The Hyundai Creta has caused quite a stir in the mid-size SUV space. To most eyes, the Creta is a good-looking SUV. It certainly makes its presence felt with its large chrome grill up front and sharp creases. In fact, we had it lined up between a couple of Audis and Mercs in the pit lane of the BIC and it didn’t look out of place at all. It certainly looks like a younger brother to the larger and more expensive Santa Fe.
Step into the cabin, and you’re greeted with a clean, yet modern, layout. Some of the materials, though, aren’t quite at the level that you would expect from a car that looks this premium. Nevertheless, it does set a benchmark in its segment. Hyundai has, of course, loaded the Creta with a lot of equipment – such as keyless entry and start/stop, electric folding ORVMs, climate control, satellite navigation, rear view camera, front and rear power sockets, and more. There are some anomalies though. For instance, the automatic variant in SX trim doesn’t get features like an electro chromatic interior rear view mirror (present in the Elite i20) and leather wrapped steering.
Still, the cabin is a comfortable place to be in. There’s plenty of room for front and rear seat occupants. The seats are large and supportive, as a result of which they ensure good comfort for the longest of journeys. Seat comfort is best in class here, and the Creta is genuinely a nice vehicle to travel in.
On the road, the ride comfort is extremely good. The suspension absorbs road imperfections with aplomb at slow speed – potholes are simply dismissed in your wake. It can feel a little too soft if you’re attempting to carry speed on rough terrain, but in terms of everyday ride comfort the Creta is completely unflappable.
The Creta we have here is the 1.6 diesel manual model, which is powered by the same motor that also does duty in the Verna and Elantra – and we know it to be an extremely strong and refined motor. Power delivery is quite linear, but it really picks up the pace past 1,700rpm. The diesel engine develops 126bhp and 265Nm of torque. The six-speed manual transmission is truly a joy to work – with its slick shifting and short throws. The clutch is also light, and this makes the Creta not only very comfortable but also fun to drive. The automatic model comes with a six-speed torque converter that’s very smooth and shifts gears seamless at the right time. The tip-tronic mode comes to good use when you’re in the mood for some enthusiastic driving – but that’s also when you wish for a slightly more responsive transmission.
It handles well too, thanks to its monocoque construction. The steering is light at parking speeds, but weighs up nicely at higher speeds. On the whole, then, it’s a modern SUV that feels very comfortable on the tarmac. Combine its comfort and drivability with its looks and what you’re left with is an SUV that can truly rule its segment – and that’s exactly what its doing early on in its innings in the Indian market!