2020 Hyundai Creta vs Kia Seltos: Comparison Review

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This is a story about two brothers! One likes to play it cool, is smart and sophisticated and the other one is kind of loud, brazen and is a brat. We are of course, talking about the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos. We put all your doubts to bed as to which SUV to pick among these two.

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Both Hyundai Creta and the Kia Seltos get the same engine and transmission options

Highlights

  • The most-awaited comparison of the year - Kia Seltos vs Hyundai Creta
  • Kia Seltos gets more useful features, offers a better drive experience
  • In terms of comfort and ride quality, the Hyundai Creta scores better

The long awaited battle of the compact SUVs that have each ruled the roost. Two power brands that are solid, and define the success of their respective makers. The Hyundai Creta and the Kia Seltos are built on the same platform and get the same engine and transmission options. Now those are big similarities! But that's where the similarities end and the differences begin. So let's dive deep and explore what each of these SUVs has to offer and how do they stack up against each other in an exhaustive comparison review.

Also Read: 2020 Hyundai Creta 1.4 Turbo Petrol Review

Design and Looks

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(The new Hyundai Creta looks modern and imposing, but it is the Kia Seltos which looks better, in our books )

So let us begin with the first thing that every prospective car buyer will look at, the design! The new Hyundai Creta and the Seltos are as different as chalk and cheese. Starting with the Kia Seltos, the red accents that you see in the photos tell you this is the GT line and it does make the car look fairly sporty and distinctive. The Hyundai's new design language is a bit polarising, to say the least. You see the huge cascade grille and it reminds you of the venue. The low-positioned headlights with the daytime running lamps on top are again similar to the Venue. The shape of the LEDs is pretty similar to the ones on the old Creta facelift. So in a way, Hyundai has been preparing the prospective buyers for that particular shape. Pretty smart, eh!

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(Viewed in profile, the Seltos gets classic SUV proportions while the Creta feels like an oversized hatchback)

We think it still looks modern and there will be people who like the Creta the way it looks. The profile is where the proportions start to look a bit odd. The way the car has been shaped, it's got this bulbous sort of look. The overhang is not big enough to give you the nice heft that an SUV really needs. The silver element on the roofline feels like a high end design feature but what it actually does is take away the SUV-like proportions and make it look more like an oversized hatchback. The rear is where we run out of words! The tailgate proportion is strange and makes it appear like a hatchback from afar. The split tail lamp and the curve on the lip don't add to the looks either. Styling is an immensely subjective matter. In our books, the Creta scores on looking big and looking modern but the Seltos is definitely more attractive of the two.

Engine Options

Specifications Hyundai Creta 1.4 Turbo Hyundai Creta 1.5 Petrol Hyundai Creta 1.5 Diesel
Engine 1,353 cc 1,497 cc 1,493 cc
Max Output 138 bhp @ 6,000 rpm 113.4 bhp @ 6,300 rpm 113.4 bhp @ 4,000 rpm
Peak Torque 242 Nm @ 1,500-3,200 rpm 144 Nm @ 4,500 rpm 250 Nm @ 1,500-2,750 rpm
Transmission 7-speed DCT 6-speed MT/IVT 6-speed MT/6-speed AT
Mileage 16.8 kmpl 16.8 kmpl/16.9 kmpl 21.4 kmpl/18.5 kmpl

In terms of engine options, the Creta and the Seltos get the same line-up, which is a 1.5-litre petrol, 1.5-litre diesel and a 1.4-litre turbo petrol. The fact that the gearbox options are also same is not surprising either. You get a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic on the naturally aspirated petrol and diesel models. On the 1.4 turbo, the Creta gets only a 7-speed DCT while the Seltos gets a 7-speed DCT and a 6-speed manual gearbox as well. Have a look at the tables for a complete lowdown on exact specifications for all variants of the Hyundai Creta and the Kia Seltos. But more on the driving dynamics later!

Specifications Kia Seltos 1.4 Turbo Kia Seltos 1.5 Petrol Kia Seltos 1.5 Diesel
Engine 1,353 cc 1,497 cc 1,493 cc
Max Output 138 bhp @ 6,000 rpm 113.4 bhp @ 6,300 rpm 113.4 bhp @ 4,000 rpm
Peak Torque 242 Nm @ 1,500-3,200 rpm 144 Nm @ 4,500 rpm 250 Nm @ 1,500-2,750 rpm
Transmission 7-speed DCT/6-speed MT 6-speed MT/IVT 6-speed MT/6-speed AT
Mileage 16.5 kmpl/16.1 kmpl 16.5 kmpl/16.8 kmpl 21 kmpl/18 kmpl

Features and Comfort

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(The dashboard layout on the Hyundai Creta is neat, with the new 10.25-inch touchscreen and AC controls neatly stacked in the middle)

Both the Creta and the Seltos have pushed the envelope as far as features are concerned. Both SUVs have their own set of unique exclusive features. Talking about exclusive features in the Creta, it all starts with the full-size panoramic sunroof. It offers this very likeable sense of airiness inside the cabin. The 1.4 turbo model of the Creta also gets paddle-shifters, a segment first feature. The parking brake is electric and gets an auto-hold function as well.

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(The Kia Seltos gets a 360 degree camera with bird's eye view and a blind sport monitor as well. Even the top-spec Creta does not get these features)

There are a few features that are exclusive to the Seltos too! There's parking sensors up front, 360 degree camera view, a blind spot camera view for the left and right side, which comes in really handy when you are about to change lanes. Then, you have mood lighting and more importantly, that tilt and telescopic adjustment for the steering. Even the top spec of the Creta does not have any of these.

