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2020 Hyundai Creta vs Kia Seltos: Turbo Petrol Automatic Comparision Review


They share parentage and DNA, so how different can the Kia Seltos and Hyundai Creta be? Going by their exterior, a lot!

 

There’s nothing like a good sibling rivalry to spice things up, which is why this comparison between the Kia Seltos and the Hyundai Creta is all the more interesting. It isn’t just about the elder brother trying to stake claim to its throne, but reclaiming it from its younger upstart sibling. To make matters all the more confounding these two aren’t siblings just because they share a house (Kia Hyundai Motor Group), but share DNA strains too... like the chassis and the engine and transmissions. The top of the line petrol we have on hand use the same 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engines with 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions. So, how different can two cars that share the same chassis, engines, transmissions, and a large part of the feature list really be?

Rami or Sami Malek? 

ZW-Hyundai-Creta-vs-Kia-Seltos

Identical twins, these are not. But how similar are they on the outside? We peered, squinted, traced, and stared unendingly at both the cars from various angles to spot what they shared. Turns out, not much. Almost nothing would be more accurate. The A-pillar aside, everything else on the two cars is different. The hood has different character lines and the shape is different too. On the Creta, the hood clamshells around the grille whereas on the Seltos it dips further down into the side fenders. So yeah, the side fenders are different too. As is the wheel arch cladding, being more sharply sculpted on the Seltos. Ditto for the wheel design. The  Seltos’ rims ace the wow factor and in stark contrast, Hyundai fumbles with the grey shade for the wheels.  

ZW-Hyundai-Creta-vs-Kia-Seltos

The doors are completely different, as are the door handles. So is the glass area, as the Seltos has a quarter glass in the C-pillar, which the Hyundai doesn’t. Even the roof section is different, as are the roof rails. When comparing the LED encrusted rear ends, the Seltos’ extra length can be seen clearly. Oh yes, they are different in terms of dimensions too! The Seltos being longer (15mm), and wider (10mm), while the Hyundai is an icecream stick thicker (2mm).

Dimensions

Kia Seltos 

2020 Hyundai Creta 

Length 

4315 mm

4300 mm (-15mm)

Width

1800 mm

1790 mm (-10mm)

Height

1620 mm

1622 mm (+2mm)

At a glance, you can see that their design philosophies seem to come from two different genres. The Seltos’ crisp lines have a futuristic and technical feel about them. The Creta, with its rounded edges, is more traditional and solid. The all-LED headlamps and DRLS on these top-end versions cultivate their personas further. There’s a mash-up in features too as the Seltos offers LED fog lamps while the Hyundai sensibly sticks to halogen units. The Hyundai adds its own splash of specialness with ORVM-mounted puddle lamps for a warmer welcome. 

ZW-Hyundai-Creta-vs-Kia-Seltos

There’s no doubt that the Hyundai isn’t going to appeal to everyone immediately. However, we found that its design grows on you. Crucially, it has road presence that holds up even in the presence of the Seltos, but it does look a bit outclassed. Wonder what the facelift will bring, I’m hoping a better grille is on the cards. #wishfulthinking

Wow! vs Neat! / Ralf or Michael?

 

Geeky and intimate - Seltos. Simple and welcoming- Hyundai. That’s the gist of the cabin experience. Both these cars have walked the extra mile to deliver on these counts.  The Kia, equipped with a 10.25-inch infotainment screen propped up on the dash like a Mercedes, a handsome leather-wrapped flat-bottomed steering wheel, a choice of materials including a soft-touch finish for the crash pad, looks and feels like an avant-garde European. 

Then there’s the tech to wow you like the 360-degree camera that offers the very handy blind spot monitoring function. Every time you use the turn indicator, it relays a video feed from the ORVM-mounted camera to the MID to show you the area next to the car. The 7-inch head-up display isn’t a must-have but is very easy to get used to. Multi-colour mood lighting that dances according to the music is a bit frivolous, but the front parking sensors are not. Most interestingly, all these features are missing on the Creta.  

 

Of course, there’s lots in common between them - like the three-stage ventilated seats, 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, the 10.25-inch infotainment system, connected car tech with voice commands, and the 7-inch MID for the driver, wireless charger, rear ac vents, and an air purifier.  In terms of safety equipment, both cars get six airbags, ABS with EBD, and ESP too.  And, the Creta fires back with its list of exclusive goodies  

For premiumness and convenience, the Creta offers an electronic parking brake, and touch controls for the air purifier. The paddle shifters on the automatic got our attention immediately. Also, the Creta uses connected technologies to offer remote engine start on manual variants too, that’s thanks to the electronic parking brake! And the sound system on the Hyundai is deserving of the Bose name, no doubt assisted by the additional subwoofer in the boot wall! But the piece de resistance on the Creta has to be its panoramic sunroof that makes the Seltos’ (and previous-gen Creta’s) single-pane sunroof seem like a bit of lip service. 

ZW-Hyundai-Creta-vs-Kia-Seltos

Normally we have seen panoramic sunroofs on much larger and far more expensive vehicles. But the value of this feature is highlighted in this smaller package as it improves the sense of space and airiness hugely. 

ZW-Hyundai-Creta-vs-Kia-Seltos

But Hyundai could have been a bit more thoughtful about the sense of occasion. While we appreciate the simplicity of the design, the choice of shiny and hard plastics and old school textures on the lower half of the dash make it pale in comparison to the Seltos. Even the plastic paddle shifters could have been more special to the touch, and, well, less plasticky. The driver will also miss having a reach-adjustable steering or front parking sensors. So in terms of pure appeal, the Hyundai does concede some ground to the Seltos on the inside too.

