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  1. Akshay Shah
  2. New Cars, Reviews
  3. Tuesday, July 13 2021
Hello, I have test driven most obvious candidates in the compact SUV segment and am confused by the choices in this Segment.

Cars that are in consideration:
1. Kia Sonet (HTX petrol iMT)
2. Nexon Petrol Manual
3. Ecosport Diesel
4. XUV 300 W8(O) Petrol

All of above are latest versions of their model. I could not get SX(O) diesel executive variant for test drive in Venue , even if it goes slightly above my 13L budget, slightly higher cost can be justified considering feature packed car with Extra mileage and extra airbags only if it were similar fun to drive like XUV300 or ecosport diesel. I don't know that yet.

My priorities in order are:
1. Safety and related features (Durable build quality ,ESP, Hill Hold Assist, Traction Control etc. along with default ones)
2. Driving Dynamics. (I am going to be behind the wheel most of the times so want something fun to drive.)
3. Features with modern looking cabin.
4. Rear Seat comfort.
5. Resale Value.

Now here's is the confusion part. I liked Kia Sonet to drive, it isn't good in terms of rear seat space and Value for money aspect. Nexon is safe, has better rear seat comfort for 3rd passenger, gears are not smooth and power felt bit low before turbo kicks in, I was not aware of the different modes in Nexon so I drove it in default mode, yet to test its sport mode. Its XZ+ or XZ+(S) variant also has most of the desired features for me.

I drove Ecosport Diesel and really liked it in terms of driveability. Also I liked XUV 300 Petrol W8, probably both of them equally in terms of fun to drive factor. Problem with XUV 300 is its top variant W8(O) is going above my budget and not by small margin. It's the variant I would go for in terms of features on-offer including the extra airbags and Sunroof. Ecosport Diesel Titanium is really good value to me but I have 2 concerns regarding buying Ecosport.

1. Ecosport Facelift is likely be launching Q4 this year. Should i wait for it?
2. In case of the adverse decision on its future in indian market, should Ford decide to pull the plug on indian car market , what will happen to after sales support, parts availability and most importantly resale value.

In this case which one should I go for. I am open for suggestions on other models too like Kiger, Magnite etc. that i haven't tested.
Accepted Answer
Gagan Modi Accepted Answer

See Nexon comes in Multi mode with performance vastly impacted and the driving mode you select in can greatly impact in mileage.
> Eco Mode: Ideal for cruising on highway. If you use it in city, will although get in best mileage but car seriously feels underpowered
> City Mode: Much better in day to day drive condition for performance, especially in Nexon BS6 as available now. But yes Mileage would still be better
> Sports Mode: This the mode you will love in performance and Nexon signature performance comes in this mode

Kind note that while engine optimised for sports mode with 170 NM Torque, but is detuned by 15% in city and further detuned by another 15% in eco mode,

If you drive in majorly in city mode and drive in gentle way - i dont see a reason why cant get in 12 Kmpl as thats attainable.
Can definite expect in 11 to 12 Kmpl mileage basis traffic condition in city mode.

XUV300: Depending on driving style, traffic condition - i will say 12 Kmpl is possible in city.

SE Variant: Lacks spare tyre as biggest miss and not popular choice as comes with tyre puncture kit. Other than it - some other minor feature omission are there. like comes with fabric seat as against leatherette seat in sports. Also, Chrome in front grille as against high gloss in Sports.

  1. more than a month ago
  2. New Cars, Reviews
  3. # Permalink
Gagan Modi Accepted Answer
Hi Akshay,

Greetings !!

Sure, happy to assist

See basis preference set

1. Safety and related features (Durable build quality ,ESP, Hill Hold Assist, Traction Control etc. along with default ones)
Fortunately we have some real good cars in terms of build and safety aspect.
But basis available data, safety features and sheet metal quality - basis your budget will rate top 3 as
> XUv300
> Nexon
> Ecosport

Having said same, its the driver skill in terms of speed limit and distance drive with lane follow approach which matters the most to determine end safety.

