The Indian customers in the last few years have shown their liking towards SUV’s, either in the compact, mid size, or behemoth sized SUV’s. This proves that SUV’s are particularly preferred due to their size, clearance and features. One particular SUV range where competition has heated up significantly is the mid size suv range. The competition between the mid-size SUV range namely, the segment king Kia Seltos, 2020 Hyundai Creta the former king who is ready to win back its crown, the people’s champion Tata Harrier, the amply sized and feature rich MG Hector, the compact yet highly capable Jeep Compass, and the new inclusion into this range is the Volkswagen T-Roc.
All these vehicles are neck and neck and to choose any one vehicle from this range is not an easy task. I will compare these 6 vehicles, lay out their features, power trains and let you as an individual decide who wins. Well, lets dive right into this, shall we?
The Kia Seltos is priced competitively from 9.84 lakhs (ex-showroom) to 17.34 lakhs (ex-showroom). It’s offered in both petrol and diesel, with many variants, with the GT-Line being the top spec model. What made the Kia Seltos truly special apart from being the first Kia vehicle in India was the fact that it was the first BS6 ready vehicle launched in India. The Seltos has luxurious – feature filled interiors and understated exteriors that give it the appeal for many customers. The Seltos has okay space for a mid-size SUV. It can seat a family of 5 comfortably. Furthermore the boot space is 433 litres making it a well sized SUV in all respects. With a ground clearance of 190 mm, it compares lower to even the Tata Nexon but, it won’t give you issues on the road. Although, it is not an off-roader by any means so don’t try.
On entering the vehicle, you will notice the black and beige coloured dashboard, and another thing which you notice is how roomy the cabin feels. The interiors look very plush for a car of this segment, good quality plastics on the dashboard, a 10.25 inch infotainment system with an 8 speaker Bose music system is integrated with the instrument cluster, and this looks quite impressive. The layout might remind you of Merc’s current gen dual screens and well, it is not a bad thing
Some other prominent features which make this car special are, ambient lightning, wireless charging, an air purifier, a sunroof, ventilated front seats, etc. A unique feature for a car in this segment is the, Blind View Monitor which is a camera on the ORVM, which is triggered when you either engage the left or right indicator. Kia offers the UVO app system which allows the owner to view the car’s important details on the phone, and also allows the owner to power the car on using the phone.
The Kia Seltos is offered in petrol and diesel variants.The Seltos is available in 3 engine options, the petrol 1.4 litre GDI which produces 138 BHP, and has an option between a 6 speed manual or 7 speed Dual Clutch Transmission, the 1.5 litre petrol engine which makes 113 BHP and has a 6 speed manual or an IVT. The 1.5 litre diesel engine is a new engine offered by Kia, and it develops 113 BHP and has an option of a 6 speed manual or automatic gearbox.
To sum it up, it’s clear why the Seltos is the segment king. It plays with the features and offering a refined motor just adds to the appeal for the Seltos. The 2020 Creta and the new Harrier have been launched and only time will tell us about the events that are about to transpire. The under powered motor, the lack of a big bold SUV design and of course, the space on offer when compared with the Hector or the Harrier, is actually concerning to some. Nevertheless, the Seltos is Creta’s sibling and there is little doubts whether it will continue to be the segment king.
2020 HYUNDAI CRETA
The older Creta was the segment king, and during its lifetime, it received a partial facelift. But then, in 2019 the Kia Seltos was launched and that car stole the Creta’s limelight. Creta was number 2 after the Seltos in the mid suv range, and things have stayed that way since then. However, a few weeks back, in this month itself, Hyundai launched the 2020 Creta and Hyundai hopes to shake things up and regain it’s segment leader badge back.
The 2020 Creta has been launched from 9.99 lakhs (ex-showroom) to 17.2 lakhs (ex-showroom), and just like the Seltos, the new Creta has been priced very competitively. The urban mid size suv has received a complete facelift, and everything about the car has changed, from the interiors to the exteriors, and even the engines offered.
The new design language used by Hyundai for the new Creta is quite polarising, so it will have a lot of fans and at the same time, a group of people who completely dislike these exteriors. The front of the vehicle has a new grille, with split LED daytime running lights, which look quite impressive and would look very imposing during the night. Similarly the rear too has split lights.