Cozy vs Comfy / Irfan or Yusuf / Darren or Dwayne Bravo?

ZW-Hyundai-Creta-vs-Kia-Seltos

But Hyundai has a plan. The Creta has taken pains to provide a more sensible cabin. For instance, take the physical buttons for the infotainment system that make it much easier to use while driving. The centre console is tilted towards the driver for added convenience. The driver too will feel more relaxed as the lower position for the infotainment screen allows for a better view out of the cabin and increases the sense of space. Then there is the storage; it has the larger glovebox and the cubby in the centre console is easier to access too. Even the door pockets, although the same size as the Seltos, let you store things more neatly because of the partitions in them.  

In terms of space, Hyundai has thought about the backseat occupants a bit more too. The seat base is wider and has also been scooped which improves under-thigh support and holds you better on longer drives. This also ensures that even six-footers will have enough headroom. In the Seltos, the seat base is flatter, narrower and the cushioning is on the firmer side but it has more headroom as there’s no sunroof eating into the space. Both cars have sunblinds and reclining seatbacks for a cozier experience, but the Seltos has one significant extra, a headrest for the middle passenger! This is a big miss in the Hyundai.

ZW-Hyundai-Creta-vs-Kia-Seltos

Despite a few crucial misses, the Creta’s cabin proves that it is different from the Seltos for a reason and not just for the heck of it like the exterior design seems to suggest. But what happens when the wheels start to turn?

Sprint or Dash / Serena or Venus? 

On paper, the BS6 compliant turbo-petrol engine and 7-speed dual-clutch transmission that both these cars use are identical. Displacement is 1353cc. Power, 140PS. There’s 242Nm of torque, made at the same rpms. They have three drive modes to alter throttle response and gearbox logic; Eco, Comfort and Sport on the Creta while the Seltos has Eco, Normal and Sport. But, they feel different.

Petrol Powah! 

Hyundai Creta

Kia Seltos

Engine

1.4-litre turbo

1.4-litre turbo

Power

140PS 

140PS 

Torque

242Nm 

242Nm 

Transmission            

7-DCT

7-DCT

 


Ziggies will have a bias towards the sportier looking Seltos. Also, you can hear more of the engine note inside the cabin, which makes it feel quicker. But the Vbox tests showed that wasn’t the case. A 0.1 second difference when accelerating from 0-100kph and 0.08 seconds during roll-on acceleration can be considered, for all practical purposes, as identical. 

Acceleration

Creta

    Seltos 

0-100kmph 

9.4 seconds     

9.5 seconds

20-80kmph 

5.55 seconds         

5.47 seconds

But there is a difference between the two. The Creta feels more relaxing to drive - you can blame it on the quieter cabin that cuts out noises, be it wind or road noise or the suspension hammering through potholes. There’s also the matter of the more evolved gearbox software on the Hyundai that makes driving at low speeds in the city a lot smoother than on the Seltos. It still isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t feel bothersome like on the Seltos. A workaround in the Seltos is to simply use the Eco Mode instead of the Normal mode while commuting as this makes the gearbox more laidback about gear changes. 

In terms of fuel efficiency, Hyundai’s 16.8kmpl claim trumps the Kia’s 16.1kmpl claim by a small margin. In our real-world fuel efficiency test, the Seltos returned 11.4kmpl in the city and 17.3kmpl on the highway, and so we expect that the Hyundai to return similar figures too. 

Swerve or Slice /  Marc or Alex?

 

You’ve gotten the drift by now, these cousins have similar abilities but different attitudes. The braking performance spells out the first part of the story clearly. 

Braking     

Creta

Seltos

100-0kmph    

40.12m

40.93m

80-0kmph    

26.05m    

25.51m

This really is no surprise as they share the suspension architecture and tyre sizes. But if you like to drive, the Seltos will feel more enjoyable as the steering is lighter and more communicative. The stiffer suspension means it doesn’t roll as much around corners as well. The Creta’s steering feels vague and has more body roll when chucked into a corner, but has a reassuring air. Over bumpy surfaces, the Creta feels more settled and confidence-inspiring and feels a lot more composed even on bumpy highways. This is because there is a difference in the suspension tune and the Creta also runs on lower tyre pressure (31PSI vs 33PSI), all of which makes a bigger difference for everyday use - ride comfort!

The Creta has a clear advantage when it comes to dealing with poor road surfaces. Blows from bumps and potholes are softened to such an extent that it makes the Seltos’ ride comfort seem rudimentary in comparison. This disparity is heightened all the more as the sound insulation in the Seltos isn’t as good as the Creta’s, which means the suspension noise and road noise is much more apparent in the cabin. When you factor in the panoramic sunroof, one thing is for sure, the Creta will be the more enjoyable option for long stints. 

Ready to choose / Kia or Hyundai? 

So it’s simple right? You know which one is right for you. The young at heart will undoubtedly be seduced by the Seltos’ charm and will make peace with the somewhat iffy ride quality, the low-speed lurch of the gearbox, and the cozier cabin. Meanwhile, the Creta’s lower levels of finesse and glaring feature misses will be a sore point. However, as a family SUV, for the city or highway the Creta’s better ride, airy cabin and smoother drivetrain will be the better pick. The cost of two tankfuls of petrol separate the two in terms of price, so that won’t help you decide either. So make your pick. Let us know below what you thought. As for me, I would choose …

the Hyundai Creta. It wasn’t easy for me either. 

 

Hyundai Creta Video Review

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