Hyundai Creta Long Term Review
The Hyundai Creta is an SUV which meets most urban users’ requirements, it excels in the city
Hyundai seems to have understood the SUV craze very well, they had launched the Tucson in India around a decade ago and have brought back that vehicle to India while their flagship vehicle in India is another SUV, the Santa Fe. But leading their SUV charge is the Creta, currently their most affordable SUV. While still expensive as it measures more than 4-metres in length, the Hyundai Creta has gained huge fan following in little time. With 8670 units sold last month, the Creta is outselling almost every other SUV in the market. The Korean SUV has now joined our long term fleet and we continue to be impressed.
When Hyundai launched the Creta last year, we were quick to compare it with its rivals and this Hyundai emerged on top for offering quality, practicality and a range of engine options which made it appeal to a wide range of buyers. Hyundai recently brought in new variants like the petrol automatic while globally a facelift has been unveiled. Our tester is the 1.6-litre diesel manual which is the most popular option of the Creta. As soon as the car arrived, we have been using it in the city with occasional highway trips.
The engine has more than enough punch for driving on the highway and the 6-speed manual gearbox is smooth to operate with the clutch being light. If you want to get quick overtakes done, just downshift and the CRDi mill won’t disappoint. But in the city, there is some lag to deal with, although one gets used to it with time. We have been getting a mileage of 12 km/l in the city which is good for a car of this engine capacity although the same number stretches to 15 km/l on the highway, with sedate driving of course.
The light steering is good in the city and weighs up better than most Hyundai cars
Driving in the city has also highlighted the Creta’s strength of being an urban workhorse. The steering is light which makes it a breeze to manoeuvre around town and although this is an SUV, it doesn’t have big dimensions like traditional models, thus parking is easy. With good all round visibility and a reverse parking camera, the Hyundai Creta is an excellent bet for the city. But the touch-screen display isn’t very visible in bright daylight and one needs to really focus on the screen to see objects around. The parking sensors help though.
This brings me to my favourite part of the Hyundai Creta, the interiors. The cabin is a premium place to be in with excellent quality. Our tester which has been driven hard and used with little care, still has no signs of wear or tear on the interior. Hyundai has been upping its quality and parts are made to last which kind of justifies the premium charged on the Creta. And while the cabin is loaded with a ton of features, we definitely expect more like a keyless go button on the front passenger door, automatic wipers and a distance to empty feature, the latter most is something cars costing one-third the price also have.
The Creta is made for comfort with its pliant ride and easy to twirl steering
Where Hyundai has made great strides is the suspension set-up, the Creta is more sure footed than previous cars from the Korean firm. Ride quality is good, there is no bouncy feel and the pothole ridden Mumbai roads aren’t as bad in the Creta as they are in other cars. With a good ground clearance and sharp brakes, this SUV is apt for the urban jungle but get on the highway and you will want more from the handling. The steering is much better weighed than other Hyundai cars but still lacks feel, specially as the speeds build up and while body control is good, it simply isn’t a car you would like to push around corners, or drive spiritedly around the ghats.
The Hyundai Creta’s design has also won it many hearts. It’s not macho but more sleek and the mini Santa Fe resemblance makes it look quite appealing. While it doesn’t have road presence like some of its rivals, it is a well proportioned car with the SUV stance. From certain angles, you might find it to look like a grown up i20 but for the most part, the attention to detail on the design, right from the DRL headlights to the lines running across the side and the diamond cut alloy wheels, all give it modern SUV appeal.
If you can make peace with the lack of dynamic abilities, like we have, then you will surely like the Hyundai Creta which offers almost everything a buyer of this segment wants. A multitude of engine and gearbox options, stylish exteriors, comfortable interiors with a ton of features and a good ride quality. Yes it does cost more than its direct rivals but when you factor everything, the premium seems justified.
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