An incidental spin off of the word creative, Hyundai Creta has finally walked into the Indian market. This compact SUV has been designed by South Korean auto major to pocket spiralling consumer base of the SUV segment. Not only current environment is absolutely ripe for SUV growth but future also seems to hold healthy flourishing prospects.
Hyundai has already tried to crack SUV code couple of times before with Santa Fe though couldn't be able to get desired response. With Creta, however company is confident of hitting the nail as it successfully created huge anticipation around the car. Creta is based on ix25 which Hyundai sells in China though company has made considerable changes in Creta to make it tailor made for India. So, whether company has been successful in getting the basics right with Creta? We find out in this road-test review.
Styling & Design
Even a casual glance at the face is enough to reveal design inspirations of the Creta taken from its elder cousin Santa Fe. Fluidic hexagonal grille is what we all familiar with though this time, three handsome chrome slats were added to it. Projector headlamps, LED DRLs and vertically stacked fog lamps are other interesting bits of the frontage.
All around use of plastic cladding though in a subtle manner amply hints at soft off-road nature of the Creta. Window line is a bit high and further creases upwards towards the rear, resulting in small glass area. Kink in the window line towards the end further eat away the space feel. Rear of the SUV is handsomely designed. Smart wrap around tail lamps, integrated spoiler and rear reflectors do the job of embellishing quite satisfactorily.
Cabin & Space
Inside the cabin, like other Hyundai cars, Creta comes with very high quality interiors. Two tone dashboard that comes with wooden finishing spruce up the design in a significant manner. Multifunctional steering wheel help to take Creta appeal a step further. Instrument cluster and climate control are straight lift from the Elite i20. Centre console is compact and frees up lot of space within the cabin however some folks could feel offended by this simple no nonsense approach.
As Creta is priced quite highly, Hyundai could have provided more fulsome arrangement in place of stingy stack. Top end various of Creta is feature loaded with 7 inch touch screen infotainment system with navigation, 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, hill descend control, leather upholstery etc. Steering offers only height adjustment though automatic AC and rear AC vents are standard part of equipment.
With only two seating rows, Creta has no issues on space and room front. Both front and rear seats are well contoured and offer enough space for occupants. Rear bench, however, is not as wide as it should be. Seating three adults abreast at the back is a bit squeeze. Boot space, on the other hand, is impressively large and wide enough to shift the rooms if not homes.
Hyundai has offered Creta with three engine options: 1.6-litre petrol and 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre diesel engines. We got behind the most-sought after combination i.e. 1.6-litre motor mated with 6-speed manual transmission. Surprisingly even for a generous stance, Creta feels very agile and quick. Maximum power of 128 PS and 260 Nm of max torque is more than sufficient to get your heart racing from behind the wheels.
Engine refinement is best in class, and like other Hyundais', one will be forced to realize that it is actually diesel under the hood. One dab at accelerator and Creta lunges forward with great alacrity. Mid-range is great too and excellent cabin insulation helps the Creta to remain silent throughout the operation. Manual 6-speed transmission is slick and precise. There is no need to put directional effort to slot in gears as gates are well defined and expounded.
Ride quality of Creta is quite accomplished and provides good cushioning to passengers. Slow speed ride is particularly good and opposed to some of the other propositions around, Creta is far more accomplished. That said, handling of this SUV requires some revisions.
There is body roll which goes on increasing if you don't get off the accelerator. Renault Duster in comparison has better driving dynamics though Hyundai has still some way to go before matching rivals on road manners.
Creta is not just another Hyundai so don't expect next door pricing. Company has gone upmarket with Creta and decided to price it towards the higher end of the price point. With range stretching between Rs 8.59 - 13.6 lakh (ex - showroom, Delhi), Creta doesn’t come as a cheap SUV. That said, on every other front, this Hyundai has traits of a winner. It looks good, has got comprehensive equipment list, powered by able motors, and features refined road manners. We would have liked Creta even better had Hyundai introduced the petrol version with automatic too though company may have reserved this for future facelift edition of the compact SUV. Overall Hyundai Creta is a formidable proposition having all the virtues of a great and compact SUV. So, if you don’t mind the unavailability of third seating bench and happy to forgo some skimping of features like cooled glovebox, electric seats, etc., Hyundai Creta is the one you can go for without any second thought.
Style & Substance 4/5 Ride & Handling 3/5
Interiors & Ergonomics: 3/5 Safety & Equipment 4/5
Power-Plant & Transmission 3.5/5 Fuel Efficiency 3.5/5
Value for Money 3/5