Buy or Hold: Wait for the Tata Curve or go for its rivals like Hyundai Creta, Maruti Grand Vitara, Kia Seltos, Skoda Kushaq, Toyota Hyder, Volkswagen Taigun, Honda Elevate, MG Astor and Citroen C3 Aircross?


Sales of the Tata Curve SUV-Coupe are expected to begin in the second half of 2024, with prices likely to start at Rs 11 lakh (ex-showroom).

The already crowded compact SUV segment is soon going to expand further with the launch of Tata Curve. Although it will have many powerful rivals to compete with, the Curve has its own unique qualities that are likely to help it attract many buyers, including its SUV-coupe appeal and an extensive feature list. So if you’re planning to buy a new compact SUV in the next few months, should you wait for the new Tata Curve, or buy one of its rivals? let’s find out.

Sample Prices (Ex-showroom Pan-India)
tata curve Rs 11 lakh to Rs 20 lakh (expected,
Hyundai Creta Rs 11 lakh to Rs 20.15 lakh
kia seltos Rs 10.90 lakh to Rs 20.30 lakh
Maruti Grand Vitara/Toyota Hyderabad Rs 10.80 lakh to Rs 20.09 lakh / Rs 11.14 lakh to Rs 20.19 lakh
Skoda Kushaq/VW Taigun Rs 11.89 Lakh to Rs 20.49 Lakh / Rs 11.70 Lakh to Rs 20 Lakh
honda elevate Rs 11.58 lakh to Rs 16.20 lakh
mg ester Rs 9.98 lakh to Rs 17.89 lakh
citroen c3 aircross Rs 9.99 lakh to Rs 14.05 lakh

2024 Hyundai Creta: Buy for new features and design, better safety and multiple powertrains

The Hyundai Creta was recently launched in a new avatar, giving it a refreshed exterior and even a new dashboard design. It has new features like 10.25-inch full digital driver display and dual-zone climate control. In terms of safety technology, the new Creta gets additional features like a 360-degree camera and level-2 advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), further strengthening the safety suite of the SUV. With the facelift, Hyundai also brought back the turbo-petrol powertrain option on the Creta – a 1.5-litre unit (160 PS/253 Nm) but only with a 7-speed DCT (dual-clutch automatic transmission). Other engine options include a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol unit and a 1.5-litre diesel, both with a choice of manual and automatic transmissions.

Kia Seltos: Buy for looks, equipment and multiple powertrain options

kia seltos

In mid-2023, we get the facelifted Kia Seltos with the option of a new 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol unit with more features, better looks and multiple transmission options including an iMT gearbox (manual without clutch pedal). With the midlife refresh, the Seltos gets a 10.25-inch fully digital instrument cluster, dual-zone climate control and a panoramic sunroof. Kia has enhanced the safety suite of the SUV by equipping it with Level-2 ADAS with features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and autonomous emergency braking. Like the Creta, the Seltos also offers less powerful petrol engines as well as diesel engine options.

Maruti Grand Vitara/Toyota Hyderabad: Buy for strong-hybrid powertrain, all-wheel-drive option and segment-best mileage

Only two SUVs in the segment, namely the Maruti Grand Vitara and the Toyota Hayrider, get the option of a strong-hybrid powertrain. Both the SUVs have similar features like 9-inch touchscreen infotainment unit, 360-degree camera, panoramic sunroof and ventilated front seats. Both have a premium design inside and out. Maruti and Toyota also offer regular petrol variants of these SUVs with an all-wheel-drive (AWD) setup, which is not available with any other compact SUV at the moment. With their strong-hybrid powertrains, both the SUVs offer best-in-segment mileage but have to compromise in terms of boot space due to the placement of the battery pack.

Volkswagen Taigun/Skoda Kushaq: Buy for spirited performance and tested safety

If you want a compact SUV with thrilling performance and fun to drive, then the Skoda Kushaq or the Volkswagen Taigun should be your choice. Both models get 1-litre and 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine options with multiple transmissions including a 6-speed manual, 6-speed torque converter and 7-speed DCT. These SUVs are the only models in the segment to receive a 5-star crash test safety rating from Global NCAP. However, while both these SUVs offer great performance and safety, their cabins and feature lists have become comparatively dated, and are in need of an update soon.

