Kia Seltos vs Hyundai Creta: The Mid-Size SUV Battle
- Published On: 21 August 2019
- 7 min read
Kia will launch the Seltos on 22nd August and this will rub shoulders with its own cousin, the Creta. Which among the two should you be looking at then?
If you are an automobile aficionado, you would by now know that Kia is part of the Hyundai Motor Group. However, like elsewhere in the world, both Kia and Hyundai operate differently and the same will happen in India too. The Seltos will be made at Kia’s Andhra Pradesh manufacturing facility and will compete in the Rs 10-14 lakh bracket, giving its own cousin, the Creta a run for its money. Will it?
We got a chance to spend two days with the production spec Seltos in Goa earlier this month and though pricing is yet to be revealed, we have ample experience to compare the Seltos with the Creta. Let's divulge deeper one by one then.
The Kia Seltos is based on an all-new platform and this will be used by Hyundai for the upcoming 2020 Creta as well. For the time being though, the Seltos is slightly larger than its cousin in terms of length and width. However, it sits lower and this gives it a sporty stance.
Further, the higher variants get full LED and DRL treatment and this is what makes the Seltos stand out from the usual crop of mid-size SUVs. The current Creta is a good-looking vehicle but Seltos manages to overshadow it completely. This is even more true for the GT Line trims that offers bling 17-inch alloy wheels and red inserts at places including for the brake calipers.
The rear of the Seltos is better looking too, again thanks to LEDs and DRLs. The overall body shell is also more SUV like as compared to that of the Creta. Round one then goes to the new Kia offering.
The Hyundai Creta has always been known for its quality laden interiors and the extensive feature list. However, the Seltos manages to edge past it in this department as well. For starters, there is more space on offer, even if by a small margin. This holds true for both passenger and luggage space. Next, the colour theme works well, even more so for the GT Line trims.
Features wise, you get a larger infotainment screen with a better music system (BOSE), a heads-up display, Pure Air tech and a lot more. The Creta isn’t far away and offers similar features in terms of powered driver’s seat, sunroof, wireless charging et al.
It's a close call but the Seltos again manages to win this round by virtue of more features and extra space.
The Creta is offered in a total of three engine options. These include a 1.6-litre petrol, a 1.4-litre diesel and a flagship 1.6-litre diesel. Both the 1.6 units are also offered with an optional automatic.
The Kia Seltos, likewise, is offered with three engine options. These include a 1.5 naturally aspirated petrol, a 1.4 turbo petrol and a 1.5 diesel. All three engines are offered with an optional automatic.
In terms of performance, Kia’s 1.4 turbo petrol GDI motor is in a league of its own but this model won’t come cheap. That leaves us with the 1.5 petrol which is slightly down on power and torque as compared to the 1.6 Creta.
Likewise, in terms of diesel, Seltos’ 1.5 unit makes less power and torque as compared to the 1.6 on the Creta but in real world usage, there isn’t much to pick.
Both the cars offer very good NVH or noise, vibration and harshness levels. Turbo lag is well under control (diesel models) and once on the boil, both the Seltos and the Creta offer very good performance.
Round 3 then is a tie here!
Ride and Handling
The Hyundai Creta’s USP is the way it drives - easy and fuss free. The steering is light, ride quality is comfortable and highway manners very good. This is something other large SUVs lack.
The Kia Seltos does the same, but in a better and mature manner. Even with the 17-inch wheels on the GT Line, ride remains good and infuses more confidence in terms of steering feedback. We would say it's a close call between both the SUVs when it comes to ride and handling.
The Seltos is a great first product from Kia for the Indian car market. It looks good, has spacious and feature loaded interiors and the drivetrains are impressive too. If they can launch this SUV with prices starting at Rs 10 lac, there is no denying the fact it will rule the mid-size SUV market. This includes stealing away the limelight and share from its own cousin, the Hyundai Creta.
Go on Seltos, enjoy the leadership but only till the time Hyundai launches the 2020 Creta at the Auto Expo. Cheers.