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HYUNDAI CRETA: GET CRETAFIED

17When you’re anticipating something you’ve heard so many good things about your expectations tend to soar and often go overboard. When we first got whiff about the news about a brand new SUV from Hyundai in the making we started getting fidgety. Online news fueled our anticipation even further. When one of our boys, who was invited to the global unveiling in Delhi, returned with a giddy smile on his lucky face we were practically holding on to our seats. It’s no wonder that we had our hands on the Hyundai Creta in less than 24 hours of it entering Kathmandu.

It’s not a sub 4 meter vehicle which we couldn’t be more thankful for. It is a lot larger than its competitors and with three engine and two gearbox options and several variants consumers are practically spoiled for choice. So this was the moment of truth. We find out if the Hyundai Creta lived up to expectations or fall short of what we expected.19EXTERIOR 

Sometimes it takes you a moment to really fall in love with how a car looks; this wasn’t one of those times. We loved how the Creta looked right off the bat. Hyundai’s newest sports utility vehicle is based on the Elite i20 hatchback platform and gets design inspiration from the company’s fluidic 2.0 Philosophy.27Sometimes it takes you a moment to really fall in love with how a car looks; this wasn’t one of those times. We loved how the Creta looked right off the bat. Hyundai’s newest sports utility vehicle is based on the Elite i20 hatchback platform and gets design inspiration from the company’s fluidic 2.0 Philosophy. The designs aren’t as aggressive as the Verna or Elantra but toned down to maturity, much like how they styled the Elite i20. However, the fluidic aspect of the styling remains very much intact and plays well with its impressively well proportioned stance that doesn’t look too compact.21The front end’s boxy design cues give the Creta an imposing bearing which reminds you of the Santa Fe. Its signature chrome-triple-slated hexagonal front grille sits between the well sculpted projector headlights which get the DRL treatment. Fog lamps are integrated into vertical inserts on the bumper which could have gone horribly wrong, but with the Creta it looks splendid. It has a longer bonnet and features a more upright SUV like stance.cretasideFrom the sides, you can tell that breaking the 4 meter barrier has given the Creta dynamic form. Shoulder lines running parallel to the window add a lot of character. A-pillars have been blacked out and merge well with the roof. The rear has also been very well thought out and keeps up with the standards set by the overall design. Like the headlamps the split tail lamps wrap around well and are visible from the side. Bottom claddings fit the SUV well and help give it a robust appearance.23INTERIOR AND FEATURES

Hyundai have done a great job of giving the Creta a premium feel by using good quality materials and great features. The interiors are a combination of black and beige with the latter filling in the center section. A large touch screen in the center works as a stereo control and display, map and navigation (not yet functional in Nepal) and a rearview camera. Bluetooth and telephony work well and can be operated via steering mounted controls. Climate controls are placed below the display and work well to cool the cabin quickly. Rear A/C vents are placed behind the front center armrest. There is a rear armrest too that also features two cup holders.CretainteriorThe chunky vertical door handles are a nice touch that helps keep the SUV feel. Also, it is very spacious with plenty of leg room and head space. Although not class leading, boot space is impressive and well shaped. The rear seats tumble down to offer a flat loading bay. Other features include keyless entry and push button ignition, electric folding mirrors, rear AC vents, six airbags, reverse parking camera, ESC, VSM and hill assist control.cretadoorhandlesPERFORMANCE

The Creta has covered all the bases with three engine variants, one petrol and two diesels. A 1.6L diesel engine borrowed from the Verna and a 1.4L diesel with the engine borrowed from the i20. There is also a 1.6 diesel automatic option on offer which is a first in the market.We drove the 1.6-litre VTVT unit (also seen in the Verna) that churns out 121bhp and 151Nm. It was quick off the mark and remained smooth through all the rev ranges. Overtaking was impressive and in fact made it seem like the car was eager to get ahead. Considering the road presence the exterior provided, it was a very good ability to hone. Gear shifts were buttery smooth; although we didn’t have to downshift too much at all, it wouldn’t have been too much of an issue. The engine performed best at the 2000-3500 rpm range and felt at home cruising through the city.25Handling is impressive and very car like. It is nimble around corners with little body roll. Straight line stability is also commendable and it stays planted even at high speeds. The steering is light and moderately responsive. The 17 inch rims it runs on gives the Creta plenty of grip. Over smooth tarmac the ride quality is smooth and it holds its own over our pot hole infested roads. Although it isn’t AWD it can take some mild off-roading in its stride.20VERDICT

Building anticipation leads to heightened expectations that can be difficult to fulfill. News about the making of the Creta sent the auto world abuzz, and soon enough all we were hearing were good things about it. Rest assured, we were mighty excited about the Creta’s
arrival. Thankfully, the Creta lived up to our expectations and did not disappoint. 22On the designs front,Hyundai have hit all the right spots. It is large, robust and has tremendous road presence. Feature packed and providing a premium feel, it is a great combo of stunning looks, utility and creature comforts. And for an SUV it handles greatn and gives good performance. With everything looking and feeling like an SUV it would have been amazing if AWD would have been offered which would give it some serious offroad capabilities. Nevertheless, it is an amazing vehicle that might just be taking the crown for 2015. Of course, we hope there are more contenders that would vouch for the position.26For specifications, variants and pricing, click here

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