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Hyundai Verna vs Kia Seltos 2023 Performance Showdown: Comparing Their Variants in Rs 15-18 Lakh Range

Hyundai Verna vs Kia Seltos for performance enthusiasts

Are you a driving enthusiast looking for the best performance cars, or top sports cars in India? And what goes into making a high-performance car model? Let us compare the Hyundai Verna and Kia Seltos 2023, and see how their variants fare in terms of their performance.

In this article, we will share

  • What a performance enthusiast should look for in a car
  • Hyundai Verna vs Kia Seltos 2023 – a comprehensive analysis of their variants, performance and features
  • How to pick the right car for you

What a Performance Enthusiast Looks for in a Car

Here’s what to look for in a car as a performance enthusiast:

  • Acceleration and Speed – How quickly a car accelerates, what is its top speed
  • Power – How it pulls weight, how is its high speed stability, does it feel strained while going up the hills, or with AC on
  • Agility – How it behaves while turning at speeds
  • Driving Experience/Handling – Is the gearbox smooth and responsive, how is its steering/braking performance

A performance driving enthusiast prioritizes fast cars that deliver an exhilarating driving experience characterized by powerful acceleration, precise handling, and a sporty feel. Key attributes include a responsive and potent engine, agile steering and suspension, advanced transmission, and performance-enhancing features like turbocharging and traction control. The enthusiast also appreciates premium touches that enhance the driving experience, like a high-end audio system, sporty interior styling, and advanced tech features.

Why Hyundai Verna and Kia Seltos 2023 are Popular

The Hyundai Verna has long been a favorite among performance enthusiasts for its potent turbocharged engine options and agile handling. The latest generation ups the ante with an even more powerful 1.5L turbo engine, a quick-shifting dual-clutch transmission, and a feature-rich, premium interior. Notably, the Verna’s suspension tuning strikes an excellent balance between sharp handling and everyday comfort.

Hyundai Verna vs Kia Seltos 2023 Performance Showdown: Comparing Their Variants in Rs 15-18 Lakh Range
Hyundai Verna

The Kia Seltos 2023, while not as outright sporty as the Verna, still offers compelling options for the enthusiast. Its punchy 1.5L diesel engine and slick-shifting intelligent manual transmission (iMT) provide a good blend of performance and efficiency. 

Hyundai Verna vs Kia Seltos 2023 Performance Showdown: Comparing Their Variants in Rs 15-18 Lakh Range
Kia Seltos

The Seltos’ well-tuned suspension and direct steering offer a confident and engaging driving experience. It also boasts a spacious and upscale interior with premium materials and advanced tech features. While not a hardcore performance vehicle, the Seltos’ well-rounded nature and attractive pricing make it a popular choice for the practical enthusiast.

Hyundai Verna and Kia Seltos 2023 Variants Shortlist in Rs 15-18 Lakh Range

For Hyundai Verna, we have:

Variant Price as on 10 April 2024
SX Opt Turbo ₹16,03,000
SX Turbo DCT ₹16,12,000
SX Opt Turbo DCT ₹17,42,000

For Kia Seltos 2023, we have:

Variant Price as on 10 April 2024
HTK Plus Diesel iMT ₹15,00,000
HTX CVT ₹16,58,000
HTX Diesel iMT ₹16,68,000

Hyundai Verna variants

The Verna SX Opt Turbo combines the sedan’s potent 1.5L turbo engine with a slick-shifting 6-speed manual and an extensive feature list. The SX Turbo DCT DT offers the same engine with a quick 7-speed dual-clutch automatic for added convenience. The range-topping SX Opt Turbo DCT DT pairs the punchy powertrain with the DCT, premium Bose audio, and additional creature comforts. If you’re looking for a family car, you can read our guide to the best Verna variants.

Hyundai Verna vs Kia Seltos 2023 Performance Showdown: Comparing Their Variants in Rs 15-18 Lakh Range
Hyundai Verna dashboard

Kia Seltos variants

On the Seltos side, the HTK Plus Diesel iMT offers the SUV’s torquey 1.5L diesel with a unique intelligent manual transmission at an attractive price. The HTX CVT combines the smooth 1.5L petrol with a convenient continuously variable transmission and added features. The HTX Diesel iMT ups the ante with the punchier diesel engine, iMT, and even more premium equipment. If you’re a gadget enthusiast, you can check out our comparison of the Seltos 2023 with Skoda Slavia.

Hyundai Verna vs Kia Seltos 2023 Performance Showdown: Comparing Their Variants in Rs 15-18 Lakh Range
Kia Seltos dashboard

Our Pick for the Best Variant Among Hyundai Verna and Kia Seltos 2023 for Performance Enthusiasts

After careful consideration, we recommend the Hyundai Verna SX Opt Turbo DCT DT as the ultimate choice for the performance enthusiast. Its potent 158PS/253Nm turbocharged engine provides class-leading power and acceleration, while the quick-shifting 7-speed dual-clutch transmission offers rapid gear changes and manual control via steering-mounted paddles. This powertrain, paired with the Verna’s agile handling and firm yet compliant ride, delivers a well-rounded and engaging driving experience.

Hyundai Verna vs Kia Seltos 2023 Performance Showdown: Comparing Their Variants in Rs 15-18 Lakh Range

The SX Opt trim also includes an extensive list of features like a 10.25-inch touchscreen with connected tech, Bose premium audio, wireless charger, ventilated front seats, and advanced driver assists. It’s the ideal package for the enthusiast who wants stirring performance balanced with everyday comfort and convenience, all at a competitive price point.

The Top 3 Choices

  1. Hyundai Verna SX Opt Turbo DCT D
  2. Hyundai Verna SX Opt Turbo
  3. Kia Seltos HTX Diesel iMT
Attribute Verna SX Opt Turbo DCT DT Verna SX Opt Turbo Seltos HTX Diesel iMT
Engine 1.5L Turbo Petrol 1.5L Turbo Petrol 1.5L Turbo Diesel
Power 158 PS 158 PS 115 PS
Torque 253 Nm 253 Nm 250 Nm
Transmission 7-spd DCT 6-spd MT 6-spd iMT
0-100 kmph 8 sec (est.) 8.5 sec (est.) 12 sec (est.)
Handling Agile Agile Confident
Features Extensive Extensive Extensive

How to Pick the Right Car for You

  • The Verna duo takes the top two spots by virtue of their segment-leading turbocharged performance, agile dynamics, and premium feature set. The SX Opt Turbo DCT DT is the pick for its lightning-quick gear shifts, while the manual is for the purist who prefers a more involved experience.
  • The Seltos HTX Diesel iMT secures a respectable third place with its punchy and efficient diesel drivetrain, confident dynamics, and extensive equipment list. While not as sharp as the Vernas, it counters with greater practicality, ride comfort, and a more commanding driving position.

The Vernas are the clear choice for those who prioritize outright performance and handling, while the Seltos is a well-rounded option for those who want a dash of sportiness balanced with greater space and practicality. 

If you’re interested in reading more such face-to-face comparisons of popular car variants, head over to our Buying Advice section.