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Buy the new Kia Seltos GT-Line or get a used Volkswagen Tiguan 132TSI Comfortline

By Trent Giunco, 16 Jan 2020 Advice

2020 Seltos vs 2017 Tiguan

Choosing between a feature-packed variant or a premium badge makes for a hard decision

The new Kia Seltos is a good thing. Actually, it is more than good and it almost claimed a recent Wheels SUV mega test. It finished on equal points with the Toyota C-HR, the eventual winner. However, for the same price you can get a used Volkswagen Tiguan 132TSI Comfortline. It’s dimensionally bigger than the Kia and comes with a more premium badge.


At $41,990 the Kia Seltos GT-Line somewhat goes against the Korean brand’s budget-friendly perception. However, it’s a compact SUV bursting at the seams with functionality and kit. And it’s endowed with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol donk, all-wheel drive and locally tuned suspension. Hence the GT-Line has promise in reserve and goes a long way to justifying the $40K-plus price tag.

The figures for the 1.6-litre four are strong, too. With 130kW it certainly has enough oomph, and on the open road it feels more than spritely than the capacity suggests both off the line and on the highway. Where the smaller capacity is felt is in regards to torque, falling behind the VW with 265Nm. However, it’s an efficient unit, returning 7.6L/100km, and it ties in well with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. It’s only blight is slight slow-speed indecisiveness.

Read next: 2020 could be the perfect year to buy a new car 

2019 Kia Seltos Blue

Kia has gone the extra mile with the Seltos and has tuned it for local roads in Australia – it shows. While there’s a firm edge, there’s a layer of sophistication and talent, which is helped by the well calibrated multi-link rear suspension. Body movements are kept in check and, surprisingly, there’s an enjoyment level that almost verges on fun. Not something you expect in a compact SUV.

Inside, the GT-Line is packed with features – and so it should for this monetary outlay. You get premium leather seats with 10-way electric adjustability (eight-way for passenger), as well as an array of visually pleasing materials. A huge 10.25-inch touchscreen takes care of the infotainment, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Standard safety kit also includes items like AEB with forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot detection, lane-change assist, rear cross traffic alert, parking sensors and a reversing camera. It’s also hard to ignore the fact Kia offers a seven-year warranty.

Read next: What are on-road costs?

2020 Kia Seltos features


For the price you pay for the brand-new top-spec Seltos, you could get more badge cache and a physically bigger SUV with a second-hand Volkswagen Tiguan 132TSI Comortline that is only a handful of years old. Luckily for you, someone else will have taken the hit for the biggest part of the depreciation. While they’re not direct rivals on paper, it makes for an interesting comparison to see how far your cash can go.

The 2.0-litre unit only offers up an extra 2kW of power, but the extra 55Nm of torque is felt thanks to the bigger engine. It’s a linear unit, so progressive that it hardly feels turbocharged, and does a great job of shifting a 1600kg mass. That fact explains why the 132TSI is only 0.1L/100km more fuel efficient than the 1470kg Seltos. The seven-speed DSG is quick on the run, but like the Kia, can be a little hesitant at slower speeds.

Read next: Pros and cons - should you buy a new or used car?

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan 132TSI Comfortline Blue

Dynamically the Tiguan goes about its business with aplomb, too. Like the GT-Line Kia, on-the-limit handling isn’t its modus operandi. Yet, the 132TSI is still engaging enough with accurate steering and confidence-inspiring dynamics. Both the Seltos and the Tiguan embrace all-wheel drive, but it’s unlikely either will see anything more hardcore than a smooth dirt road. The ride quality, too, is agreeable, while NVH levels and road noise are quelled nicely.

At 4486mm in length, 1839mm in width and 1658mm in height, the Tiguan is 116mm longer, 39mm wider and 43mm taller than the Seltos. So it’s no surprise that the 615 litre boot is 182 litres larger the Korean, while the 51mm longer wheelbase (2681) also aids rear legroom. However, that’s not to say the Seltos is lacking in space; compared to its direct compact SUV rivals, it is commodious.

Inside the Tiguan embraces Volkswagens traditional understated air of quality. The overall design isn’t as eye-catching and it doesn’t have leather seat trimming like the Seltos, but it’s a cabin that will be pleasing to live with. For an ‘older’ SUV, the Tiguan also takes the fight to the Kia in terms of safety and infotainment.

Read next: Are demonstrator models good value?

2017 Volkswagen Tiguan 132TSI Comfortline features

Wheels staff picks

Trent Giunco
Staff Journalist

For me, the less you spend with the Seltos, the better it is. It’s a bit of a case of diminishing returns for me. And that’s not a negative, it’s just that there’s honesty within the lower-grade versions. Even the atmo 2.0-litre four-cylinder and CVT pair well together. With that, I’d pick the second-hand Tiguan for its premium-esque feel and bigger body – which results in much more luggage capacity. The 2.0-litre engine also provides a little more effortlessness with the way it goes about its business. It’s the Tiggy for me. Maybe even a 162TSI with higher kays on the clock…

Cameron Kirby
Staff Journalist

I’m going to opt for the Kia Seltos in this showdown. In terms of luxury a top-spec Kia is now relatively on par with this tier Volkswagen, plus you have peace of mind from a staggering 7 year warranty – meaning I’ll be rolling into 2027 with a couple months of warranty left in the back pocket. I’ll concede that the Tiguan offers a better practical package, with more space for passengers and luggage, but for my personal needs day-to-day running would be the primary use without many load-lugging responsibilities. You can’t really go wrong with either, though.

Andy Enright
Deputy Editor

I have no doubt that due to the warranty, the Kia Seltos might make a smart new buy, but if I was going to go for the Korean, I’d probably opt for a 1.6 Sport+ and pocket the five grand over the GT-Line. Thing is, I’m not sure I would go for the Kia. I like the Tiguan’s quiet air of quality and authority and there’s also the not so insignificant matter of an extra 55Nm at your elbow. What’s more, you’d be buying a car that’s done the steepest part of its depreciation curve, so a two-year ownership tenure shouldn’t work out at too expensive. Volkswagen for me.




Price: $41,990

Engine: 1591cc 4cyl, dohc, 16v, turbo

Output: 130kW/265Nm

Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch

0-100km/h: 7.7sec (estimated)

Efficiency: 7.6L/100km

Drivetrain: AWD

Doors: 5

Seats: 5

Wheels size: 18-inch

Country of Origin: Korea


Price (new): $41,490

Engine: 1984cc 4cyl, dohc, 16v, turbo

Output: 132kW/320Nm

Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch

0-100km/h: 7.7sec (claimed)

Efficiency: 7.5L/100km

Drivetrain: AWD

Doors: 5

Seats: 5

Wheels size: 18-inch

Country of Origin: Germany


Reckon we’ve got it right? Or are we way off the money (literally)? Find your best and let us know in the comments what you’d buy.