The first-generation Hyundai Creta was a resounding success as it went on to win over many hearts all over the country, which must have really made it a challenge for Hyundai to come up with a second-generation model, considering how the previous model hit the right notes. However, in recent times, there have been some rather interesting models that have entered the segment, one of them being the Kia Seltos. Comparatively, both these SUVs are very similar under the skin, so we pit both against each other to see which one is best.
The Creta is indeed a stylish, radical looking SUV, particularly with those slender DRLs that look like boomerangs surrounding the headlamp cluster. It gets a huge cascading grille, an up-right bonnet, flared wheel arches but wheels that appear a bit small. At the rear, there’s an abundance of creases with a contemporary looking tail light design. Now the new Creta may not be ugly, but it certainly isn’t to everyone’s taste. The old Creta somehow looks far nicer.
The Seltos, in comparison, looks more handsome. The upright bonnet, tiger-nose grille, flanked by those sleek LED headlamps, give it a very modern front fascia. Along the sides, the 17-inch wheels fill up the arches well and it gets creases at the front and rear. At the rear too, it looks the part with the full LED tail light treatment with a chrome strip running the width of the tailgate, across the lights. It gives it a nice, premium look. Between the two SUVs, we think the Kia Seltos gets more points in the looks department.
Because of the high-set seats, you sit high-up with good visibility, and the big glass area adds to the experience too. The wide 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system looks rather cool, and the ambient lighting is a visual treat. The resolution of the touchscreen infotainment system works efficiently with good touch sensitivity. The part-digital instrument cluster has vibrant colours and graphics, and the flat-bottom steering wheel looks sporty. But we wish the buttons felt better to touch. The leatherette seats are well cushioned and the front seats are cooled and offer good support. Three occupants at the rear will be a bit of a squeeze. However, the backrest can be adjusted. Leg room too is sufficient.
The fit and finish of materials in the cabin of the Seltos is absolutely impressive. The buttons, stalks and dials all feel expensive. Everything seems very well put together. The seats are huge and comfortable and offer ample support, while the rear bench has a two-step recline function. Space at the rear too is good. Legroom and headroom is more than sufficient and the boot is nice and large. We particularly love the central touchscreen unit; the display is fantastic and touch-sensitivity is good. The multimedia system allows the user to choose between various settings. The Seltos also gets an air purifier and a high-definition 7.0-inch colour screen which is part of the driver infotainment system.
The Creta gets features like six airbags, height adjustable front seat belts,leather upholstery, remote engine start-stop, front ventilated seats, powered driver’s seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, ambient lighting, rear armrest with cup holder, adjustable rear-seat headrests, 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, panoramic sunroof,
The Seltos comes with features like multiple drive modes (automatic only), 8-way power driver’s seat, 360-degree camera, ventilated seats, wireless charging, rain-sensing wipers, air purifier, 8.0-inch heads up display, 7.0-inch Multi info display (instrument cluster), 10.25-inch HD touchscreen infotainment system, UVO connectivity features, power folding mirrors, smart key with push-button start, automatic air conditioner, LED mood lighting with sound effects, leather-wrapped steering wheel, steering wheel tilt and telescopic adjustment, cruise control and USB ports for second row.
Performance & Handling
The Hyundai Creta we’re driving is powered by a 1.4-litre Kappa Turbo GDi petrol engine that produces 138bhp and 242Nm of torque. The gear-stick falls in hand perfectly well. The engine is refined, and NVH levels are good, thanks to good cabin insulation. Power delivery is linear and there’s a good surge of power from 1500rpm. And the DCT gearbox shifts very smoothly. In Eco and Comfort mode, the gearbox upshifts at about 2000rpm. In Eco mode, the engine response is more laid back. Throttle response improves massively in Sport mode, and you can use the paddle-shifters as well. The really bad ruts and pot holes tend to filter into the cabin, but as you pick up speed, the bumps are absorbed better. The steering is light with good amounts of feedback. Around corners, it is confidence-inspiring, but there is some body roll.
The Seltos we’re driving comes with a 1.4-litre, turbocharged, direct-injection petrol engine that makes 140bhp and 240Nm of torque. The motor is very tractable and is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. The engine is quite sprightly and has a good mid-range while throttle response in linear. The motor loves to be revved and is very refined too. Around corners, the Seltos isn’t all that bad, but the steering isn’t brimming with feedback. The amount of grip from the tyres offered is great, but it’s best to go easy on the throttle around corners. Ride quality is better than that of the Creta’s as it soaks in bumps effortlessly. However, again, sharp thuds do filter through.
What we would’ve really liked is if the Creta was more dynamically sorted, while headroom too, at the rear, isn’t sufficient. However, it performs well with good refinement and drivability and gets a well-equipped and spacious cabin. The Seltos is equally competitive, for it comes with an equally well equipped, roomy cabin, good driving dynamics and price tag that offers you great value. Somehow, the Seltos feels that little bit better and is the winner of this test.