Living with the Kia Seltos HTK Plus iMT
The Seltos iMT comes with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder NA petrol engine which is tuned to produce a maximum power of 113hp and 144Nm of torque. While most of the driving technique of an iMT version remains the same as a conventional manual transmission, there are some minor differences. Let me explain.
Instead of depressing the clutch (which you would do in a conventional MT unit), here in the iMT version you have to depress the brake before moving the gear lever from neutral to first. Release the brake pedal and step on the accelerator and off you go. Shifting is standard business here, and there are no other special requirements compared to the regular MT unit. If you happen to drive in a higher gear, the system will send an alert on the MID as well as a constant beep to warn the driver. The general features remain the same as the manual counterpart, with the benefit of an iMT coming to be used when going bumper-to-bumper.
One section where the iMT gearbox might become a challenge for a few, but only at first, would be when the car is parked or stopped on an incline. Yes, this would only apply to beginners, as seasoned drivers are likely to use the handbrake on such occasions. For a few others, the problem is usually solved by balancing throttle and clutch input with a manual gearbox, or the aforementioned safety feature in automatic units. But in situations like these where the hill hold control feature is missing, the car tends to roll backwards, but the simple solution to that is to give it a good throttle and you’ll be on the go. Parallel parking or reversing isn’t as tricky as one might expect, however, and the car moves after a light squeeze of the accelerator.
This iMT gearbox is an ideal proposition for someone who likes to change gears on the highway or on an empty stretch, and who simultaneously wants to avoid constantly pressing the clutch lever. In addition, it relieves pressure on the left leg compared to a conventional manual transmission, which is the most important highlight of this variant. That said, the performance of the 1.5-litre petrol mill remains the same, where the power delivery is linear, and although it’s not absolute performance, we still managed to hit 100 km/h at the shutdown in 13.39 seconds.