In the highly competitive Indian automotive market, the compact SUV segment has emerged as the most popular and sought-after category, attracting the attention of numerous brands. In 2023, this segment will witness the entry of two new players, Honda with its Elevate and Citroen with its C3 Aircross. However, they might find themselves upstaged by the launch of the facelifted Kia Seltos, which has raised the bar for “feature-loaded” compact SUVs. Let’s explore ten key features that set the Seltos apart from its upcoming competitors:
1. Panoramic Sunroof
The Seltos, in its facelifted version, has joined the league of compact SUVs offering a panoramic sunroof, which has become a highly desirable feature among customers. While the Elevate features a single-pane sunroof, the Citroen C3 Aircross lacks this feature altogether.
2. Digital Instrument Cluster
With its update, the Seltos now boasts a 10.25-inch digital driver’s display, providing a connected and futuristic driving experience. The Honda Elevate features a semi-digital setup, and the C3 Aircross is likely to have a digitized instrument cluster.
3. Dual-Zone Climate Control
Setting a new standard in the segment, the Seltos becomes the first compact SUV in India to offer dual-zone climate control. This premium feature allows the front passengers to customize their climate settings independently for a more comfortable journey.
4. Multiple Powertrain Options
The Seltos stands out by offering a diverse range of powertrain options. In addition to petrol engines, it provides a diesel engine option, which is becoming increasingly rare in the segment. Moreover, it also offers both naturally-aspirated and turbocharged petrol engines. On the other hand, the Elevate only offers a single petrol engine, and the C3 Aircross comes with a turbo-petrol engine.
5. Various Automatic Transmission Choices
For each engine variant, the Seltos provides a specific automatic transmission option. It offers a CVT for the N.A. petrol unit, a 6-speed torque converter for the diesel engine, and a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission for the turbo-petrol variant. In contrast, the Citroen C3 Aircross will not have an automatic option at launch, and the Honda Elevate’s only automatic choice is the CVT.
6. 360-Degree Camera
Unlike its upcoming rivals, the Seltos offers a 360-degree camera, an invaluable aid in navigating tight and crowded spaces, which is expected to be available even in its fully-loaded variant.
7. Powered Driver’s Seat
The Seltos provides an electronically adjustable driver’s seat with 8-way adjustments, enhancing the premium feel of the vehicle. This feature, once reserved for luxury cars, is now offered in the Seltos but is absent in both the Honda Elevate and Citroen C3 Aircross.
8. Ventilated Front Seats
Another comfort feature that sets the Seltos apart is its ventilated front seats, which offer cooling options with adjustable fan speeds. This feature has been available in the Seltos since its debut and is absent in its upcoming competitors.
9. Bose Sound System
The Seltos elevates the in-car entertainment experience with its premium 8-speaker audio system from Bose. In contrast, the Honda and Citroen SUVs will offer audio systems but won’t have a branded audio setup like the Seltos.
10. 8-Inch Head-Up Display
The Seltos retains its head-up display, a feature typically found in more expensive models, providing basic vehicle information such as speed, fuel levels, and navigation directions. The Elevate and C3 Aircross will not have this feature.
While the Seltos facelift comes with an array of premium features, its prices range from Rs 10.90 lakh to Rs 20 lakh (ex-showroom), making it one of the more expensive offerings in the segment. On the other hand, the Honda Elevate and Citroen C3 Aircross are expected to be more affordable, with prices likely starting at Rs 12 lakh and Rs 9 lakh (ex-showroom), respectively. The Honda is slated for a September release, while the Citroen SUV could follow a similar timeline.