Kia Seltos in India, will not only compete with the Hyundai Creta, Nissan Kicks and Renault Captur in the mid size SUV segment, but also the larger offerings such as the MG Hector, Tata Harrier, Jeep Compass and Mahindra XUV500. Lets take a detailed look at all the SUVs in this segment.
Dimensions – Kia Seltos stands 4,315mm in length, 1,800mm in width and 1,620mm in height. It gets a wheelbase of 2,610mm and ground clearance of 190mm with boot space of 433 liters. With these dimensions, the new Seltos scores in a mid range with the Creta, Kicks and Captur but is relatively smaller than the larger Hector and Harrier.
Ground clearance of the Kicks and Captur are the highest at 210mm while in terms of boot space the Hector stands head and shoulders above all the competitors with 587 liters of luggage space. It is also the Hector that gets the longest wheelbase.
Features – Kia Seltos would surely score among all its competitors where several first in segment features are concerned. It comes in with Kia’s UVO Connect connected car technology, similar to the Hyundai Venue’s BlueLink. It receives an eSIM which will be offered as complementary for the first 3 years and will be chargeable thereafter.
Many of these features are also seen on the MG Hector but Kia claims to offer 37 features on the Seltos segregated into categories of Navigation, Safety and Security, Vehicle Management, Remote Control and Convenience. Each of these features would be accessible via the UVO smartphone application.
In terms of interior space, it is the Hector which is no match for the others in this segment. It gets enhanced interiors which is not only larger than that seen in the mid size SUV segment but also competes with the larger SUVs. The Hector also has a flat floor so it offers comfortable seating even in the third row.
Engine Specifications – Kia Seltos comes in with a BS VI engine complying with the new emission norms. However each of the rival SUVs get engines that will be upgraded to BS VI standards prior to the deadline of 1st April 2020 which could also see some change in their power and torque figures.
The Hector and Harrier get 2.0 liter, 4 cylinder diesel engines, each producing 350 Nm torque and each mated to a 6 speed manual transmission. The other three smaller SUVs, Seltos, Kicks and Captur get 1.5 liter, 4 cylinder turbocharged diesel engines making 240-250 Nm torque.
Hyundai Creta is offered with two turbocharged diesel engines of 1.4 liter and 1.6 liter capable of 220Nm and 260 Nm torque respectively. Each of the engines get mated to a 6 speed manual transmission while it is only the Seltos and Creta that are also offered with 6 speed torque converter automatic transmission options.
Where the petrol engine lineup is concerned, the Kia Seltos is the only one to receive two engine options. The 1.5 liter, 4 cylinder engine offers 115 hp power and 144 Nm torque while the 1.4 liter engine offers 140 hp power and 242 Nm torque. Both engines get 6 speed manual transmission while the 1.5 liter engine also gets a CVT and the 1.4 liter gets 7 sped DCT.
Rivals, Hector, Kicks and Captur also get their power via a 1.5 liter petrol engine while the Creta receives a larger 1.6 liter petrol engine. The Tata Harrier is exclusively powered by a diesel engine and hence does not enter competition in this area while Nissan and Renault do not offer automatic gearbox options with the petrol variants of their SUVs Kicks and Captur.
Which SUV to buy? Seeing at the overall package, it is the MG Hector which looks like the most value for money offering in the segment. It comes with powerful engine options, loads of features, internet connectivity with voice commands, 5 years warranty and so on.
If it is performance you want, Kia Seltos could be your choice. The 1.4 petrol variant claims to be the fastest to accelerate from 0-100 in the segment. It also has good driving dynamics and control. Hyundai Creta, Jeep Compass and Tata Harrier are also good at handling and driving dynamics.