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Kia Seltos Vs MG Hector Vs Jeep Compass — Does The Kia Seltos Have What It Takes?

Rahul Nagaraj

Kia Motors India is all set to launch its first product in the market, with the Seltos SUV. The Kia Seltos is one of the most anticipated mid-size SUV in the country and is set to go on sale on the 22nd of August.

Bookings for the Kia Seltos has officially begun and has already managed to receive an overwhelming response in the Indian market here are the details for the Kia Seltos bookings.

Positioned in India's highly competitive mid-size SUV segment, the Kia Seltos takes on stiff competition from a number of brands in the country. This includes the recently launched MG Hector and the premium Jeep Compass.

Here is a brief comparison of the between the Kia Seltos and two of its main rivals in the Indian market:

Design

Starting off with the exterior design, the Kia Seltos definitely is a head-turner. The SUV looks larger than what its dimensions suggest and offers an aggressive and rather sporty look. The Seltos looks like a proper SUV with a boxy design and a flat bonnet.

The front of the Kia Seltos comes with a rather aggressive design, featuring the signature tiger-nose grille flanked on either side by sleek and stylish LED headlamps. The headlamp cluster also comes integrated with a thin LED DRL strip, which runs across the top of the headlamps extending on to the grille as well. The headlamps also feature stylish looking LED turn indicators as well. The front also features a lot of chrome and silver accents surrounding the grille and the air intake below.

From the side, the Kia Seltos comes with a boxy design, with minimal styling. It does come with sharp shoulder lines running across the entire length, along with creases over the flared wheel arches. There is also a chrome strip running below the windows, ending with a kink in the c-pillar. The Seltos also comes with chrome door handles and silver roof rails as well.

The rear styling continues to follow the sporty theme. The Kia Seltos comes with sleek looking LED wrap-around headlamps, connected together at the centre with a chrome strip. There is also silver accents around the exhaust tips and the scuff plates, adding to the sporty and premium appeal.

Moving on to the MG Hector, the SUV comes with a massive stance; almost passing off as a MPV. It features a massive chrome grille up front with the 'MG' logo at its centre. The Hector comes with dual-headlamps on either side; with the sleek LED DRLs on top and the main LED cluster positioned below on the bumper.

The side profile is minimal with flared wheel arches, chrome handlebars and silver roof rails. The rear also comes with LED wraparound taillights with dynamic LED turn indicators, connected at the centre.

The Jeep Compass is the oldest of the lot in terms of its presence in the Indian market. However, the Compass still manages to look extremely sporty and up to date with its styling. The Compass is a premium SUV, with its signature grille up front, flanked on either side by projector headlamps. The bumper houses the fog lamps, scuff plates and the large air intake as well.

The side and rear profile of the Jeep Compass continue to offer a proportionate and sporty design. This includes flared wheel arches, sharp shoulder lines and creases and neatly styled LED wraparound taillights as well.

Overall Design Rating:
Kia Seltos: 9/10
MG Hector: 8.5/10
Jeep Compass: 8/10

Engine Specifications

The Kia Seltos is the only SUV in this comparison with three engine options. This includes two petrol and one diesel. The Kia Seltos is powered by a choice of either a 1.5-litre NA petrol, 1.5-litre turbo-diesel and a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol.

Both the 1.5-litre petrol and diesel options produce the same 115bhp with 144Nm and 250Nm of torque, respectively. These two engines come mated to a standard six-speed manual gearbox, with either a 6CVT or IVT automatic transmission as optional.

The smaller yet more powerful 1.4-litre turbo-petrol churns out 140bhp and 242Nm of torque. This engine also comes mated to the same six-speed manual gearbox as standard, however, receives a 7-speed DCT as the optional automatic transmission. Another important aspect to note is that the Kia Seltos is the only SUV in the comparison which offers BS-VI compliant engines.

The MG Hector comes with two engine options: 1.5-litre turbo-petrol and 2.0-litre diesel. The petrol engine produces 143bhp and 250Nm of torque. The petrol engine also comes with a 48V mild-hybrid system, which further enhances fuel-efficiency.

The diesel engine, on the other hand, is sourced from FCA; churning out 173bhp and 350Nm of torque. Both the engines come mated to a six-speed manual, with the diesel getting the optional 7-speed DCT automatic.

