Starting families now don't have to save up for a million in order to get their first family car. Changes in trend enabled brands to introduce sedans at a lower price point than usual, while still giving enough space for a family to grow. Say hello to the Hyundai Reina, Kia Soluto, and Suzuki Dzire. These three sedans have entered the market with a good amount of features and a great bargain price to boot.
Coming into this comparo, our expectations were set accordingly to the price point. However, after we've spent enough time with the cars, consider us thoroughly impressed. Each model has merits and value that warrants your extremely hard-earned Philippine Peso. Let's go over each of the models one by one and peel back the layers to get more in depth.
The tamest-looking of the bunch, the Kia Soluto seems to walk its own path in terms of design. The subdued face and the professional styling doesn't scream budget at all. Chrome trim and body proportions are done well, and what impressed us the most was the model's stability at high speeds. The interior exudes subtle hits of silver along with Kia's signature design language. The interior upholstery is done in a two-tone color scheme with a faux-leather material. At the center of it all sits a 7-inch infotainment system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. The unit floats on the dashboard for the driver's convenience and is flanked by a hardware volume control knob and a row of navigation buttons on the left side.
The features are more than enough to get you through a day's worth of driving, and definitely enough to keep you happy for a long time. Like the rest of its rivals on the comparo, it has light steering and a compact proportion making it a rather comfortable car to drive around the city. Wind and tire noise are all at acceptable levels, and it features a 1.4-liter gasoline engine mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission, which is the Reina's twin in terms of its chassis and powertrain, and both models produce 94 hp and 132 Nm of torque.
The aforementioned twin to the Soluto, the Reina features a face that is more angular, outgoing, and on the more flamboyant side of the spectrum. It's got curves and flowing lines all throughout the body, and even if it is related to the Soluto, it doesn't resemble it at all. Both brands bring their own distinct flavors to the table when it came to designing these two sedans. The Reina in particular, might not be the most adorned in terms of features, but it does have a nice sharp look about it. The interior follows the layout of the Soluto, but only in terms of placement and quirks. The shapes that Hyundai used are distinctly-Hyundai, and the material on the seats won't burn you on a hot summer's day because these cushions are clad in cloth.
Stepping into the driver's seat and taking the car out will give you a good overall experience. With the 1.4-liter engine mated to a 4-speed automatic doing the work, you can expect spritely performance mixed with the lightness reasonable comfort and stability, just like its brother, with the only difference being the different infotainment system that is not going to knock your socks off because it is only a 1-DIN system.
With large features on a small car, the Suzuki is the Japanese brand's entry into this segment with a backseat that can impress even some of the more picky people out there. With the best back seats in the selection, you get bottle holders on either door, a charging port, two air vents that help out on a hot summer's day, and even an armrest for the rear occupants. These inclusions are unheard of in its category let alone its price point. The interior is otherwise well done with enough amenities to cover your daily needs.
It may have the smallest engine in our comparo, but it does still pull its weight with 82 hp and 113 Nm of torque from the 1.2-liter gasoline motor. While it may not be the most spritely, but it does have the most gears and is equipped with Suzuki's own 5-speed Auto Gear-Shift (AGS) transmission, which brings its fuel economy figures well above our expectations. Handling is notable between its rivals, and is one of the better handling vehicles in its segment, with NVH being a fair at higher speeds.
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