Kia Sonet vs Maruti Suzuki Brezza: Which is the Mightier Compact SUV?

Kia Sonet vs Maruti Brezza, which is the better SUV, you ask? Let’s find out by comparing the two across a variety of practical parameters that affect your ownership experience.
Kia Sonet vs Maruti Brezza
By - Team Spinny
December 14, 2022

The Brezza wasn’t the first compact SUV in India. But its stupendous sales performance – over 8 lakh have been sold since the 1st gen Vitara Brezza was launched in 2016 – helped it dominate not only the compact SUV market share but also the people’s mindshare. You say ‘compact SUV’, and people instantly think of the Brezza. But one of the strongest challenges to this dominance came from the Kia Sonet, which has been a veritable bestseller of its own with over 1.5 lakh units sold in less than two years of launch.

The sales backdrop aside, Maruti spiced up the Kia Sonet vs Maruti Brezza match-up further by launching the 2nd-gen Brezza. Does this mean the sales king is also the segment king? Or is the Sonet, with its still fresh styling, overflowing features list, and wider powertrain options the mightier compact SUV? Let’s find out by comparing the two across a variety of practical parameters that affect your ownership experience.

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Kia Sonet vs Maruti Brezza: Dimensions

Sonet

Brezza

Length

3995 mm

3995 mm

Width

1790 mm

1790 mm

Height

1642 mm

1685 mm

Wheelbase

2500 mm

2500 mm

Ground Clearance

205 mm

200 mm

Boot Space

392 litres

328 litres

Spinny Assured Kia Sonet
<em>Kia Sonet</em>

SUVs such as the Sonet and the Brezza are the result of a tax structure that benefits cars under 4 metres in length. This explains why all compact SUVs are so closely matched in terms of dimensions, especially the two here. The Sonet and Brezza share the same length, width, and wheelbase. It’s only height where the Brezza trumps the Sonet, which should help with easier ingress, egress and greater headroom in the Maruti offering. Compounding this factor is the Sonet’s sloping roofline which can make things a bit tight in the rear seat for taller-than-average occupants.

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maruti-brezza
<em>Maruti Suzuki Brezza</em>

The Sonet though boasts of greater ground clearance and boot space among the two. However, these differences are marginal at best, unlike the additional height of the Brezza which will likely have greater day-to-day, practical impact.

Kia Sonet vs Maruti Brezza: Engine & Transmission

Sonet

Brezza

Engines

1.2-litre petrol (83PS & 115 Nm)

1.5-litre petrol (103 PS & 137 Nm) with mild-hybrid assist

1.0-litre turbo petrol (120 PS & 172 Nm)

1.5-litre WG turbo diesel (100 PS & 240 Nm)

1.5-litre VG turbo diesel (115 PS & 250 Nm)

Transmissions

5-speed manual

5-speed manual

6-speed manual

6-speed automatic

6-speed iMT

6-speed automatic

7-speed DCT

Mileage

18.4 kmpl (1.2-litre petrol & 5-speed manual)

20.1 (manual - LXi, VXi)

24.1 kmpl (1.5-litre WGT diesel & 6-speed manual)

19.8 kmpl (manual - ZXi, ZXi+)

18.2 kmpl (1.0-litre turbo petrol & 6-speed iMT)

19.8 (automatic)

19 kmpl (1.5-litre VGT diesel & 6-speed automatic)

18.3 kmpl (1.0-litre turbo petrol & 7-speed DCT)

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Kia’s spectacular success in the Indian market has as much to do with product strategy as product quality. The Sonet’s powertrain options are a great example of this as they comprise four engines and five transmissions, thus catering to the needs and preferences of the widest set of buyers.

For example, it offers turbo diesel and turbo petrol engines apart from a clutchless manual (iMT) and DCT gearbox options. Even with the diesel, you get a WG (Wastegate) turbo mill and a slightly more powerful VG (Variable Geometry) turbo mill option paired to a 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic respectively. The Brezza offers none of this, not even a diesel, as there’s only one engine – the 1.5-litre mild-hybrid naturally aspirated petrol engine paired to either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic. 

