The perfect compact SUV battle: Which one should you pick?

Topgear compact SUV comparison - Topgear Magazine India
Out of all the options out there, lets find out the perfect compact SUV for every type of buyer

The Kia Sonet has finally arrived in the Indian sub-compact SUV markets. The entire SUV segment has been gaining a lot of attraction these days and every time, a new and tough to beat player enters the market, the level of competition goes sky high. Equipped with some segment first features, and sold with a variety of option, to cater every type of customer. The Kia Sonet, surely threatens other top player of the segment, like Hyundai Venue, Tata Nexon, Mahindra XUV 300, Ford Ecosport and Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza.

Well, we can imagine the confusion every buyer must be having, before purchasing a compact SUV. After all, there are tons of options at different price in the market, which attract a lot of buyers. To solve this issue, we bring forward this detailed comparison of all top selling compact SUVs.

Design and Dimensions:

The first thing we see in a car is, the car itself. The design of the car plays a very important role, but is mostly subjective and differs from person to person. Still, on the dimension front, Ford Ecosport is the longest, with a length of 3998 mm. Whereas, the Mahindra XUV 300 is the fattest with a width of 1821 mm, followed by Tata Nexon with a width of 1811 mm, which will be helpful to accommodate three adults on the rear seats. But if that does not matter to you, the height surely will, and though the name makes us assume that these SUV’s will be compact, yet, they have plenty of space inside, thanks to smart engineering teams, working hard to utilize every bit of the space. So, the tallest compact SUV on the list, is actually a tie, between Kia Sonet and Ford Ecosport with a height of 1647 mm, which is followed by Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza at 1640 mm. Now, if you are wondering about the boot space, for the long weekend trips, the Mahindra XUV 300 has the smallest boot, at 257 litres and the Kia Sonet, again stands as the winner with 392 litres of boot space.

Kia Sonet - Topgear Magazine India
2020 Kia Sonet: Winner of the dimension round.

Power and Performance:

Firstly, the only car which misses on the diesel engine is the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. But that does not remove it out of the competition. It gets a peppy 1.4-litre petrol engine, which produces 103bhp of power and 138Nm of torque, which might not be very impressive, but the fact that this compact SUV rides with a Maruti badge, makes it a choice, worth considering. If you are looking for the mileage king, the car which tops our list, are the Hyundai Venue and Kia Sonet. Yes, both share the same engines and transmission and come with a huge variety of options, which offer a mileage between 18 to 24 kmpl. But if you are looking for a power packed performance solution, the Ford Ecosport and Mahindra XUV 300 are the go to, with the XUV 300 coming equipped with a 110bhp of power and 200Nm of torque, and a 115bhp of power and 300Nm of toque producing engine options, while the Ecosport comes with 100bhp of power and 128Nm of torque and a 122bhp of power and 215Nm of torque producing engine. The safest 5 star rated Tata Nexon also offers an impressive 120bhp of power and 170Nm of torque, and 110bhp of power and 260Nm of torque engine options.

Mahindra XUV300 - Car Magazine India
Mahindra XUV 300: The performance packed compact SUV, stands the name of “Cheetah” given by Mahindra

Safety:

In terms of safety features, fortunately, all the cars in the list, come with a minimum of two airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors, and a rear-view camera, as standard. The safest cars, as rated by NCAP, are the Tata Nexon and Mahindra XUV 300, who were awarded 5 stars in their safety test. The XUV 300 even comes with 7 airbags in the premium variants, while Hyundai Venue, Ford Ecosport and Kia Sonet also come with 6 airbags in premium variants. The Vitara Brezza, turns out as the loser in the safety round, with the lack of electronic stability control and tyre pressure monitor, which are present in every other SUV in the list. While, the winner of the safety round are the Kia Sonet and XUV 300, which are the only SUVs in the list to ace a front parking sensor. Also, in case you are wondering, Kia Sonet has also received a decent safety rating in the global safety test, although the car is yet to be tested in India.

Mahindra XUV300 The Safest Car 2020 - Topgear Magazine India
Mahindra XUV 300 is the winner of the safety round.

Features:

On the feature front, there are a lot of articles on the internet, where you can find a complete list of every feature in all these contenders. But, we bring the list of different and unique features, which could be deciding factor, before purchasing your daily driver. The industry standard for infotainment screen is roughly 7 to 8 inch. But the Kia Sonet gets the largest 10.25 inch touch screen infotainment system. Apart from this, the only car which misses on the sunroof is Vitara Brezza, while, Tata has made Nexon the most affordable compact SUV with sunroof available in the lower variants as well. Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet and Ford Ecosport are the only options, which come with connected car tech, which is very handy in these days, where you can control your car from the comfort of your house. On the feature front, most value for money and well balanced package is Kia Sonet, we say so because it comes with some segment first features like ambient lighting, traction controls, wireless charger, ventilated seats and also a air filter, which has been borrowed from Kia Seltos.

Kia Sonet - Topgear Magazine India
The Kia Sonet comes with a ton of segment first features, and has a balanced price structure to cater the needs of every customer.

Final Verdict:

The Compact SUV segment gained its popularity in India, with the arrival of Vitara Brezza Ecosport. While today, the entire segment is ruled by Hyundai Venue, which has been topping the charts as the best selling compact SUV, since past few months. But with the arrival of Kia Sonet, which is based on the Venue, yet comes with some handy features and a impressive price structure, makes us believe that the car will register several new records and has the potential to dethrone the Hyundai Venue. For every value for money and balanced car lover, Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet and Tata Nexon are the best options in the market. While for every performance and stability lover, or someone looking for ample of space at the rear seats, the Mahindra XUV 300 and Ford Ecosport are the right options and at last, for everyone, who simply want a balanced package with Maruti Suzuki badging, which assures hassle-free after sales service and a decent resale value, Vitara Brezza is the best deal for the buck.