Hyundai Creta Review: First Drive experience at Chennai plant
Today, at their plant in Chennai, Hyundai India unveiled what they call as their most awaited and revolutionary product – Creta. A compact SUV, Creta marks the arrival of Hyundai in a segment which has seen exponential rise in sales over the past few years. Creta is aimed at increasing Hyundai’s share in the Indian auto industry, and help them in achieving their long term goal of becoming India’s leading car manufacturer.
NOTE: Hyundai India had prohibited using cameras inside the plant. The images below are a mix of studio press shots (courtesy Hyundai), or are spy images which have already leaked online.
Similar to ix25, which made its global premiere last year in China (and is exclusive to the Chinese market); Hyundai Creta is a global SUV. It will be made in India, and exported to major auto markets across the world. One of the first markets to receive India made Creta will be Thailand.
The name CRETA has been derived from the word CREATIVE.
Hyundai Creta does not look as SUVish as the Duster or Terrano, but it does bring a fresh design theme to the market. That does not mean Duster or Terrano look better; its just that the Creta does not look as macho as the two; but definitely has more attractive and sporty design. Creta looks more like a premium compact SUV.
Built on Hyundai Fluidic 2.0 Design Language, Creta gets a beefy front, which is highlighted by a three slat chrome grille, proudly displaying a large Hyundai logo in the centre. Complementing the front look are the projector headlamps with LED DRL (does remind of i20 Active), vertical fog lights in a trapezium casing aboard a muscular lower bumper which also has aluminium sill to add to the macho look of new Hyundai Creta.
On the side, what catches your attention are the new 17 inch diamond cut alloys (Creta is the first car in segment to get 17 inch alloys). The long A pillar and the short C pillar are designed in such a way that they make the Creta look very sleek. Sharp shoulder lines merging into the tail light, roof rails, wheel arches and plastic cladding; give the side view a rugged look.
The rear of Creta is not as impressive as its front or side. It does get the same bulge which we have seen in the Grand i10 and the new i20 twins, but somehow it does not look as attractive as the rear of either of the hatchbacks. Maybe its because of the empty space in between tail lamps or the sloping roof line, which makes the rear look a bit botched.
Though Hyundai has not revealed the dimensions of Creta officially; they are expected to be similar to that of ix25; which is 4260 x 1780 x 1630 (L x W x H) mm with a wheelbase of 2590 mm. This when compared to Renault Duster in India; Creta is 55 mm shorter, 42 mm narrower, and 65 mm shorter along with a 83 mm shorter wheelbase.
Featuring a dual tone dashboard, with leather strapped steering wheel (only tilt), 7 inch AVN screen in the centre (rumoured to get Android Car Play), and leather seats (height adjustable for driver); the Creta feels premium from the inside as well.
Designed to accommodate five adults, Creta offers ample head-room, shoulder-room and leg-room for all five passengers. The touch and feel of seats, doors are top notch. It is difficult to imagine that this will be offered in an under Rs 13 lakh SUV which is loaded with features.
All doors get enough room to store 1 bottle along with other things. Rear passengers can also use the front seats to store files, papers, etc. Due to the sloping roof, and a shorter height of Creta, the rear passengers get a small window. Children might find it difficult to glance at the world outside. Boot space is huge, and the finish again is premium. Under the boot floor is the spare wheel (steel, not alloy).
The top of the line 1.6l diesel manual variant gets 17 inch diamond cut alloys, 7 inch AVN screen with 1 GB internal memory, six speakers, smart key, push button start, 6 airbags (sides and curtains), leather seats, shark fin antenna, electric folding ORVM, rear AC vents, steering mounted controls, ABS, reverse parking camera, traction control, and ABS.
Engine and Transmission
There are three engine options on offer with the Hyundai Creta (none of them are new). These are:
– 1.4L CRDi mated to a six speed gearbox
– 1.6L CRDi mated to a six speed manual or a six speed auto
– 1.6L Dual VTVT mated to a six speed manual
The power and torque figures of these engines are exactly same as seen on board the new Verna 4S. The 1.4l diesel delivers 90 PS and 220 Nm; 1.6l diesel delivers 128 PS and 260 Nm, while the 1.6l petrol delivers 123 PS and 155 Nm torque. This makes Creta with 1.6l twins the most powerful SUV in its segment. Mileage figures were not revealed.
How is it to Drive
Only the 1.6l diesel manual and automatic variants were on offer
Impressed with the exterior design, interiors, and features on offer; it was time to finally test drive the car. This is the part we were so badly hoping for Hyundai to not disappoint; and they did not.
Built on a completely new platform, the Creta does not feel like an SUV at all. It feels nimble and easy to drive, with the perfect blend of steering response and handling. It won’t be wrong to say that the Creta is going to be the best handling Hyundai car in India.
On a straight line, the car picks up speed very quickly; thanks to the responsive diesel engine which hardly feels like a diesel. The tachometer redlines as if it was taking input from a petrol engine. In no time you are into the triple digit zone. Even here the car is planted and responsive; which is surprising as Creta is not a heavy car. The Bridgestone 215 section rubber does not let the car skid, even while taking corners at high speeds.
Manual variant is for the enthusiastic drivers, while the automatic variant is for the one’s who prefer relaxed drive. Even if you want to, there is not much you can do with the AT variant in order to get the same response as one gets in the manual.
Braking performance too is excellent (only front wheels get discs) and the ABS kicks in just at the right time.
The 1.6l diesel engine has been in the Hyundai lineup for quite some time, but there has not been a car which has managed to exploit the engine’s true potential. The Hyundai Creta changes that.
Speaking to Hyundai India officials, they confirmed that the new Creta will be priced very aggressively. Set to compete with the likes of Renault Duster, Nissan Terrano and upcoming Maruti S Cross; we expect the base variant of Creta to be priced below the entry level Duster; which carries an ex-showroom price tag of Rs about Rs 8.2 lakhs. The top end variant of Creta could be in the range of Rs 13 lakhs. Official variant wise pricing will be revealed when Hyundai launches Creta on 21st July.
– Powerful engine
– No AWD