Kia Seltos vs MG Hector Real-world Comparison: Space, Comfort And Features

Published On Sep 09, 2019 By Nabeel for Kia Seltos 2019-2023

The Kia Seltos and MG Hector pack the potential to confuse even the smartest of buyers with loads of tech. That's why we got both of them under a shed and got our measuring tapes out


The MG Hector created waves when it was launched back in June for its size, features and the fact that there was ‘Internet Inside’. But Kia decided to rain on MG’s parade by offering the Seltos with a killer price, premium quality and, despite a smaller size, head-turning looks. This did not make the decision any simpler for buyers and hence, we decided to step in. Since you would have already seen the drive impressions in out first drive videos, our agenda today is to compare the cars on parametres like features, space and comfort. Let's get the answers by asking some simple questions. 

1 Which one turns more heads?


There is no doubt that the MG Hector is a BIG SUV. In fact, it is a whole size bigger than the Kia Seltos. This becomes obvious when you park them side by side. The Hector is a massive 340mm longer and 115mm taller than the Seltos. Dial in the large front grille with a big MG logo, voluptuous design and LED lights all around, and what you have is an imposing SUV with loads of road presence. And it only becomes better when the sun goes down. The LED headlamps and fog lamps look eye catching and are complemented by the dynamic turn indicators.


Kia Seltos

MG Hector













Boot Space

433 litres

587 litres (+154L)


The Kia makes up in style what it lacks in size. The sharp lines all around the body, handsome alloy wheels and a face which is unlike any definitely makes it an attention magnet. The headlamps pack intriguing DRLs which extend all the way into the grille. The indicator are just below the headlamps and the ‘ice cube’ fog lamps look stunning as well. There is so much of detailing in the grille and the chrome outline that it feels a little to much. But, this will make even the most uninterested of the onlookers stare at the Seltos. At the back, the sharpness continues and the LED elements in the taillamps round up the look. 


Both the SUV are sure shot head-turners. The MG gives you a large SUV feel with an imposing road presence whereas the Kia looks stylish and will be appreciated more by the younger crowd.  


2 Which offers the better in-cabin feel?


In-car feel is something a brochure will never be able to convey. It is a combination of the cabin design, quality, materials and the practicality it offers. Let's start things off with the Hector. The cabin here is dominated by that large 10.4-inch touchscreen. Everything else looks complementary to the infotainment system. Hence, you will end up either loving it or hating it. The material around the driver are all of good quality. The seats are dressed in black leather, the large steering wheel is wrapped in a soft leather and even the middle of the dashboard gets a leather segment. In terms of storage, you only have two cup holders and door pockets. 


Step in the Kia Seltos and the experience is a lot sportier. The flat-bottom steering has a much flatter bottom and the centre layout is tilted towards the driver. And while both SUVs do not get soft-touch plastics, the ones on the Seltos feel more premium. The cabin experience is further enhanced by the quality of features and the layout. For example, the speaker housing has a funky cover, the seats are ventilated, which is a boon in summers, there is a wireless charger with its own AC vents so your phone remains cool, and the touchscreen even gets a palmrest so you can operate it with ease. Furthermore, you have features like music-linked mood lighting, a heads-up display and a crisp MID to further enhance the experience. 


Overall, whether you like simplicity or a tech-loaded package, you will have a better time in the Seltos. 


3 Which feels more like an SUV inside?


Both in terms of looks and in-cabin experience, the MG Hector feels like a proper, conventional SUV. You not only sit higher up overlooking the bonnet, but the wider cabin makes the Hector feel like a larger car than the Seltos. Even in terms of the ride quality, the Hector portrays more SUV mannerisms then the Seltos -- more on that later. The Seltos feels more compact and hatchback-like in front of the MG. Even in the cabin, you sit lower down and it feels a size smaller. If you are looking for a proper SUV experience, it will be delivered by the Hector. 


4 Which one offers the better tech package?




The MG Hector gets a stunning 10.4-inch display as the centre screen which displays and controls a lot of the functions of the car. It has a display for the weather with Accuweather, media, radio, climate control controls, vent controls, navigation by TomTom and, of course, the Gaana app with a premium account. While Gaana is a convenience as you don't have to stream music from your phone, it requires precise touches to operate, which makes usability while driving a bother. But using the touchscreen feels like running a high graphics app on an old Android smartphone. Take for example the 360 degree camera. It has a low resolution and still isn't fluid. The screen changes in frames, which will keep you in two minds when you are close to objects.


Also, there are no physical controls for the climate control. You will have to use the touchscreen or give voice commands to change the settings. Having physical controls at least for the fan speed, possibility in place of the volume controls, would have been more ergonomic. Overall, while the screens looks fantastic, the features associated with it are not polished and you will have issues using them on a daily basis.  


