With Hyundai’s Creta and Kia’s Seltos in sight, the competition has become quite fierce. The Seltos is Kia’s first product in India, and therefore, means a lot to the company. And sales figures reveal that Indian customers have accepted the brand rather incredibly well, which is a major accomplishment for Kia. However, Hyundai, on the other hand, has ushered in the new Creta and is equally important for them. The Creta, of course, has been a top seller for years in its first-generation form, but we put the new one to the test against the Kia Seltos to see which is better.
Under the hood
Both SUVs are based on the same platform and share the same engines too. Also, both SUVs boast of the same wheelbase and the dimensions are similar too. But the Kia is a bit wider and longer. You get three engine options on both SUVs: a 1.5-litre petrol engine, a 1.4-litre turbo petrol that produces 138bhp, while the diesel engine makes 113bhp and 250Nm of torque. In terms of transmission options, there are plenty to choose from, including automatics and a manual as well. The Seltos is offered with a 1.4-litre petrol that gets the option of either an automatic or a manual gearbox.
Same family, different face
The Creta and Seltos look entirely different. While the old Creta looked and clean and stylish with its sharp lines and angular panels, the new Creta makes do with a very radical, rounded design approach that is inspired by Hyundai’s SUVs sold overseas. At the front, it sports a funky, three-layer headlight, flanked by a huge grille. Adding further muscle to the design are those flared rear haunches. At the rear, the ‘Creta’ badging is huge. We love the tail light design as it gives it a contemporary look.
When Kia cars revealed the Seltos for the first time, it drew a lot of praise. But compared to the Creta, the Seltos looks a bit too conventional. We like the silhouette of the SUV and some of the chrome elements on the front. The GTX version looks sportier with its grey and red accents. The Creta will fit the choices of those who like something that looks very different, while the Seltos will appeal to a more matured buyer.
Let’s get in
Both SUVs comes with great interiors. The cabin of the Creta is typically Hyundai cars, and the 10.25-inch touchscreen multimedia looks classy. The cabin has a tidy look and isn’t cluttered with switches on the centre console. The Creta is also equipped with a huge 7.0-inch multi-information display in the instrument console that shows various information such as range, speedometer and odometer. The other details are analogue. The fit and finish is excellent with a lot of soft-touch plastics around. Even the Seltos gets equally well made interiors. But the 10.25-inch touchscreen in the Seltos is mounted atop the dashboard, which looks quite unique.
The Seltos and Creta come with lots of features, and the former is the first SUV in its segment to offer a head-up display, ventilated seats and a Bose audio system. However, it doesn’t get steering mounted paddle-shifters like the Creta does. The Creta also features a panoramic sunroof, auto-hold function and an electronic parking brake. The Seltos comes with more equipment like front parking sensors and a camera, blind spot assist and a 360-degree camera.
Let’s talk performance
On the road however, these are two very different SUVs. The Seltos is more aggressive from the get-go; it handles well around corners and doesn’t exhibit too much body roll. The ride quality is on the stiff side, but that contributes to the good handling you experience. The Creta, on the other hand, feels softer and body roll is more prominent. But it absorbs bumps remarkably well. And thanks to the paddle-shifters on this one, driving is loads of fun.
Both SUVs deliver in terms of equipment, and given how well established the companies are, these are SUVs that will clearly never let you down. And there’s barely much of a difference in the price of both SUVs. It’s all down to want you want in the end. If you’re search for a snazzy looking SUV, the Creta it is. But if you don’t like designs that are too in-your-face, then the Seltos makes perfect sense. The Seltos is also the better one to drive, while the Creta scores on ride quality. You just can’t go wrong with either.