Terms like approach, departure and breakover angle are not used with the road going cars much as they seldom leave the tarmac surface. In India, Kia only offers a 2WD version of the Seltos but in a few developed markets, Kia also offers an AWD version of the vehicle. Well, that’s why this owner of the Seltos drives it over a road bank to show how good it can be when it goes off-roading.
The video, which is most likely from the USA shows a Seltos coming down an incline. It is a left-hand-drive Seltos and it comes down the incline very smoothly without much of a problem. The video shows that the vehicle precariously comes down from a steep incline and no parts touch the ground. The vehicle’s front bumper, underbody and the rear body remain clear from the ground.
Is it impressive?
Now, the Seltos coming out untouched is really admirable because it is not an off-roading vehicle. The approach angle comes into play when the vehicle approaches a steep incline or is coming down from an incline to a plane surface. It is the angle between the front bumper and the road. Vehicles with a larger overhang have shorter approach angle. The higher the angle, the steeper inclines the car can climb or get down from without scrapping the bumper. The larger approach angle is better for the car if you intend to off-road.
The breakover angle is made by the tyre and centre of the vehicle. It is inversely proportionate to the wheelbase of the vehicle. The short wheelbase vehicles have larger breakover angles. How does it help? Well, while going over a larger hump or going to a decline from a plane surface, the vehicles will higher breakover angle will get scrapped. A long wheelbase vehicle with much shallower breakover angles can even get stuck. That’s why most off-roading spec vehicles like the all-new Thar have a much shorter wheelbase, which in turn reduces the breakover angle. Shorter breakover angles should be preferred if you intend to take the vehicle for off-roading.
Departure angle is similar to the approach angle but it is for the rear of the vehicle. How does it help? Well, when the vehicle goes from a decline to a plane surface, the vehicles with large departure angle ensure that the bumper does not scrape. That’s why you see a lot of off-roading-spec vehicles install steel bumpers.
Does it help in daily life?
In a country like India where there are larger speed-breakers and potholes, having a vehicle with a fair amount of these three angles help. That’s why taking a supercar on the Indian roads can be dangerous. That’s because, with such low angles, the car may get stuck somewhere or massive damage can happen. However, all the vehicles sold in the mass-segment have a good amount of approach, breakover and departure angle. In fact, manufacturers launching international vehicles in India even make changes to the vehicle to make it fit for the Indian roads.
It must be noted that this Kia Seltos seen in the video is from the USA and it is quite a different vehicle. However, the dimensions are almost similar to the Indian version so even the Indian spec Seltos might be able to do such things.