While it might not look like it at first glance, the Kia Seltos’ touchscreen is also a massive 10.2-inches. The display is horizontally aligned and feels more crisp, but a bit less bright. It packs an array of information on the home screen but because of the neat layout, it all feels easy to use. Multiple menus can be customized including live navigation which lets you make better use of the real estate. Also, the system offers both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and cuts the extra screen on the right nicely. The Hector, on the other hand, just places the Android Auto screen bang in the centre and does not support Apple CarPlay yet. Furthermore, the Seltos’ screen lets you control the air purifier, perfume settings, head-up display and a lot more. The 360-degree camera here is also a lot better and much more usable.


Driver information display


The 7-inch MID in the instrument cluster does a good job of relaying essential information, but the low brightness makes it a little hard to read, especially under direct sunlight. The Seltos also gets a 7-inch MID which has a better display, is brighter and has better graphics. It even relays a feed from the ORVM camera for both sides when you indicate, eliminating the blind spots. Then there is the heads-up display which not only shows speed but also directions from the navigation. The system also accepts voice commands but again, it's not perfect. Other features like the wireless charger and air purifier with inbuilt car perfume dispenser round up the package quite nicely.


Sound System


Both get an 8-speaker system which is tuned by Infinity in the Hector and Bose in the Seltos. While the Bose sounds better on paper, it's the Infinity which wins this comparo in real life. It's much louder, has deeper bass and is just a more enjoyable experience overall. The Seltos’ system doesn't do justice to the Bose badge and while it offers a crisper sound, does not have the same impact. 


Connected Car tech


When it comes to the connected car tech, both of them remain more like gimmicks. But the Hector can handle more features like remotely opening the sunroof and tailgate, usefulness of which can be debated. Yes, both will be handy in a situation of emergency.


Unique features


Kia Seltos

MG Hector

Apple CarPlay

Cornering front fog lamps

8-inch head-up display

Gaana, Accuweather apps

LED Sound Mood Lights

Dual pane panoramic sunroof

Auto-dimming IRVM

4-way power-adjustable co-driver seat

UV-cut glass front and sides

Powered tailgate

Air purifier, Perfume diffuser

All windows down by remote key

Wireless charger

Ventilated Front Seats

2019 Kia Seltos First Drive Review: Diesel & Petrol

5 Which has the better sunroof?


2019 Kia Seltos First Drive Review: Diesel & Petrol

Hands down the MG Hector. The large panoramic sunroof here is probably the largest this much money can buy. It extends right till the head of the rear passengers and even the opening is much larger than the Hector. Nitpicking alert. The sun roof cover in the Hector is a thin cloth which lets in a fair amount of heat and light in. While this isn’t a bother on short drives or in cloudy weather, it could heat the cabin up on long highway stints under the sun. It's not like the Seltos has a small sunroof, but it just pales in comparison. If you like looking at the stars, or feeling like one, pick the Hector. 


6 Which one has more comfortable seats?


But things are a bit more complicated in this department. You see, the seats of the Seltos are more comfortable. They offer better support and are more comfortable for a family of four. However, if you want to seat 5, the Hector offers a lot more room. Plus, once you get going, it's the Hector which offers better cushioning over bumps and hence a more comfortable ride quality. Dial in the fact that it has larger windows and a ginormous sunroof, and the rear seat experience of the Hector gets better. But the Seltos makes up with better under-thigh support for the rear seats and sunblinds for the rear windows. Overall, if you want an SUV to be chauffeur-driven or have a family of 5, get the Hector. But for everything else, get the Seltos. 


7 Which one is better on Indian roads?


The MG Hector gets a softer suspension setup which filters out broken roads and speed breakers far better then the stiffer Seltos. Even on the highways, the setup of the Hector allows it to settle better then the Seltos, which ends up feeling jittery. Our only complaint is that this softer suspension takes some time to settle down after a bump. But if you like spirited driving, you will notice body roll on the Hector. It is not bothersome, but a lot more than the Seltos. The Kia Seltos takes on corners with an enthusiast’s heart and this is where its setup shines. Show it a bad road or bumps and it tackles them in a composed manner. But the smaller bumps and road imperfections do filter through into the cabin. Overall, the Hector comes out as a better driver for Indian roads. 


8 Which one gets better boot space?


Whether on paper or on the ground, the Hector offer considerably more boot space than the Seltos. On paper, the Seltos can hold 433 litres whereas the Hector can hold 587 litres, which is 154 litres more. This means that the Hector will be able to hold 1 large bag or 2 small bags more than the Seltos. But the loading lip of the Hector is higher, which will be a bother in lifting heavier bags. 

9 Which one wins?



If you were to tally the above results, it's a tie. So why did the Seltos win? Because of the quality of the features on offer. On areas where the Seltos is better than Hector, it's better by quite a margin. The Hector wins in more superficial categories like looks and sunroof, things whose novelty will soon wane, whereas the better designed touchscreen, wireless charging and cooled seats on the Seltos are features you will appreciate on a daily basis. While the Hector offers more on paper, it fails to deliver a seamless experience. However, if the features of the Hector were without their flaws, the verdict would have been different.


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