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Kia Seltos Vs MG Hector: Which SUV Should You Opt For?


Of the two newbies in the Indian market, which one should you go for?

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In the market for a new car but don’t want to choose from familiar names like Maruti Suzuki, Toyota, or Tata? You're in luck, for two new companies have just entered India with a bang. Kia and MG clearly have ambitious plans for the Indian market considering the huge amount of investment that both have put into the production and marketing of their first products. And considering these go up against each other in the same segment and are aimed at the same buyer, it will be interesting to see which of these two comes out on top.

A Bit About The Brands:

Kia, a Korean company, is one of the largest carmakers around the globe. It is owned by Hyundai and this is a huge advantage as they share the same R&D. Hyundai also has the experience of spending years in the country and know just how to make an impact in key segments. 

On the other hand, MG Motor is an iconic British automotive marque that used to make sports cars. But that’s history. Fast forward to today and MG Motor is a subsidiary of Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) Motor and sells mainstream models like the Hector, eZS and more. So it's basically an iconic logo using existing Chinese car platforms. 

What Has Started Their Indian Innings?

 

Both brands have started their Indian innings at the right place: the hotly contested mid-size SUV segment. The Seltos has garnered more than 32,000 bookings in just 35 days! While the MG Hector has racked up more than 21,000 bookings and this had forced the manufacturer to halt bookings thanks to production constraints. 

This comes at a time when the entire automotive industry is facing a severe slowdown. So what has generated so much buzz around these two SUVs? Let's find out.

Loaded With Tech And Features:

Indians love to have their cars loaded to the gills with features. And it is clearly evident that both manufacturers are banking on features and technology to make their respective models stand out.

 

Kia Seltos

MG Hector

LED Headlamps with DRLs

Yes

Yes

Cruise Control

Yes

Yes

Climate Control

Yes

Yes

Rear AC Vents

Yes

Yes

Electric Seat Adjustment

Driver’s Side Only

Yes

Ventilated Front Seats

Yes

No

Wireless Charger

Yes

No

Infotainment

10.25-inch Touchscreen

10.4-inch Touchscreen

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Yes

Yes

Connected Features

37 features

50 features

Keyless Entry

Yes

Yes

Push Button Start

Yes

Yes

Sunroof

Yes

Yes (Panoramic)

Auto Headlamps

Yes

Yes

Rain Sensing Wipers

Yes

Yes

Heads-up display

Yes

No

Ambient lighting

Yes

Yes

Reclining rear seats

Yes

Yes

Rear door sun blinds

Yes

No

Sound system

Bose 8-speaker

Infinity 8-speaker

Both SUVs come with features like a huge touchscreen infotainment system, cruise control, all-LED headlamps, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, keyless entry, push button start, auto headlamps, rain-sensing wipers and hi-tech sound systems. 

They also come with connected-car tech (Kia’s UVO and MG’s i-SMART), but the above table makes it clear that Kia has gone the extra mile. It comes with some impressive features like ventilated front seats, wireless charger, heads-up display and rear door sunblinds. The Hector fights it back though with powered passenger seat and a panoramic sunroof.

Safety Features:

 

Kia Seltos 

MG Hector

Airbags

6

6

ABS with EBD

Yes

Yes

Camera and Sensors

Front and rear sensors with 360-degree camera

Front and rear sensors with 360-degree camera

ESP

Yes

Yes

Traction Control

Yes

Yes

Hill Start Assist

Yes

Yes

Tyre pressure monitor

Yes

Yes

Blind View Monitor

Yes

No

Both models come with all the safety features one expects when paying above Rs 13 lakh. The Kia Seltos also packs in a Blind View monitor which streams the left side view from a camera through the driver’s MID. 

Size Matters!

Let’s admit it: We love our SUVs to be big and dominate the roads. Which is the bigger one here?

 

Kia Seltos

MG Hector

Length (mm)

4315

4655

Width  (mm)

1800

1835

Height (mm)

1620

1760

Wheelbase (mm)

2610

2750

Boot space (litres)

433

587

The above table makes it clear that the Hector is bigger than the Seltos in all measures. Its bigger dimensions also mean that it is a more comfortable SUV to travel long distances in. There is more legroom on offer while the additional width ensures that sitting three abreast is no problem at all. That’s not to say the Seltos is uncomfortable by any means. It can haul four six footers in absolute comfort. But fitting in a fifth might be a bit of a squeeze.  

How Premium Do They Look?

  • Exteriors:

Size might not be the Seltos’ forte. But its styling surely is. The Seltos’ European design language will appeal to people of all ages and tastes. Kia’s trademark ‘Tiger Nose’ grille, elongated DRLs and jewel-effect LED headlamps make you want to give a second glance. Then there are details like the red brake callipers and stripes on the GT Line trim that are applied tastefully. Elements like body cladding, 17-inch wheels and a clean rear end give the Seltos a perfect SUV flavour.

