Picture this, you have a budget of 20 lakh rupees and you’re looking for a 6/7 seater SUV for your family. The kids want a panoramic sunroof and a place to keep their iPads, the wife wants all the bling and features to show it off to her friends and family. And then comes you who doesn’t want it to be a huge impractical fuel-guzzling SUV to potter around the town and that it doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket. Enter the Hyundai Alcazar- a 6/7 seater SUV based on the Creta which could just be the perfect urban family SUV. Now one might think of it as a stretched Creta but there’s definitely more to it and Hyundai has gone to great lengths to drive the point home. Let us take a look at what makes it different.
The Alcazar is not too different from the Creta but Hyundai has made some changes to differentiate them. The chrome cascading grille gets studded elements in it and the new LED fog lamps get a chrome surround. The tri-beam LED headlights with DRLS remain the same making the face instantly recognizable. Move to the side and you will notice bigger 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels and an aluminium footboard. Look closer at the wheels and you will notice disc brakes at the rear, a feature not present in the Creta. It gets a floating roof which is accentuated by the blacked-out c pillars.
The rear profile gets a new set of honeycomb LED tail lamps which are joined with a chrome bar running across the boot. The chrome bar gets the name Alcazar written on it and as you move down, you see twin tip exhausts. The overall length sees an increase of 200mm and the wheelbase has been increased by 150mm. Overall, the differences are noticeable in the Alcazar and though it might not look butch like other SUVs, it comes off as a proportionate and well-rounded design.
Interiors and features
We’ll start at the rear where all the changes have been made and then move on to the front rows. The boot space is at 180 litres with all the rows up which makes it the best in the segment despite not being the longest. The third and the second rows can be folded down to liberate maximum space and it can be as a massive flat space. The third-row access is a cakewalk with the tip and tumble function of the second row. You also get grab handles to aid while you enter. Like all the other third rows, this one is only suitable for short journeys or for the kids.
Headroom is good and you can get decent knee room with the second row sliding forward. Hyundai has tried to make the third row better by providing cup holders, USB chargers, ac vents with blower control and reclining function.
The second row is arguably the best place to be in the Alcazar. It’s easy to enter the second row and as you are in, you will be greeted with a sense of airiness. Thanks to the large panoramic sunroof and windows. The windows get sunshades and the headrests come with a nice cushion to rest your head-on. The 6-seater variants get a storage console in the middle with space to wirelessly charge your smartphone. The 7-seater variant just gets a fold out armrest instead of the cushion. Other features include a fold out tray to hold your IT device and cupholders. The rear AC vents get a built in air purifier with AQI display.
The legroom is good enough and wont be a hassle for long journeys. The seats offer recline and sliding function to add to the convenience. The middle passenger in the 7 seater version won’t find any issues with the floor hump but will find his/her shoulders brushing against each other due to the lack of width.
Step into the front row and you are greeted with a Cognac-brown theme across the dashboard, seats and the door pads. The interior is pretty much similar to the Creta in terms of layout with a few changes. There is an extensive use of hard plastic across the dashboard and the doors except a few touch points like the steering and the armrest getting fabric inserts. The front seats are the same with ventilation function and 8-way electrical adjustment for the driver’s seat. You get a 10.25-inch touchscreen with smartphone compatibility and Hyundai’s Bluelink connected car technology. The Bluelink can now also be used to open the sunroof and driver side window over the usual features.
You get an 8 speaker Bose system and 64 colour ambient lighting which is present on the footwells and the crash pad. The pièce de résistance of the cabin is the new 10.25 inch fully digital instrument cluster which comes with different themes for the drive modes. It also features a blind view monitor which displays your blind spot in the direction of the indicator that you engage. You also get a 360-degree parking camera coupled with front parking sensors which is super useful for parking.
The 1.5-litre diesel engine which produces 115hp and 250 Nm of torque is shared with the Creta. It comes with an option of a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission. This engine is linear and smooth in nature with no sudden bursts of power. The automatic transmission gels well with the engine and the shift times are satisfactory. You’ll find the transmission eager to upshift which explains the high ARAI rating of 18 km/l which is quite commendable for a big SUV. The car reacts to kickdowns well and it revs till 4,250 rpm before upshifting. You can also take control of the shifting manually with the help of paddle shifters and the tip tronic function. This engine is a comfortable cruiser and carrying out 7 people with luggage will not be an issue. This is due to its weight which hasn’t increased significantly which lends it a healthy power to weight ratio. The only time when you will find the engine to be lacking will be on steep inclines with full load or when you want to make quick progress. Overall this engine is well suited for most of the driving conditions and the engine is great when it comes to refinement and efficiency.
The 2.0 litre naturally aspirated petrol has been borrowed from the Tucson and it is clearly a better choice for performance seekers. It churns out 159ps and 191 Nm of torque and comes mated to a 6 speed manual and 6 speed automatic transmission. Around the city, the engine is quite tractable and it will happily chug along on higher gears at low speeds. The manual transmission slots well and the clutch is light too making it easy to drive in the city. The claimed efficiency for both the transmissions is around 14 km/l and real world figures should be slightly lesser than that. If you really want to extract the 159 horses, you’ll need to keep the car above the 3,500 rpm rev band. Since it’s a naturally aspirated engine, it likes to be revved and it also has a sweet engine note near the redline. It can also achieve a 0 to 100km/h time of around 10 seconds easily with two people on board. Carrying 7 people and luggage then shouldn’t be an issue for this engine due to its best in class power figure and good tractability.
Ride and handling
The Alcazar rides well over bumps like the Creta and it will dismiss most of what the Indian roads throw at you. The handling is good for a vehicle of this size and it turns into the corners well. The petrol version is better to drive due to its better weight distribution as it is light in the front unlike the diesel. There is an obvious body roll but it is controlled and for most of the driving scenarios it fares well. Braking is good and it stops without any drama due to the electronic aids and the rear disc brakes. One thing to note is that this is not something you should drive enthusiastically keeping in mind the size of it and you are better off with the Creta if you want to have more fun. Its very easy to drive around the city too thanks to its good driving position, familiar Hyundai controls, light steering and its ability to mask its size well.
The Alcazar hasn’t been tested by Global NCAP yet so we can’t comment on its safety. However, the car is well built and comes with a host of safety features like ABS and EBS, TCS, ESC, Hill-start assist, TPMS, 6 airbags and ISOFIX child mounts.
The Alcazar comes off as a contemporary option when compared to its rivals such as the MG Hector Plus and the Tata Safari. The other SUVs trump the Alcazar when it comes to their butch appearance and dimensions. They also have a better 2.0-litre diesel engine which is much more powerful. However, the Alcazar will be more frugal and better to own with the trusted Hyundai badge. It also comes with most features and is better to drive around in the city. The Alcazar starts at a higher price than the competition at Rs 16.30 lakhs but the base variant itself is more kitted than the mid variants of the other two SUVs. The Alcazar diesel is priced on par with the competition with a difference of few thousands here and there. The Alcazar comes off as a well-rounded family SUV that is also frugal to own. Hyundai has also gone to great lengths to differentiate it from Creta while retaining its strengths. All in all, the Alcazar is definitely going to sell well for what it offers and it is a great choice for urban families.