MG Hector vs Kia Seltos: Upgrading from a Hyundai Grand i10

The MG Astor, Mahindra XUV700 and the Skoda Kushaq all seem to be viable alternatives as well.

BHPian TheVegabond recently shared this with other enthusiasts.


I'll try to keep this post short if I can!

The MG Astor price reveal has marked the end of a slew of CSUV launches this year. Like many of us, I was in an automotive excited state of mind for the last few months. I am really happy with the success of XUV700, Taigun, Kushaq (from the bumper booking numbers) and surely Astor will attract huge bookings. This means that we finally have viable alternatives to the Korean twins although they continue to remain strong.

Now to the topic:

My first and current car is a 2014 Hyundai Grand i10 Sports. The car has given me nothing but happiness. It has been reliable, taken me to the places where was not supposed to go, easy to drive and maintain. For 2014, it had the features which were only available in cars 2 segments above - push-button start, electric ORVM adjust and fold, cooled glovebox, rear AC vents and a cabin which felt supremely premium in comparison to the competition.

The ODO currently sits at 99,450 km with the last 9,450 km taking almost 1.5 years due to the pandemic. While the car still drives fantastic thanks to not cheap but effective authorized Hyundai service, I have been feeling the itch to upgrade to a new car for some time now and have been on a test drive spree in the last month or so.

With a budget of 15-18 lacs OTR in NCR, here is a list of requirements:

The Must Haves:

  • Sunroof - For my 6-year-old daughter a car is as good as garbage if there is no sunroof. This has meant that a lot of good options are out of consideration.
  • Space and comfort- We love long drives and a spacious cabin is a must with comfortable seats and a good aircon. Cramped rear seats have ruled out Kushaq, Taigun and Astor. I found the rear seats of Creta and Seltos to be more accommodating and comfortable.
  • Good ground clearance - with our road infrastructure providing off-road adventure within metro cities and my frequent drives to my hometown in remote hills, good GC is a must. This has effectively ruled out the Honda City.
  • Automatic - Time has come to keep the left foot stress free.
  • Safety - I don't think there is any safety feature in my Grand i10 other than the brakes and the seat belts. I drive in a relaxed manner and can do with a couple of airbags and some of the electronic safety features like ABS, ESP.
  • Petrol Engine - I have kept my Grand i10 for more than 7 years and intend to keep my next car for another 8-10 years at least. With the 10-year diesel rule in NCR and my yearly run of 6000-8000 KMs, the diesel engine does not make sense.

The Good to Haves:

  • Cruise control - Another means of comfort on long drives.
  • Lively engine - Can compromise but once in a blue moon I like revving the motor to feel the rush of speed.
  • Good Music system - Not the biggest infotainment system but adequate speakers will enhance the driving experience.

Test drives:

  • Kushaq and Taigun - 1.0 L petrol is like an energetic teenager who is eager to impress. The cabins of both these cars are cramped and leave much to be desired. It felt like sitting in a raised hatchback - rejected.
  • Kia Seltos - Test drove the new iMT and the regular 1.5l CVT - while the iMT is super easy to drive and great value for money, the cabin does not feel upmarket. A lot of hard plastics all around, fixed headrests on the back seat with no armrest - rejected. The HTX CVT although is not very aggressive but is quite smooth to drive. The honeycomb leatherette seats feel great with soft touches on the dash and doors - shortlisted.
  • Hyundai Creta SX CVT - Again a great package but expensive over the Seltos. Coming from the Grand i10, the cabin felt the same which turned out to be the deal-breaker for the home minister - rejected.
  • MG Astor turbo TC- Good outside and beautiful inside. Nothing the complaint about how it drives but nothing to be excited about either. Although the cabin is premium still it feels cramped in the back seat. The sunroof is awesome but the thin undercover looked cheap and ineffective. I am not interested in ADAS and all those AI gizmos - rejected.
  • MG Hector Shine CVT- The cabin is a party hall - there is so much space there. The car feels like a proper SUV and it is really easy to drive, add the comfortable seats in the premium cabin and you would understand why MG is able to sell it so well. the shine variant has made the Hector much more value for money if it was already not - shortlisted.

So, the Final contenders:

Kia Seltos HTX 1.5 CVT vs MG Hector Shine 1.5 CVT:

  • While the Seltos trumps in features, the Hector wins the space battle hands down.
  • The Seltos seems adequately sized while the Hector might be oversized for a city commute.
  • The Seltos has a better fuel economy but the overall fuel expense difference between the two should not be more than Rs 5000-7000 per year.
  • MG service program is far superior to that of Kia, I have met a few Hector owners and all are more than happy with MG service.
  • MG provides a 5-year standard warranty along with RSA while Kia has a 3-year program.

I have helped a lot of my friends and relatives with their car buying but when it's coming to me, I am turning to you auto geeks to help me out. Please pour in your suggestions and recommendations.

Here's what BHPian JohaanTJ had to say on the matter:

Appreciate the thought process that went in to arrive at that shortlist including the Hector and the Seltos. For someone who is looking for a spacious and comfortable cruiser, the Hector is the better choice here. It is almost a segment above the Seltos in terms of dimensions, space and offers a superior ride quality.

Here's what BHPian mpod11 had to say on the matter:

Got the Hector CVT in top-spec 'Sharp' trim recently. I would say that if you can stretch your budget by a couple of lakhs get the Sharp trim over Shine. It’s totally worth it. The music system upgrade and panoramic sunroof itself take the experience a couple of notches up. The car is easy to drive in the city and yes the fuel efficiency is not satisfactory but the brilliant ASS makes up for it. Have bought numerous cars but can safely say that MG dealer and ASS experience are amongst the best right now. The car has the road presence and the NVH levels of a segment above and feels much bigger and premium than the seltos.

Go for the Hector Sharp!

Here's what BHPian karan0009 had to say on the matter:

Based on your requirements, Hector makes more sense. Acres of space, soft suspension, back seat comfort, sunroof, good music system & decent safety kit. Plus it's a segment above from Seltos.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

Power to the people