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But the Brezza’s calling card is its fuel efficiency where both its manual and automatic variants do better than their equivalent Sonet variants. However, as was the case with the Sonet’s ground clearance and boot space, these advantages of the Brezza are marginal and the two cars would likely deliver similar real-world fuel efficiency.

And since there’s no diesel Brezza to compare with, it doesn’t make sense to highlight the diesel-manual Sonet’s fuel efficiency of 24.1 kmpl. But, on the whole, the Sonet’s powertrain options are better as there’s something on offer for every kind of buyer, be it a city-slicker, highway warrior, outright enthusiast, or relaxed commuter.

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Kia Sonet vs Maruti Brezza: Features & Comfort

Sonet

Brezza

Infotainment system

Up to 10.25-inch

Up to 9-inch

Music system

Up to 7 speakers

Up to 6 speakers

Climate control

Yes

Yes

Ventilated seats

Yes

No

Adjustable steering

Yes (Tilt)

Yes (Tilt & Telescopic)

Drive modes

Yes

No

Instrument cluster

Analogue - Digital

Analogue - Digital

Sunroof

Yes

Yes

Adjustable seats

Yes

Yes

Rear AC vents

Yes

Yes

60:40 rear seat split

No

Yes

Cruise control

Yes

Yes

Kia Sonet interior
<em>Kia Sonet</em>

The Sonet and the Brezza share the spoils in terms of features and comfort with essentials such as adjustable seats (manual adjustment only on both cars), electric sunroof, rear AC vents, cruise control, and large feature-packed infotainment units complemented by speaker+tweeter setups. But there are a couple of vital aspects that each car misses out on. 

For instance, the Sonet offers ventilated driver and co-driver seats, a helpful feature to enhance comfort on long drives and during hot summers. Similarly, it also offers multiple drive modes which help keep the engine at its most efficient across different driving conditions, leading to better and smoother overall performance.

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<em>Maruti Brezza</em>

The Brezza pulls a couple back by offering a 60:40 split rear seat and tilt and reach (the Sonet only has tilt) adjustable steering wheel, features that will come as a boon when you need to stow additional luggage at the back or avoid shoulder discomfort on longer drives.

While driving modes on the Brezza would’ve helped, the mild-hybrid tech makes up for it by switching off the petrol engine at low speeds or when stationary and using power from a battery pack for low-speed running and assisting acceleration. Together, these effects would lead to a smooth driving experience across different conditions, while helping the Brezza deliver better (even if marginal) fuel efficiency than the Sonet.

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Kia Sonet vs Maruti Brezza: Safety Features

Sonet

Brezza

GNCAP Safety Rating

NA

NA

Airbags

Up to 6

Up to 6

ABS with EBD

Yes

Yes

ESC

Yes

Yes

Traction control

Yes

No

Automatic headlamps

Yes

Yes

Rain-sensing wipers

No

No

Hill hold assist

Yes

Yes

Hill descent control

No

No

Rear parking sensors

Yes

Yes

Rear parking camera

Yes

Yes

ISOFIX child seat anchor points

Yes

Yes

ADAS

No

No

Although the Kia Sonet is packed to the brim with essential and additional safety features such as 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, ESC, ISOFIX anchor points, and even traction control, its structural safety has still not been tested by Global NCAP. This is a downer when you consider the car has been in the Indian market for over two years and that its larger siblings, the Seltos and the Carens, performed below-par in the Global NCAP crash tests with 3-star scores.

<em>Maruti Suzuki Brezza</em>

Although the Maruti Brezza too hasn’t been tested by Global NCAP yet, the previous generation Vitara Brezza was and scored an impressive 4 stars in the crash tests. As the current Brezza gets structural improvements over the previous generation model, it would be a safe bet to say it’ll likely match the older car’s 4-star score or even better it. Because of this, and despite lacking the traction control system that the Sonet gets, the Maruti Brezza is the safer of the two cars.

