Change is the constant we all have to deal with. We might be at the peak of our career today but if we don’t update our skills, we will definitely be left behind tomorrow. Same is the case with automobiles. The 2018 Hyundai Creta, when launched in 2015, single handedly sold 15,000 units almost every month. Last month, it outsold the high selling Brezza as well, confirming that car buying public indeed does value features as well as technical specifications over the price tag. But, even though the Creta wasn’t updated since launch, there was a one month waiting period on the SUV. Now, to keep it abreast with the competition, Hyundai has got a facelifted version and the nip and tuck aren’t the only talking points.
Hyundai has got it just right with the Creta. It doesn’t look European like the Jeep Compass but is definitely still a looker. The new orange colour shade you see here is part of the adaptation Hyundai has done given that orange is the new black in the automotive world. There is also a new blue shade added to the colour palette. The family cascading grille makes its way now to the Hyundai Creta facelift and gives it a premium look. The LED strip from the headlamps have moved to the fog lamp enclosure and while they look aftermarket, the light itself is pretty bright. The bumpers too have been revised both at the front as well as back. Hyundai has given new 17-inch wheels to the Creta and the alloy wheel pattern also is arresting. While the outgoing car had prominent roof rails, this ones are flush fitting units. At the rear, the lamps have been slightly tweaked but its a blink and miss it update over there. The prominent one will be the addition of a faux skid plate. One will also notice the new shark fin antenna.
The same prevailing black and beige theme continues in the cabin. A quick look at only tilt adjustable steering wheel tells you that there is cruise control added to the mix now. The driver’s seat is now powered and can be electrically adjusted. There is also wireless charging for compatible phones. The 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system gets an IPS display and is better to look at now. We still love the navigation system that Hyundai gives on all its cars. It will tell you if the road diverges and which one is right for your destination and the like. Giving in to popular demand, the Hyundai Creta now boasts an electrically operated sunroof too. There is also the Swacch Bharat can that is primarily a small dustbin that rests inside one of the front cup holders. Hyundai has also added an auto dimming inner rear view mirror. One can also count the calories burnt as well as open and close the Creta with a H wrist band that Hyundai gives with the Creta. It can be paired with your smartphone and show you incoming calls. It doesn’t require one to carry the key fob around and comes with its own charger as well.
The Hyundai Creta is still decently roomy and can seat five in reasonable comfort. There are rear AC vents and a charging port too. The boot space is decent as well. All being said, Hyundai still hasn’t added automatic headlights or wipers to the equation. The ventilated seats from the Verna too would have made sense here!
Engine and transmission
Hyundai offers the same mix of petrol and diesel engines. This includes 1.4l (diesel) and 1.6l (petrol and diesel) units. We drove the top of the line 1.6-litre diesel manual. It is a turbo unit and makes 128PS of power and 260Nm of torque. The 6-speed manual is a slick transmission unit and doesn’t give you any reason to complain. The engine itself is silky smooth with a linear power delivery and is very happy pottering around in higher gears at low speeds. Unlike other engines which will threaten to stall given lower revs and a higher gear, the Creta’s unit doesn’t. We like this behavior as it calls for lesser gear changes. The clutch also isn’t as springy as the diesel i20’s unit. Hyundai claims to have improved the efficiency of the petrol Creta by three per cent and that of the diesel by four per cent. In our test, the Hyundai Creta diesel manual returned 14.4kmpl in the city and 22.7kmpl on the highway. These are very good numbers for a powerful diesel engine. Hyundai also offers the 1.6 petrol and diesel engines with a 6-speed automatic. This should give a slightly lesser efficiency than the manual though. The 1.4-litre diesel is available only with a 6-speed manual though.
What was surprising is that the Hyundai Creta diesel sounded a tad gravelly. It wasn’t disturbingly loud but given the fact that Hyundai is known to make very good and refined diesels but this one sounded a bit off. A quick check under the hood revealed that there was no sound deadening material used. Perhaps if Hyundai could look into this, it will be pleasing to the buyer.
Ride and handling
The ride quality of the Creta is a tad on the stiffer side but it absorbs bumps without bringing the after effects inside the cabin. The handling is okay-ish and nothing really home to write about. It wouldn’t scare you if you go fast around a corner but will definitely tell you that it isn’t as happy doing it. The steering is light and remains so even at higher speeds. But it is way better than say for example the i20. High speed stability is also notable and the SUV remains very steady. The brakes sadly though don’t offer much feedback and this is one thing which has been a constant Hyundai thing. A bit more of feedback and bite from the front discs and rear drums set up will increase driver confidence vastly. While weaving through traffic, the Creta remains easy to modulate thanks to the tall SUV stance.
In terms of safety, dual airbags and ABS with EBD are standard across the range. Top spec trims like the SX(O) we were driving get four additional airbags while ISOFX child seat mounts are available bafflingly on the automatic trims only. The top trim also brings in Electronic Stability Program, Traction Control and Hill Start Assist.
Hyundai has made the Creta even more desirable than before. The slight price increase in what was already a fairly expensive car hasn’t fazed the car buying public and that is a positive sign. At Rs 9.43 lakh – Rs 15.04 lakh, the Creta straddles a wide segment that includes the Terrano/Duster, Scorpio, XUV500, Tata Hexa, EcoSport, TUV300, Marutie Brezza and the Jeep Compass. There are quite a few sedans both from the C and C+ segments too. The price increase though comes with a value for money proposition now. Perhaps LED headlights and paddle shifters behind the steering wheel would have added more value to the equation. But that’s just wishful thinking from our side. While the first-gen Creta was close to perfection, this one just closes the gap further. The next-gen Creta then can finally earn the tag of being the ‘Perfect SUV’ then.
Things we like in the new Hyundai Creta 2018
Looks, features and lovely engine-transmission combination
Things we don’t like in the new Hyundai Creta 2018
No auto headlights/wipers, feel and bite from the brakes
While it was thought that the Hyundai Creta and ix35 are related, they aren’t. The latter is a bigger car, comes with bigger engines and gets AWD. The similarity is in the looks and the badge.
Images: Donald Dsouza