The SUV segment is one of the most competitive and fast growing segment in India especially since 2012 when Renault Duster was launched. Right from Duster, EcoSport to XUV500 buyers now prefer bigger and spacious cars over sedans as they also now portray as a status symbol for them. Renault Duster along with its sibling Nissan Terrano still regarded as the most capable SUVs despite of Ford EcoSport mayhem. Seeing the potential of SUV segment, the South Korean car maker Hyundai has decided to enter into the competitive segment for the first time with Creta.
The Hyundai Creta is not a sub 4m SUV like Ford EcoSport or a full fledge SUV like Mahindra XUV 500. The Creta is made in India and will be exported to various countries and first country to receive made in India Creta will be Thailand. We got an opportunity to spin in it around for a drive and here’s what we think about Hyundai’s compact SUV.
Engine and performance:
- Hyundai Creta is powered by a same set of engines shared with Verna sedan- 1.4L and 1.6L diesel and sole petrol engine (1.6L).
- The 1.4L diesel delivers 89bhp power and 220Nm of torque, the bigger 1.6L produces 126bhp and 260Nm torque while the 1.6L VTVT is good enough for 121bhp power and 155Nm torque. The 1.6L engine makes Creta the most powerful SUV in its segment.
- The 1.4L and 1.6L CRDi are available with a six speed manual gearbox while 1.6L can also be had with a six speed automatic (first-in segment). The solitary 1.6L VTVT comes with a standard six speed manual gearbox.
- Crank up the 1.6L motor and it is hardly any sound inside the cabin except minor diesel clatter which actually manages to seep in but overall cabin is well insulated.
- In terms of performance, the engine shines after 1900rpm as it poses some initial turbo lag but in spite of it you don’t to change gear frequently especially at lower speeds.
- The 6-speed AT is the same unit that does duty in Elantra sedan so expect same drivability i.e. smooth city throttle along with decent highway performance. Though it may sound loud if you step on it harder which doesn’t affect daily driving while it will make difference on highways as compared to manual.
- Hyundai Creta comes equipped with a torque converter which makes power delivery linear and SUV fun to drive despite of initial turbo lag.
- Manual variant feels way better to drive as compared to AT because you can test the torque ability of the engine to the maximum which will certainly attract enthusiasts. Driving manual was a great experience thanks to its quick pick up, engaging gearbox and light clutch.
- The Creta offers decent ride and handling dynamics in fact it won’t be wrong to say that it is Hyundai’s best handling car till date because of the blend of handling and steering response.
- Braking is taken care of by front disc and rear drum (missing rear disc is a disappointment) which instigate a lot of confidence in driving but you to be careful around the corners and during high speeds unless you have the ESP equipped variant.
- Overall, Hyundai Creta giver positive impression with powerful and refined engine certainly a great prospect in the segment but it is not as peppy as Renault Duster.
- Hyundai Creta is made at company’s Chennai plant with around 90 percent localization level which helped the South Korean car maker to price it aggressively.
- The Initial price of Creta starts at Rs. 8.59 lakh which is merely 25k more than duster but around 2 lakh fewer than Nissan Terrano.
- The top variant of Creta would cost you at Rs. 13.60 lakh which is approx 80k dearer than both Duster and Terrano but one can afford that much of price because of its overall package.
- The Creta is also available with an AT gearbox which is priced at Rs. 13.57 lakh, the segment first diesel automatic will tempt the buyers.
Space and Dimensions:
- As earlier said, Creta is not sub 4m vehicle because it is 4270mm long along with 1780mm width and 1630mm of height. The wheelbase stands at 2590mm which ensure ample amount of space inside the cabin and 190mm of ground clearance to tackle India’s nostalgic roads.
- Let’s start with the seats (leather with contrast stitching) which are cushiony and nice and will keep the passengers comfortable and happy. Driver seat comes with height adjustability feature for more commanding view but no lumbar support is a disappointing.
- Rear seat is the talking point for any car and it becomes even more important in SUVs. In Creta rear space is good for two adjusting three would be a squeezey affair.
- At rear, shoulder space might not be enough for three but the abundance of legroom and headroom ensures that the occupant doesn’t feel claustrophobic.
- The unspecified Boot space of Creta is pretty good to carry 4-5 medium sized bags for a family over a weekend. Hyundai has also given a full size mounted spare wheel.
- The space at rear is good but it’s constricted by limited shoulder space and lack of under thigh support.
- It won’t be wrong to say that Creta does look like baby Santa Fe as it carries forward the muscular and iconic styling of it. Hyundai Creta brings refresh design along with attractive and sporty design.
- Based on Hyundai Fluidic design and long bonnet it gives Creta an upright SUV stance. The three slat front grille, swept back headlamps with LED DRLs and unique vertical fog lamps makes the front fascia aggressive and add premium feel to it.
- Moving to the sides, which will represent its real SUV character with long bonnet, roof rails, black A-B pillars and prominent shoulder lines. The black cladding gives it the crossover-ish look while the 17 inch multi spoke silver alloy wheels create a contrast effect.
- The rear end of Creta might not be of everyone’s taste but it will grow on you with time. At back you get wraparound taillights, chrome garnish appliqué, black cladding with central faux silver skid plate.
- On top you get shark fin antenna, third braking light while the small windscreen makes the rear profile a bit quirky. There two reflectors at the bottom of tail gate for added visibility at night.
- Overall, Hyundai try almost everything to wow you but it lacks the muscularity of Duster and quirky rear design is spoils the fun. Still, it is one of the best looking SUV in the country right now.
Interior and Safety:
- Step inside the Creta and feel the premiumness at its best with all black interiors and it feels leap ahead in terms of quality and fit finish. A segment benchmark for sure.
- The Hyundai Creta is certainly the most tech loaded in its segment with seven inch touchscreen system with navigation and rear parking assistance, start stop button, automatic climate control, 12V power sockets, rear ac vents, keyless entry and many more.
- The leather packed steering wheel feels premium and firm to hold and get integrated controls for bluetooth telephony and audio.
- The three pod instrument cluster has a multi information display which average speed, outside temperature display, average fuel consumption while skipping the distance to empty range.
- Space is also pretty good on Creta as you get two cup holders, arm rest with space, rear armrest with two cup holders, side bottle holders, front seat back map pockets and there is also a little space near the gear lever.
- Important points- The visibility of the touch screen system is extremely during the direct sunlight, there’s hardly anything you can see in full daylight. The rear can be folded flat but don’t have 60:40 spilt function and cabin is not airy as Duster’s.
- Other features include keyless entry, electric tail gate release, dead pedal and follow me headlamps.
- As far as safety is concerned it comes loaded with six airbags, ABS, ESP, reverse parking camera, hill assist control (only in AT), ESC, VSM, impact sensing auto door lock unlock and EBD.
To sum up, Creta is definitely going to write another success story for the car maker with its eye pleasing design, comfort ability, tons of features. The Creta feels planted, rides well during our short drive but still Duster is our pick here. Being a first diesel automatic in its segment will be its strongest point and add to its overall appeal. It misses out on some features but for most of the buyers in the segment it ticked all the right boxes though as fun to drive as Duster. Nevertheless, Creta will surely be a hot seller and has the makings of a winner and it will surely eat the market share of Duster and Terrano. Even EcoSport could take some dent as well.
|Comparison of Hyundai Creta|
|Comparison of Hyundai Creta variants|