Skoda Kushaq vs Hyundai Creta vs Kia Seltos

Skoda Kushaq

What you’ll like:

  • A breath of fresh (European) air in a sea of Korean, Chinese & Indian SUVs
  • Classy exterior & interior styling matched with solid European build quality
  • Cabin has good legroom to offer, supportive seats, perfect ergonomics & lots of storage
  • 148 BHP engine makes the Kushaq one of the most fun-to-drive crossovers in the segment
  • Sporty 1.0L & 1.5L turbo-petrols are mated to slick 6-speed MTs & smooth ATs
  • Sorted suspension offers a balanced ride & handling package
  • Safety features include 6 airbags (sadly MT only), ESC (all variants), 3-point seatbelts for all, electronic differential lock, brake disc wiping, multi-collision brake and more
  • 6-year extended warranty & 4-year all inclusive service packages available
  • Features like active cylinder tech, ventilated seats, sunroof, wireless Android Auto and CarPlay, audio system with a punchy subwoofer, auto headlamps & wipers etc.

What you won’t:

  • No 1.5L diesel is a major disadvantage in a world where petrol costs over 100 bucks / litre
  • DQ200 DSG transmission has a history of poor reliability & breakdowns in India
  • Narrow width makes a 5th adult completely unwelcome. Best for 4 onboard
  • Lovely 1.5L TSI is only available on the top variant
  • At 385 litres, boot space is lesser than its direct rivals (Creta & Seltos = 433L)
  • Sure lacks the street cred / presence offered by some competitors
  • Skoda’s notorious dealerships & after-sales horror stories
  • Missing some now expected features such as 6 airbags on the ATs, driving modes (sport), panoramic sunroof, 360-degree camera, electric driver’s seat adjustment & regular USB ports
  • Turbo-petrols are very sensitive to driving style. FE will drop drastically when you drive hard

Review Link

Hyundai Creta

What you’ll like:

  • A superbly engineered all-rounder that delivers a premium experience
  • We find the Hyundai Creta to be well-priced for what it offers
  • User-friendly interiors with sufficient space & good quality parts
  • Loved the 1.4L turbo-petrol & 1.5L diesel. These are fantastic engines
  • Smooth & competent automatic gearboxes available. With the useful “auto-hold” feature too
  • Sorted road manners & handling for a Hyundai, including on the highway. You will be surprised!
  • The Creta’s safety package includes 6 airbags, ESP, all-wheel disc brakes, TPMS etc.
  • Impressive kit (panoramic sunroof, paddle shifters, Bose sound system, cooled seats, cabin air purifier & loads more)
  • Hyundai’s competent after-sales service, fuss-free ownership & upto 5-years standard warranty

What you won’t:

  • Oddball love it or hate it styling. We find the Creta’s exterior design to be too weird & futuristic
  • Firmer suspension isn’t as cushy as the 1st-gen Creta. It is more comfortable than the Seltos though
  • Back seat’s width makes it better for 2 adults and a kid, rather than 3 adults
  • Some misses (no auto wipers, 360-degree camera, illuminated window buttons, full-size spare tyre on top trims)
  • Dual-clutch ATs (like the Hyundai Creta Petrol DCT) have a history of poor reliability in India
  • Diesel’s 113 BHP & 250 Nm – although adequate – are the lowest in the segment. Old 1.6L CRDi was superior
  • No manual transmission available with the fast 1.4L Petrol (Seltos offers this combo)
  • The stiffer Seltos has an edge in the handling department. IMHO, the Kia is better looking too
  • You get bigger SUVs & Crossovers for the same money (e.g. Hector, Harrier, XUV500)

Review Link

Kia Seltos

What you’ll like:

  • A superbly engineered all-rounder that delivers a premium experience
  • Handsome, contemporary styling. Looks very sharp
  • We find the Seltos to be well-priced for what it offers
  • Nice, user-friendly interiors with sufficient space & good quality
  • Loved the 1.4L turbo-petrol & 1.5L diesel. They are BS6 compliant too
  • Both the automatics – Diesel AT & Petrol DCT – are simply fantastic!
  • Mature on-road behavior, including at highway speeds. A+ brakes as well
  • Unusually wide variant offering. Seems there is something for everyone
  • Safety kit includes 6 airbags, ESP, all-wheel disc brakes, blind spot monitor, TPMS etc.
  • Impressive kit (360 degree camera, HUD, front parking sensors, Bose sound system, cooled seats, cabin air purifier & loads more)

What you won’t:

  • Barely managed 3-stars in the GNCAP crash tests (full discussion)
  • Firm suspension. Liveable, but bad roads will bother you (especially on 17″ wheel variants)
  • Back seat’s width makes it better for 2 adults and a kid, rather than 3 adults
  • Niggles are being reported by owners (details here)
  • Some misses (illuminated window buttons, thinner spare tyre on top trims, no dual-tone option on GTX+ / HTX+)
  • Dual-clutch ATs (like the Petrol DCT) have a history of poor reliability in India
  • Diesel’s 113 BHP & 250 Nm – although adequate – are the lowest in the segment.
  • Extremely confusing & complicated variant spread. We still haven’t gotten the hang of it!
  • Kia’s after-sales service quality is an unknown. We await details in our ownership reports
  • You get bigger SUVs & Crossovers for the same money (e.g. Hector, Harrier, XUV500)

