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Old 7th November 2021, 11:08   #1
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The usual Compact-SUV dilemma

Background:

We are a family of four, two of us in our mid thirties & senior citizen parents with knee & back problems. We currently own 7 years old Hyundai Xcent petrol which has been a very good companion for all these years. The usual running is approximately 10000-12000 a year at max which is 80% of city driving(Pune traffic) & 20% highway driving(This is post covid numbers). I love highway drives & intend to take on at least one road trip each year which we have been doing every year with Xcent.

Requirements:

Must haves:
1. Cruise control
2. Comfortable ergonomics
3. Good driver seat ( I am 6'1).
4. Easy on pocket in long term - do not like to spend too much of my time at service centers.
5. Long term reliability/support from manufacturer - intend to keep it for 7-10. years at least.
6. Good on safety, can do with less then 5 stars though.
7. Budget < 15 Lacs

Good to haves:
1. Auto
2. Aspirational value
3. Good fuel economy

Options Considered:

1. Kia Sonet HTX(DCT) - Took a test drive, loved it. Had it not been for unreliability reports on DCT gearbox, I would have already booked this one. Diesel AT is the next option but I do not think my usage justifies a diesel(Open to consider this if members feel otherwise). Manual could be an option but I am confused since I can afford an Auto for this.

2. Xuv 300 - Took a test drive, did not love it(No offence intended). Somehow this did not feel like an actual upgrade apart from height difference. Not being considered further.

3. Tata Nexon - Love the package but a bit sceptical about TATA's image & AMT gearbox. Again, manual could be an option but not sure if TATA can be trusted with long term usage as hardly see any old TATA car's that are niggle or rattle free in long term. - Still open.

4. Nissan Magnite/Kiger - Not being considered due to lesser presence of network, specially after what happened to Ford, Chevrolet and also because there are hardly any service centers around.

5. Brezza/S-Cross - Not a fan of their looks neither a fan of the auto gear box. Can afford manual but they feel too outdated as a whole package. Long due for a facelift.

6. Hyundai Venue - Missus is not a fan of how this one looks, also DCT gearbox is not confidence inspiring.

As it is pretty evident, we are pretty sold for Sonet but are unsure about the gearbox & Nexon is pretty close to being the next choice. The need is not an urgent one per say, we can wait till next year if there are some good upcoming launches.

Please do your magic & help us make an informed decision.

P.S.: This community is awesome, gratitude to team behind this

Last edited by Engine_Roars : 7th November 2021 at 11:10.
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Old 7th November 2021, 11:23   #2
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re: The usual Compact-SUV dilemma

Do consider the XUV700 as well; the base variant (MX) will fit right under 15 lakhs.

If 80% of your driving is going to be in the city, Cruise Control will add negligible value (since you've listed it as a must-have). There's only a handful highways in India where you can use it with at least some peace of mind.
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Old 7th November 2021, 11:36   #3
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re: The usual Compact-SUV dilemma

I have Sonet Diesel Auto. Its curently at 3500km odo. No issues at all.
Your usage doesn't warrant a diesel. And as your primary drive is within city conditions you may get DPF issues so better stick with petrol.

Petrol DCT gearbox reliability isn't too bad as per owners in our Sonet group. Out of the options mentioned this is the best one.
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Old 7th November 2021, 14:30   #4
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re: The usual Compact-SUV dilemma

I would suggest to consider the following :
- City 5th Gen : premium if not averse to sedans
- Nexon Petrol : can't recommend the AMT though
- Creta : slightly breaching your budget and if ok with the looks and safety
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Old 7th November 2021, 14:42   #5
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re: The usual Compact-SUV dilemma

The Sonet violates the safety point that you have listed as being important to you. If you do not mind that, it is a good feature laden type of car S-Cross definitely is the only real spacious, reliable, safe car but since you have dismissed it (hope you took a test drive), perhaps you can check out the MG Astor? It is also loaded with features and might catch your fancy
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Old 7th November 2021, 15:07   #6
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re: The usual Compact-SUV dilemma

If I am recommending, safety is my first priority.

I would suggest XUV300 or Tata Nexon. Both in its Manual avatar. More inclined towards Nexon.
Pros:
Both are rated best for safety.
XUV 300 Petrol Engine is really powerful.
Top End/Feature loaded within your budget.

