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Kia Sonet 2024 vs Mahindra XUV 3XO: Best Entry-level Variant for First-time Car Buyers

Kia Sonet 2024 vs Mahindra XUV 3XO for first-time car buyers

Are you a new driver, buying your first car? Confused about which are the best, or top compact SUVs for first-time buyers in India? Let us help you decide which option among them to choose, especially if you have a set budget. We look at the Kia Sonet 2024 and Mahindra XUV 3XO, and find out which of their entry-level variants will be the best for you.

In this first-time car buyers’ guide, we will share

  • What a first-time buyer should look for in a car
  • Kia Sonet 2024 vs Mahindra XUV 3XO – an in-depth guide to their entry-level variants, features, cost, and driveability
  • How to pick the right car for you

What a First-time Car Buyer Looks for in a Car

This is what a first-time buyer should look for in a car:

  • Safety – What safety features does the car have? What is its safety rating?
  • Affordability – The car should be well within budget and affordable.
  • Fuel efficiency – The car should have good fuel efficiency, thereby reducing its running cost.
  • Ease of driving – The car should be easy to drive, with features that help in driving and offer convenience for new drivers

A first-time car buyer usually prioritizes affordability, reliability, safety, and low running costs. They want a vehicle that provides good value, with necessary features like air conditioning, power steering, and a decent audio system. Easy maneuverability, fuel efficiency, and low maintenance are also important factors. Brand reputation and after-sales service also influence the decision, with many preferring established brands.

Why the Kia Sonet 2024 and Mahindra XUV 3XO Are Popular 

The Kia Sonet 2024 and Mahindra XUV 3XO have emerged as strong contenders in the compact SUV segment, especially for first-time buyers. Both offer stylish designs, well-equipped interiors, and efficient engines at attractive price points.

Kia Sonet 2024 vs Mahindra XUV 3XO: Best Entry-level Variant for First-time Car Buyers
Kia Sonet

Kia made a grand entry into the segment with the Sonet in 2020. Its aggressive styling, feature-rich cabin, and extensive variant lineup helped it win the prestigious ICOTY award. For 2024, the Sonet gets updated styling, added features, and ADAS safety kit. The efficient 1.2L petrol and 1.5L diesel engines are retained.

The Mahindra XUV 3XO has carved a niche for itself with its chiseled looks, spacious interiors, and strong safety credentials. The 2024 model gains minor cosmetic tweaks and added features. The punchy 1.2L turbo-petrol and 1.5L diesel engines offer a great mix of performance and efficiency.

Kia Sonet 2024 vs Mahindra XUV 3XO: Best Entry-level Variant for First-time Car Buyers
Mahindra XUV 3XO

Both models offer a wide choice of variants to suit diverse budgets and preferences. Kia’s industry-leading warranty and Mahindra’s focus on safety reassure first-time buyers. With their youthful design, ample features, and competitive pricing, the Sonet and XUV 3XO make compelling options for first-time buyers entering the booming compact SUV space.

Kia Sonet 2024 and Mahindra XUV 3XO Entry-level Variants

For Kia Sonet 2024, we have:

Variant Price as on 14 May 2024
HTE ₹7.99 lakh
HTE (O) ₹8.19 lakh
HTK ₹8.89 lakh
HTK (O) ₹9.24 lakh

For Mahindra XUV 3XO, we have:

Variant Price as on 14 May 2024
MX2 Pro ₹8.99 lakh
MX3 ₹9.49 lakh
MX2 Pro AT ₹9.99 lakh

Kia Sonet HTE

The Kia Sonet HTE, priced at Rs. 7.99 lakh, is the entry-level petrol variant. While it skips some comfort features, it still offers essential kit like power windows, AC, steering-mounted controls, and rear parking sensors, making it a value-rich choice for first-time buyers on a budget.

Kia Sonet HTE (O)

At Rs. 8.19 lakh, the Sonet HTE (O) adds useful extras like LED DRLs, keyless entry, and electric ORVMs over the HTE, enhancing daily convenience while still being light on the wallet.

Kia Sonet 2024 vs Mahindra XUV 3XO: Best Entry-level Variant for First-time Car Buyers
Kia Sonet

Kia Sonet HTK

The Sonet HTK, at Rs. 8.89 lakh, is the pick of the range. Its 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, sunroof, and cruise control justify the premium over the lower variants for first-time buyers looking to upgrade their drive experience.

