong stance and are ready to take on the urban jungle. What adds to its charm is the all-new Pewter Olive colour exclusive to India.
Time goes by when one is having fun, and I had quite a bit of fun and didn't realise when the weekend blew past me. I had to rush back to Mumbai to make time for dinner and beat the rush hour evening traffic. Lucky for me, the Seltos I was driving is powered by the most powerful engine in its segment, and this turbocharged petrol motor makes a whopping 158 bhp of power and 253 Nm of torque. If this is too much and you want something more sedate, pick the naturally aspirated Smartstream 1.5 petrol engine or go for a 1.5-litre diesel engine. Mated with up to 5 different transmission options, there are about 27 different variants, so there is plenty to choose from to find the best combination for you. The beauty of being overpacked is you never know when you might need something, and with the Kia Seltos's feature and tech-packed package, You'd rather be overpacked than fall short when you truly need something.