The newly launched Hyundai Creta is available in a plethora of engine and gearbox options – 3 engines and 4 gearboxes to be precise. So, which variant of the Creta is best for you?
Too many choices can often be a double-edged sword – while they are good, they can also be confusing. You could liken this to the confusion that sets in when you’re attempting to enjoy a big buffet lunch for instance. With the vast variety of food items on offer, by the time I finish my ‘familiarisation’ round, I’ve already satiated my appetite for the most part. With so many delicacies to choose from, confusion sets in and I end up eating plain old dal chawal instead. But it doesn’t always have to be boring, sometimes I take a scoop of mutton biryani, while enjoying a mélange of dal makhani and zeera aloo.
With the new Creta, you may face a similar situation. It has 3 engines on offer – a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol, a 1.5-litre turbo diesel, and the range-topping 1.4-litre turbo petrol. And add to that four different kinds of gearboxes – a manual, a CVT auto, a torque converter auto, and a dual-clutch auto. The choices are not only daunting, but also a bit mind-boggling – enough to make you stay awake at night wondering which option you should opt for.
Now, in my opinion, the 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol is the engine of choice for those who love zeera aloo. Sure, it does the job, with its 113bhp. And while it’s not exactly pedestrian, it’s not a pocket rocket by any stretch either. If the primary job of your Creta is to tackle the daily commute, then sure, this engine would do fine, but if you’re a fan of, say, a Teppenyaki grill, and you’re looking for some pizzazz, I’d rather you look at the other two options – the 138bhp 1.4-litre petrol and 113bhp 1.5-litre diesel.
Now, while the 1.4 is obviously faster – no surprise there – the 1.5 also makes a case for itself, especially with its 250Nm of torque, which makes it extremely tractable, especially in the mid-range. Both engines have excellent refinement, and the choice between the two boils down to different driving styles.
If you’re an aggressive driver who needs instant performance, then the obvious choice is the 1.4 petrol, as the engine responds faster and is more powerful. Also, the 7-speed DCT automatic gearbox has an advantage, as it offers the fastest gearshifts amongst all the gearboxes available in the Creta. However, it does have two drawbacks. First, when really pushed, the fuel efficiency of the 1.4 drops to single digits pretty quickly. Second, because of the relatively soft chassis setup, Hyundai engineers have not been able to effectively address the issue of torque steer. The tugging of the steering under power is quite pronounced and can be quite irritating during hard acceleration.
The 1.5 diesel, on the other hand, offers a more sedate power delivery, but it’s really strong in the mid-range – allowing the car to squeeze into tight gaps in urban traffic. On top of that, it’s a lot more fuel-efficient too. And although the 6-speed torque converter automatic, available with the diesel, is a decent gearbox, it doesn’t shift quite as fast as the petrol’s DCT.
And, of course, if you prefer to shift gears yourself, both engines are available with a 6-speed manual gearbox, which is quite decent to use. However, I still feel that the shift quality is a tad notchy and could’ve been better.
In the end, then, if you’re looking for a uber-powerful version of the Creta and don’t mind fuel costs, the 1.4 turbo-petrol is a fantastic engine, which makes the Creta a really entertaining SUV to drive every day. But, if your commute or driving cycle is at the longer end of the spectrum, and fuel costs do matter, then the 1.5 turbo-diesel is no slouch and offers an excellent balance between performance and efficiency.
So, which one would I choose from this buffet of options? Well, I’m pretty partial to a spicy Teppenyaki sauce. So, yup, you guessed right, it’s the 1.4-litre turbo with the DCT gearbox, paired with that rather fetching lava orange livery, for me – thank you very much!
- Hyundai Creta 1.5 MPi
- Hyundai Creta 1.4 Kappa Turbo GDi
- Hyundai Creta 1.5 U2
Engine: 1,497 cc / Inline-Four / DOHC
Transmission: 6-Speed Manual / CVT Automatic / Front-Wheel Drive
Power: 113bhp @ 6,300rpm
Torque: 144Nm @ 4,500rpm
Price: ₹9.99 - 16.15 Lakh (Ex-showroom)
Engine: 1,353 cc / Inline-Four / Turbocharged / DOHC
Power: 138bhp @ 6,000rpm
Torque: 242Nm @ 1,500 - 3,200rpm
Transmission: 7-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic / Front-Wheel Drive
Price: ₹16.16 - 17.20 Lakh (Ex-showroom)
Engine: 1,493 cc / Inline-Four / Turbocharged / DOHC
Power: 113bhp @ 4,000rpm
Torque: 250Nm @ 1,500 - 2,750rpm
Transmission:6-Speed Manual / 6-Speed Automatic / Front-Wheel Drive
Price: ₹9.99 - 17.20 Lakh (Ex-showroom)
Also read - New Hyundai Creta vs Kia Seltos: Comparison