Kia Sonet HTK (O)

The Sonet HTK (O) takes it a notch higher with an air purifier, a wireless phone charger, an electric sunroof, and connected car tech at Rs. 9.24 lakh. These are notable additions for first-time buyers willing to stretch their budget for more creature comforts.

Mahindra XUV 3XO MX2 Pro

The Mahindra XUV 3XO MX2 Pro, priced at Rs. 8.99 lakh, packs a serious punch. The 10.25-inch touchscreen, 6 airbags, rear disc brakes, and ESP are rare features for this budget, prioritizing comfort and safety.

Mahindra XUV 3XO MX3

At Rs. 9.49 lakh, the XUV 3XO MX3 adds cosmetic bits like dual-tone alloys and contrast roof rails along with convenience features like heated ORVMs and an auto-dimming IRVM over the MX2 Pro, elevating the premium experience.

Kia Sonet 2024 vs Mahindra XUV 3XO: Best Entry-level Variant for First-time Car Buyers
Mahindra XUV 3XO headlamp

Mahindra XUV 3XO MX2 Pro AT

XUV 3XO MX2 Pro AT, at Rs. 9.99 lakh, targets first-time buyers looking for the convenience of an AMT with the MX2 Pro’s extensive equipment list.

Our Pick for the Best Variant Among the Kia Sonet 2024 and Mahindra XUV 3XO for First-Time Car Buyers

Considering the specific needs and constraints of first-time car buyers, we recommend the Kia Sonet HTK as the top pick in this comparison. At Rs. 8.89 lakh, it offers the best balance of essential features, safety kit, and value.

The Sonet HTK’s 1.2L petrol engine offers peppy performance and a rated efficiency of 18.4 kmpl, ideal for city commutes. The available IMT gearbox is a unique clutchless manual that enhances convenience. On the safety front, 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, ESC, and a rear camera with parking sensors are standard.

Kia Sonet 2024 vs Mahindra XUV 3XO: Best Entry-level Variant for First-time Car Buyers
Kia Sonet

The 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, rear AC vents, cruise control, and a smart key with push-button start cover the basics and then some for first-time buyers. The electric sunroof is a welcome bonus at this price point.

In contrast, the base Sonet HTE misses out on the touchscreen and several feel-good features. The Mahindra XUV 3XO MX2 Pro matches the Sonet HTK for features but commands a Rs. 10,000 premium. The higher MX3 and MX2 Pro AT variants offer more goodies but at a significant stretch for most first-time buyers.

Backed by Kia’s best-in-segment warranty and widespread service network, the Sonet HTK is a safe, well-equipped, and well-priced choice that delivers excellent value, making it our top recommendation for first-time compact SUV buyers.

The Top 3 Choices

  1. Kia Sonet HTK
  2. Mahindra XUV 3XO MX2 Pro
  3. Kia Sonet HTE
Feature Kia Sonet HTK Mahindra XUV 3XO MX2 Pro Kia Sonet HTE
Air Conditioner Yes Yes Yes
Power Windows Yes Yes Yes
Power Steering Yes Yes Yes
Rear Parking Sensors Yes Yes Yes
Touchscreen Infotainment Yes (8-inch) Yes (10.25-inch) No
Dual Airbags Yes Yes Yes

How to Pick the Right Car for You

  • As mentioned above, the Kia Sonet HTK is our top choice.
  • Priced at Rs. 8.99 lakh, the XUV 3XO MX2 Pro is a close match to the Sonet HTK. It offers additional safety features like 7 airbags, rear disc brakes, front parking sensors, and a more powerful 1.2L turbo-petrol engine. The larger 10.25-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is another plus. But it misses some of the Sonet’s feel-good features like the sunroof and wireless phone charger.
  • For first-time buyers on a tighter budget, the base Sonet HTE at Rs. 7.99 lakh is a surprisingly well-equipped option. While it skips the touchscreen, it still packs in essentials like power windows, AC, steering-mounted controls, and rear parking sensors. Importantly, it doesn’t compromise on safety, offering dual airbags, ABS with EBD, and ESC.

The Kia Sonet HTK, Mahindra XUV 3XO MX2 Pro, and Kia Sonet HTE offer three distinct yet well-rounded options for the first-time compact SUV buyer. The Sonet HTK provides the best balance of modern features, safety kit, and value. The XUV 3XO MX2 Pro is a worthy alternative that prioritizes safety and space. And the Sonet HTE is a well-priced entry point that doesn’t skimp on the basics for budget-conscious first-time buyers.

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