Nissan Magnite vs Kia Sonet vs Toyota Urban Cruiser: Space, Practicality And Comfort Comparison

Modified On Jan 04, 2021 10:23 AM By Dhruv for Nissan Magnite

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Nissan’s Magnite holds the promise of satisfying your family-car needs, without you having to break the bank. But is that enough to thwart a challenge from the segment leaders?

The Nissan Magnite with its stellar pricing has created a dilemma for those looking to bring home a small SUV. It’s a jack of all trades, meaning it has something for everybody, but can it hold its own against the Kia Sonet, the Toyota Urban Cruiser or Maruti Vitara Brezza? That too, when your family will be the one passing the judgements. After all, the hallmarks of a good SUV do include space, practicality and comfort, and these are the newest cars in the segment.

To answer this question, we lined up these SUVs next to each other and set about on the task of getting some answers. For the purposes of this comparison, we have only used the Toyota Urban Cruiser and not the Maruti Vitara Brezza, as they are both essentially the same car, and thus our opinion of the two is the same.


Nissan’s Magnite is the most well-balanced car here when it comes to design. Its sleek headlamps and tail lamps give it a modern look, but it is in its profile where the Magnite really looks the best out of the three. While most SUVs in this space look chopped off from one end or the other, the Magnite’s designers have done an excellent job of maintaining well balanced proportions on either end. It however does mean that the Magnite loses out an outright SUV-like look and comes across as more of a crossover, due to its smooth curves that give it a more sleek, instead of macho, look.

Kia’s Sonet has the most attractive front-end here with its Tiger-nose grille being the centerpiece. The bumpers are also chiselled to mimic an aggressive stance and the sleek LED headlamps with their heartbeat design make it an instant head turner. In its profile though, it kind of looks like the designer ran out of space as and when they reached the back end of the car, and had to kind of squeeze it in. From the rear, the Sonet has a lot of modern touches going for it such as the LED tail lamps with the heartbeat signature. The rear bumper however has a lot of cosmetic elements on it, which makes it too cluttered to look at.

The Toyota Urban Cruiser looks the SUV-iest of the lot. It’s tall upright proportions help it give that muscular look which we normally get to see only on bigger SUVs. There is no hiding the fact that this design is the oldest of the lot. Additions like the full LED headlamps, LED tail lamps and LED fog lamps do class it up a bit though. And lest we forget, that Fortuner-esque front grille that Toyota has thrown on it does go a long way in making the Urban Cruiser look tough.

In terms of lighting, the all three cars get full LED headlamps, but the Magnite misses out on LED tail lamps, which the Sonet and Urban Cruiser get. Both Magnite and the Urban Cruiser offer LED fog lamps, and although the Sonet gets a projector setup for the fog lamps, it does make use of a halogen bulb. The Magnite is shorter by a whisker than the other two. It however is narrower and shorter in height compared to Sonet and Urban Cruiser. All three SUVs here also come with 16 inch alloy wheels on their respective top-spec variants, and while the Magnite’s and Urban Cruiser’s lower variants also make use of a 16-inch setup, the Sonet makes use of 15-inch wheels in its lower variants. On the ground clearance front, all cars are similarly raised by around the 200mm mark.



Kia Sonet

Toyota Urban Cruiser

Nissan Magnite

















Interior Space and Experience

Getting in and out of cars can often be a bit of a task, especially for the elderly in the family. The Magnite in that sense is the best of the lot. Its rear door opening is wide, seats are positioned high and the foot sill is relatively low, all of which make ingress and egress quite easy. The Urban Cruiser has a slightly smaller door opening than the Magnite, but manages to catch up to it in the other areas. The Sonet has a reasonably wide door opening. However, the fact that its seats are placed lower and the foot sill is placed higher means it requires the most effort to get in and out of.

