Hyundai Alcazar Test Drive Review
We do a detailed road test review of the Hyundai Alcazar.
Car Tested: Hyundai Alcazar; Road Test No. 1317; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs 19.53 – 24.44 lakhs
Excellent comfort along with a spacious and tech loaded cabin makes the Alcazar a value for money family SUV
People are crowding showrooms to buy 7-seaters like no one’s business and automakers are also having a field time launching 7-seat versions of their 5-seater SUVs left, right and centre. Last year, MG brought in the Hector Plus and not so long back Tata Motors brought in the Safari. It was known since long that Hyundai had been working on a 7-seater SUV based on the Creta and now we finally have the Alcazar which is named after a castle in Spain.
Exteriors – The Hyundai Alcazar is as wide as the Creta but it is also 40 mm taller and 200 mm longer. The Alcazar’s wheelbase is also 150 mm longer than the Creta’s. Hyundai has followed a similar design philosophy with the Alcazar but there are some significant changes on the outside. The 7-seater gets a new grille up front and I think this one looks much better than the one on the Creta. The side also looks quite proportionate and you get these diamond-cut 18-inch wheels. The rear is also neatly designed and looks pleasant though it might remind you of some other SUVs. Overall, the Alcazar looks pretty good and doesn’t draw the kind of polarising opinions that the Creta did.
Interiors – Fundamentally, the dashboard layout remains similar to the Creta but what the Alcazar does get is a new colour theme. The new cognac brown with black interior looks smashing and has a premium feel to it too. You also get some soft-touch materials on the dashboard but there are lots of hard plastics as well. The steering wheel looks familiar while the instrument cluster is a completely new unit. The fully digital cluster gets a 10.25-inch screen which is very clear and gets multiple themes as well. The layout is fantastic and it is very easy to navigate through the menus as well. The infotainment system is the same unit that we have seen on the Creta and comes with an 8-speaker layout from Bose.
The Alcazar is loaded with features to the brim including ventilated front seats and connected car features
The front seats offer terrific levels of comfort and are a great place to be in. The driver’s seat is also 8-way electrically adjustable. At the front, you get two USB charging ports and a wireless charging pad as well. Apart from that, the Alcazar gets a panoramic sunroof and other usual features like keyless go with push-button start, climate control, Blue Link connected car features and the likes. The AC is an absolute chiller and we didn’t face any issues with the cooling in this humid climate. The front seats are also ventilated and this feature is truly a boon. The Hyundai Alcazar also gets a surround-view monitor which is flashed on the infotainment system while there’s also a blind spot monitor which is displayed on the instrument cluster. The vehicle also comes with front and rear parking sensors.
Coming to the second row, the Hyundai Alcazar is offered in both 6-seater and 7-seater configurations but these layouts aren’t available on every variant. The 7-seater layout can be had only with the Prestige MT and Platinum MT trims with the petrol engine and Prestige MT, Prestige AT and Platinum MT trim with the diesel engine. That’s right, you cannot get this with the top of the line variants and the Signature and Signature (O) AT trims get only the 6-seater layout. The captain seats are great and offer tremendous comfort. Space is also pretty good and the seats can be reclined and slid. The 6-seater variants come with this centre armrest and rear passengers also get a single USB port and a wireless charging pad along with a couple of cupholders. There are rear AC vents as well. Along with this, the second row also gets cushions for the headrest. All the doors get decently-sized bottle holders and storage spaces and there are spaces to keep things in the centre console and under the armrest too.
7-seater configuration in the Alcazar is limited to mid and base trims and also not offered on the petrol automatic variant
The second-row seats tumble down at the pull of the knob and you can get into the third row from the side itself unlike the Tata Safari and MG Hector where you need to go back from the middle (6-seater variants). The third row is well shaped but isn’t very high on space. Headroom is enough but knee room is very limited for tall people and it becomes quite tight here. But, for kids and young adults, this shouldn’t be a problem at all. The third row also gets two USB ports and controls for the AC vents. With all the rows up, the boot capacity is 180-litres but the rear seats can be folded flat to generate more space.
