Grand Vitara or Sonet: Which one to pick as my 2016 i20 replacement

I have a budget of Rs 15 lakh (OTR, including BH registration) and I have already sold my 6-year-old Hyundai.

BHPian nomad47 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Fellow BHPians,

I am in the market for a new car for my daily commute, budget 15L max OTR with BH registration. Commute details: Approx 70 km per day, 60% city (not bumper to bumper, but moderately heavy traffic) and 40% highway (not free flowing, but moderate traffic).

I was looking to get a CSUV. I am coming from a 2016 i20 Petrol, which I have sold recently.

Cars considered

  • Tata Nexon (Diesel): Wife did not like the looks of the car. Kid wants a Blue car, and the blue on Nexon is simply not appealing.
  • XUV 300: Outdated by now
  • Grand Vitara / Hyryder: These new launches caught my eye. Liked the GV overall. Interiors would be a compromise compared to my old i20, but gets decent features. I booked the Zeta mild hybrid as it will fit in my budget as per price speculations.

I have not considered anything from Kia/Hyundai stable primarily thinking of the crash test ratings. However, out of curiosity, I took a test drive of the Sonet GTX+ Diesel. Oh, I loved the car. The interiors were good, car was loaded with features. And coming from a petrol i20, the diesel torque blew me away.

My heart wants it, a part of my mind also wants it. Unable to convince myself fully, as the crash test ratings come to mind. (Am assuming Sonet is a 3-star car based on the Carens rating)

So here is the dilemma

In all probability, I will pay a similar amount for the Grand Vitara Zeta and a Sonet GTX+ Diesel. Grand Vitara will probably give 14-15 kmpl for my commute, Sonet will give may be 17-18 kmpl. Being a diesel the fuel cost of Sonet will be low. Sonet has better interiors and good torque. For such a punchy car, I don’t understand why there are no rear disc brakes on the Sonet.

Grand Vitara on the other hand comes with the reliability of Maruti. A 4-star crash rating minimum, a panoramic sunroof and futureproof against some harebrained decision of the government (I am looking at you 10 years old diesel car ban of NCR).

Heart and a part of the mind say Sonet. Other part says Grand Vitara. Help me decide, please.

Here’s what GTO had to say about the matter:

I would personally go for the Kia Sonet Diesel. Great engine, nicer interiors, more fun to drive. The Grand Vitara is a decent car (going by Vid6639’s HyRyder review), but I don’t think it matches the fun-to-drive quotient or part quality of Kia yet. Agreed on the safety front & the Grand Vitara might have an advantage out there, but a 3-star car is still better than a 0-star car, some Sonet variants have good safety equipment (ESC, 6 airbags) and there are 50 other factors that decide whether you will walk away from a crash or not.

70 km a day is higher than usual running. In 10 years, your car will have covered 180,000 – 200,000 km, hence you might sell either car (petrol or diesel), regardless of the 10-year ban on diesels.

Out of the box suggestion = consider the Nexon EV if you have charging possibility at home. You will have to stretch your budget for the nicer variants, but it will more than make up in fuel savings. Plus, AT + refinement + instant torque etc. Go for one test-drive, it will change your perspective of EVs.

Here’s what BHPian VWAllstar had to say about the matter:

Considering you are from Mumbai – you need an automatic, there is a higher possibility of charging setup at your place of residence and no problems of aftersales service.

If I was you, I would have gone ahead with Tata Nexon EV Prime. The middle variant may be around 15L post-subsidy. The higher variant i.e. Lux does not get the subsidy. Even the Max variants do not get any subsidy so makes sense to stick to the XM variant of Prime. Phew, too many variants!

If not EVs then would suggest XUV 3OO. Not sure why you feel it is outdated. It has the most powerful diesel engine in the segment. Features are of 1 segment above. They have refreshed the interiors recently. Only con is AMT. Go for the Manual Diesel top variant (I guess 16L OTR Mumbai) and you won’t regret it when you drive it yourself.

Here’s what BHPian harry10 had to say about the matter:

I am driving Sonet D-AT since Sep last year.

Just did the 20k service today. Paid 5900 which includes Wheel alignment and balancing.

Engine and gearbox are a match made in heaven. Absolute bliss.

  • City FE – 13-14 kmpl with 100% AC on. A lot of traffic usually.
  • Highway FE – 19 Kmpl (based on 7 highway trips I have done in 1 year).

These are tank to tank as MID always shows 2-2.5km more.

Suspension is a bit stiff but at 33 PSI quite comfortable. I am 6’1 and never had trouble with the driving position or lack of space. Back seat though is strictly for 2 adults and 1 child to sit comfortably. Boot space is quite good.

Kia service is excellent and reliability so far is top-notch. I will highly recommend this car any day of the week.

Manual diesel gives better mileage as my friend has Seltos with the same engine but the comfort and leisure of Automatic transmission is unbeatable.

Hope this helps.

Here’s what BHPian Shreyans_Jain had to say about the matter:

The difference between the cost of petrol and diesel is just a little more than 6 rupees now, basically nothing. Sonet diesel automatic gives around 14-15kmpl in city traffic, and you can expect similar figures from the Grand Vitara, going by XL6 and Brezza numbers. So, there is a negligible difference in running costs.

Decide this on the basis of space. The Sonet is a particularly cramped car, especially at the back. It is good enough for a small family, but will not suffice for anything more. If the rear seat will be used frequently, you’ll be better off with the Maruti.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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