Kia Sonet has been the biggest entrant in the extremely lucrative sub-compact SUV segment in India. With the promise of stellar looks, multiple engine and transmission options, confident drive capabilities and - most importantly - loaded features, Sonet has taken the market by storm and propelled Kia to a position of strength. And while it has managed to challenge established giants in the space like Hyundai Venue and Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, the newest challenger is soon going to be challenged by an even newer player in the field - Nissan Magnite.
While Kia has only been in India for a little over a year and has managed to become a household name of sorts, Nissan has been here for far longer but with limited success and popularity. As a car, Magnite hopes to drum up the sub-compact SUV segment but as an offering, it has the pressure of establishing's Nissan's prowess.
Magnite recently hit production lines at the company's plant in Chennai and an official launch is expected soon. The Japanese car maker has now officially confirmed its engine transmission and colour highlights - among others, and on paper at least, Magnite appears well armoured for the battle ahead.
First in its crosshairs would be the Sonet because here is where the current buzz is firmly at.
Sonet is offered in a 1.0-litre turbo petrol, 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel engine. The turbo petrol has 118 bhp of power and 172 Nm of torque, the 1.2-litre has 81 bhp of power and 115 Nm of torque while the diesel unit belts out 98 bhp of power (AT diesel puts out 113 bhp) and 240 Nm of torque.
Magnite, in contrast of sorts, will be offered only with petrol engines - a 1.0-litre B4D dual-VVT naturally aspirated unit and a 1.0-litre HRA0 turbocharged unit. Reports suggest that max power figure will be in the range between 71 bhp and 98 bhp. Similarly, torque figures would be between 96 Nm and 160 Nm.
In terms of transmission options available, Magnite will get a 5-speed manual unit as well as Nissan's much-acclaimed X-Tronic CVT box. Sonet is offered with five transmission options - six-speed iMT, five-speed manual, six-speed manual, seven-speed DCT and six-speed automatic.
Both cars are and will be offered with multiple colout choices. Sonet has already been made available in as many as 10 hues - Intense Red, Glacier White Pearl, Beige Gold With Aurora Black Pearl, Steel Silver, Aurora Black Pearl, Beige Gold, Intelligence Blue, Glacier White Pearl With Aurora Black Pearl, Gravity Gray and Intense Red With Aurora Black Pearl.
Magnite, once launched, will be available in eight colour options - five single-tone and three dual-tone. The former has Fiery Garnet Red, Sandstone Brown, Blade Silver, Onyx Black and Storm White. The dual-tone colour options are Vivid Blue with Storm White, Pearly White with Onyx Black and Fiery Garnet Red with Onyx Black.
Sonet may well have the edge when it comes to features on offer but Nissan will offer a Tech pack at the time of launch which could also bolster its image in this regard.
Because Magnite is being widely seen as a make-or-break offering for Nissan, the company is likely to use an extremely competitive price structure as the biggest weapon to undercut rivals with. For now though, the wait for Magnite's official launch continues.