Note: The Hyundai Creta crash was an act of the mob. The story has been redirected here on a request by Hyundai India. Below is the image of the SUV being turned over by an angry mob:
We are already through with our detailed report on the Hyundai Creta compact crossover unveiled recently. Hyundai had called national auto media to its plant in Chennai for the grand unveiling. The journalists at the event got to touch and feel the new crossover, got a small spin, even, inside the company’s plant, though photography was strictly prohibited. The cameras of all the media representatives were duly taped before they got close to the highly anticipated machine. Our man for the job, Arjun Dharve, in the meantime, wondered why they left his front facing Facetime camera untaped. Sure it isn’t as high-res as the rear unit, but it sure can take decent images. No mischief at the event by Motoroids though, and we still only have the images that we have already shared with you earlier in our detailed report here.
What’s new, however, is a whole bunch of insightful details which have helped us deconstruct the new SUV to you to a large extent. So here we have it, the first driving impressions of the new Hyundai Creta 1.6 CRDi diesel, in both manual and automatic trims. Both test vehicles were top of the line SX (O) variants.
Engine, transmission and drive impressions
- Hyundai Creta comes powered by a petrol and two diesel engines. Petrol power will be provided by a 1.6 Dual VTVT engine. Diesel power comes in the form of a U2 1.4 CRDi and U2 1.6 CRDi VGT engines. The engines are said to have been tuned for high fuel efficiency, though no fuel efficiency figures have been revealed yet.
- The 1.6 liter CRDi diesel also gets a 6-speed automatic transmission. For this drive we sampled the 1.6 diesel engine in both manual and auto versions. The Creta automatic with 1.6 CRDi VGT is a first- in segment diesel AT offering. The power output figures of the three engines are provided below:
- 1.4 U2, 4-cylinder, CRDi diesel engine – 1396 cc; 90 PS@4000 rpm; 22.4 Kgm@1500-2750 rpm; 21.3 km/l*
- 1.6 U2, 4-cylinder, CRDi VGT diesel engine (MT/AT) – 1582 cc; 128 PS@4000 rpm; 26.5 Kgm@1900-2750 rpm; 19.67 km/l* (MT); 17.01 km/l* (AT)
- 1.6 Gamma Dual VTVT, 4-cylinder petrol engine – 1591 cc; 123 PS@6400 rpm; 15.4 Kgm@4850 rpm; 15.29 km/l*
*ARAI certified figures
- Hyundai tells us that the Creta was tested extensively on the Golden Quadrilateral to ensure optimum ride-handling balance in Indian road conditions
- You sit relatively low inside the cabin. The driving position is not as commanding as you would assume for a car with such good ground clearance and character. The dashboard feels high set, and the feel from the driver’s position is very car-like.
- Steering is adjustable for height but not for reach. The steering wheel on the AT variant wasn’t leather wrapped and felt slightly hard and rough, though the leather wrapped wheel on the Manual version felt soft and very nice to hold. We were a little perplexed on seeing fabric seats and no leather steering wheel on the AT variant, which is supposed to be the absolute top of the line variant. The manual SX (O) variant, on the other hand featured leather seats and a much-nicer-to-hold leather wrapped steering wheel too.
- 1.6 diesel seemed to have a mild turbo lag and spooled up fully only at 2000 rpm, even after featuring a VGT. Having said that, the car drove reasonably well in low revs and there wasn’t any noticeable gasping or spluttering. We didn’t drive it for too long, but it can be said that the car does have some amount of turbo lag
- The gear shifts on the 6-speed manual transmission are very smooth and didn’t leave us with anything to complain
- The turbo lag which was quite noticeable in the manual version wasn’t apparent in the auto variant where the electronic brain did the cog swapping for us in a rather deft manner.
- The automatic transmission on the Creta is pretty good and feels better than the earlier auto transmissions on Hyundai cars in this segment
- The auto transmission is quite snappy and shifts up rather quickly. We tried to confuse it by modulating the throttle, though it responded pretty well to the challenges thrown. We cannot have a conclusive opinion on the gearbox based on such a short test, though the initial impressions are very good
- In the automatic trim, the Creta 1.6 diesel auto upshifts at 4300 rpm at full throttle or in manual mode.