The Hector on the other hand has some interesting elements to up its road presence. The big grille at the front and split LED headlamps ensures other road users give way for you. In profile, the Hector looks a bit awkward as the gigantic body makes the 17-inch wheel look weedy. This gives the impression that the Hector is more MPV than SUV. 

  • Interiors:

The interiors of the Seltos has a very minimalistic design and plenty of elements from Audis of the past. The centre console with the floating 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment that has top notch graphics and premium air-con controls make you feel that you’re sitting in a more expensive model. Then there’s the flat-bottom steering wheel, hi-resolution coloured MID and the red stitching (on GT trim only) give it the drool worthy factor.

The Hector also has a minimalist cabin. The main draw here is the huge 10.4-inch Tesla-esque infotainment system which also takes up the climate control duties. Thanks to the large infotainment system dominating the central console, there are less physical buttons, giving it a no-nonsense design. This might be a pain while driving as you need to take your eyes off the road to operate it on the go. 

And How Premium Do They FEEL?

There is no doubt that the Kia Seltos betters the Hector in this department by a significant margin. Overall quality levels are very good and fit and finish can’t be faulted anywhere inside-out. The same can’t be said about the Hector though. While quality levels are good, they aren’t Kia good. You can also find some hard scratchy plastics in the lower half of the dashboard and we would’ve liked better fit and finish.

Which One Is Brawnier?

  • Petrol Powertrains:

 

Kia Seltos 1.5-litre NA

Kia Seltos 1.4-litre T-GDI

MG Hector 1.5-litre Turbo

Power (PS)

115PS

140PS

143PS

Torque (Nm)

144Nm

242Nm

250Nm

Transmission Options

6-speed MT/CVT

6-speed MT/7-speed DCT

6-speed MT/DCT

Fuel Efficiency (Claimed)

16.8kmpl (CVT)/ 16.5kmpl (MT)

16.5kmpl (AT)/16.1kmpl (MT)

14.16kmpl (MT) /13.96kmpl (AT) 

BS6-compliancy

Yes

Yes

No

The Kia Seltos comes with a 1.4-litre T-GDI motor that puts out the same power as the MG Hector. It can be had with a 6-speed MT and 7-speed DCT gearbox a la the Hector. But it must be mentioned that the Hector can also be had with a 48V mild-hybrid system that boosts fuel efficiency by 12 per cent and provides torque boost during higher loads. Despite this tech, the MG Hector petrol trails the Seltos by a huge margin in terms of fuel efficiency when compared to the Seltos T-GDI.

Kia also offers the Seltos with an entry level 1.5-litre NA petrol unit that can be had with a 6-speed manual gearbox. There is an automatic option, but unlike the turbo petrol, the NA petrol comes with a CVT automatic.   

  • Diesel powertrain

 

Kia Seltos 1.5-litre CRDI

MG Hector 2.0-litre Diesel

Power (PS)

115PS

170PS

Torque (Nm)

250Nm

350Nm

Transmission Options

6-speed MT/6-speed AT

6-speed MT

Fuel Efficiency (Claimed)

18kmpl (AT)/21kmpl (MT)

17.41kmpl

BS6-compliancy

Yes

No

There is no doubt that the Hector’s bigger 2.0-litre engine betters the Seltos’ 1.5-litre unit in terms of power and torque by a huge margin, 55PS and 100Nm to be precise. But when we drove the Seltos recently, the 1.5-litre engine never felt underpowered. It is a refined unit too and for the Seltos’s size and weight feels more than enough. On top of that, for people who want an efficient diesel-auto combination, the Seltos offers you a smooth shifting 6-speed torque converter automatic unlike the MG Hector. It must also be mentioned that the Seltos sports the higher claimed efficiency of the two.  

Aftersales and Touchpoints:

Kudos to both the carmakers as they have done a good amount of homework in this regard. Kia currently has 265 touch points spread across 160 cities. Also to lure customers, expect Kia to offer various service plans and warranty plans with the Seltos. 

At the launch of the Hector, MG had announced that it has 120 touch points across India and plans to expand that list to 250 by September 2019. It also offers the Hector with various service, warranty and buyback plans.  

Prices And Verdict:

 

Kia Seltos

MG Hector

Prices (ex-showroom Delhi)

Rs 9.69 lakh to Rs 15.99 lakh

Rs 12.18 lakh to Rs 16.88 lakh

Clearly on paper, the Kia Seltos does have an advantage when it comes to powertrain and transmission options, features, interior fit and finish, dealer network or in terms of fuel efficiency. To top things up, its attractive price tag makes it all the more drool worthy. Yes, it might not be as big as the Hector, but as an overall package, the Seltos scores high. Morris Garages, you have a lot to worry about.

Click the links below to read our detailed review of the Kia Seltos and MG Hector:

2019 Kia Seltos First Drive Review

2019 MG Hector: First Drive Review

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  • Manoj | 1 day ago Manoj Kumar Vats vats_manojkumar@yahoo.com is a very Gurdaspur +919464509869 is a very 0 Reply
    Dharam | 1 day ago Seltos as it is subsidiary of Hyundai that's make it more reliable 0 Reply
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