It's raining SUVs in India and the latest one to join this cavalcade is the Kia Seltos. First things first, the name 'Seltos' has been derived from the son of Hercules - Celtos - in Greek mythology. The SUV is based on the SP 2i Concept which debuted at the 2018 Auto Expo while it will be launched in the festive season around October 2019 in the Indian market. Identical to all the SUVs, which recently break cover, Kia Seltos too comes with a host of first-in-segment features, powerful powertrains and a variety of transmission options. However, the biggest question is will it be able to dent the indomitable Hyundai Creta? Has Kia Seltos got it to shake the compact SUV segment and penetrate the fortress of Hyundai Creta? Well, let's talk about it and see.
Kia Seltos and Hyundai Creta, despite being retailed by the same parent organization, have nothing in common, except measuring over 4 meters in length. The Seltos is based on a different architecture and previews the SP Concept, hence the exterior styling pays no resemblance to the Creta, whatsoever. It features the signature 'Tiger Nose' front grille, Crown Jewel LED headlamps with Kia Signature Heartbeat shaped LED daytime running lights (DRLs), vertical 'Ice cube' LED fog lamps and a lower air-dam with bumper. In fact, the muscular shoulder line makes the silhouette also non-identical to the Creta. Kia Seltos is offered in 8 single colour options and 5 dual-tone paint shades, while Creta is available in fewer colour schemes - seven single-tone colours and just two dual-tone colour options.
Moving on to the features, this is one aspect where both Kia Seltos and Hyundai Creta score big. Well, the Creta is already equipped with some exquisite features such as Smart Key band, Wireless Smartphone charging, 12V power outlets for rear seats, Rear AC vents, Front ventilated seats and a 17.77-cm touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto & Navigation. On the other hand, Kia Seltos is also well equipped with advanced and upmarket features such as Bose sound system, 2-step reclining rear seats, 8-inch head-up display, Air Purifier and 12V charging socket for rear seats. Other impressive features include sound mood lighting, ventilated seats, 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with UVO Connect connectivity suite with 37 features including voice command. However, it still misses out on the crucial wireless smartphone charging feature that Creta offers.
Both the SUVs have paid paramount significance to passenger safety by incorporating some of the best features available presently. Kia Seltos will come loaded with 6 Airbags, Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Brake-Assist System (BAS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Traction control system (TCS), HAC (Hill-start Assist Control) etc. to name a few. It also debuts first-in-segment 360-degree camera with Blind View Monitor and Driving Rear View Monitor (DRVM). As for the Creta, it also gets similar features such as 6-airbags, Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), HAC (Hill-start Assist Control) and Electronic stability control (ESC). However, it needs to be seen how the folks at Kia pack the entry-level variants with these features and that will turn out to be the deciding factor between the two SUVs.
Mechanically, Hyundai Creta is available with three engine options: 1.4L CRDi diesel, 1.6L CRDi diesel and a 1.6L dual VTVT petrol engine. All of these engines are genuine performers and can be seen in several other company cars. The transmission options on offer are a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic. Sadly, Hyundai Creta doesn't have any high-performance or 4X4 variant, as the auto aficionados have wished for. Coming to the Seltos, Kia Motors announced that it will be available with segment best BS VI compliant 1.5L petrol and diesel engines, while three gearbox options on offer will be an IVT automatic, 6-speed automatic and a 6 Speed manual. However, the real delight will be the introduction of a segment-first 1.4L turbo GDI petrol engine with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which is said to be high on performance and could easily make its way to the hearts of high-adrenaline junkies.
Kia Seltos price is not announced yet as the company will formally launch it in the month of October 2019, during the festive season. However, going by the features and specifications, it can be said that it will be priced somewhere between Rs 10-17 Lakhs (Ex. Showroom). The top-of-the-line 1.4L T-GDI variant with 7-speed DCT could attract a price tag of at least Rs 17 Lakhs (Ex. Showroom), if not more. Actually, a lot will depend on the localization factor and if Kia manages to do it well, it might result in aggressive pricing which will be substantial to breach through Creta's sales and market share. Just so you know, Hyundai Creta price starts from Rs 9.99 Lakhs and go as high as Rs 15.65 Lakhs (Ex. Showroom, Delhi).