NEW DELHI: The competition in the sub-compact SUV segment in India is about to get very fierce in the coming times. With the Kia Sonet premiere in a couple of days and Nissan Magnite slated to launch later in 2020, it definitely will be an interesting battle to watch out for.
A battle, however, not just between these two cars but a battery of SUVs they will be up against. The best-seller Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, ever-growing Hyundai Venue and the potential Mahindra XUV300, Tata Nexon and Ford EcoSport will all vie for the leadership. The sub-compact SUV segment has been on the rise, and inarguably has a cut-throat competition with little differentiating the models.
Nissan has already tested the waters with its compact SUV Kicks and is now ready with its second India-exclusive offering. Kia, on the other hand, is aspiring to storm into the sub-compact SUV segment in India with Kia Sonet.
Both the compact SUVs have been the talk of the town for quite a while now. And with the official renders and new teasers coming up frequently, it looks like Sonet and Magnite have already locked their horns even before hitting the roads.
Kia Sonet, which was showcased in the Auto Expo 2020, appears to be bold and feature-loaded in the official concept designs. This does suggest that the Korean automaker had different plans for the production model all along. The Kia Sonet appears more bulked up in the concept designs. The first take from the Kia Sonet’s concept is its well-proportioned and Seltos-inspired design.
03:26Nissan Magnite SUV concept
The Sonet with a longish bonnet and strong character lines, signature tiger-nose grille, unique DRLs, foglamps placed right above the air inlets give the sub-compact SUV a very aggressive stance. The exaggerated thick wheel arches and what appears to be a shoulder line running towards the back add to the muscularity of this sub-compact SUV. The roof rails blend in perfectly and add to the bold image of the Sonet.
The Magnite Concept, on the other hand, finds resemblance with Datsun-inspired grille and Z-shaped LED DRL. The front grille with chrome accents and embeddings gives the SUV a very bold image. Nissan Magnite’s another strong visual feature are its faux skid plates, thick wheel arches and the alloy wheels.
The Nissan Magnite’s interior is equally striking. The Japanese automaker recently revealed the dual-tone red and black interior which appears contemporary.
What appears to be common in these two SUVs is their tough and slightly rugged image. Few features of both the SUVs are visually strong and there’s a lot of similarities like the thick wheel arches, the impressive ground clearance, the elevated bonnet with character lines and the similar looking A-pillars. But even after all this, the Kia Sonet and the Nissan Magnite project a distinctive image of their own. It will be an interesting fight to see with both the SUVs in the market.
Little is known so far about the engine options in Magnite, however, we expect the 1.3-litre turbo will be supplied to it. With Sonet’s launch around the corner, we expect the Hyundai-grown 1.2-litre petrol, 1.5-litre diesel and 1-litre turbo-petrol with MT, AT, DCT and iMT to make their way into Kia’s cabin.
While pricing would be a huge driving factor, however, off late with the flourish of Hyundai Venue, trends suggest that feel-good features also drive customer behavior significantly.
Not just Sonet and Magnite, newer rivals from Toyota, Skoda and Tata Motors are in the pipelines, preparing to enter in next six months.