Performance – Hyundai is offering two engine options with the Alcazar – 2.0-litre MPI petrol and 1.5-litre CRDI diesel. Talking about the petrol engine, this is a 4-cylinder, naturally aspirated unit that is also offered on the Elantra and Tucson. This powerplant churns out 159 PS and 191 Nm and is offered with a 6-speed MT or a 6-speed torque converter. The Creta gets a 1.4-litre turbo and 1.5-litre NA petrol engines but Hyundai has opted for a bigger engine for this SUV.
While the petrol engine scores high on refinement and performance, the diesel engine is extremely fuel efficient
The petrol engine scores very high when it comes to refinement because vibrations and noises are well under control. This being an NA unit, power delivery is smooth for the most part and the engine has enough grunt to pull this SUV. It doesn’t feel sluggish at all and pulls the car very nicely. The 6-speed torque converter is a smooth operator too and doesn’t really lag much while shifting gears. The Alcazar petrol offers a pleasant driving experience and while the claimed fuel efficiency is 14.5 km/l for the MT and 14.2 km/l for the AT, real-world figures are likely to hover between 8-10 km/hr under regular usage, and that brings us to the diesel engine.
The diesel engine is the same unit that is offered on the Creta and Kia Seltos. This one delivers 115 PS and 250 Nm and is offered with a 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions as well. This oil-burner is also fairly refined but in comparison to the petrol, it does feel noisy. This engine has some lag which can be felt in the lower spectrum of the RPM band and once the turbo starts spooling towards the mid-range, performance starts feeling lively. Don’t expect a very strong amount of punchiness but don’t believe that the car is underpowered as well because even though this is just a 115 PS engine, the Alcazar weighs around 1400 kgs.
The Alcazar AT gets three driving modes, however, the diesel engine suffers from turbo lag lower down
The Hyundai Alcazar automatic also comes with three driving modes – Eco, Comfort and Sport, which alter the engine’s response and offer you better fuel economy or better performance based on what you need. We did acceleration tests of both the petrol and diesel variants with and without passengers and the results are here for you to see.
Driving Dynamics – The suspension setup on the Hyundai Alcazar is very pliant and the car absorbs most potholes and broken patches of tarmac easily. However, if you do end up crashing into potholes at slightly high speeds, you do feel a loud thud inside the cabin and this thudding doesn’t feel properly insulated at times. Apart from this, the SUV remains glued to the road always and it doesn’t feel disoriented even at high speeds.
Incredible high-speed stability along with a light and easy to twirl steering wheel are strengths of the Alcazar
The steering feels extremely light at city speeds and that makes the Alcazar very easy to navigate because the SUV isn’t too big either and it also offers great visibility all around. At high speeds, the steering does weigh up a bit and feels neutral enough. The Hyundai Alcazar gets rear disc brakes and we found the stopping power quite good. The pedal has a good bite and the car stops from high speeds without any drama.
Safety & After Sales Service – Hyundai’s sales and service network is one of the best in the Indian market and the automaker has nailed the game in the last 20 years. Safe to say, owning a Hyundai car is likely to be a very pleasant and predictable experience. The Alcazar is also loaded to the brim with safety features like six airbags, ABS with EBD, ESC, VSM, Hill Start Assist, and TPMS.
Verdict – As we saw, the Hyundai Alcazar does offer quite a lot and it has all the perfect ingredients for a family car. It is loaded to the brim with features, has good powertrain options and looks quite nice too. The SUV is also very comfortable and the cabin has a lot of feel-good touches but some additional leg space in the third row would have been welcome. Hyundai has got the pricing right with the Alcazar and it sure seems value for money because even the base variant is quite loaded while the top variants also offer much more than rivals plus you get the option of both petrol and diesel with an automatic.
What’s Not So Cool
Alternatives – MG Hector Plus, Tata Safari, Mahindra XUV500
Further Reading –
Hyundai Alcazar Video Review