What We Love And Hate About These Compact SUVS: Renault Kiger vs Nissan Magnite vs Kia Sonet

Renault Kiger vs Nissan Magnite vs Kia Sonet

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The sub-4 metre compact SUV segment is the most populated place in the automotive market with heavy competition from the Renault Kiger vs Nissan Magnite vs Kia Sonet. All of them are aiming to make their mark in customer sales by offering the best engine options, interior comfort, practicality, and reliability. The Nissan Magnite vs Renault Kiger are based on the same platform and share a lot. While the Kia Sonet is poised to take the top spot.

We already have numerous models on sale in India in this segment, which includes the likes of the Tata Nexon, Hyundai Venue, Mahindra XUV 300 and the Maruti Suzuki Brezza, but we will be looking at the main contenders this time, Renault Kiger vs Nissan Magnite vs Kia Sonet. Let’s have a detailed comparison with these best-selling SUVs.

Nissan Magnite

Nissan Magnite vs Kia Sonet vs Renault Kiger

The siblings Nissan Magnite vs Renault Kiger share the BS 6 compliant 1.0 litre naturally aspirated petrol engine churning out 72 bhp and 96 Nm of torque. They also each get the 1.0 litre, turbocharged petrol engine with a maximum power output of 100 bhp and 160 Nm of torque. Both engines get the option of a 5-speed manual gearbox, while the turbo petrol gets a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) and the Renault Kiger gets the option of an AMT (Automated Manual Transmission).

Kia Sonet

The Kia Sonet sub-compact SUV gets a BS 6 compliant 1.2 litre, naturally aspirated petrol unit or a 1.0 litre turbocharged power plant. The 1.2 litre engine has a maximum power output of 83 bhp and 114 Nm of torque. This NA (Naturally Aspirated) engine gets only the 5-speed manual transmission as an option while the turbocharged unit gets either an iMT (6-speed) or a DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) automatic with power figures of 112 bhp and 250 Nm of torque.

The Nissan Magnite crossover SUV comes with projector LED headlamps and sleek DRLs. The lower part of the exterior is covered in black, plastic cladding and gets functional roof rails. Wheels are 16-inch alloys and there is a rear defogger, rear-view parking camera with parking sensors. Nissan offers a dark interior for the Magnite, and plenty of storage areas within the cabin. It gets a leather wrapped steering wheel, with cruise control and telephone control buttons. The infotainment system comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, while the instrument cluster has a 7-inch fully digital display.

Nissan Magnite

The Renault Kiger gets 16-inch alloys with red caps and has a sculpted bonnet with a 3D grille along with honeycomb-shaped headlights. It resembles the Kwid from certain angles, although the squared off wheel arches are the talking points of the styling. Both the Kiger and the Magnite get them but they look a bit sharper on the Magnite. Interiors on the Kiger include a new red fade dashboard, quilted seat upholstery, cruise control, and wireless smartphone charging. There is also an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment cluster and a digital instrumentation cluster.

The Sonet gets the signature Kia tiger nose grille, LED headlamps, projector fog lamps, LED tail lights, functional roof rails and 16-inch alloy wheels. The body style can be best described as modern, yet youthful and Kia has given the compact SUV a newly designed Sonet logo. Interiors include a two-tone upholstery, a tyre pressure monitoring system, a touchscreen infotainment cluster, and a redesigned rear-view mirror that has the Kia Connect button integrated in it.


Kia Sonet vs Renault Kiger vs Nissan Magnite Comparison on Specs, Dimensions, Price, and Features

 Kia SonetRenault KigerNissan Magnite
ModelHTE 1.2RXE MTXE
Avg. Ex-Showroom PriceRs.7.15 lakhRs.5.99 lakhRs.5.97 lakh
Engine1197 cc, 4 cylinders inline, DOHC999 cc, 3 cylinders inline, DOHC999 cc, 3 cylinders inline, DOHC
Engine TypeSmartStream G 1.21.0 L Energy1.0 L B4D
Fuel Type       PetrolPetrolPetrol
Max Power (bhp @ rpm)82 bhp @ 6000 rpm71 bhp @ 6250 rpm71 bhp @ 6250 rpm
Max Torque (Nm @ rpm)115 Nm @ 4200 rpm96 @ 3500 rpm96 bhp @ 6500 rpm
Mileage (ARAI) kmpl18.4 kmpl19.1 kmpl18.7 kmpl
DrivetrainFWDFWDFWD
Transmission5-speed manual5-speed manual5-speed manual
Emission StandardBS 6BS 6BS 6
Length (mm)3995 mm3991 mm3994 mm
Width (mm)1790 mm1750 mm1758 mm
Height (mm)1610 mm1605 mm1572 mm
Wheelbase (mm)2500 mm2500 mm2500 mm
Ground Clearance (mm)-205 mm205 mm
Kerb Weight (kg)--939 kg
Boot Space (litres)392 litres405 litres336 litres
Fuel Tank (litres)45 litres40 litres40 litres
Front Brake TypeDiscDiscDisc
Rear Brake TypeDrumDrumDrum
Steering TypeElectrically AssistedElectrically AssistedElectrically Assisted
NCAP ratingNot Tested4 Star4 Star
Airbags4 AirbagsDual Front AirbagsDual Front Airbags
Tyre Pressure Monitoring SystemYesNoNo
ABS with EBDYesYesYes
Air ConditioningYes (manual)Yes (manual)Yes (manual)
Rear A/cVents behind front armrestNoNo
DRLsNoLEDNo
Manufacturer Warranty (years)322
Manufacturer Warranty (km)Unlimited50,000 km40,000 km
Instrument ClusterAnalogue – DigitalDigitalAnalogue – Digital
Trip MeterElectronicElectronicNo
TachometerAnalogueDigitalAnalogue

Renault Kiger vs Nissan Magnite vs Kia Sonet – Long Term Review

The Renault Kiger does remind one of the Kwid with some styling cues, such as the familiar front end, however the Kiger is much more premium and appealing with sharper edges and a sporty demeanour.

