With the Kia Seltos all set to be launched in India next month, the compact SUV segment will see the addition of yet another connected vehicle in India. Slated to be launched in India on August 22, we have already told you almost everything about the upcoming Kia Seltos. We recently even got to drive the pre-production prototype model of the SUV, and we believe the Seltos will set a few benchmarks in the compact SUV segment. However, this segment recently also saw the launch of the MG Hector, and we also have some established players like the Hyundai Creta and the Tata Harrier. So can the new Kia Seltos take on the competition? We'll put down all the fact and figures on paper to find the answer.
Also Read: MG Hector Vs Kia Seltos: Design And Features
Design and Styling
Visually all three SUVs come with a lot a character, featuring butch and boxy proportions with sharp lines and stylish exterior elements. While the Kia Seltos and the MG Hector get LED headlamps, the Hyundai Creta and Tata Harrier come with projector units, however, all four SUVs get LED daytime running lamps. However, if we had to pick, it's the Seltos that catches our eye thanks to its sharp features and the signature Tiger Nose grille, which looks much nicer than the Creta's cascading, Harrier's humanity line, and Hector's honeycomb pattern grilles. All four SUVs also come with other premium exterior bits like sporty alloy wheels, roof rails, LED taillamps, and roof rails among. In terms of dimensions, however, Kia is yet to release the dimensions of the Seltos, however, we believe the SUV will be very similar to the Hyundai Creta in proportions, which, however, is smaller than the Hector and Harrier.
Interior and Cabin Features
All four SUVs are well-equipped which it comes to features. Starting with the Seltos, the SUV comes with several segment-first features like - LED Sound mood lights and ambient lighting with 8 mono colour themes and 6 Multicolour themes, a smart 8.0-inch heads-up display, and rear seats also get 2 step degree reclining function. The SUV also features a flat-bottom steering wheel and 60:40 split rear seat with adjustable centre headrest. The main attraction is the 10.25-inch HD touchscreen infotainment system with advanced 7.0-inch colour display for the instrument cluster. The system comes with features like - Android Auto and Apple Carplay, along with a Bose Sound System with 8-speaker setup.
Also Read: MG Hector First Drive Review
The SUV also features an industry-first Smart Pure Air purifier, and connected car tech UVO with 37 features with three years free subscription under 5 categories namely Navigation, Safety & Security, Vehicle Management, Remote Control and Convenience. This includes geofencing, AI-based voice command, remote access and much more. In terms of safety offerings, the Kia Seltos comes with features like - VSM (Vehicle Stability Management), ESC (Electronic Speed Control), front and rear parking sensors, ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System), BAS (Break Force Assist System) and HAC (Hill-start Assist Control). The SUV also comes with six airbags with ISO-Fix child seat anchor and a 360 Degree camera.
The MG Hector gets all black treatment and the upholstery is finished in soft-touch leather. The Hector also gets the segment-best 10.40-inch touchscreen loaded with navigation, weather updates, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The unit will also respond to over 100 voice commands when owners say "Hello MG" to change the volume, open and close the sunroof or the power windows. The iSmart connected car tech gets a host of features that connect to the internet via a 5G ready M2M SIM. MG says the system comes with over 50 connectivity features including geofencing, vehicle theft tracking and immobilisation, remote vehicle control over the AC on/off as well as the sunroof and tailgate open/close functions via the mobile app. The system also comes with over-the-air (OTA) updates that will regularly bring new features and fix bugs as and when the company rolls them out. The system will also automatically connect with the emergency services, in case of an accident.
Also Read: Tata Harrier Review
The fit and finish of the Tata Harrier are quite upmarket and everything from the oak wood palette used on the dash and grab handles to the soft touch upholstery feel plush and better than its class. Aesthetically the cabin of the Harrier too looks alluring and uncluttered, be it the wraparound dash with a binnacle line running the width of it or the 8.8-inch floating touchscreen which is high on functionality and eliminates many buttons. The SUV also gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Moreover, safety features like dual airbags and ABS with EBD are standard across variants while the top-end variant also gets features like electronic stability control (ESC), mitigation control, hill assist and brake assist.
Hyundai Creta gets a premium interior that is both high on material quality and fit & finish. However, it's been almost four years that we have had the Creta in our market and the design has started looking dated now. Albeit, the cabin still feels upmarket, thanks to the array of features on offer, which might not be at par with the others but still makes a lot of sense. Features like - a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, wireless charging, ventilated seats, sunroof, and much more. The safety bits include - ABS with EBS, 6 airbags, ISOFIX, Hill Assist, electric stability control, rear parking sensors with camera, seat belt reminder, and high-speed alert among others.
Engine and Transmission
The Kia Seltos comes three powertrain options - 1.4-litre GDI turbo petrol, naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre petrol, and 1.5-litre diesel engines. In fact, all three motors will be BS-6 (Bharat Stage VI) complaint from the time of the launch. The 1.4-litre GDI turbocharged petrol engine is tuned to churn out 138 bhp and develop 242 Nm of peak torque, mated to a 6-speed manual and a 7-speed DCT automatic gearbox. The naturally aspirated 1.5-litre petrol engine makes 113 bhp and develops 144 Nm of peak torque. The engine comes mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox and an IVT (Intelligent continuously variable transmission) automatic transmission. As for the new 1.5-litre VGT diesel engine, the motor is tuned to develop 113 bhp and 250 Nm of peak torque and comes mated to the same 6-speed manual gearbox and an optional 6-speed torque converter automatic unit as well.
MG Hector comes 3 powertrain options - 1.5-litre petrol, 1.5-litre hybrid, and 2.0-litre diesel engine. The turbocharged petrol engine makes 141 bhp and 250 Nm of peak torque, while the hybrid gets the same motor with a belt starter generator, a 48V battery and regenerative braking. The petrol hybrid only comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox, while the petrol-only gets a 6-speed manual version and a DCT automatic transmission. The diesel model of the MG Hector is powered by the Fiat-sourced 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged oil burner that is capable of churning out 168 bhp and 350 Nm of peak torque. The motor comes mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard.
The Tata Harrier is offered with just a single drivetrain option at the launch- a Fiat-sourced 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, multijet diesel which is mated to only a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. It also lacks an automatic transmission which is quite a limitation considering the increase in the demand for automatic transmissions. The 2.0-litre engine in the Harrier churns out 138 bhp and 350 Nm of peak torque.
The Hyundai Creta gets a 1.4-litre CRDi engine which produces 88 bhp and 220 Nm of peak torque and is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard. Then there is a more powerful 1.6-litre, four-cylinder, CRDi diesel engine which produces 126 bhp and 260 Nm of peak torque and is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox and 6-speed torque converter. The Creta also gets a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder, VTVT petrol motor which churns out 121 bhp and 151 Nm of peak torque and even this one is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard while the 6-speed automatic is optional.