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Kia Sonet vs Kia Seltos | Should you spend more on the Seltos?

The subcompact SUV segment in India has been around for more than 8 years now and the manner in which this segment has evolved is like no other. What kicked off with the likes Renault Duster and the Ford Ecosport, now has various new inhabitants of different shapes and sizes. Cars like the Hyundai Creta that were once compared with cars from the segment have now grown up to become mid-size SUVs. Filling the spot in their company’s lineup are crossover SUVs of similar credentials but smaller proportions. In the case of the Creta, its the Hyundai Venue. Similarly, in the case of the Kia Seltos, its the Kia Sonet which is scheduled for a launch in September 2020. 

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If there are any two brands which came out the strongest as a result of this paradigm then it’ll be the two South Korean car manufacturers, Kia and Hyundai. Their cars, Hyundai Creta, Hyundai Venue and Kia Seltos have set the segment on fire. The Kia Sonet has charged up the segment even before its launch with 6,523 bookings in one day. 

But before its arrival, we would like to find out the answer to the same question people asked when Hyundai launch the Venue. Should one spend more for a bigger Hyundai Creta? 

So today, we pit the Kia Sonet vs its elder brother Kia Seltos. Let’s find out if you should shred some extra rupees out of your pocket to buy the Sonet instead of Seltos. 

Kia Sonet vs Kia Seltos | Which SUV is more handsome? 

Kia Seltos vs Kia Sonet Side by Side
Kia Seltos vs Kia Sonet Side by Side

Thinking that the Seltos is bigger than the Sonet? We’ll come to that later. For now, let’s see which one is more good looking. You obviously want a good looking car if you’re willing to spend years of your savings on it. But let’s see if you really have to spend more for a better-looking car. 

Kia Sonet sure has inherited the “badass by design” character from the Seltos. Its got the same ‘ Tiger Nose’ grille which is much more pronounced on the Sonet. Its got the bulky front bumpers, tall side profile, all working in its favour. The tail light setup that runs across the tailgate is a fresh new element to the segment. Compared to the Seltos, the rear of the Sonet looks more modern. 

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The strongest point about the Kia Seltos design, on the other hand, is its front profile. The vibrant wraparound headlamp cluster running along the sides, the ‘Tiger Nose’ grille works great with the headlamps placement making for one seamless profile for the front. 

The Kia Seltos is a great looking car. Comparing it to its rival Hyundai Creta’s rather “hit or miss” design, it’s definitely a winner. However, considering the Kia Seltos and the Sonet, if your prime concern is having a good looking car, then you need to spend more for a Seltos. The Sonet makes for a striking enough car. 

Kia Sonet vs Kia Seltos | Dimensions

Kia Seltos vs Kia Sonet | Dimensions
Kia Seltos vs Kia Sonet | Dimensions

Now this will be the prime reason that’ll make people looking to buy the Sonet to consider taking a few more lakhs out of there banks to buy the Seltos instead. The Seltos sure is a bigger car and well who doesn’t like a bigger SUV, that’s the reason one opts to buy an SUV anyway. Here is the dimension comparison of the Kia Seltos and the Kia Sonet. 

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Dimensions Comparison

Kia Seltos Kia Sonet
Length (mm) 4,315 3,995
Width (mm) 1,800 1,790
Height (mm) 1,645 1,647
Wheelbase (mm) 2,610 2,500
Ground Clearance (mm) 190 205

The one thing that works in favour of the Sonet when it comes to dimensions is that it has more ground clearance than the Seltos. Ground clearance is one of the strongest selling points for an SUV. So if someone can make peace with the smaller dimension, the Sonet might just be a wiser choice for you.

Kia Sonet vs Kia Seltos | Cabin space

Kia Seltos Cabin Space
Kia Seltos Cabin Space

Well, it’s no brainer that the Seltos has a more spacious cabin with more legroom for the rear passengers than the Sonet. However, the Sonet’s cabin is perfectly suitable for four passengers as compared to arch-rivals, has sufficient space on offer. So, if you have a small family and would anyway prefer a smaller car due to the tight parking space outside your home, then you probably won’t regret picking the Sonet over the Seltos.

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Kia Sonet vs Kia Seltos | Features

Kia Sonet and Seltos Features Comparison
Kia Sonet and Seltos Features Comparison

The Kia Sonet comes ought to have all the features that the Seltos has like the smart UVO connect with all the connected car features, the works. Some first-in-segment features that the Sonet will have: 

  • 10.25-inch touchscreen 
  • 7-speaker Bose premium music system with factory fitted subwoofers 
  • Ventilated front seats    
  • A smart air purifier with virus protection 

Undoubtedly the best reason that will gratitude buyers towards Sonet instead of the Seltos is that most of the features that the Seltos had will now be available with the Sonet as well at a relatively cheaper price. 

Kia Sonet vs Kia Seltos | Powertrains

Engine Options
Engine Options

Kia Motors India recently announced that the Sonet’s Diesel variants will have the same engine as the Kia Seltos. The Sonet will get a 1.5-Litre Diesel engine making 99HP in the manual variant and 113HP in the automatic variant mated to a 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmission. 

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Petrol Variants of the Seltos will have the 1.2-litre petrol engine and the 1.0-Litre Turbo Petrol engine same as the Hyundai Venue. Like the Venue, the Sonet will also have three-transmission options, a 5-speed MT, A 6-speed iMT and 7-speed DCT for the petrol variants. 

Kia Sonet vs Kia Seltos | Specs comparison

Diesel Option Comparison

Kia Sonet Kia Seltos
Engine 1.5-litre 1.5-litre
Transmission 6-speed MT / 6-speed AT 6-speed MT / 6-speed AT
Power 99hp (MT) / 113hp (AT) 115hp
Torque 240Nm (MT) / 250Nm (AT) 250Nm

Petrol Option Comparison

Kia Sonet Kia Seltos
Engine 1.2-Litre  1.0-Litre T-GDi 1.5-Litre 1.4-Litre T-GDi
Transmission 5-speed MT 7-speed DCT / 6-speed iMT 6-Speed AT / 6-Speed MT 7-Speed DCT
Power  83hp 120hp 115hp 140hp
Torque 115Nm 172Nm 144Nm 242Nm

Comparing the specs of the Kia Sonet and Kia Seltos, there is no getting away from the fact that there is no replacement for displacement. So, if you want to buy a car for sheer performance and if you’re willing to pay for it, then you may pick the Seltos over the Sonet. 

We await the launch of the Sonet to see if it is able to put a dent on the Seltos’s sales figures. If the Kia Sonet priced aggressively with respect to the Seltos, would you choose it over the Seltos? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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Vaibhav Arora
Vaibhav Arora
Content Developer at GoMechanic | Auto Journalist | Been a car guy ever since i remember opening my eyes | Golden Age for cars is long gone | Guilty of hooning out on the streets |


  1. Investing in a car is the worst case scenario for the middle class in these times.
    Diff of Rs 3 lakh between the two cars with not much different in specs needs to be introspected.


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