The Jeep Compass is also available with two engine options: 1.4-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel (same as on the MG Hector). The Jeep Compass is the most powerful of the lot, with the petrol engine producing 163bhp and 250Nm of torque and the diesel churning out 173bhp and 350Nm of torque. Again, similar to the MG Hector, the Jeep Compass comes mated to a six-speed manual, with the optional 7-speed DCT for the diesel unit.

Here is a compiled table of the engine specifications available on all three rivals:

Specifications Kia Seltos MG Hector Jeep Compass
Engine
1.5 Petrol/1.4 Turbo-Petrol/ 1.5 Diesel
1.5 Petrol/2.0 Diesel
1.4 Petrol/2.0 Diesel
Power (bhp) 115/140/115
143/173
163/173
Torque (Nm) 144/242/250
250/350
250/350
Transmission MT/CVT/IVT/DCT
MT/DCT
MT/DCT

Note: The Jeep Compass Trailhawk - top-spec variant, comes with a BS-VI compliant version of the 2.0-litre diesel engine, mated to a new 9-speed AT. We can expect the lower models of the Compass to receive this engine very soon.

Overall Engine Specifications Rating:
Kia Seltos: 8/10
MG Hector: 8.5/10
Jeep Compass: 8.5/10

Dimensions

The Kia Seltos is the smallest of the three in this section. The Seltos measures 4,315mm in length, 1,800mm in width and 1,620mm in height. This is 340mm shorter in length, 35mm shorter in width and 140mm lower in height compared to the MG Hector.

Here is a brief comparison table of the Kia Seltos with the MG Hector and Jeep Compass, in terms of dimensions:

Dimensions Kia Seltos MG Hector Jeep Compass
Length (mm) 4,315 4,655 4,395
Width (mm) 1,800 1,835 1,818
Height (mm) 1,620 1,760 1,640
Wheelbase (mm) 2,610 2,750 2,636
Ground Clearance (mm) 190 198 180

Overall Dimension Rating:
Kia Seltos: 8/10
MG Hector: 9/10
Jeep Compass: 8/10

Features

This is where the Kia Seltos scores the most. The Seltos offers a host of best-in-class and segment-first features and equipment. It comes packed with features, seen mostly in cars positioned one or two segments above.

Some of the features on the Kia Seltos include 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, fully-digital instrument cluster, 8.0-inch heads-up display, ventilated front seats, 360-degree surround camera view, 8-speaker Bose sound system, power-adjustable front driver and passenger seats, Kia's proprietary UVO Connect system, smart air purifier and a host of standard safety equipment.

The MG Hector also scores high on the feature list, mainly with its 10.4-inch vertically-stacked touchscreen infotainment system with AI-enabled voice-assist. The MG Hector also comes with an intelligent i-Smart technology with an e-sim embedded inside, offering internet connectivity on the go. This along with a host of other features and safety equipment offers stiff competition to the Kia Seltos.

The Jeep Compass, although the most premium of the three does feel a bit outdated in this section. It does offer a number of features such as a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and in-built navigation, electric sunroof, steering-mounted controls, various driving modes and a bunch of other safety equipment.

Overall Features Rating:
Kia Seltos: 9/10
MG Hector: 8/10
Jeep Compass: 7/10

Pricing

Kia Motors India is yet to launch the Seltos in the Indian market, hence pricing of the SUV is yet to be known. However, we do expect the Korean carmaker to price the Seltos competitively in the same range as the MG Hector. The British-brand which launched the Hector recently offers the SUV with a starting price of Rs 12.18 lakh while the top-spec comes priced at Rs 16.88 lakh.

The Jeep Compass is the priciest of the lot, with a starting price of Rs 15 lakh, while the top-spec 'Trailhawk' variant comes in at Rs 26.1 lakh. All prices are ex-showroom (Delhi).

Overall Price Rating:
Kia Seltos: NA
MG Hector: 8/10
Jeep Compass: 7/10

Verdict

If you are looking at purchasing a mid-size SUV in the Indian market, the Kia Seltos is definitely worth waiting for. With its sister company, Hyundai performing well in the Indian market, Kia will no doubt be looking at a similar strategy as well. The Kia Seltos looks good, offers a host of excellent features and is definitely an extremely attractive package. We will also be driving the Kia Seltos soon, so stay tuned to our detailed review as well.

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