Hyundai Creta: The New Heir to the Crown

The 2020 Hyundai Creta looks all set to rule the subcompact market, just as its predecessor did.

Hyundai Creta

Ever since the first Hyundai Creta was launched in 2015, it has become one of the most loved subcompact SUVs in the Nepali and Indian markets. The SUV, which got its first minor update in 2018, largely owes its popularity to its gorgeous looks and roomy feel and the plethora of features it comes with at an affordable price range. In February 2020, the all-new, 2020 Creta was first showcased at an auto expo in India. But even though the new Creta generated a lot of buzz, Hyundai India couldn’t launch the new SUV because the Coronavirus pandemic soon brought the world to a standstill.

The 2020 Creta first entered the Nepali market in September 2020. Today, Laxmi Intercontinental, the authorised distributor of Hyundai, offers four different variants of the new Creta: the E, E Loaded, S, and SX, with a starting price of Rs 47,56,000. 

Since the new Creta’s launch, there has been much demand for the vehicle, with sales figures continuing to climb. The first-generation Creta set the new benchmark for its class back when it first came out, but now the competition has become much stiffer. With some stronger rivals making their presence felt in the market, the Creta will once again have to set a new benchmark it wants to rule the subcompact segment. 

We had wanted to test the vehicle way back, but owing to the Covid-19 crisis, we were able to get our hands on the new-generation Creta only recently. We got the SX CVT variant for the review, and here is our take on the vehicle. 

Exterior 

From the outside, the new Creta looks totally different from that of the previous generation. While the earlier version looked smart, with its simple yet sporty and sharp looks, the new model gets a very quirky design, about which people might have mixed opinions. 

Initially, I wasn’t wowed by the new Creta’s quirky looks, but over time, the new design began to grow on me. We also concluded that the new Creta seems to have carried over some design elements from the Hyundai Venue, its smaller sibling. 

Let’s get on with a more granular review of the looks now. The front of the car is dominated by a large flat grille, and you will not fail to notice the uniquely styled LED headlamps inside the 3 step ‘C’ shaped LED DRLs. The side indicators are housed lower down on the side of the fog lamp units. At the bottom, the SUV gets plastic skid plates on all four sides, making it look more rugged.

From the side, the Creta looks funkier owing to its many creases and lines. The SUV also comes with silver accents across the roofline, all the way to the C pillar, which gives the vehicle a dual-tone look. And the thick side cladding and roof-rail on top up the car’s sportiness factor.

The back of the car looks very busy from the many sharp lines and a black line that houses the third brake light across the tail. The C-shaped LED lamps are also carried over to the rear of the car. Depending on the model variant, the car comes with 16- or 17-inch wheel sides. The top of the range variant we were testing–the SX–came with 17-inch clean silver alloy wheels. Overall, the SUV looks big and bold and has a rugged stance. The quirky and unique design elements of the Creta will surely make it stand out from the crowd. 

Interior and features

When you hop in, you’ll find that the interior feels very tastefully done. The neatly laid out cabin makes for a simple yet smart appearance. That said, although the interior’s two-tone black-and-beige theme makes the inside feel pretty premium, we feel the materials used on the cabin could have been a bit better. 

At the centre of the dashboard is an easy-to-use 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system (it supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay), which flushes into the centre console. It draws your attention as soon as you get inside the car. The V-shaped centre console seems to have been inspired by Porsche.

Everything inside the cabin is within easy reach of the driver’s hand, making the layout quite practical. Adding practicality to the SUV are its spacious 433 litre boot space, big door packets, and other storage spaces. Enhancing the experience on the new Creta is a large electrically adjusted panoramic sunroof that stretches all the way to the back of the car. 

On the driver’s side, you will find a modern-looking “Flat bottom” steering wheel with various controls. Although the top variant model gets a half-digital, half-analog instrument cluster. The one that we were reviewing had an analog speedometer and tachometer with a small screen at the centre, which reads out the trip information, fuel-economy info, driving modes, and more. 

As for the rear seat, climbing into it is quite easy, thanks to the wide-opening doors. The rear seat feels comfortable with its ample knee and shoulder room. You also get great underthigh support and a good amount of headroom. Even a tall passenger should feel pretty comfortable in the back seat. The wide bench provides good space for a third passenger as well. The rear-seat passenger area is also equipped with A/C vents, a USB charging port, window sun blinds, and armrests.

