With this all new vehicle, Hyundai has made its entry into the rapidly booming crossover segment of the Indian automotive market. The Hyundai Creta, a vehicle we knew for a long time as the ix25, has been introduced to bite into the market currently held by vehicles such as the Ford EcoSport, Renault Duster, Nissan Terrano and so on. It will be made available in 6 variants (Base, S, S+, SX, SX+ and SX-Option) and multiple paint colour choices. Does it have what it takes to survive?
Powertrain and Performance
As far as powertrain is concerned, Hyundai has ticked all the right boxes. They offer customers not just the option of petrol and diesel engines, but manual and automatic gearboxes as well. The Creta can be ordered with either a 1.6 litre, 4 cylinder petrol engine that delivers 121 bhp or a 1.6 litre, 4 cylinder diesel engine that puts out 126 bhp. There is also a 1.4 litre, 4 cylinder diesel engine that makes 89 bhp. The petrol version gets only a 6 speed manual gearbox but buyers of the 1.6L diesel version can choose between a 6 speed manual and a 6 speed automatic transmission. While the manual gearbox is reasonably slick, we preferred the automatic option most of all. The auto gearbox does a marvellous job of keeping you in the right gear and performs shifting quite smoothly. We feel that it will be excellent on crowded Indian city roads. The 1.6L diesel manual returns 19.67 kpl while the automatic returns 17.01 kpl. The 1.6L petrol manual returns 15.29 kpl and the 1.4L diesel manual returns 21.38 kpl. While the electronic power steering feels a bit numb, refinement levels are reasonably high. The 1.6 litre diesel engine has heaps of torque, pulling the vehicle forward on level roads without the need of you stepping on the throttle pedal.
Build and Styling
In terms of looks, the Hyundai designers have attempted to make the Creta resemble its bigger and rather good looking sibling, the Santa Fe SUV. The front grille with 3 horizontal chrome slats and the projector headlights with LED daytime running lights look very similar to the front of the Santa Fe. The company has also given this car black cladding around the lower perimeter of the car and faux skid plates at the front and rear to give it an outdoorsy appearance. The rear of the car is dominated by the aesthetically designed tail lights, large reflectors and a wide band of chrome just above the license plate. One of the best features of the Creta is the 17 inch alloys that come with the top end variant. The large rims and their striking design complement the car brilliantly. On the inside, the first thing that anyone will notice is the amount of room. Even with the front seats pushed all the way back, knee room is not so bad. Headroom is also very generous and the absence of a central tunnel provides for a fully flat floor. Under-thigh support might be a gripe at the rear if you are a 6-footer but apart from that, there will surely be no complaints. Features include a 7 inch touchscreen infotainment system, an audio system with USB, aux-in, Bluetooth and 1GB onboard memory, automatic AC, rear AC vents, steering mounted audio and phone controls, 12 volt sockets at the front and rear, navigation, push button engine ignition, soft door padding, rear centre armrest with 2 cupholders, electrically adjustable and retractable rear view mirrors, a reverse camera, 6 airbags, ABS, vehicle stability management (VSM) and ESC.
The Hyundai Creta is a typical modern Hyundai vehicle with its combination of aesthetic design, long feature list and refinement. There are a large number of variants to target a wider price bracket as well. The company has again left no stone unturned in producing a product that meets practically all the demands of the present day car buyer. Circling back to our question of whether the Creta has what it takes; we do not think that it will just survive, we think it will do brilliantly.