On entering the vehicle, you will witness a completely changed interior of black and beige, which sports a 10.25 inch infotainment system along with an 8 inch digital instrument panel. The new Creta gets the famous Hyundai bluelink connectivity which helps the owner know essential details about their car on their smartphone, and also allows the owner to power their vehicle on just from a tap of a button on their phone. Other new features include a panoramic sunroof, ventilated seats, ambient lightning, tyre pressure monitor, Android Auto and Apple Carplay, a Bose music system.
The new Creta has 3 engine options, a 1.4 litre petrol engine, which makes 140 ps, and is mated with a 7 speed DCT. The other option is a 1.5 litre petrol option which is available as 6 speed manual or IVT, and this option develops 115 ps. The last option being the diesel, is a 1.5 litre which churns 115 ps and has a 6 speed manual or 6 speed automatic transmission. It is still to be seen how this new Creta does against the Seltos, but the new Creta for sure, looks very promising.
Again the Creta carries similar advantages and disadvantages to the Seltos. Firstly, the look is not for eveyone and to me, it is kind of over-designed. I might get a lot of slack for this but, that’s what open journalism is all about. The Creta also has lesser features on offer as compared to the Seltos. It begs the question why’d people buy it? In the Creta segment, one can go for the Seltos and if your budget is higher, the Harrier and the T-Roc are much better alternatives. But, Creta already has 12k bookings and Hyundai will sell a lot firstly. It’s all wait and watch after that.
TATA HARRIER BS6
This car has been paramount for Tata, as it changed the outlook that people had for Tata. The Harrier is distinctive, and looks unlike any other vehicle from the Tata range, or for that matter, any SUV up to the Land-Rover range. This vehicle is solidly built, looks very butch, and drives well too.
The Harrier is priced from 13.69 lakhs (ex-showroom) to 20.25 lakhs (ex-showroom). It does not strictly belong to the Seltos / Creta segment, but price wise it sure does. Being a Tata product, pricing is always competitive
On looking at it from the outside, the Harrier has a lot of road presence, the front has the impressive DRLs which have a great throw of light, which also function as the indicators. Below the DRLs are the headlamps and this combination of DRLs first and headlamps below is a style which looks quite futuristic. With a clearance of 205 mm, this vehicle can be used for some off-roading as well. While it does not offer a 4×4 kit (wonder why), it still has driving modes that make it a casual off-roader with better capabilities than other mid-size SUV’s.
Before you enter the vehicle, you should throw away any stereotypes that you may have for a Tata vehicle because this is a completely different Tata vehicle. The dashboard gets a black and faux wood look which feels quite plush, an 8.8 infotainment display is offered and music comes from the JBL team. In times of today, this screen may come across as small. This vehicle was not feature rich, but the BS6 variant brought about features literally picking up from the customers and reviewers list.
It offers a great amount of room which can be an important factor for those who are chauffeured around. Some places of the interior may come across as lack-lustre as cheap plastics have been used. At the same time, great leather quality has been used for the seats. The top features supported by the Harrier is Apple car play, android auto, xenon lights, and a 9 speaker JBL system.
This new Harrier has the biggest in class panoramic sunroof, auto-dimming IRVM’s, electric seats and well you get the point. The Harrier is powered by a 2.0 litre diesel engine, which has been updated this year, produces 170 bhp and has 2 transmission options, a 6 speed torque converter automatic and a 6 speed manual.
The Harrier is certain to belittle even a Fortuner because of how much value for money the thing is. The design, features, quality and most importantly, its plush ride just smoothens out any features that you might still find missing. The dark edition looks astonishingly great and those looking to make a statement must go for this one.
Morris Garages, entered the Indian market in June, 2019, with their large sized , feature rich Hector. The MG Hector is priced from 14.56 lakhs (ex-showroom) to 20.72 lakhs (ex-showroom) and it has it all, space, features, a great engine, the only two things which might have people doubtful is that essentially it is a chinese vehicle and it’s maintenance costs as MG is a new brand.
