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2020 Hyundai Creta vs Kia Seltos: Comparison Review

Published On Jun 22, 2020 By CarDekho for Hyundai Creta

Can the Hyundai Creta beat its sibling, the Kia Seltos, to regain its numero uno position in the compact SUV segment?

On paper, the Kia Seltos and the 2020 Hyundai Creta might be twin brothers, albeit not identical. They share the same chassis and drivetrain options but that is where the similarities end as both cars offer a very different experience. So in this comparison, we will tell you which of these siblings makes for a better family SUV. 

Looks

Although both cars are based on the same platform, every body panel used is different. They don't even share components like mirrors or door handles. Let's start with the newest car, the 2020 Creta. The Creta’s design is not beautiful but it is extremely eye-catching. The large front grille is in-your-face and the surrounding shiny chrome strip is a bit too loud. The ice-cube-like headlamp design is unique and the daytime LED light strip sits above them like eyebrows. Unlike the Seltos which also gets LED fog-lamps, the Creta makes do with simple halogen bulbs. At the rear, the Creta looks muscular thanks to the bulging bootlid, and the LED tail lamps too look modern. In profile, the Creta looks more conventional, with the flared wheel arches and boxy proportions giving it an SUV stance. 

The Seltos, in comparison, looks a lot more classy and sophisticated. Up front, the signature Kia ‘tiger grille’ looks attractive and the slim LED headlamps too are stylish. The sporty chiselled front bumper is complemented by the futuristic-looking LED fog lamps. At the rear, the Seltos’ design is conventional yet attractive thanks to the sporty bumper, stylish LED tail lamps, and thick chrome strip on the boot lid. Even in profile, the Seltos looks athletic thanks to the flared wheel arches and the sharply cut alloy wheels. The exterior finish quality on the Seltos too is a step above the Creta. Bits like the tastefully finished gloss-black grille and the knurled finish on the chrome strip above it give the Kia a more upmarket feel.

Measurement

Hyundai Creta 2020

Kia Seltos

Difference

Length

4300mm

4315mm

15mm (Seltos is longer)

Width

1790mm

1800mm

10mm (Seltos is wider)

Height (including roof rails)

1635mm

1645mm

10mm (Seltos is taller)

Wheelbase

2610mm

2610mm

Nil

Interior

Hyundai Creta cabin (turbo-petrol variant)

Inside, too, the Seltos looks more sophisticated than the Creta. The dash design on the Kia looks very European and high tech. Sure, the design isn’t original: the upper rectangular section that houses the 10.25-inch infotainment system and the instrumentation is inspired from the Mercedes-Benz E-class, while the air-con vents and the automatic climate control area reminds you of Audis. But when you put it all together, the dash design looks modern and elegant. The Creta, on the other hand, looks a lot more conventional. You get a well-defined centre console and all the controls fall to hand easily. The Creta has a lower dashboard too, which improves frontal visibility and also gives the cabin a more airy feel. 

Both these cars use the same 10.25-inch infotainment screen. The horizontal screen layout makes the touchscreen system easy to use on the move, and so do the big icons and well laid out functions. In both the cars, the screen is placed high up on the dash, but the display looks bigger on the Seltos thanks to the surrounding gloss black finish that matches the colour of the screen’s bezel. The Creta, though, has an advantage with it having physical buttons, which makes scrolling through the menus, especially while driving, easy. 

Like the exterior, even on the inside, the quality levels are a notch better in the Seltos. All the touchpoints on the Kia feel plush with the steering wheel, gear lever, and the armrest draped in leather. The Creta’s quality is good too, but look closely and you will find some cheap bits. The speaker grille, for example, on top of the dash could have been better finished, and even the black plastic surrounding the gear lever and climate control looks a bit plain. Both the cars in the 1.4 turbo-petrol variant get an all-black cabin with contrasting red stitching, which adds a bit of sportiness to the cabin ambience. Both cars also get ambient lighting, but with the Seltos you can choose between different colours. 

