It goes without saying that the Creta is one of Hyundai’s best selling and most profitable cars on sale in India. Right from the day one, it has been a stellar success and there is no slowing down in demand. To keep the momentum going, Hyundai has refreshed its looks and added some features.
The face-lifted Creta looks even more aggressive than the one it replaces. The new grille meets the revised headlamps, and extends much lower into the bumper almost like that of an Audi Q3. The bumper is more flared and, now, houses a C-shaped DRL around the fog lamps. It looks more expensive from the front, much in line with character of the bigger Tuscon and Santa Fe. The rear gets revised tail lamps, which look quite ordinary without any details or LEDs inside them. The black insert at the lower part of the rear bumper extends all the way up to the tail gate and the fake skid plate is now much larger. The side profile is unchanged, except for new 17-inch alloy wheels and roof rails that now sit flush with the roof.
Inside, the changes aren’t that visible, but you do get some extra facilities. The driver seat, though not ventilated like in the Verna, is now six-way electrically adjustable. There is a sunroof, but it is a size too small. You also get cruise control and a revised MID for the instrument console. There is, now, an auto-dimming mirror and wireless charging for your mobile phone in the centre console. The Creta gets the Verna’s updated software for the infotainment system, but Hyundai hasn’t addressed the low brightness levels and the sunlight readability issues. There is also a waterproof fitness band available with the car that lets you lock or unlock it instead of using the keys. The seats are unchanged and remain comfy. There is adequate space for rear passengers though you are seated low with respect to the tall shoulder-line. The Tangerine Orange and white Creta come with optional black roof and get black dashboard in place of the normal dual tone ones.
The Creta comes with three engine options – a 1.6 litre petrol and two diesels in 1.4 and 1.6 litre capacities; all of which are offered on the Verna as well. The 1.6 petrol isn’t known for its fuel efficiency but is smooth and drivable. The 1.4 litre diesel has 90 bhp and 22.4kgm toque, but if you want effortless performance you have to look at the 1.6 litre diesel with its 126bhp and 26.5kg-m torque. The engine has been tweaked to widen the peak torque band from 1500-3000rpm instead of the earlier 1900-2750rpm. This engine feels refined and has good performance once on the move. Turbo lag is minimal and there is a surge of power thereafter. It comes mated to a 6-speed manual box that feels light enough to slot between gears and has a light clutch to ease city driving. It also gets a 6-speed automatic, which is quite popular. Thanks to the torque converter, the Creta feels energetic when moving off the line. This gearbox feels well calibrated and shifts up smoothly for everyday driving. It’s only when you are driving enthusiastically that the gearbox feels slow. And no, the manual override doesn’t help deliver the gears any faster.
The Creta continues with the same suspension setup as before. On the face of it, it handles well and rides plush. The dynamics are decent for an SUV. Where it bothers is when you have a full complement of rear passengers and their luggage and you hit a patch of undulating road. The car has too much vertical movement and almost never settles down unless you reduce the speed. Wish, Hyundai had given it better damping at the rear to compensate for the weight of rear passengers it can take. The steering is a bit light for the city and most end users will appreciate that. For the performance on tap, the brakes aren’t great either and especially in the automatic, where you don’t get much engine braking and have to rely even more on them.
My biggest gripe with Hyundai is the poor variant planning. For example, the Diesel Automatic isn’t available in top end SX(O). That means you can’t get 6 airbags or ESP. You also don’t get electrically adjustable driver seat, or leather or full MID etc either. But, you do get 60:40 split seats and isofix seat mounts, which even the top spec manual doesn’t! There is no rear disc brakes, no auto-folding mirrors, no auto headlamps, no auto wipers, no reach adjustable steering, and no illumination around the vanity mirror in the vehicle. Ventilated seats, like in the Verna, and automatic boot opening would have been nice at this price point.
Hyundai has always placed the Creta at a premium and with the facelift, the top end variant is almost half a lakh rupees more expensive than before. But, it is better value now that you get more equipments– sunroof, electrically adjustable driver seat, wireless charging, cruise control, electric dimming mirror etc. So, if you had your eyes set on one, it is a better time than ever to buy one.
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