Hyundai Creta N Line First Drive Review: What Makes This Sporty SUV Special?

Hyundai Motor India has launched its flagship N Line model in India, the Creta N Line. Similar to the i20 and Venue N Line, it gets a host of styling and mechanical upgrades. So, is this now the best version of the Hyundai Creta to date?

By Karan Mathur | Photography Sunil Chauhan | on March 15, 2024 Follow us on Autox Google News

If you are in the market for a sensible, feature-loaded family SUV, the Hyundai Creta is likely to be high on your list of options. However, if you are a petrolhead or an enthusiast, the newly launched Creta N Line might pique your interest. However, does the new Creta N Line offer enough to convince you to choose it over the Creta’s regular turbo variants? That's precisely what we will unpack in this first impressions review. So, let's get going...

Hyundai Creta N Line Review: Design & Features

One of the biggest distinguishing factors between the N Line range of cars and the regular versions is design. Let's begin with the front, which is also my favourite aspect of the Creta N Line's design. The grille now sits lower, with a striking one-piece DRL strip dominating the entire upper half. Now, in my opinion, this particular section of the front end exhibits Range Rover Sport vibes and looks pretty cool. Moreover, there are N Line badges at the front, side, and rear to remind you that it's not the regular Creta. While the side angle of the N Line is similar to the regular model, the wheels are not, for the former gets N Line-specific 18-inch alloy wheels, which give it a breath of fresh air. Plus, there are contrasting red accents throughout the entire length of the car, converging at the rear diffuser. The rear of the car, on the other hand, features three main changes in comparison to that of the regular version – a double-stacked rear spoiler, chrome-plated dual-exhaust tips, and, as mentioned, a rear diffuser. Now, overall, the design of the Hyundai Creta N Line is extremely eye-catching. I have been kind of on the fence about the design of the recently launched Creta facelift, but I think that the new N Line is the most handsome Creta variant to date.

Hyundai Creta N Line Exterior Rear

Inside, the Hyundai Creta N Line gets similar treatment to that of other N Line models. This means a completely blacked-out interior with red accents and N Line badges on the seats and gear lever, along with an N Line-specific steering wheel and gear lever. The chunky, smaller steering wheel and stubbier gear lever feel sportier to hold and give you better leverage when driving enthusiastically. In terms of features, however, things are the same as the regular Hyundai Creta.

Hyundai Creta N Line Dashboard

This means a 10.25-inch instrument cluster and infotainment system combination, panoramic sunroof, Bose audio system with integrated Jio Saavn app, ventilated front seats, dual-zone AC, and so on. It's worth noting that the N10 version we tested is based on the Creta SX(O) version, while the N8 is based on the S(O) version.

Hyundai Creta N Line Review: Performance

The whole idea of an N Line variant is to inject an extra dose of excitement into driving compared to the regular version, and the Creta N Line does it to an extent. I mean, it does have a bit more zest to its performance, but the transformation isn't as drastic as one would expect from a vehicle wearing the N badge, especially in terms of engine. Hyundai seems to have missed the opportunity to position the Creta N Line as the flagship model of the range, which kind of left me a bit disappointed. The vehicle is equipped with a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine, which makes 160bhp and 253Nm of peak torque. While the unit offers loads of grunt propelling the vehicle off the line and continues to pull progressively to the red line, it falls flat rather quickly once you enter the second half of the rev range.

Hyundai Creta N Line Action Side

Mash the throttle pedal above 4,000rpm on the highway, and the car surges forward, but it doesn't excite or overwhelm you. What really adds to the excitement is the quick-shifting 7-speed DCT, which can also be operated via paddle shifters. The gear ratios are spaced out well, and the DCT always tries its best to keep you in the powerband. The Hyundai Creta N Line is also the only model in the range which offers customers the choice of a 6-speed manual gearbox with the 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine. Due to a lack of time during the test, we couldn't test the manual transmission properly. That said, it was clear in the limited time we tested it that its gear shifts are light and direct, and the clutch is equally easy to use. Furthermore, the sensation of manually shifting gears in a performance-oriented car adds an extra layer of satisfaction.

Hyundai Creta N Line Review: Handling

While the performance transformation of the Creta N Line is not overwhelming, its handling...well, let's just that the N Line magic is conspicuously apparent in the Creta N Line's handling. The most notable improvement lies in the tuned steering, which now feels better weighted and offers superior feedback. it not only makes driving more enjoyable but also instils confidence while pushing the vehicle into corners. Hyundai has also made significant changes to its suspension setup. The Creta Hyundai N Line feels considerably stiffer than the regular Creta but not overbearingly so. It stays planted around corners and remains pliant over bad roads. During the test, we drove it over a mix of highways, single-lane roads, and twisty bi-lanes, and it took it all in its stride and never felt out of its element.

Hyundai Creta N Line Action Rear


Hyundai Creta N Line Review: Verdict

So, what’s my verdict on the Hyundai Creta N Line? Well, I began this review thinking that I'd focus on this sporty SUV’s excellent performance. However, by the end of it, I find myself smitten by its striking aesthetics. Yes, it’s more fun to drive and responsive compared to the regular version, but if I had to pick the Creta N Line over the regular version, I'd do it not because of its performance but because of its styling upgrades. This, however, might cause a problem for Hyundai, for those expecting better performance from the package might find themselves less impressed despite its edgy styling.

  • Hyundai Creta N Line

Engine: 1,482cc / Four-Cylinder / Turbocharger

Transmission: 7-Speed DCT

Power: 158 bhp @ 5,500rpm

Torque: 253 Nm @ 1,500 - 3,500rpm

Price: ₹16.82 lakh to ₹20.44 lakh (Ex-Showroom)

X-Factor: Perfect for those who want a Creta with an added dose sporty styling

•  Style & Handling

• Familiar Performance

Tags: Hyundai Creta N Line Hyundai Creta N Line Creta

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