Confused between the Kia Seltos and Honda City

We intend on keeping the next car for at least 8-9 years, so the car should be reliable and niggle free. Also, the car has to be petrol because of the stupid 10-year diesel rule by NGT.

Gallardo_17 recently shared this with other BHPians.

Big Dilemma

So we are on the hunt for our new car since the past 10 months. I’ve been given the opportunity to decide and zero down on the car that we’re going to drive home. We currently drive a 2008 Lxi Wagon-R. We intend on keeping the next car for at least 8-9 years, so the car should be reliable and niggle free. Also, the car has to be petrol because of the stupid 10-year diesel rule by NGT.

I’ve test driven numerous cars and I’ve zeroed down on the City 2020 CVT VX and Seltos IVT HTX.

Our budget is strictly Under 16 lakhs and our daily running with the car would be around 60-70 km within the city. Hence the car should be an automatic. No compromise on this front sadly. It will be 90% city-driven with occasional highway drives once 2-3 months. It will be my daily driver to law school and coaching institution, hence I want something that is very comfy and has enough power so that I can have fun on the rough days to cheer me up!!

I took the test drive of the following cars and put them off the table because of the reasons mentioned below:

1. Polo – Amazing drive and engine but lacks the space.

2. Rapid and Vento- Amazing engine and handling but lack of basic features such as keyless entry spoil the mood. My mom wants a car with a sunroof and she’s adamant about it even after me explaining to her numerous times that its of no use in Delhi’s hot weather. Both the cars don’t get sunroof even in top trims.

3. Verna – Fun to drive and the DCT gearbox is quick-shifting and fun but sadly the rear seat lacks space and I don’t like the design at all.

4. Creta- I hate the looks and the IVT variant is way over budget.

5. Ecosport – Lovely to drive but the car seems very old compared to 2021 standards. The car I test drove had rattling noises and it bothered me a lot.

6. Venue and Sonet – The Koreans are featured packed and come with nice Turbo engines but the lack of space is a real bummer.

8. XUV 300- Very nice to drive and has a good punch even in petrol but sadly the rear looks very hatchback to me.

I know that I’ve rejected some of these cars for petty reasons but the cars simply didn’t touch a chord for me. I didn’t look back at any of these cars after the test drive unlike the City and Seltos. I feel that the next car we buy should be a car which makes us look back and admire it’s sheer beauty. These cars in their own rights are very good and I might be nitpicking but I feel that City and Seltos drive home to the heart a lot more than others for me.

Now coming to the Big Dilemma:

1. Seltos –

Intro – The looks are stellar, the space is adequate and the features are aplenty. I’ve no reason to disregard this car apart from the fact that it’s NOT A CITY. A couple of things that bother me a lot are the paddle shifters and drive modes which are not there in the Seltos but are there in the city. I used both of these features quite extensively while test driving the City and I missed them when I test drove the Seltos. Yes, the manual mode is there but its not the like the little devils found on the City’s steering that help you downshift and go rampant. The space is less than the City and the suspension feels very stiff. My dad says what’s the point of getting an SUV if I’m going to feel every bump on the road, idk if I agree with him but it’s a point to ponder upon.

Safety – The car scored poorly in the GNCAP ratings, it barely managed to get 3 stars. The car doesn’t have Hill hold Assist, Vehicle stability management or Electronic Stability Control. The car only comes with 2 airbags. ( I’ve read reports that these features will be added by the next update in July with the logo change but the authenticity of these reports is still in the air and the fact is that as of today the car which costs almost 17 lakhs on road and has only 2 airbags and lacks basic features).

Driving – The combo is smooth and doesn’t feel underpowered at all. The shifts are smooth and feels relaxed. The car stops in a nice manner. It has all-wheel discs and the braking is excellent. The car feels stable till 110 kmph and I didn’t push it further. The steering inspired confidence and weighs up nicely. The drive is sedate but there is no wow factor as such. After driving for an hour, the feul economy it showed was 11.9 kmpl.

Dealership Experience – The dealership experience has been bang average. I’ve already booked the car in September, yet It took me 1 month to get a home Test Drive for the IVT Transmission. Earlier I was looking at the 1.5 MT but there is literally no way you can get to experience that gearbox and engine combo in Delhi because literally no dealership has that car for test drive. I called 7 dealerships and I was disappointed 7 times.