Like the Harrier, the Hector too has DRL’s on top, and below the DRL’s are the headlamps. This new styling is growing common amongst the SUVs in the world.
On entering the vehicle, you will be welcomed by an all black interior, and the first thing one would tend to see is the giant tablet-like infotainment system. The infotainment system is a 10.4 inch screen which can be used for many functions, from the music, to the using the air-conditioner, and also a rear display while reversing the vehicle. The steering wheel has a lot of switches on it, and this may either be liked or disliked, it’s rather subjective.
The Hector has an exhaustive list of features, the prime ones being, a 360 degree parking camera, a panoramic sunroof, an infinity music system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, ambient lightning and smart connect which allows the owner to view important details about the car on their phone, and also let’s the owner power the car on from the touch of a button on their smartphone.
The Hector can be purchased in 3 engine types, petrol, diesel and Petrol Hybrid Super. As a petrol vehicle, it is powered by a 1.5 litre engine, making 143 ps, with an option of a 6 speed automatic or manual. The diesel variant has 2.0 litre Fiat engine which makes 170 ps making it quite powerful. The diesel is mated with a 6 speed manual. As for the Petrol Super Hybrid, the 1.5 litre petrol engine is paired with a 48V hybrid system which has a total of 143 ps with a 6 speed manual gearbox.
Jeep entered the India market, and they started their business in the country with the Jeep Cherokee and this did not do very well. It was when they launched the Compass when they hit the jackpot and got the sales in huge numbers. Within the first 4 months of the launch, Jeep crossed 12,000 bookings, which was a great feat to achieve.
The Compass is not a big suv, it is a little bigger than the Creta, and is priced at 16.49 lakhs (ex-showroom) to 24.99 (ex-showroom). At this price point, customers would have wanted a bigger vehicle, as the vehicles in this range have more space than the Compass has to offer. Moreover, offerings like the Harrier and the T-Roc have already rocked the Compass out of proportions and only those who are avid Jeep fans are going for this car.
On viewing the front of the car, the Compass resembles the Cherokee with the grill and headlights, and this makes the Compass look quite aggressive. The build quality of the vehicle is particularly praise worthy as the door opens and closes with a ‘thud’.
On entering the vehicle, there is no ‘oomph’ factor which dazzles you, the space seems quite less too. However, where this car wins is the mechanics, i.e the engine. The Compass is offered as a petrol and a diesel, and a 4×2 as well as 4×4. The petrol engine is a 1.4 litre engine which makes 163 ps, and is mated to a 6 speed manual or 7 speed automatic. The diesel on the other hands is a 2.0 litre, producing 173 ps with a 6 speed manual gearbox or 9 speed automatic. The 4×4 variant has 4 driving modes to choose, sand, mud, auto and snow. So, would you pay almost Rs. 5 lakhs over the Harrier which has the same engine or you’d get yourself a Harley… let us know in the comments below.
The Volkswagen T-Roc is the newest addition to the mid-range suv lineup, and has been priced at 19.99 lakhs (ex-showroom). This vehicle, brought by Volkswagen is an import, and will be offered with only one variant. Naturally, this one variant will be fully loaded with features, such as an 8.0 inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, full LED headlamps and taillamps, a 11.3 inch digital instrument cluster. Furthermore, the T-Roc is powered by a 1.5 litre TSI engine which produces 150 bhp, and this engine is paired with a 7 DSG.
The T-Roc is VW’s answer to the Audi Q2. It’s a German car and you must be aware what that entails. If you have quality and premium feel in your head, you’d never like anything above the T-Roc ever. This is a smart looking car with enough features to cripple the Koreans out of proportions. As we had stated before, the T-Roc is in reality a rival for the mid-size market while the upcoming Taigun shall compete well the the sub-4 segment.
Pricing although, tells a different story and rightfully so because of the production issues. But, VW is working with Skoda to bring back their A-game and this car is just the beginning. The T-Roc is a very capable car and we assume it will give the Harrier a run for it’s money. Heck, we feel that it might even eat up a lot of Creta and Seltos’ sales. It’s too early to depict its future in the Indian market, but this car will be a niche product in the midsize suv range.