Does Kia’s sub-4-metre crossover SUV, the Sonet, have what it takes to win against the segment leader, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza?
Remember when Kia Seltos was launched in India last year and it suddenly became the bestselling SUV in its segment? The top spot has now been taken back by the Hyundai Creta, but the Seltos still enjoys strong sales regardless.
Now, the South Korean carmaker has unveiled its first sub-4-metre SUV for the Indian market, hoping to replicate the same success. Here, we shall analyse the specifications and features of the Kia Sonet against the segment leader, Maruti Brezza, to see how these two measure up against each other.
In terms of styling, these two cars stand at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Where the Sonet is sharp and futuristic, the Brezza is extremely conservative. The Sonet’s exterior is actually its biggest highlight. The sharp-looking headlamps, the single-piece taillamp, and the gaping front grille are all elements that will grab a lot of attention from onlookers.
The interior design is also brilliant, taking inspiration from the Seltos, evident in the joint housing for the infotainment screen and instrument cluster. The multi-faceted digital speedometer also adds a premium feel to the car.
Maruti had recently given the Brezza a facelift, but the design wasn’t altered too much, with the biggest changes being limited to the front and rear end. The abundance of chrome on the front grille, the LED headlights, and LED DRLs add a little sharpness to the face though, which looks cool. The interior design of the Brezza, however, remains unchanged from the previous iteration, and looks rather plain and boring, especially compared to other cars in this segment.
Kia has added plenty of segment-first features into the Sonet, like a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, front parking sensors, ventilated seats, and sound mood lights. Other impressive features on the Sonet include a 4.2-inch advanced instrument cluster, in-cabin air purifier, tyre pressure monitoring system, wireless charger, ventilated front seats, UVO connected car tech, sunroof, driving modes, and remote engine start (on automatic as well as manual variants).
The Brezza’s feature list is fairly impressive on its own but pales significantly in comparison to the Sonet. Maruti offers a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which has Apple Carplay and Android Auto but doesn’t offer connected car features. There is no sunroof, not even as an optional extra, but wireless charger can be added as an accessory from MGA (Maruti Genuine Accessories). The Brezza does get automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, and auto-folding ORVMs, which are quite useful features.
The Kia Sonet is available with three engine options, and even more transmission options! The first choice of powerplant is a 1.2-litre petrol engine (83 PS and 114 Nm) that comes paired to 5-speed manual. The second one is a 1.5-litre turbo-diesel (100 PS and 240 Nm), which can be had with a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque-converter automatic. The last one is a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol (120 PS and 171 Nm, which comes mated to a 6-speed iMT or a 7-speed DCT.
In comparison, the Brezza’s list of powertrain options is simple yet limited. There is one engine on offer – a 1.5-litre petrol motor – which is capable of generating 105 PS and 138 Nm. It can be had with either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic gearbox. The 1.3-litre Fiat-sourced diesel engine, which was available prior to the facelift, has been permanently discontinued now, as Maruti believes that diesel cars won’t drive passenger car sales anymore.
The Kia Sonet is expected to be priced from Rs. 8 lakh onwards, probably reaching up to Rs. 13 lakh for the top variants, making one of the most expensive offerings in the segment. In comparison, the Maruti Brezza is a relatively affordable option, priced between Rs. 7.34 lakh to Rs. 11.4 Lakh, but it also offers much fewer variant options and features than the Sonet.
Overall, we’d say that the Kia is simply the better choice here, as it not only has a wider range of engine and transmission options, but a superior level of equipment as well. We expect the Sonet to make its way into the bestseller’s list soon after launch, just like the Seltos did back in its day! (All prices quoted here are ex-showroom, New Delhi).