In most international markets where Hyundai and its sister brand Kia co-exist, Kia products are positioned slightly above their Hyundai counterparts. With the new Kia Seltos now launched in India, it is now the turn of the 2020 Hyundai Creta, which is expected to debut at the 2020 Auto Expo, in 5 and 7 seater options.
The Kia Seltos is clearly more premium than the existing Hyundai Creta but the latter is at the verge of progressing to next generation and one can expect the new model to be significantly more upmarket that before. In that case, the Kia Seltos and 2020 Hyundai Creta will be battling each other to lure the same set of audience. The fact that both cars will be underpinned by a common platform makes things even more interesting because it sort of levels the play ground for both brands.
Let’s just have a brief look at the specifications of both cars to see how they stack up against each other. For starters, the final specifications of next gen Hyundai Creta are not available as of now but its international version (ix25) could be used as a reasonably accurate yardstick.
Both Seltos and 2020 Creta have identical wheelbase at 2,610 mm by virtue of sharing the platform. However, the Kia is slightly longer (by 15 mm) and wider (by 10 mm) than its sibling. The new Creta, on the other hand, is taller, but only by 2 mm. So, for all practical purposes, both crossovers would be offering more or less similar level of passenger and luggage spaces.
Hyundai is also working on a 7-seat variant of the new Creta which is expected to be ready by 2021. The 3-row model is most likely to have an extended wheelbase and extruded rear overhang. Kia has not talked about coming up with a 7-seat variant of the Seltos.
When it comes to powertrain lineup, the South Korean duo hardly has any difference. Both vehicles will have 115 hp 1.5-liter base petrol unit, a top-end 1.4-liter 140 hp turbocharged direct injection petrol motor, and a 1.5-liter diesel engine with 115 hp on tap. Both 6-speed manual and 6-speed torque converter automatic transmissions will be on offer.
So, clearly, the aesthetics (both inside and outside), packaging, pricing and marketing will play crucial roles in deciding which of these products is gonna have an edge over the other. When it comes to aesthetics, it is difficult to quantify something subjective, but we feel the Kia SUV has it in the bag. It is proportionate, feels properly modern without being too radical and feels premium.
The 2020 Hyundai Creta, on the other hand, is a clear departure from current car in terms of design. The new one feels premium but also unconventional. The rear fascia is sure to polarize opinions. Both products are expected to have similar levels of fit, finish, and equipment level.
While the Kia Seltos will have its novelty factor, the new Creta will be backed up by a strong brand equity and Hyundai’s established after sales network which is a known quantity. Kia India will have to leave no stone unturned to ensure its maiden product has no teething issues and its service operations match the customer expectations.
If you are in the market for a premium crossover, would you go for the Kia Seltos or rather wait for the next generation Hyundai Creta?