Honda Elevate: Buy for the spacious cabin and affordability

honda elevate

Honda Elevate, one of the latest offerings in the segment, comes only with a 1.5-litre petrol engine. Although it is not as exciting to drive as its German counterparts, the Elevate offers a smooth and comfortable experience due to its well-refined CVT automatic gearbox. Although the Honda SUV is not as feature-packed as its Korean rivals, it does get the basic features along with some premium features like ADAS and wireless phone charging. Honda is offering it with a sophisticated looking cabin featuring great materials, focusing on value rather than technical gimmicks. Another reason to consider the Honda Elevate compared to other models is its price, with its top variant being more affordable than the top variants of its rivals by Rs 4 lakh.

MG Astor: Buy for a well-built cabin and ADAS

mg ester

Although the MG Astor is unlikely to be the most popular SUV here, it still has a lot going for it, like a well-equipped cabin and the inclusion of ADAS in its features list. The bright red cabin has premium build quality as well as good features, an AI assistant, and two petrol engine options: a 1.5-litre petrol, and a 1.3-litre turbo-petrol. The latter also adds a bit of sportiness to this compact SUV.

Citroen C3 Aircross: buy for 7-seater layout, comfortable ride quality and affordable price

citroen c3 aircross

If you want a compact SUV with the option of a 5-seater or 7-seater layout, you must choose the Citroen C3 Aircross. The 7-seater version comes with a removable third row of seats to expand the luggage storage area. Citroen has provided it with a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, but there is no automatic or diesel powertrain on offer. The C3 Aircross comes with great ride and handling, and offers great comfort to the passengers. It is one of the most affordable compact SUVs on sale, with prices starting at Rs 9.99 lakh (ex-showroom). The C3 Aircross could be the perfect car for those looking for a compact SUV for their large family. However, all this comes at the cost of a basic feature list with no premium comfort and a lack of powertrain options.

Read also: Tata Curve vs Kia Seltos vs Honda Elevate: Specification comparison

Similar prices, other options: sedans and large SUVs

Sample Prices (Ex-showroom Pan-India)
Hyundai Verna Rs 11 lakh to Rs 17.42 lakh
Honda City Rs 11.71 lakh to Rs 16.19 lakh
Skoda Slavia/VW Virtus Rs 11.53 lakh to Rs 19.13 lakh / Rs 11.56 lakh to Rs 19.41 lakh
Tata Harrier Rs 15.49 lakh to Rs 26.44 lakh
Mahindra XUV700 Rs 13.99 lakh to Rs 26.99 lakh
mg hector Rs 13.99 lakh to Rs 21.95 lakh

At a similar price range to the Tata Curve and its segment rivals, you also get the option of premium compact sedans. These models have better rear seat space and boot capacity but less ground clearance.

Mahindra XUV700

On the other hand, you also have the option of choosing a slightly larger SUV like the Mahindra XUV700 or the Tata Harrier. Given their prices, you will be able to buy their lower or mid-spec variants with little compromise in terms of features. That said, they will offer more cabin space and comfort considering their size.

also check: Behind the scenes Tata Safari 5-Star Safety: How Tata conducts internal crash tests to make its cars safe for Indian roads

Tata Curve: Hold on to unique looks, features, safety ratings and multiple powertrains

tata curve

The biggest reason to wait for the Tata Curve is its unique design with its coupe-like roofline. The near-production model shown still had flush-fitting door handles and 18-inch alloy wheels. It is likely to be equipped with a 12.3-inch touchscreen, 10.25-inch digital driver display, ventilated front seats and a panoramic sunroof. Its safety net may include six airbags, a 360-degree camera, TPMS and Level 2 ADAS. Being a modern offering from Tata, you can also expect it to have high safety ratings from crash-testing authorities like India NCAP. Tata has also confirmed that the Curve will be offered with both turbo-petrol and diesel engine options along with a choice of multiple transmissions.

Let us know in the comments whether you will wait for the Tata Curve or plan to buy one of its already available rivals.

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