I would always prefer to buy a top-end car rather than a mid/lower variant. e.g., XUV 700 AX3 variant. If you drive with your family, then a feature-loaded car keeps them entertained than a base variant.


Brezza is due for an update. But I'm afraid, if they go through their heartect-platform then, I doubt its safety (too early to comment). Sonet/Venue, though good has not been crash-tested. Kiger and Magnite are good products, ASS might be a bit difficult. If you leave in metros then do give it a try.
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Old 7th November 2021, 15:18   #7
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re: The usual Compact-SUV dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Engine_Roars View Post

....senior citizen parents with knee & back problems.

The need is not an urgent one per say, we can wait till next year if there are some good upcoming launches.
In addition to the suggestions considered and given, and keeping in mind new launches, the new Brezza launch is almost certain next year in India.
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Old 8th November 2021, 11:03   #8
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re: The usual Compact-SUV dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Do consider the XUV700 as well; the base variant (MX) will fit right under 15 lakhs.

If 80% of your driving is going to be in the city, Cruise Control will add negligible value (since you've listed it as a must-have). There's only a handful highways in India where you can use it with at least some peace of mind.
XUV700 is definitely a good & lucrative option but with the kind of usage that we have, 2 Litre engine & the size of vehicle looks like an overkill.

Regarding, cruise control, we tend to do Pune-lonavala-Mumbai using the expressway quite a lot & I feel cruise control could be a good addition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry10 View Post
I have Sonet Diesel Auto. Its curently at 3500km odo. No issues at all.
Your usage doesn't warrant a diesel. And as your primary drive is within city conditions you may get DPF issues so better stick with petrol.

Petrol DCT gearbox reliability isn't too bad as per owners in our Sonet group. Out of the options mentioned this is the best one.
Yes, Sonet is definitely the top contender. Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shancz View Post
I would suggest to consider the following :
- City 5th Gen : premium if not averse to sedans
- Nexon Petrol : can't recommend the AMT though
- Creta : slightly breaching your budget and if ok with the looks and safety
Sedans are out of equations as my senior citizen parents find it difficult to get in-out of low slung vehicles.

Nexon petrol makes sense but there is something about TATA Motors that puts me off. I am still trying to convince myself. I visited showroom yesterday for a test drive but it was not a great experience. They had the TD vehicle but no one to take the car out for a test drive. The experience was not good.

Creta - If nothing, fits in CSUV segment, I will move on to Seltos/Creta segment. For now, this has to be on hold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
The Sonet violates the safety point that you have listed as being important to you. If you do not mind that, it is a good feature laden type of car S-Cross definitely is the only real spacious, reliable, safe car but since you have dismissed it (hope you took a test drive), perhaps you can check out the MG Astor? It is also loaded with features and might catch your fancy
Thank you. Yes, safety & DCT gearbox are two points that have kept me away from booking Sonet so far. I might give in if nothing else fits in as Sonet is very close to what I expect from my next car.

MG Astor is another good option but I don't want to be the beta tester for MG so probably will hold till we have some real world usage reviews.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shashi792 View Post
If I am recommending, safety is my first priority.

I would suggest XUV300 or Tata Nexon. Both in its Manual avatar. More inclined towards Nexon.
Pros:
Both are rated best for safety.
XUV 300 Petrol Engine is really powerful.
Top End/Feature loaded within your budget.

I would always prefer to buy a top-end car rather than a mid/lower variant. e.g., XUV 700 AX3 variant. If you drive with your family, then a feature-loaded car keeps them entertained than a base variant.

Thank you for your inputs. Yes, I intend to get the top variants if they fall with in my budget.

Nexon petrol makes sense but there is something about TATA Motors that puts me off. I am still trying to convince myself. I visited showroom yesterday for a test drive but it was not a great experience. They had the TD vehicle but no one to take the car out for a test drive. The experience was not good.

We also test drove XUV 300(Manual), it did not actually felt like an upgrade except the height difference not sure if it was because of the age of test drive vehicle or because of Hyundai & Mahindra interior quality.

For now, XUV300 is out & Nexon is in provided I can get a test drive.