Cost – The Seltos CVT is only available in one variant, that is the HTX, and it costs Rs. 16.80L on-road.

2. City 2020 –

Intro – Looks elegant and feels premium. The car drives like a breeze and puts a smile on my face. The space is a lot more than Seltos and the car has enough features to keep me happy. The car has low ground clearance and IDK if it will be an issue in Delhi or not. I’ve seen 3-4 videos on YouTube which show that 4-5 month old new generation Citys have started having niggles and wierd rattling noises. This scares me a lot because I intend to keep the car for a long time. Hence the car should be sturdy and safe. The Seltos doesn’t have videos or owners complaining about the same. The future of Honda seems a bit grey, they’ve discontinued both Civic and CRV for now and Honda’s plans for India don’t seem encouraging. The car has a significantly inferior touch screen and speakers compared to the Seltos. The VX variant doesn’t get Leatherette seats, unlike the Seltos which has leatherette seats. The City’s VX variant gets fabric seats.

Safety – The trim gets 6 airbags and has Hill hold Assist, VSM and ESC. It doesn’t have all-wheel discs like the Seltos. The new city has scored 5 stars in the ASEAN NCAP. This rating is for the Thailand version which is quite similar to the Indian one. Still, as of now, the Indian version hasn’t been tested by NCAP.

Driving – It drives amazingly well. I know it’s not anywhere close to the manual, but the engine is punchy for its standards. It’s not as refined as the Seltos and the NVH levels are not so good after 3,000 rpm, but that sound is so sporty and melodious to my ears, it sounds like pure magic. The paddle shifters are fun to use and make for an exciting driving experience. The car is comfortable and very easy to drive. I haven’t faced issues with low ground clearance and the car handles the potholes well. The ride quality is nice and comfy. After 100 kmph, the car doesn’t inspire as much confidence as the Seltos and feels wobbly, the rear end seems to be moving like a boat and the steering seems a bit more cumbersome than the Seltos. The City is a car which puts a smile on my face as soon as I see an empty road and makes me want to downshift and race to glory. It has a sports mode which is average but offers a nice upgrade over the natural D mode. It holds the revs but sadly downshifts on its own. The CVT seems to dull the fun a bit but offers a seamless and hassle free experience. It also has an Eco mode, which although dulls the punch, but gives a nice bump to fuel economy. With the eco mode, I could get a fuel economy up to 15.5 kmpl, although without this mode the economy was averaging around 12.5-14 for the whole drive. The car seems eager and tries to mask the CVT effect but you can notice it if you go looking. All in all, the car did put a smile on my face and I just want to keep on driving it on and on.

Dealership experience- The experience was good and I was attended to very well. I’ve contacted 6 dealerships and got test-drives of 30 mins+ from each of them and I’ve also got quotes from each of them. Unlike Kia, the Honda dealerships are giving discounts and I was promised good deals on the accessories. The Koreans refused even a single penny of discount. I was given test drives promptly and I was taken care of very nicely. The experience so far has been very satisfying. My cousin told me to take the City now and gift myself with a Civic in a few years time when I clear my dream exam. Seems like a good upgrade for me, it also gives me more motivation.

TDLR—-The Dilemma

As you probably know I’m a bit inclined to the City but here are the reasons which confuse me, I want to know whether I should bother about these issues or just go ahead with the purchase of City.

  • Low GC
  • Honda’s future
  • Long term reliability
  • Ride quality
  • Fabric seats vs leather
  • SUV stance
  • Gorgeous looks of the Seltos (Mom love the Seltos) (Dad loves both)

Special mention-

I’ve been inclined to take the city only because of these 2 fellow BHPians:

  • BHPian Trackday – His Athena’s review is what prompted me to take a look at the City and I can’t thank him enough. His review was very nicely detailed and gave me a peek into the ownership experience.
  • BHPian Born to Be Wild – His red City looks absolutely stunning and dashing. His tyres look stunning and have me drooling every time I look at them. He has maintained his Car very well indeed!

Thanks to Gallardo_17 once again! Check out BHPian comments for more insights & information.

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