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(The Kia Seltos' cabin feels more premium and inviting. The layout is neater and it gets that classic European feel inside)

The Seltos feels better finished. The quality of plastics, the textures and even the layout, with the 10.25-inch screen propped up on the dashboard feels classically European on the Seltos. The use of soft-touch faux leather, the flat-bottomed steering wheel and piano black finishes give you that premium feel expected of an SUV costing close to 20 lakh rupees, while the Hyundai feels a little lacking in terms of that premium feel, thanks to a few hard plastic bits on the dashboard.

Dimensions Hyundai Creta Kia Seltos
Length 4,300 mm 4,315 mm
Width 1,790 mm 1,800 mm
Height 1,635 mm 1,645 mm
Wheelbase 2,610 mm 2,610 mm
Bootspace 433 litres 433 litres

The Seltos is 15 mm longer than the Creta although the wheelbase is exactly the same at 2,610 mm. The Seltos is also 10 mm wider and 10 mm taller than its sibling. Oh! And both cars have 433 litres of bootspace, yet another similarity.

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(Paddle-shifters on a Creta! Who would have thought? But these work well with the 7-speed DCT gearbox)

Both SUVs have a lot of common features at the top-end too, like ventilated front seats, wireless phone charging, an air purifier, rear AC vents, an electrically adjustable driver seat and some other bits. Both also have connected car technology too. The Creta gets BlueLink while the Seltos has UVO Connect. Both work the same way, get near identical features and options. In terms of safety, both cars get 6 airbags in the top variant, along with anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control. On base and mid-spec variants, the Creta and the Seltos get two airbags along with anti-lock brakes and rear parking sensors. Neither SUV has a three-point seatbelt for the rear middle passenger though, which is a downer.

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(The Hyundai Creta score more on the comfort factor, particularly at the rear. Thanks to a new platform, increased dimensions and a panoramic sunroof, the cabin feels roomy and plush)

In terms of comfort, the Creta shines over the Seltos. The seats are plush and the rear occupants get loads of knee and shoulder room. Two adults with a kid at the rear will be a comfortable fit. The Seltos gets slightly firmer seats and that sense of roominess is missing. But there's one advantage that the Seltos has, the middle seat on the Seltos gets a proper headrest, while the Creta doesn't.

Driving Dynamics

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(The Kia Seltos offers a more engaging drive experience while the Hyundai Creta feels a little lacking in excitement)

The new Creta certainly feels like a much bigger car than the last Creta, and it is. It has that big car feel as well. Even the seating position, the way the steering has been designed and at the angle at which it sits, its size, it gives you instantly that SUV feel and a lot of buyers will definitely want. Because let's face it, these cars are not really SUVs in that sense. They are not big, or designed for off-roading. But having said that, what also creeps in with this slightly taller SUV ride is a lot of body roll, which is surprising as it is at the same platform as the Seltos, and to us that is a bit disappointing. 

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(The Seltos gets a steering with more feel and weight, it is a better handing SUV too)

Handling also could have also been better. It's not just as precise as, nor is the steering, we mean it's soft and comfortable, which probably in a city traffic you will appreciate a lot, but on the highway or when you want to do some dynamic driving, it's got too much play and it's not just as much fun. Having said that, the one big USP about the new Creta is its ride quality! Now, the Creta and Seltos get similar suspension, but a completely different setup! The Hyundai feels smoother, more comfortable, even for those at the rear and we will go out on a limb and say, it has segment-best ride quality! Yes, it is that good.

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(The Hyundai Creta offers a better, plusher ride quality. The Seltos' suspension feels stiffer)

If you drive the Creta and the Seltos back to back, you would be surprised to see how different the two cars are. In a way it's a good thing too, because they have a completely different on-road character, despite sharing so much. It's the suspension and the steering that are going to immediately seem completely different on the Seltos, it is a lot more dynamic, so if you want to drive the car for the fun of it, if you want to enjoy that drive, it is the 1.4 turbo GDI engine you should go for. And this particular engine feels more enjoyable on the Kia. The handling is definitely better on the Seltos too. The steering feels stiffer, has more weight and it will give you much more precise and enjoyable action. Maybe in city traffic the Creta still scores but sure we think from a dynamics perspective it's got to be the Seltos. Although, the suspension on the Seltos is not a problem, it is certainly not as plush or comfortable as the one on the Creta either.

Pricing and Verdict

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(The Hyundai Creta is slightly more expensive than the Kia Seltos, by a few thousand rupees)

The prices of the new-gen Creta start at ₹ 9.99 lakh for the base petrol variant and go up to ₹ 17.20 lakh for the top-spec turbo petrol and diesel automatic variants. In comparison, the prices of the Kia Seltos range starts at ₹ 9.89 lakh for the base HTE petrol variant and goes up to ₹ 16.39 lakh for the top-spec turbo petrol and diesel GTX+ variants.

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(The Kia Seltos offers more useful features, a better drive experience and looks better too. At least in our books! Which is why it wins this sibling rivalry)

0 Comments

The Seltos has been a massive hit for Kia, getting in good numbers and even pipping the previous Creta in terms of sales. But this sibling rivalry or revelry, shall we say, was always going to get exciting with the coming of the new-gen Creta, for what its worth has topped sales in May and June 2020 and that is saying something, even in these troubled times. Both models are well equipped, offer decent performance, and while the Kia was the fresh newbie that set new benchmarks, the Hyundai is the well-set bestseller in this segment. We thought the competition would be neck to neck. But the Kia Seltos nicks this one comfortably! It gets more useful features, offers a more satisfying drive and in our books, looks better too.

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