The ‘SX’ trim level Creta also gets features like an electric parking brake, auto hold, air purifier, wireless phone-charging pad, cruise control, cooled glove box, automatic climate controls, and many more. The higher trim levels come with features like ventilated front seats, power driver seats, red sporty accents, and so on. 

Performance and safety 

The new Creta comes with a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine producing 113.42 hp and 144Nm torque and a 1.5-litre diesel engine producing 113.42 hp and 250Nm torque. You get to choose between a 6-speed manual transmission or a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

We got to test the 1497cc 4-cylinder petrol engine mated with a CVT (automatic) transmission. The 1.5-litre engine felt very refined and well-tuned. You won’t feel any vibrations inside the cabin while driving the car at lower RPMs. The 6-speed CVT transmission feels responsive, and the gear shifts are quite smooth as well. You get three different driving modes– Eco, Comfort, and Sport.

Eco gives the most mileage and Sport provides performance, while Comfort balances power and mileage. On the Eco and Comfort modes, the power delivery feels a bit slow, but it is adequate for city driving.

On the Sport mode, however, the power delivery is relatively quicker, and you can feel the punch when you floor the accelerator. I personally preferred driving in Comfort mode in the city traffic as it felt quite relaxing, and I had all the power needed to overtake other vehicles.

The power kicks in from 2,500 to 3,000 rpm revving all the way up to 6,000 rpm. Even though the torque numbers seem a bit low when compared to the other variants, you won’t feel any lack of torque while on the road. 

The other handy features worth a mention include a rearview monitor, traction-control modes, and auto hold for inclines. To make your driving experience fun and sporty, the automatic variant of the Creta also comes with paddle shifters, a first in its class. 

Onto the suspension now: the new Creta has a softer suspension setup, which makes you move a bit, but it doesn’t make the car bouncy. One benefit of having a soft suspension setup is that the car soaks up the small bumps really well. The new Creta handles pretty well in the city while cruising around at low speeds, and the steering wheel feels very light.

However, the light steering setup won’t give you much confidence to go around the corners at higher speeds. Basically, the handling is tuned to make the driving experience easier. Regarding safety aspects, the new-gen Creta offers two airbags, ABS with EBD, rear-parking sensors, rearview camera, Vehicle Stability Management, hill-assist, and Electronic Stability Control (ESC). 

Verdict 

The 2020 Creta is a great option if you are looking for a subcompact SUV to drive around the city and for occasional highway drives. With its unique and quirky design elements, the car looks very different from its peers. The first generation Creta came with great features at a reasonable price. Hyundai has stepped up the game yet again by adding more features like class-leading paddle shifters and large panoramic sunroof.

For NPR 67,96,000, the SX CVT variant of the new Creta provides all the power, features, and comfort you would expect from an SUV at this price point–making it a pretty good value for money.

Specifications

Engine: 1497 cc, 4 Cylinders Inline, 4 Valves/Cylinder, DOHC
Engine Type: 1.5 l MPi Petrol
Fuel Type: Petrol
Max Power (bhp@rpm): 113 bhp @ 6300 rpm
Max Torque (Nm@rpm): 144 Nm @ 4500 rpm
Mileage (ARAI): 17 kmpl
Driving Range: 850 Km
Drivetrain: FWD
Transmission: Manual – 6 Gears
Emission Standard: BS 6
Length: 4300 mm
Width: 1790 mm
Height: 1635 mm
Wheelbase: 2610 mm
Seating Capacity: 5 Person
No of Seating Rows: 2 Rows
Bootspace: 433 litres
Fuel Tank Capacity: 50 litres
Front Suspension: McPherson Strut with Coil Spring
Rear Suspension: Coupled Torsion Beam Axle
Front Brake Type: Disc
Rear Brake Type: Disc
Steering Type: Power-assisted (Electric)
Wheels: Alloy Wheels
Spare Wheel: Steel
Front Tyres: 215 / 60 R17
Rear Tyres: 215 / 60 R17
Price: NPR 67,96,000

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