Here, we have a brief on-paper comparison of the upcoming Kia Sonet and the Tata Nexon, in terms of styling, powertrains, and equipment
With the Kia Sonet officially unveiled, and launch slated for around the Diwali season, the subcompact SUV segment is about to experience a lot of action. Its elder sibling, the Seltos, has helped Kia become one of the fastest-growing carmakers in India, and Sonet is expected to bring the same level of success to the table.
Tata Nexon, one of the most popular vehicles in this market space, will surely feel the heat of the competition after the entry of the little Kia SUV. Should the Indian manufacturer be worried though? Here, we compare the Sonet and Nexon to find out how they stack up against each other.
In the design department, both the Nexon and the Sonet have a lot to offer. The Kia’s little SUV has a very aggressive and sporty exterior, with more sharp edges than curves on its body. The front end of the car sports a pair of sharp-looking LED headlights, a massive front grille, and a large air dam. The single-piece taillamp and the red-accents (on GT Line) further enhance the visual appeal. The interior design also carries the same aggression, and just like the Seltos, the Sonet’s infotainment screen is conjoined with the instrument cluster housing.
As for the Tata Nexon, it also has an impressive exterior styling, but it takes a completely different approach. The headlamp design takes some inspiration from Range Rover Sport, and the high bonnet line makes it feel a little bigger than it actually is. The tri-arrow elements on the front grille and the dual-tone surrounds for the fog lamps look brilliant. At the rear, the LED taillamps look lovely as well. The interior looks classy rather than sporty, especially with the tri-arrow pattern across the dashboard.
Kia Sonet will be the first car in this segment to offer a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, front parking sensors, ventilated seats, and sound mood lights. Other than that, it will also have a digital-instrument cluster, in-cabin air purifier, ventilated front seats, 7-speaker Bose audio system, tyre pressure monitoring system, wireless charger, sunroof, driving modes, remote engine start (on AT as well as MT variants), UVO connected car tech, and six airbags (on top trim).
Although the Tata Nexon is an extremely feature-loaded car, it’s still a few steps behind the Sonet. It gets a fully-digital instrument cluster, dual-airbags, height-adjustable seatbelts, tyre pressure monitoring system, 8-speaker Harman audio system, automatic headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, sunroof, and iRA connected car technology. Surprisingly, the Nexon doesn’t have an option for six airbags yet, which the Sonet gets, although it does get a cooled glovebox.
The Kia Sonet will be available with three engine options – a 1.2-litre petrol (83 PS and 114 Nm), a 1.5-litre turbo-diesel (100 PS and 240 Nm), and a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol (120 PS and 171 Nm). There will be multiple transmission options on offer, including a 5-speed manual (1.2L), a 6-speed manual (1.5L), a 6-speed automatic (1.5L), a 6-speed iMT (1.0L), and a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox (1.0L).
Tata Nexon has just two engine options available. The first one is a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol, which can develop a maximum power of 120 PS and a max torque of 170 Nm. The second one is a 1.5-litre turbo-diesel unit, which generates 110 PS and 260 Nm of peak power and torque, respectively. There are two transmission options available on both the motors – a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed AMT. The Nexon also has an electric version, which is rated at 129 PS and 245 Nm, but we’ll keep that one out of this comparison for now.
The official pricing of the Kia Sonet isn’t out yet, but we expect it to be a priced between Rs. 8 lakh and Rs. 13 lakh. Tata Nexon, on the other hand, starts at just Rs. 6.94 lakh for the base trim, going all the way up to 12.69 lakh for the top trim diesel model (all prices quoted here are ex-showroom, New Delhi). In terms of sheer affordability, the Nexon has the Sonet beat, but on the top trims, it is the Kia which is the more premium offering.
While we still can’t comment on the Sonet’s seating and comfort yet, it does seem to have an edge over the Nexon most other aspects, especially with the better equipment on-board and plenty of first-in-class features.