2. Driving Dynamics. (I am going to be behind the wheel most of the times so want something fun to drive.)
From Driving dynamics, sports mode is real impressive in Nexon, should have experienced it
But - performance, handling, steering feedback per se my top 3 picks are
> Ford Ecosport Diesel
> Mahindra XUV300 Petrol
> Kia Sonet Diesel

Somehow will end up offering superior performance and driving dynamics as package over competition

3. Features with modern looking cabin.
Well - thats on radar of buyers and from same perspective
Although XUV300 is loaded with great features but
> Kia Sonet
> Tata Nexon XZ
> Hyundai Venue

leads as overall proposition in styling, aesthetics and features quality perspective

4. Rear Seat comfort.
Somehow biggest downside of Venue, Sonet is relative limited space on rear. To view
> XUv300
> Tata Nexon

are best in terms of space. But if average height of rear seat passenger is going to 5'5" or lesser then basis
> Recline angle
> Under-thigh support
> Ease of Ingress, Egress

Ford Ecosport emerges as great pick too

5. Resale Value
Thats a subjective question and long term resale is based on multiple factors including vehicle condition as foremost criteria
But - still as opinion Hyundai is best in terms of resale criteria in Used Car Market followed closely by Kia in present times.

Now which one to choose
1. XUV300: In Performance, Comfort, Space, Driving Dyamics and Build Quality
But -
> Way Mahindra increased prices of XUV300 with multiple rounds of price hike took away value appeal
> Very compact Boot Space

2. Ecosport Diesel : Possibly the most fun to drive car in handling, performance, lower running cost, Good recline angle, under-thigh support
> Clutch is relative stiffer as against any other car in segment
> Suspension too is on stiifer note

3. Nexon Diesel: A Great pick in overall consideration for Space with performance and Safety and yes lower running cost
> Engine noise is higher
> Tata After sales still not the best

4. Kia Sonet Diesel: Most Stylish Car in segment, Feature Loaded, very impressive in engine NVH and Performance
> Rear seat legroom space is compact
> Build Quality has question to it after Seltos dismal rating

5. Venue Diesel: Segment lowest running cost, engine NVH, Performance, Reliability, after sales
But same cons as in Sonet
> Rear seat legroom space is compact
> Build Quality has question to it after Seltos dismal rating

My Suggestion
Dont worry about Facelift / Next Gen - its a regular scenario with car
Existing Ecosport Diesel had some DPF issue which is under consideration by OEM for an update and retails will begin from 3rd week of July after the update.
If you want the very best of all round experience:- either find value in Ecosport Titanium Diesel @ 9.99 Lakh exshowroom or just raise your budget to bit for Ford Ecosport Sports Diesel at 11.7 Lakh

You will love every bit of it with lower running cost and reliability too.
Plus if can exceed budget then Sports Diesel comes with
> Segment best touchscreen experience
> HID Projectors for superior night visibility
> Fully Loaded Features which delivers a great experience
Check out - Ecosport Sports Diesel Features

Hopefully will have great experience !!

Should help !!

  1. more than a month ago
  2. New Cars, Reviews
  3. # 1
Gagan Modi Accepted Answer
Also adding you an option in form of Kushaq 1.0 Active TSI
Worth a consideration basis

> Great fun to drive experience in mid range.
> Post 2000 rpm which feels like a surged power complimented by impeccable steering and suspension dynamics.
> For any driving enthusiast or for people whos going to experience on highway drive will love in Kushaq appeal
> Base Model is not bare basic. you will get in all essential styling, safety, convenience
> Steering dynamics are unmatched
> Suspension yes is stiff, but still not as stiff as in Ecosport
> Space is phenomenal for 4 member family
> Build Quality is impressive and yes ESC comes as standard

> Clutch travel range is lot more and at times feels clutch bit heavier
> Not as feature loaded as what you get in similar price in Compact SUV

But a choice cant ignore in present time.
May check it too. For peace of mind ownership - spend 50K more to experience
> 4 yr fully paid scheduled service cost
> 6 yr Warranty pack (4 yr warranty comes as standard)

  1. more than a month ago
  2. New Cars, Reviews
  3. # 2
Akshay Shah Accepted Answer
Thanks Gagan.

Two more follow-up questions.

1. Nexon under my consideration was the Petrol one. I now have fair idea where it will stand against choices i mentioned in terms of driving dynamics and fun part, however, I want to ask an important question which is mileage. I am a light footed driver and have managed to get as much as rated or slightly better mileages with Rental cars on my outstation trips . Considering this, would I be wrong to expect 12Kmpl from either Nexon Petrol (City driving mode) or XUV 300 Petrol variant? What's the feedback on averages from its users? Showroom sales guys mention 13-14 Kmpl for both these cars, but they have a job to sell cars so there's conflict of interest for them.

2. There is also another SE variant in between Sports and Titanium for Ecosport Diesel. Will that be a worthwhile upgrade or is there some issue with it ?

  1. more than a month ago
  2. New Cars, Reviews
  3. # 3
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