Once you are inside the car, you’ll notice that the Urban Cruiser has the oldest looking cabin of the lot. The quality of materials used also feels a little dated. The plastics are hard, there is a lack of soft touch materials, the analogue instrument cluster feels dated and even the touchscreen is the smallest. The Magnite surprised us with its cool design, a well put together touchscreen, and its quality of plastics that feel one notch above that of the Urban Cruiser. The only issue we faced in the Magnite was that of panel gaps, which we found were a little inconsistent. 

The Sonet feels the most premium here. It’s got premium feeling material all throughout the cabin, and even the hard plastics have been disguised quite well. The huge touchscreen and digital instrument cluster look quite modern, although you get retro touches like large climate control switches which lend a balance to the design of the cabin. Overall, the Sonet’s cabin not only feels the best of the three, but also competes with cars from a segment above.

If you’ll be spending a lot of time in the front seat of these cars, then the Urban Cruiser seats feel the most restrictive. You get the least amount of under thigh support and the cushioning is too soft. The Urban Cruiser shines in comparison to the other two when it comes to a high seating position for the driver. The Magnite’s front seats feel comfortable for most passengers, though you could feel a little restricted in those if you are a bit on the larger side. The view out the driver’s seat feels commanding, although finding the right driving position in the Magnite is a bit of a task. That’s because if you set the seat according to the pedals, then the steering wheel becomes harder to reach. The driver footwell also feels cramped in the Magnite, especially in the case of the manual, where you don’t even get a dead pedal. In the Sonet, the seats feel well-contoured and they can easily accommodate people of various sizes. It’s easy to find the right driving position with multiple adjustments on offer and the cooled leatherette seats make for a comfortable experience, even in the hottest of summers.

Interior Measurements (Front)


Nissan Magnite

Kia Sonet

Toyota Urban Cruiser



990 - 1160mm










Cabin width




Just like the front, the Urban Cruiser’s back seats feel the least supportive due to a lack of back and under thigh support. But where it shines is in its capacity of seating three at the back. The largely contour-free seats and the widest cabin at the back means that three passengers at the back will be the most comfortable in this SUV. You do miss out on rear AC vents and a charging socket for the rear passengers in the Urban Cruiser. The Sonet’s seats provide good support but their prominent contouring means that three at the back will not be so comfortable. It however works the best as a four seater and you do get rear AC vents, which work quite well, and a quick charging socket that quickly replenishes your smartphone’s battery. The Magnite strikes the best balance out of the three. It has enough contouring on the seats to hold two people snugly, and yet it hasn’t so been overdone that three at the back feel uncomfortable. You also get rear AC vents here, along with a 12V charging socket.

Interior Measurements (Rear)


Nissan Magnite

Kia Sonet

Toyota Urban Cruiser

Shoulder Room












When it comes to storing knick-knacks inside the cabin, the Sonet and Magnite are quite evenly matched. Both these cars get a storage space underneath the centre console and both have deep door pockets that easily accommodate 1 litre water bottles and other items. There are also unique bits like the umbrella holder in the Sonet’s front doors and the smartphone holder in Magnite’s rear armrest. The Urban Cruiser comes in last here because it’s storage spaces are smaller than those of the other two. The saving grace for it is the dual glove box, with the top one being cooled.

When it comes to loading up the boot, the Urban Cruiser takes a back seat once again. Its boot is narrow and shallow, allowing us to load up only one medium sized suitcase, one small suitcase and a duffel bag in it. After all this, you have enough space left to probably squeeze in a small bag. However, it is the only boot in this comparison that has a fully flat floor once the rear seats are folded down. This makes the Urban Cruiser the best choice when it comes to moving large amounts of cargo around. The Magnite on the other hand can take one large, one medium and one small suitcase, with enough space left to squeeze in a duffel bag as well. The only issue here is the high loading lip makes it a little difficult to load heavy luggage into its boot. The Sonet’s boot is easily the biggest here. It can take in all that the Magnite can, and still have some space to spare. You however do not get a 60:40 split rear seat in the Sonet, like you get in the Magnite.


