What’s the fastest way to make money in the Indian car market? Start selling a compact SUV. This segment of Cars has been on fire for the last few cars. It has the most neck-to-neck competition that you won’t find in any other segment.
Manufacturers are going to war. Everyone is trying to roll out better cars than the others by offering more and more features. But in all of this crowd only a few of these cars are worth buying and today we are going to be talking about the top 5 of them.
So, the 1st Car on our list is the Kia Seltos, the numbers it has done in terms of sales is no less than impressive, to give you an example, 9000 units of the Seltos were sold in January 2021 alone, that’s a lot of sales for a car of that price.
Coming from a country like South Korea from where we have already experienced Hyundai people were excited because we were finally going to see the battle between two of the best Korean automotive companies and as expected as soon as the Seltos entered the Indian car market, it went past threw the Creta so fast that Hyundai didn’t even get time to catch up with them.
Reason? Well, the design spoke for itself. There is no chance that you won’t turn your head once to see this car. It doesn’t look like that wannabe Robotic face cars that seem to flood the market.
And the balance of features and comfort allowed Kia to get an advantage because in this segment keeping a balance between these two aspects is not easy and the one who manages to balance these things simply wins.
Also, everyone had formed an image of Kia in their mind from their international products and the customers knew that Kia makes reliable cars and as Indians, we love cars that require minimal maintenance, another reason why the Seltos won the Indian market.
Now as we all know a car isn’t just about design, it’s about the little things inside the car as well that go unnoticed when you are driving the car, for example, the engine, the little attention to detail, the brakes, the suspension, and whatnot.
The sales number of the Seltos indicates that customers do like this car, they do. If I stand at a red light, I am pretty sure within minutes I would spot a Kia Seltos on the road.
If we talk about the impact this car had on the market, I am pretty sure that it was one of the very few cars that shook the segment when it was launched. Other manufacturers had to get working on their existing models because the Seltos outclassed all the compact SUVs at its time.
The Seltos has its cons, it’s not the best in terms of safety, yes it doesn’t have a wide reach across India as Kia is relatively new to the Indian car market but overall, it is a very good car.
Now we come to the car that used to be the star of the segment before the Seltos arrived in India, the Hyundai Creta. When it was launched for the first time, I immediately became a fan of the car, because it had such a great design, it had looks, comfort everything and it did feel like a proper premium car on the road.
And it was a decent car, on the road and off the road, but as time changes, so does competition. And to stay in competition manufacturers launch a different generation of their cars. The same happened with Creta.
The Goal of the 2nd Gen Creta was to regain that title of being the best car in the segment but unfortunately, it’s far from being the best car in the segment, the design is not as good as it used to be. Features are good but there are a few fields in which the Creta has gone down, for example, its handling is worse than the Seltos. Too much hard plastic has been used inside the car which ruins the premium feel that you used to get in the Creta.
All around it’s a good car and I fully believe that Hyundai will be able to get back to the top of the segment as they used to.
On Number three we have the Renault Duster, the Car that is and has always been the off-road king. It’s probably the only car in the segment which can do off-roading all day long without breaking a sweat.
Have always been a fan of this car since it was launched, its wide stance and its tank-like body build have always been the points of attraction for the duster. Also, it’s the perfect “Goa” Car for 5 friends, because of its practicality and wonderful ride quality.
Also, the duster is the very Car that gave Renault some traction in India, before the Duster Renault wasn’t as famous of a brand compared to what it is now.
In this all-new generation, the one thing I like the most was that Renault kept the silhouette of the car the same, they retained that design. Secondly, the engine is powerful and is not loud, that’s a win-win situation. There won’t ever come a point when you will feel that the Duster is underpowered.
Next up, we have the handling factor, body roll has been very well contained and smooth flowing design certainly helps in making the car drivability dynamic.
The Duster still has a few cons tho that I found like to point out, firstly the car feels outdated from the inside, it needs an update secondly it doesn’t have the features to keep up with the top contenders of the segment.
To sum it up in a nutshell, if I were in the market looking for a car from this segment, I would go with the Renault Duster.
Lastly, we have the MG Hector, which is without a doubt the most controversial car of the segment why? Because MG was entering India, there was a lot of buzz going around on the internet regarding what MG has achieved in the automotive world and how the Hector is going to crush every other car in the market and create a segment of its own.
Everything was going good for MG Until the issues start coming out and it came out at a rate that no one expected, some hectors caught fire, some customers received poor after-sales service from the brand and some are pissed off to a level that they labeled the Hector as the “Donkey” Car.
These did the brand’s image to a very large extent but the hector is not all that bad, it has some good points and bad points as like every other car, the good points being
space and comfort, it provides, the engine performance, the suspension, braking, and a few other things, there are a few points like the small tire size, the huge body roll, the gearbox, and too much use of complex electronics that have a very high probability of failure.
The one thing that I can advise you all on is that never buy a car when it’s just launched, the 1st and 2nd lot of the car are usually the one’s with the most defect and until these cars are not sold and tested by customers the real issues stay undiscovered, there is just my observation that I have seen with almost every mass manufacturer out there.
I am pretty sure though that in the future the hector will keep getting better and will most likely emerge as the best that the segment has to offer.
So, everyone, that will be all for my top 4 picks of the Compact SUV Segment. Do tell me which one was your favorite in the comments below.
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