Kia Seltos priced at Rs 9.69 lakh. How does it fare against the Creta, Harrier, Hector and the Compass, on paper?
Kia has priced the Seltos quite aggressively with its introductory price of Rs 9.69 lakh. It has a whopping 16 variants and six engine-gearbox options to choose from. The trims fall under two variants, the Tech Line and the sportier GT Line. While it can get a bit confusing to understand where the Seltos stands against the MG Hector, Hyundai Creta, Tata Harrier and the Jeep Compass, here’s some analysis to help you get a clearer picture. Now heads up, the Jeep Compass is not a direct rival to the Seltos and sits a segment above thanks to the bigger engines, larger dimensions and higher pricing, but a lot of people are curious to know where the popular Compass stands in comparison to the new SUVs.
1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine
Kia is calling this engine ‘Smartstream G1.5’ and it makes 113.4bhp of power and 144Nm of torque. This motor can either be paired to a CVT automatic transmission (labeled as IVT by Kia) or a six-speed manual transmission. The base manual version with this motor starts at Rs 9.69 lakh and goes up to Rs 12.79 lakh. The Hyundai Creta with its 1.6-litre petrol engine, too has the same starting price but offers more trims and the top spec petrol manual variant goes up to Rs 14.17 lakh.
The Creta’s engine makes more power and torque and that can be the only factor justifying the additional price tag. The top of the line Seltos offers a lot more kit like Arkamys speakers, mood lighting and air purifier which the top end Creta doesn’t get. Also, both cars get closely priced automatic variants. The Seltos HTX with IVT costs Rs 13.79 lakh while the Creta SX AT costs Rs 13.77 lakh. The Creta and the Seltos are the only cars in the segment which get naturally aspirated engine options.
1.4-litre turbo petrol engine
This is what enthusiasts would want to opt for. The 1.4-litre Smartstream T-GDi engine pumps out 138bhp of power and 242Nm of torque. This engine can either be had with a manual transmission or a 7-speed DCT and only comes in three GT Line trims. The Hector and the Compass too get turbo petrol engines with an option of having the DCT.
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There are two manual trims of this engine – GTK and GTX+ which are priced at Rs 13.49 lakh and Rs 15.99 lakh, respectively. The similarly specced MG Hector starts at Rs 12.18 lakh for the ‘Style’ trim and goes up to Rs 15.88 lakh for the top of the line ‘Sharp’ trim. This means that the base turbo petrol Hector is more affordable than the Seltos (by more than Rs 1 lakh) while the top specced variants are closely priced. The GTX variant of the Seltos with DCT costs Rs 15.99 lakh. A similarly specced Hector comes in two trims – Smart and Sharp which retail at Rs 15.28 lakh and Rs 16.78 lakh. The Seltos is slightly more expensive here as there will be a fully loaded GTX+ trim with DCT that will be launched at a later date and will cost more.
The Jeep Compass too gets a 1.4 litre turbo petrol engine with DCT but at a price range of Rs 19 lakh – Rs 21.6 lakh, it’s much more expensive than the MG and the Kia.
1.5-litre turbo diesel engine
The competition spices up here by quite a bit as all cars in this comparison are offered in diesel trims. The 1.5-litre CRDi VGT engine in the Seltos is offered in five trims and two gearbox options – a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic. The HTE base diesel manual trim starts at the same price as the Hyundai Creta – Rs 9.99 lakh. The base diesel variants of the Hector and the Harrier start at Rs 13 lakh approximately. Even though they are dearer by Rs 3 lakh, they make more power and also offer more space. Also, the Creta and the Seltos are the only SUVs here that come with the option of an automatic transmission. There are two automatic trims – HTK+ and HTX+ which cost Rs 13.19 lakh and Rs 15.99 lakh, respectively. The Creta also gets two trims here – S and SX(O) which cost Rs 13.36 lakh and 15.22 lakh.
The Jeep Compass diesel starts at Rs 16.61 lakh for the Sport trim and climbs all the way up to Rs 23.11 lakh. Jeep also offers a 4X4 system on the top two trims of the Compass and that’s the main reason why the prices are steep. No other SUV in this comparo gets an AWD system.
So, where does the Kia Seltos stand in the end? Kia has surely hit the sweet spot with the introductory price and even the base Seltos in petrol and diesel trims will get a decent standard equipment list. The fully loaded turbo petrol variant with DCT slots right between the two trims of the similarly specced Hector and that trim of the Seltos has received praise from auto journos across the country.
Even though the Seltos diesel is closely priced with the Creta diesel, one must consider the fact that the Seltos is a newer car and gets much more equipment that makes it a more compelling option to consider. What will also attract buyers is that all three engines offered in the Seltos are BS6 compliant. All in all, the pricing of the Kia Seltos is surely competitive and should have competitors rethinking their pricing.