Space and Practicality

When it comes to space, both cars offer similar amounts of knee and shoulder room in both rows. But that's where the similarities end. Up front it is easier to find an ideal driving position in the Seltos thanks to telescopic adjust for the steering column. Apart from offering tilt adjust, the steering on the Creta is oddly designed, as the four-spoke layout fouls with the hand while taking a tight turn. Even the instrumentation layout in the Creta is a bit odd. You get a big high-resolution TFT screen which houses the speedometer and the trip computer. The screen is of high quality but there isn't much space left on either side, thanks to which the analogue dials for the tachometer, fuel and temperature gauges are extremely small and hard to read. 

Hyundai Creta front seats (turbo-petrol variant)Hyundai Creta rear seats (turbo-petrol variant)

In terms of seating comfort, the Seltos’ seats have a more snug fit but the cushioning is a bit hard and over long journeys, you will find the Creta’s softer front seats more comfortable. Even at the rear, the Creta’s seats offer better comfort. Hyundai engineers have scooped out the rear of the seat base thanks to which it offers more under thigh support. Like at the front, the seat cushioning at the rear too is softer and comfier than the Seltos, and the huge panoramic sunroof lends the Creta an airier cabin ambience. The Seltos’ rear seat isn’t all that bad, but compared to the Creta it does feel a bit claustrophobic and the plastic panel on the back of the front seat also fouls with your shin. Both these cars offer similar features at the back to make life more soothing. You get rear AC vents, a USB port, rear window sunblinds and an adjustable backrest. A glaring omission in the Creta, however, is the lack of adjustable headrest for the centre rear passenger.

In terms of practicality, you get a similar amount of storage space in both these cars' cabins,  though the execution is better in the Hyundai. Up front the storage space around the gear lever is bigger in the Creta and even the glovebox is more voluminous than that of the Seltos. Door pockets are of similar size but a well-defined layout in the Creta makes sure that items don't move around while driving. 

At 433 litres, boot space on both the cars is identical, and the boot shape is similar as well. In our standard luggage test we were able to fit a full-size suitcase and an overnighter with the parcel tray in place in both the cars. If you remove the parcel shelf you can fit a full-sized, a medium and an overnighter suitcase with ease. You also get a 60:40 split-folding rear seat in both the cars for added practicality.     

Safety and Features

The Seltos and Creta are loaded with equipment but their headline features are very different. Let’s look at their common features first. Both cars get an 8-way powered driver’s seat, cooled front seats, push-button engine start-stop, engine drive modes, automatic climate control, 10.25-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, connected car tech, leather upholstery, wireless charging pad, TPMS (tyre pressure monitoring system), ESP and six airbags on the top-of-the-line variants. These SUVs are also offered with a premium Bose audio system but the one in the Creta has more clarity and unlike in the Seltos, you also get a separate subwoofer for punchier bass. 

In terms of unique features, the Seltos offers a heads-up display, telescopic adjust for the steering wheel and sound mood lighting. You also get high-tech safety features like 360-degree camera, blind view monitor, front parking sensors, and an adjustable headrest for the centre rear passenger. 

The Creta, on the other hand, offers more wow features like paddle shifters on the automatic variant, electronic parking brake and a huge panoramic sunroof. 

Performance

Both the 2020 Hyundai Creta and the Kia Seltos are powered by the same 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine. While the Seltos also offers a manual transmission with this engine option, the Creta comes only with the 7-speed DCT gearbox. Power and torque figures for both are identical at 140PS and 242Nm. So considering they are powered by the same powertrains, the driving experience should be similar right? Wrong!