Brezza is due for an update. But I'm afraid, if they go through their heartect-platform then, I doubt its safety (too early to comment). Sonet/Venue, though good has not been crash-tested. Kiger and Magnite are good products, ASS might be a bit difficult. If you leave in metros then do give it a try.
Brezza is a good car but Maruti has not been able to update its product line up. If Maruti launches S-Cross or Brezza facelift in upcoming months, I will have a look otherwise Maruti is out for now.

Magnite/Kiger look like are good products but I am little sceptical on after sales & service network as I intend to keep this vehicle for at least 10 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by One View Post
In addition to the suggestions considered and given, and keeping in mind new launches, the new Brezza launch is almost certain next year in India.
Yes, I am counting on Maruti to launch an updated Brezza/S-Cross before I get the delivery of my new vehicle. I would even cancel my booking if Maruti could give something worth it.
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Old 8th November 2021, 12:18   #9
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re: The usual Compact-SUV dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Engine_Roars View Post
there is something about TATA Motors that puts me off.
You're not alone but if its the dealer then try another one and if it's the manufacturer then skip, no point putting in your money with that unsure feeling.
Buy the car that you're at peace with the most everything else is secondary.

Your requirements are perfect for an updated S-Cross which doesn't exist.
There are reports/rumours of a launch in 2022, check our related thread and hopefully the shortages would have been history by then.

Suggestions :
1. Since you're not in a hurry better to wait it out till it becomes a necessity and probably target the Creta segment which would open up more options. Maybe the EPC issues of the Kushaq twins are resolved for good by then.

2. If you decide that you've had it and want something now, get either the Sonet which you're already sold on(getting all warranties and keeping 2 lakhs extra for potential DCT issues) or try the Creta.

Good Luck.
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Old 8th November 2021, 13:04   #10
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re: The usual Compact-SUV dilemma

I think you should first narrow down on the Fuel Type.

If Diesel Manual, then the XUV300 is the beast which simply annihilates everything else.

If Diesel Auto, then Sonet D-AT is the one which is the best, by miles.

If Petrol Manual, then Sonet 1.0, XUV300 & Brezza 1.5P are good picks.

If Petrol Auto, the Sonet DCT is by far the best pick.
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Old 8th November 2021, 18:19   #11
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re: The usual Compact-SUV dilemma

If youíre preferring automatics majorly for the sake of your left knee, might I suggest the iMT?

I was one of the first bookings for Venue Sport iMT when it launched over a year ago now, and I honestly cannot recommend it enough. Of course, youíd probably be going for the same 1.0 Petrol Turbo in the Sonet body, but the driving experience should be the same.

-No clutch pedal, so no complaints from your left leg
-Very engaging drive compared to fully autos
-Full control over shifting means you can keep the engine in itís peppy range and avoid turbo lag
-Obviously quicker shifts than most other autos Iíve driven, so you donít need to plan for overtakes on highways
-Just 20k more than manual versions compared to the 2L premium of DCT
-Most of the engine/electronics are the exact same as a manual transmission, so you donít need a specialised mechanic to deal with your car
-Creeps in both 1st and 2nd gear, a major boon for one-pedal driving as itís my daily runaround in Mumbai peak hour traffic

While I understand being sceptical of new technology, this has been in the market for over a year now, and Iíve personally had exactly ZERO issues and Iíve not heard of others having any either. And mechanically, itís much simpler than DCTs or DSGs like the DQ200, so thereís simply fewer things that can go wrong. And with the 2022 Sonet Diesel being launched in iMT as well, this gearbox will have plenty of support for the future.

Do give it a test drive if you can, it might change your mind
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Old 9th November 2021, 09:53   #12
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Re: The usual Compact-SUV dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Engine_Roars View Post
Background:

We are a family of four, two of us in our mid thirties & senior citizen parents with knee & back problems. We currently own 7 years old Hyundai Xcent petrol which has been a very good companion for all these years. The usual running is approximately 10000-12000 a year at max which is 80% of city driving(Pune traffic) & 20% highway driving(This is post covid numbers). I love highway drives & intend to take on at least one road trip each year which we have been doing every year with Xcent.