All three SUVs here come with a basic set of common features. You can have a look at them in the table below.

Common Features

LED Headlamps

Height-adjustable Driver’s Seat

16” Alloy Wheels

Reverse Parking Camera

Keyless Entry

Leather-wrapped Steering Wheel

Push-Button Start

Front + Rear Armrest

Automatic Climate Control

Cruise Control

Apart from these, all SUVs here get their own set of unique features which make them stand out. The Magnite offers wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which is a really cool feature. It allows you to make the most out of that touchscreen display, all the time. The 360 degree camera in the Magnite will also make sure that you don’t face any issues while parking it. You’ll also appreciate the huge 7-inch digital instrument cluster that lays out information quite neatly. The Magnite is also the only car here to offer functional roof rails, which is quite a practical feature to have. Kia’s Sonet here regains its ground with features like front parking sensors, leatherette upholstery, cooled front seats, a Bose sound system, an auto-dimming IRVM and a sunroof. The Urban Cruiser is also able to lay claim to a unique feature: rain-sensing wipers.

Feature Comparison


Nissan Magnite

Kia Sonet

Toyota Urban Cruiser

Functional Roof Rails

Leatherette Upholstery



8-inch / 10.25-inch


Sound System


7-speaker (Bose)


Front Parking Sensors

360° Camera

Instrument Cluster

7” Digital TFT

4.2” Colour MID

Basic MID

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System

Auto-Dimming IRVM


Ventilated Seats

Even when it comes to safety, the Urban Cruiser comes in dead last. It only offers two airbags and there are no electronic nannies onboard to help you out in tricky situations. The Magnite is also offered with only two airbags but it does get ESC. And the fact that it is priced well below the other two makes it come above the Urban Cruiser in terms of safety. However, it is the Kia Sonet that is the safest car here by a mile. You get 6 airbags, apart from all the other regular safety features, making the Sonet’s cabin quite safe in the event of a crash. However, the Sonet hasn’t yet been tested by the Global NCAP. The Magnite and Maruti Vitara Brezza have been tested by them, with both of them bagging a four star safety rating. It is however the homegrown Tata Nexon and Mahindra XUV300 that have been awarded the highest five star rating by the Global NCAP.

Safety Comparison


Nissan Magnite

Kia Sonet

Toyota Urban Cruiser





ABS with EBD



Engine Options and Ease Of Driving

Your engine options will be quite limited if you go for the Urban Cruiser here. You only get one petrol engine with the option of a manual or automatic. This engine is quite refined and torquey though, so it adapts well to different driving situations. Driving it around in the city, you’ll appreciate this quite a bit, along with the fact that the all around huge glass area gives you good visibility of what’s around you. The controls are also light so maneuvering the Urban Cruiser around the city feels like a breeze.



1.5 litre, 4 cylinder naturally-aspirated


105PS @ 6000rpm


138Nm @ 4400rpm


5-speed manual / 4-speed AT

Nissan’s Magnite is available with two petrol engines, one naturally aspirated and the other turbocharged. You get the option of a manual transmission with both, although a two-pedal driving setup can only be opted for with the turbo-petrol engine. The naturally aspirated engine is good enough for city driving but if you are looking to undertake a lot of highway journeys or that added bit of enthusiasm in your drive, we suggest you go for the turbo-petrol engine. The CVT transmission is quite easy to use and is what we recommend for anyone looking to bring the Magnite home. The Magnite’s narrow size also makes it easy to drive in the city and its small turning radius means that u-turns are executed with the least amount of fuss.