Review Link

Jeep Compass

What you’ll like:

  • Handsome Cherokee-inspired styling & loads of character
  • Solid build. Feels very robust, just as a Jeep should
  • Powerful 2.0L diesel. Good driveability in the city, fast on the open road
  • 1.4L turbo-petrol makes 161 BHP! Offers fast performance.
  • Mature suspension setup, nicely-tuned EPS & rock-solid stability
  • Capable AWD available (unlike some competitors)
  • City-friendly: Compact size, higher seating, smooth gearshift, soft clutch & low NVH
  • Topnotch safety: Strong all-disc brakes, a plethora of electronic aids & 6 airbags
  • We think the Compass is well-priced for what it offers. The driving experience & overall package feel premium

What you won’t: 

  • Small size for the price! A sentiment echoed by most people who saw it in person
  • Suitable for 4 adults, not 5. Boot is small too
  • Inexplicably, only the AWD Diesel gets 6 airbags! All other variants have 2
  • Tiny dealership network. Plus, after-sales quality & long-term reliability are unknown factors
  • AWD’s premium is over 2 lakh rupees on-the-road. Includes 4 extra airbags, but is still too much
  • Turning radius of 5.65m is wide. Also, 17º approach angle is too low
  • Missing goodies (blanks on the steering, auto-dimming IRVM, auto wipers & headlamps, lumbar adjustment, reclinable rear seats)

Review Link

Review Link – Petrol AT

Link to Report – The Trailhawk

Tata Harrier

What you’ll like:

  • Smooth & competent 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Stunning looks & strong road presence. Solid build too
  • Classy, spacious cabin with comfortable seats & a chilling air-con
  • Fantastic 9-speaker audio system. Sound quality & bass are enjoyable
  • The Harrier’s 2.0L diesel now gets 30 BHP more & offers good performance
  • 205 mm of ground clearance + terrain response system. Latter will make monsoon driving safer
  • Topnotch safety kit includes 6 airbags, ESP, break reminder, hill hold, brake disc wiping & more
  • Features such as the panoramic sunroof, Eco & Sport modes, auto headlamps & wipers, cruise control…

What you won’t:

  • Heavy steering gets cumbersome at parking / u-turn / crawling speeds (<5 km/h)
  • Harrier AT’s focus is on smoothness & comfort; gearbox is not the most responsive
  • Concerns over niggles & long-term reliability associated with Tata cars
  • Service visit every 6 months / 7,500 km (12-months is the norm today)
  • Diesel engine does get loud at 3,500 rpm & its engine note is quite sad too
  • No petrol option (almost all competitors offer it). No AWD for enthusiasts either
  • Although improved, the Harrier’s steering @ 120 km/h is still a level too sensitive
  • Tata’s after-sales service quality is a hit or miss. Remains a gamble

Review Link

Review Link – Diesel AT

MG Hector

What you’ll like:

  • Big size & lots of bling for the money! We find the Hector to be well-priced
  • A spacious cabin that can easily seat 5 adults. Massive 587 litre boot too
  • Fiat-sourced 2.0L diesel is simply fantastic
  • Compliant ride quality. Suspension is tuned for comfort
  • Lots of kit (panoramic sunroof, 360-degree camera, electric seats & tailgate etc.)
  • ‘Connected’ Tablet ICE with an embedded SIM & lovely sound quality
  • 5-year / unlimited km warranty with roadside assistance
  • Top safety equipment includes 6 airbags, ESP, HSA, all-wheel disc brakes, TPMS & more

What you won’t:

  • Awkward styling on the side & rear profiles. Looks weird from some angles
  • Sloppy high-speed handling, noticeable body roll & easy understeer
  • The petrol engine is “adequate” at best. Its guzzling Automatic variant is unimpressive
  • No Diesel AT (Creta, Seltos, XUV500, Hexa offer this combination, which we love)
  • Some annoyances like the ~6 meter turning radius, strange rpm meter…
  • Small after-sales network. Service quality & long-term reliability are big unknowns
  • Waiting period runs into a couple of months
  • Don’t get blinded by the British branding. This is a Chinese car

Review Link

Mahindra XUV500

What you’ll like:

  • A well-engineered, contemporary SUV with a value-for-money price tag
  • More mature styling. Front end no longer looks garish
  • Acres of space on the 1st & 2nd seat rows
  • Competent engine delivers fantastic urban driveability, as well as fast highway performance
  • Balanced ride & handling package
  • Safety kit includes 6 airbags, ESP with rollover mitigation, ABS + EBD and all-wheel disc brakes
  • Expansive feature list (sunroof, touchscreen ICE, powered driver’s seat, cruise control etc.)

What you won’t:

  • Absolutely no luggage capacity with all the seats in place
  • Cramped 3rd seat row is best suited to children only. A sliding middle row is sorely missed
  • Interior quality, although better, still has a lot of scope for improvement
  • Clutch is lighter now, but has a long travel range & high resting point. Gets cumbersome in traffic
  • Niggles & issues, as reported by existing XUV500 owners
  • Mahindra’s inconsistent sales & service experiences

Review Link

Review Link – Diesel AT

Volkswagen T-Roc

Launch Thread

Seahawk’s Ownership Review

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