Requirements:

Must haves:
1. Cruise control
2. Comfortable ergonomics
3. Good driver seat ( I am 6'1).
4. Easy on pocket in long term - do not like to spend too much of my time at service centers.
5. Long term reliability/support from manufacturer - intend to keep it for 7-10. years at least.
6. Good on safety, can do with less then 5 stars though.
7. Budget < 15 Lacs

Good to haves:
1. Auto
2. Aspirational value
3. Good fuel economy
Hello Brother,
I drive the 2017 model Honda BRV petrol version and I must admit that your preferences are same as mine, specially points 2,3,4 & 5... and our driving stats too match. PS: I carried my daughter on a 700Kms trip when she was 2months old, to Darjeeling/Sikkim on a 2000Kms trip when she was 5months old and again on a 1000kms trip when she was 11 months old... and all this along with my 70yrs old mother. Honda Cars are wonderful.
Secondly, I might sound out of your options BUT I would gingerly suggest you to wait for a MUV/SUV to be launched by Honda before 2022 and go for that. Honda fulfills the criterias you have demanded.
Of the current options of cars on sale now you have pointed towards, I would suggest none. Instead consider to stretch your budget and go for the Jeep Compass.
Have a great time researching options and enjoy the vehicle which you feel makes you happy.

Last edited by Sushil Pingua : 9th November 2021 at 10:02. Reason: Elaborate luxury
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Old 9th November 2021, 10:20   #13
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Re: The usual Compact-SUV dilemma

The DCTs in Hyundai \ KIA models are perhaps the highest selling DCTs in our country coupled with their direct injection turbo petrol (GDi) engines. Their popularity is increasing by the day with models like i20, Verna as well getting the DCT.

You are used to xcent which has a sizeable boot and roomy interiors, it would be a good idea to stretch till Seltos and pick up the petrol CVT automatic or even the MT if you are okay with shifting gears, a good upgrade nevertheless.
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Old 9th November 2021, 15:31   #14
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Re: The usual Compact-SUV dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Engine_Roars View Post
Background:

We are a family of four, two of us in our mid thirties & senior citizen parents with knee & back problems. We currently own 7 years old Hyundai Xcent petrol which has been a very good companion for all these years. The usual running is approximately 10000-12000 a year at max which is 80% of city driving(Pune traffic) & 20% highway driving(This is post covid numbers). I love highway drives & intend to take on at least one road trip each year which we have been doing every year with Xcent.

Please do your magic & help us make an informed decision.

P.S.: This community is awesome, gratitude to team behind this
I was in a similar dilemma last year and spent a long time deliberating over the right choice. As detailed out by you, no car is perfect and you will have to create a list of must have vs good to have features. Since I am in Bangalore, a good automatic was the topmost priority for me along with safety features. After taking a TD of all the cars in the sub 4m segment, I finalised on Nexon XMA (S) and went ahead with the booking. However, after waiting for 11 weeks and lackluster response from Tata Motors regarding the expected delivery, I was fedup and decided to TD the other cars once again.

One other thing which led me to TD the cars once again was the constant bashing of AMT cars on various TBHP threads and this time I wanted to take the cars for a spin for a longer duration to be absolutely sure. As expected, the AMT was a real let down in comparison to CVT and DCT gear boxes and I decided to finalise between Sonet and Venue. While Sonet has more features packed and looks better (subjective), I did not like the rear leg space and also 1.7 lakh OTR price difference in Bangalore between Venue and Sonet top end models was a deal breaker for me. The extra features offered by Sonet was in my good to have list and hence I decided to move ahead with the Venue. Further, Venue's DCT gearbox is slightly better tuned and quicker than Sonet. Considering all the above factors, I decided to change my booking to Hyundai Venue and post 5 months of car ownership, I am still happy about this decision.

However, I would also suggest you to consider Astor MT for your budget if automatic is not a mandatory requirement. All the best!
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Old 9th November 2021, 20:02   #15
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Re: The usual Compact-SUV dilemma

For Sonet
Remember sir that your parents too travel with you, your
height is above 6 feet so definitely seating position will be behind, therefore I feel that your parents will not like the rear seating, especially the leg room.
I had plans to book its sibling Venue, but cancelled due to DCT reliability and safety.

For Nexon
Check your area for service, Tata's brand image is improving, regarding the rattles, yes that's true.

I would rather stay with a little jerk for AMT rather than burn my money for repairs and be worried about DCT honestly.

Go for XUV 300 only if you want Manual.
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