- The manual transmission trim, the Creta is redlined at 4800 rpm, though it revs all the way up to 5000 rpm
- The engine gets slightly noisy after 3000 rpm, though it still remains smooth and none of this noise really translates into any vibrations or irritating drone inside the cabin
- Body rolls is perceptible but is decent for the height of the vehicle. Ride is supple, but the vehicle rolls more when compared to say, the Duster or the Ecosport.
- Braking is taken care of by disc brakes up front and drums at the rear.
- The cushy ride of the Creta is commendable, especially as the vehicle we drove was riding on large 17 inch wheels with low profile tyres. This also makes us think that the versions with 16 inch wheels will probably have even more pronounced body roll
Interior and space
- Front seats are nice and well scooped out. They fit our colleague Arjun Dharve, who is of a relatively slim built very snugly with nice lateral support. Those seats, however, might turn out to be a tad small for people with a larger build though.
- Driver seat is height adjustable, though there is no lumbar support here
- Power window buttons are well finished, are of a good quality and have an auto function for the driver side window
- Road and wind noise felt well controlled for the brief time we drove the car for.
- The Creta looks reasonably bigger than the Ecosport and exceeds the 4 meter limit which gets a car manufacturer excise duty cut in India. So it will likely not be able to match the Ecosport on price, and by a fair margin
- Rear space is good for 2 adults, 3 would be a squeeze though
- Rear seat has center arm rest and cup holders, though it doesn’t have any lid covered storage space
- Front AC is a single zone automatic unit with rotary controls.
- Rear seat has twin AC vents for the rear passengers
- Rear A/C doesn’t get any controls for fan speed or temperature though
- Head room at the rear is adequate. While the shoulder line of the Creta is quite high and the windows aren’t very big and wide, the good amount of headroom ensures that the car doesn’t feel claustrophobic.
- The leg room at the back seat is pretty good, though the under-thigh support could have been better
- There aren’t any dedicated reading lights for the rear passengers
- Rear seat back folds down flat but there is no split seat option
- While boot space volume has not been specified by Hyundai, it looks generous.
- The boot also gets a removable parcel tray
- The Creta comes with a 16 inch spare wheel with steel rims on a car that comes with 17 inch alloys. Clearly, the spare uses a higher profile tyre
- The overall exterior finish is pretty good, though there are some uneven panel gaps in some places which could have been done away with
Infotainment, storage spaces and other features
- The center console on the Creta features a Audio Video Navigation system with 6 speakers and a 7-inch display screen. The system gets an Advanced Touch interface, user friendly maps, video playing and image viewing capability through USB, Bluetooth support and rear camera display.
- The touchscreen on the center panel is very nice. The resolution is good and feels sensitive to touch without having to press the finger too hard against the screen
- As is generally the case with Hyundai cars, the audio system sounds very good, the sat-nav is easy to input details with, though we cannot comment on its functionality
- There is an extensive trip computer with details like distance to dry, average efficiency and other important data
- There is no dearth of storage spaces inside the Creta. The car has space for big bottles on all four doors, along with map pockets.
- There is also a generous storage space under the front armrest which can hold a lot more than a few cellphones and wallets
- There is another small storage space ahead of the shifter stick / drive selector to put your small belongings in
- Sockets below the centre console include USB / Aux –in and a 12V power socket
- The car features cornering lights like the XUV500, though the corner illuminators are separate halogen units. The main units are projectors for the top variants
- The shark fin antenna on the Creta aids reception for sat-nav, radio as well as for Bluetooth
- ORVMs are power folding and feature mounted turn indicators
- Fit and finish is quite nice and overall the interior looks very nice though it’s not totally devoid of hard plastics. There is some hardness to be felt on the rear door panels and the upper black part of the dashboard – this isn’t much to complain about though.
- The buttons are very tactile, soft to touch and built to last – there is no flimsiness to be felt there.
Overall, the Creta is just what we thought it would be. It’s a very nicely made car, both on the inside and out. It is reasonably spacious, that automatic transmission is a revelation of sorts and it rides well too. While we most definitely won’t give our conclusive opinions on the car without driving it at least for a few hundred kilometers – our first impressions tell us that this compact crossover from Hyundai is out to become a major success story.
So what’s it for now? This, the Ecosport, the Duster / Terrano or the Mahindra XUV500? Do let us know your thoughts
Check out an extensive image gallery of the Hyundai Creta below