The high seat in the cabin gives a proper SUV driving position and a commanding view of the road ahead. The instrument cluster is futuristic and takes some time getting used to. The front seats are supportive and ingress and egress are easy with its wide doors.

Renault Kiger

The infotainment screen has good resolution and Android Auto / Apple CarPlay works very well. The 1.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine offers great pulling power although it is not the most refined unit you can get. The turbo whistle is quite nice to hear while the fuel efficiency is decent at 12.5 kmpl.

The Kiger performs equally well as a city runabout and as a highway cruiser.


The Nissan Magnite shares the same engine with the Renault Kiger and has good potential for everyday use. Around town, it performs very well and is responsive above 2000 rpm. Coupled with the CVT gearbox, the drivetrain’s overall refinement levels are superb. The rubber band effect of CVTs is hardly felt in the Magnite as long as you are not overzealous with the throttle.

 Nissan Magnite

With the interior, it seems as if Nissan hasn't thought about convenience very much. For example, the Sport mode button is placed on the gear lever instead of on the dash or beside the stick shifter. It's not even marked, which may get pressed by accident sometimes.

Still the Magnite is an excellent crossover, with a good performing engine / transmission while the cabin is comfortable.

The Kia Sonet is the most feature rich compact SUV you can find. Ventilated front seats, a 10.25 inch touchscreen, Bose surround sound system, LED headlamps, remote engine start and front parking sensors, the list goes on. The Sonet is also well acquainted with city driving and is a breeze through traffic. If only the rear seats were a bit more spacious, and the ride quality were improved, the Sonet could be a well-rounded package.

Kia Sonet

The engine and gearbox give the driver a big car feel in what is a compact SUV. The diesel engine is a little noisy when revved hard though, but you can feel its ample power delivery without straining itself. There are driving modes such as comfort and eco, while the infotainment screen is easy to use and large enough to make you feel special.


Nissan Magnite vs Kia Sonet vs Renault Kiger – Pros and Cons

Let’s have a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of owning these compact SUVs.

Nissan Magnite Pros

  • The Nissan Magnite has a modern design with stylish exteriors and new-age looks. It is attractive from all angles and makes other compact SUVs look dated
  • It has a spacious cabin with lots of storage compartments for cup holders and bottles. There is a conveniently large glove box, and the cabin is filled with features
  • Potent engine options include a 1.0 litre naturally aspirated unit and a 1.0 litre turbocharged power plant.

Nissan Magnite Cons

  • The steering is a bit slow and unresponsive at times. It doesn’t give the driver a sporty feeling and is more suited to slow-speed city driving than attacking corners and high-speed journeys.
  • Controls are not exactly light and easy to use. The driver controls are a bit cumbersome and take some getting used to
  • The suspension setup is not tuned towards high-speed rides and feels a bit harsh and non-absorbent. It is well suited for slow rides in the city. Also, the after-sales network is not that wide and service centres are few and far between.

Kia Sonet Pros

The Kia Sonet gets excellent styling that has a touch of modern design, along with contemporary looks. It is also sort of muscular and rugged to look at

  • Engines are responsive and offer good performance. They are also frugal and smooth to drive
  • The Sonet is easy to drive and the steering is light and compact with lots of feedback
  • The quality of materials is good, and fit and finish are above par for this segment
  • Large boot space is an advantage on long journeys

Kia Sonet Cons

  • Ride quality is on the stiffer side, it takes time to settle after a bounce and a high-speed ride is uncomfortable, especially when fully loaded
  • Rear seats lack space and three adults will have a squeeze trying to fit in there
  • Poor rear visibility due to compact rear windscreen and broad C-pillars

Renault Kiger Pros

  • Engine is peppy and offers quick acceleration
  • Cabin is feature filled with cruise control, wireless smartphone charging function, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and a snazzy instrument cluster
  • Design is appealing for a compact SUV and it has an affordable entry-level price tag

Renault Kiger Cons

  • Second row of seats is a tight squeeze and lacks proper legroom and headroom
  • The boot is big enough, but it has a high loading lip which makes it inconvenient if you have heavy luggage that needs to be loaded
  • Although the price tag is affordable, the cost-cutting measures are evident

Conclusion

The Kiger and Magnite share a lot more than just their price tag. Being built on the same platform means they are also similar to drive and have comparable ride/handling dynamics. The Kia Sonet pulls a little ahead here in terms of engine refinement, features, and slightly more premium interiors.

The Sonet is more polished than the Magnite and the Kiger, but it has a higher price tag for all those extra features that make it the more sophisticated compact SUV. The Renault Kiger does however tick all the right boxes that matter the most and would be a good choice for the price-conscious buyer.

The value offered by the Renault-Nissan alliance is something you can’t overlook. The Renault Kiger and Nissan Magnite both debuted in India as brand-new compact SUVs, with modern styling, a decent feature list for the price you pay, and performance-happy engines that include turbocharged versions.

The Nissan Magnite comes across as a compact SUV with lots of potentials, not only with its potent engine options but also the fact that it is a great upgrade for those who want to move from a hatchback to a compact SUV. If only Nissan could widen its service centers and dealership network, the Magnite would be a sure winner for Nissan.



Colin Dias

Colin Dias

Automotive enthusiast. Heavy Metal fan. Classic car aficionado.

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