1.0 litre, 3 cylinder naturally-aspirated

1.0 litre, 3 cylinder turbocharged


72PS @ 6250rpm

100PS @ 5000rpm


96Nm @ 3500rpm

160Nm @ 2800-3600rpm (MT) 152Nm @ 2200-4400rpm (CVT)


5-speed manual

5-speed manual / CVT

It is however the Kia Sonet which offers the most amount of versatility here, with its buffet of engine options. The 1.2-litre naturally aspirated motor is excellent for city use whereas the turbo-petrol adds that extra punch to your drive. If you like long distance touring, then there is also the option of diesel, unlike the Magnite and Urban Cruiser. What makes the Kia Sonet also so special is that barring the naturally aspirated 1.2-litre petrol engine, you can spec it with a manual or automatic transmission according to your use. In terms of ease of driving, the Sonet also features lighter controls which make driving it around in the city an easy task.


1.2-litre Petrol

1.0-litre Turbo Petrol

1.5-litre Turbo Diesel (MT)

1.5-litre Turbo Diesel (AT)


4 cylinder, naturally-aspirated

3 cylinder, turbocharged

4 cylinder turbocharged

4 cylinder turbocharged


83PS @ 6000rpm

120PS @ 6000rpm

100PS @ 4000rpm

115PS @ 4000rpm


115Nm @ 4200rpm

172Nm @ 1500-4000rpm

240Nm @ 1500-2750rpm

250Nm @ 1500-2750rpm


5-speed manual

6-speed iMT / 7-speed DCT

6-speed manual

6-speed AT

Ride Comfort

The Sonet shines in the task of ferrying you around on your daily commute. It soaks up the road surface quite well, and remains quiet while doing so. It’s also stable at highway speeds so you feel confident when cruising above 100kmph. The one thing that does throw it off are broken roads. It can take a pothole or two with relative ease but a patch of broken road leads to side to side movement. Jerks can also be felt inside the cabin in such situations, especially at the rear, and potholes can often also be heard inside the cabin. The plus side here is that the slightly softer seat cushioning acts as a layer that absorbs some of the movement.

Toyota’s Urban Cruiser is set on the stiffer side, so going over broken roads at slow speeds does lead to side to side movement. This effect is however reduced as you pick up the pace. While there is some movement inside the cabin over broken roads, the suspension goes about doing its work quietly. It is overall the quietest of the three over all kinds of surfaces. The added advantage of a stiffer suspension is that the Urban Cruiser feels more planted around the corners, letting you have a little more fun than the other two. It also feels composed at highway speeds, making it a good choice for long drives.

Nissan’s Magnite isn’t able to soak out the small imperfections in the road at slower speeds and these can be felt inside the cabin in the form of vibrations, making it feel less plush than the other two. And while the Magnite feels stable at highway speeds, the bumpy nature of the suspension can even be felt at higher speeds. Where the Magnite really comes into its own is over rough and broken roads. The suspension damps out the broken bits quite well, and it is aided in this fact by its longer travelling suspension. 


Toyota’s Urban Cruiser, or the Maruti Vitara Brezza, has retained its fun to drive image over the years and that is still the case in this comparison. It is quite refined as well but it falls short in space and practicality, where the other two SUVs shine quite well. It also falls short when you look for features or engine options. So go for the Urban Cruiser only if you are looking to drive it alone for most times, and you are looking to have some fun while doing so.

The Kia Sonet on the other hand offers everything you might want from a car and then some more. It’s scoring points are its features, engine options and practical storage bits. However, the price you pay for all this is, well, the price. It’s the most expensive SUV in this space but it does justify the money spent. Go for the Sonet if you are looking for an all around car that will please your family, feel premium and meet all your different needs over the years.

Nissan’s Magnite is the newcomer and the ace up its sleeve is affordability. It comes loaded with features and has managed to undercut even hatchbacks in terms of price. This is more than enough for those on a budget, but not looking to compromise on modern features. On top of that, it has also received a four star safety rating from Global NCAP which adds a sense of security. The only chink in the Magnite’s armour is Nissan’s dealership network, which is not as widespread right now. Nissan has said they will improve on that, so if you can live with that, then the Magnite definitely makes a case for itself.

Read More on : Nissan Magnite Automatic

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