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Kia Sonet vs Maruti Brezza: Pricing (Delhi NCR)

Sonet

Brezza

Base (ex-showroom)

Rs 7.49 – 9.05 lakh

Rs 7.99 – 9.46 lakh

Mid (ex-showroom)

Rs 9.19 – 11.35 lakh

Rs 10.86 – 11.02 lakh

Upper-mid (ex-showroom)

Rs 11.95 – 12.99 lakh

Rs 12.30 – 12.52 lakh

Top (ex-showroom)

Rs 13.79 – 13.99 lakh

Rs 13.8 – 13.96 lakh

Used car prices (starting)

Rs 9.62 lakh

Rs 6.07 lakh (1st gen)

The Kia Sonet and the Maruti Brezza are closely stacked in terms of pricing, with only the former’s base model undercutting the latter’s base variant by around Rs 50,000. The price distribution for both cars is fairly even as you go higher up the variants chain. But given that the Sonet offers 23 variants across five trim levels compared to the Brezza’s 11 variants across four trims, you’ll have a better shot at finding the right car in your budget with the Sonet. 

While this pricing makes both cars good value for money, you can consider pre-owned options to sweeten the deal some more. A used Kia Sonet is easier to find with prices starting at roughly Rs 9.5 lakh, meaning you can score a relatively new and within warranty used mid-variant Sonet for the price of a new base variant Sonet.

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As the 2nd-gen Brezza was launched only a few months ago, your search for a second-hand Brezza will mostly bring up the 1st-gen model. Minus the new car’s additional creature comforts, the older Brezza continues to be a very competitive compact SUV backed up by Maruti’s reliability and cost-effectiveness. More importantly, you can also buy a second-hand Brezza with the torquey and fuel-efficient diesel mill with prices starting at Rs 6 lakh.

Kia Sonet vs Maruti Brezza: Summary

So, which is the mightier compact SUV of the two? It’s a close call in most areas (dimensions, comfort and features, fuel efficiency, pricing) and a clear verdict in the rest (powertrain, safety). The Maruti Brezza is clearly the safer car, offers better comfort and practicality at the rear seat, gets useful driver aids such as reach-adjustable steering, and delivers slightly better fuel economy over comparable Sonet variants. 

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The Sonet, however, swings the balance with its wider range of powertrain options and comfort features apart from the ones we’ve listed above. It’s also the more premium car, in terms of the interior as well as the exterior, despite having been around for over two years now. Given these facts, you really can’t go wrong with picking either car as the mightier among these compact SUVs is likely to be so only marginally in your day-to-day usage.

FAQs on Kia Sonet vs Maruti Brezza

Q. Which car is best: Brezza vs Sonet?

Both cars are evenly matched and have strengths of their own. If you prioritise safety, the Brezza is undoubtedly better than the Sonet. It’s also the more comfortable car in terms of seating space. However, the Sonet is more feature-packed, gets a variety of powertrains (including a diesel engine), and offers several trims to help you select the best car for your budget.

Q. Which car has better mileage Brezza vs Sonet?

The petrol-manual Brezza (20.1 kmpl) offers better mileage than the petrol-manual Sonet (18.4 kmpl). The difference is smaller between the petrol-automatic Brezza (19.8 kmpl) and the petrol-automatic Sonets – turbo-iMT (18.2 kmpl) and turbo-DCT (18.3 kmpl). However, the diesel-manual Sonet is the most fuel-efficient here with a figure of 24.1 kmpl.

Q. Is Sonet better than Brezza?

The Sonet is better than the Brezza in terms of the number of variants, powertrain options, and certain features such as a larger infotainment system, Bose speakers, drive modes etc. It also offers more muscular styling and premium interiors as compared to the Brezza.

Q. What are the disadvantages of Kia Sonet as compared to Maruti Brezza?

The Kia Sonet doesn’t get a crash safety rating as it hasn’t been tested by Global NCAP yet. While the current Brezza hasn’t been tested either, the previous Brezza scored a 4-star rating in these tests. This makes it likely that the current Brezza will score the same or even higher in the crash tests. The Sonet also misses out on important bits like reach-adjustable steering, a 60:40 split rear seat, and an overall less comfortable rear seat as compared to the Maruti Brezza.

Q. Which car offers better performance Brezza vs Sonet?

The Sonet offers better performance thanks to its turbo petrol engine that produces 120 PS and 172 Nm compared to the Brezza’s naturally aspirated petrol engine that churns out 103 PS and 137 Nm.

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