As soon as you start driving you realise the Creta feels smoother and calmer than the Seltos. Where the Seltos’ dual-clutch gearbox is tuned to give instant power, the Creta’s gearbox calibration feels more laidback yet quick enough. As a result, the Creta feels easier to drive in stop-go traffic, while the Seltos feels a bit jerky and too enthusiastic at times even in Eco mode. The Creta too isn’t perfect, as the DCT gearbox doesn’t feel as smooth as say a torque converter or a CVT transmission. But compared to the Seltos, it feels plusher at low speeds. 

Out on the highway, however, both these cars feel very similar. Their quick-shifting dual-clutch gearboxes help you with instant acceleration if you want to do a quick overtake, and the punchy engine has loads of performance on offer. They cruise in a relaxing manner too thanks to a tall seventh gear ratio. In our acceleration tests, both cars posted similar times with 0-100kmph coming up in 9.4 seconds for the Creta, with the Seltos just a whisker slower.

Other than a smoother powertrain, sound insulation too is much better on the Creta. You hear less engine noise and even road and wind noise is kept to a minimum. 

Hyundai Creta 2020

Kia Seltos

Engine

1.4-litre turbo

1.4-litre turbo

Transmission

7-speed DCT 

7-speed DCT 

Power/Torque

140PS/242Nm

140PS/242Nm

0-100kmph

9.41s

9.51s

20-80kmph in kickdown

5.55s

5.47

Braking (100-0kmph)

40.12m

40.93m

Ride and Handling

When it comes to ride too, the Creta feels much more pliant and comfortable than the Seltos. Where the Seltos’ suspension tends to thud through the smallest of road imperfections, the Creta glides over them with ease. The suspension on the Creta works silently and overall, it gives you a plush driving experience. Even while cruising out on the highway, the Creta’s ride feels settled while in the Seltos, there is constant movement even over relatively smooth surfaces. Combine the pliant ride with the comfier seats, quieter cabin and airy interior, the Creta is easily the more comfortable car of the two.

The stiffer suspension does help the Seltos feel sportier when it comes to handling. It rolls less in corners and even the steering feels more natural and precise of the two. But the Seltos does tend to get unsettled by mid corner bumps, which isn’t the case with the Creta.

Verdict

When we first drove the Seltos, we came away impressed by the breadth of its abilities. It felt classy both inside and out, build quality was impressive and it was loaded with features. However, we weren’t too impressed with the ride comfort and now with the launch of the 2020 Creta, this deficiency is highlighted even more. 

Sure, the Creta might not look sophisticated on the outside, but this car’s sophistication lies in its drive experience. It has more comfortable seats, a smoother gearbox, more pliant ride, a quieter cabin, and features like a massive panoramic sunroof that uplift the overall cabin ambience. 

Overall, you won’t be disappointed by either of the cars but our vote for the best one for your family would go to the Hyundai Creta.

Words- Ameya Dandekar

Hyundai Creta

Variants*Ex-Showroom Price New Delhi
E Diesel (Diesel)Rs. 9.99 Lakh*
EX Diesel (Diesel)Rs. 11.60 Lakh*
S Diesel (Diesel)Rs. 12.88 Lakh*
SX Diesel (Diesel)Rs. 14.62 Lakh*
SX Diesel AT (Diesel)Rs. 16.10 Lakh*
SX Opt Diesel (Diesel)Rs. 15.90 Lakh*
SX Opt Diesel AT (Diesel)Rs. 17.31 Lakh*
E (Petrol)Rs. 9.81 Lakh*
EX (Petrol)Rs. 10.60 Lakh*
S (Petrol)Rs. 11.83 Lakh*
SX (Petrol)Rs. 13.57 Lakh*
SX IVT (Petrol)Rs. 15.05 Lakh*
SX Opt IVT (Petrol)Rs. 16.26 Lakh*
SX Turbo (Petrol)Rs. 16.27 Lakh*
SX Turbo Dualtone (Petrol)Rs. 16.27 Lakh*
SX Opt Turbo (Petrol)Rs. 17.31 Lakh*
SX Opt Turbo Dualtone (Petrol)Rs. 17.31 Lakh*

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