Hyundai Creta Review
The Hyundai Creta compact SUV is high on practicality and the feel good factor

Car Tested: 2015 Hyundai Creta 1.6 Diesel AT SX & Manual SX (O)

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 10.24 – 16.53 lakhs

The Hyundai Creta is a practical SUV which is high on comfort, equipment, performance

It is boom time for SUVs in India and this segment has seen exceptional growth over the last few years. Hyundai is now set to foray into the affordable SUV space with the launch of the Creta. One of the most anticipated vehicles this year, the Hyundai Creta has already created big buzz around it. But is it as good as it sounds? We take this new Hyundai for a short spin at the Korean company’s Chennai plant to find out. We are not allowed to click pictures at this preview event and will be reviewing the Creta in detail at the national media drive next month.

Hyundai Creta Test Drive Review
The Creta looks attractive and comes with some very nice design elements

The Hyundai Creta has already been launched in China under the ix25 nameplate and the Indian model is not drastically different. The front fascia is similar with the three-slat hexagonal grille. The projector lamps and DRLs add to the premium feel (there are static bending lights too). The Creta does not have muscular proportions like the Renault Duster but feels more sophisticated. It is more than 4-meters long and space is generous. The rear profile looks a little plain but a chrome bar has been added on the top end variants for India which might not appeal to a few.

Hyundai Creta Dashboard
The Hyundai Creta is loaded with a ton of features, top-end gets six airbags

While the ix25 comes with all black interiors in China, the Creta uses two-tone black and beige interiors in India. The cabin is feature rich and space is generous but the dashboard feels a bit plasticky. Hyundai has equipped the Creta with a 7-inch touchscreen AVN (with six speakers) which has 1 GB storage as in the Elite i20. The touch-screen is only available in the SX(O) trim, the lower variants won’t get the AVN but will have a 5-inch touchscreen audio system. The diesel automatic won’t be offered in SX(O) trim and will only come in the SX variant. The difference between the SX(O) trim is it gets 17-inch alloy wheels, 7-inch AVN, leather seats and traction control system while the SX variant gets 16-inch wheels, 5-inch touch-screen and fabric seats. The other features include smart key, push button start, electrically folding rearview mirrors, rear AC vents, reverse camera, etc. Hyundai continues to skip on a distance to empty (range) feature which is omitted on the Grand i10, Xcent and i20 as well.

Hyundai Creta Road Test
Interior space is good and the Hyundai Creta gets many creature comforts

The rising shoulder line makes the rear window look small but it is wide enough ensuring enough light comes in and there is no feeling of claustrophobia. Both the front and rear seats offer good back and thigh support with good cushioning all around. Even with a 6-footer seated at the front, rear legroom is quite good. The car gets restraint points for a child seat. The top end version has all black art leather upholstery but the lower variants will get two tone black fabric seats. Boot space is pretty good and Hyundai has given a full sized alloy mounted spare wheel. The AC too has been tuned for hot and humid Indian conditions. The top variants get six airbags.

Hyundai Creta Performance
The Hyundai Creta has powerful engines and offers punchy performance

The Creta’s 1.6 diesel motor is powerful and offers stellar NVH levels

Hyundai is offering three engine options on the Creta, which are derived from the Verna with minor tweaks. The sole petrol engine is the 1.6 Dual VTVT which produces 123 PS and is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. We expect this version to be the base. The majority of the volumes will come from the diesel powered cars. Two diesel engine options are the 1.4-litre CRDI which produces 90 PS and 220 Nm while the 1.6-litre CRDI which incorporates a VGT and churns out 128 PS of power and 260 Nm of torque. Both the diesels are paired to 6-speed manual transmission while the 1.6 gets a segment first 6-speed automatic transmission (uses a single clutch). NVH levels are excellent and you can barely hear the oil burner. We reckon the AT will attract a lot of buyers as there is no diesel automatic SUV in this segment.

We got behind the wheel of the 1.6-litre diesel automatic and manual. The automatic feels quite apt for city driving but the gearbox feels laggy when you need to upshift in a hurry. The manual feels better to drive as you can exploit the torquey nature of the engine to the maximum. The shifts are smooth and even the clutch is very light (lighter than the Duster) and the shorter clutch travel makes it quite effortless to drive. The mid-range of the engine is quite strong. The vehicle is based on a modified Elantra platform.

Hyundai Creta Handling
Like the Elite i20, the Creta has neutral handling with a good ride quality

Ride quality is good for both front and rear passengers though it is hard to judge that just yet as we pretty much drove on smooth tarmac. The Creta handles quite well, the steering feels better than the i20’s. It is light at slow speeds and weighs up decently at high speeds but it isn’t the most feedback rich unit out there. Body roll is well contained but the suspension is on the softer side. However, this is good enough to seal the deal for most. The car gets ESC, VSM and HAC. The brakes too inspire a lot of confidence and coming to a standstill from 100 km/hr ensures no drama at all. Hyundai has skipped on rear disc brakes on the Creta.

Hyundai Creta Test Drive
The Hyundai Creta excels on multiple fronts and will attract a ton of buyers

The first impression of the Hyundai Creta are quite positive. The segment first diesel automatic is what most urban buyers are looking for. It looks good, drives well and perfectly fills the gap between the i20 Active and Santa Fe. Hyundai will launch the Creta on 21st July and introductory prices should be quite aggressive. The top-end trim is expected to be priced around Rs. 16 lakhs (on-road). Nevertheless the Hyundai Creta is all set to rule the compact SUV segment by offering good space, tons of features and the diesel automatic will be its biggest USP.

The Hyundai Creta will surely be a hot seller in India as the vehicle is high on comfort, space, features and performance. With two diesel engines on offer, Hyundai plans to address a wide segment of compact SUV buyers.

What’s Cool

* Attractive looking compact SUV which looks like a mini Santa Fe from certain angles
* Quality interiors with a long list of equipment
* First in segment 6-speed diesel automatic

What’s Not So Cool

* Not a driver’s car and doesn’t engage enthusiasts like a Renault Duster

Alternatives: Renault Duster, Maruti Suzuki S-Cross