Hyundai has always been ahead of the game in understanding and gauging the market and coming out with the right product at the right time. For example, the premium hatch segment was captured really well by Hyundai with the help of the i20.
The mini SUV market is taking over the hatchback market. Hyundai failed to gauge the change. They made stop-gap arrangements by putting their hatch, the i20, on stilts. This gave birth to the i20 Active. The pseudo-crossover fooled no one and they needed something more concrete to challenge the Renault Duster. Then began the process of bringing the ix25, already being sold in China, to India. The ix25 is based on the i20 platform and shares its engine options with the Verna. It’s been rebadged as the Creta for India. Is it really “The perfect SUV” as Hyundai claims it to be? We find out!
- Well tuned suspension. Does not feel ‘bouncy’ or ‘twitchy’ like most Hyundais.
- Well-proportioned and smart looking SUV, based on Hyundai’s Fluidic 2.0 design.
- High levels of engine refinement and comfortable ride quality in city driving conditions.
- No AWD/4x4 option available, limiting its off-road capabilities.
- Could have been priced more aggressively. Fails to justify the price point.
- Instrument Cluster does not show fuel efficiency and distance to empty. Something that we expected from Hyundai at this price point.
- Diesel automatic & Petrol variant not available in the Top-End trim. Misses out on curtain airbags among other features.
Stand Out Features
The snappy 7” infotainment system with navigation.
High safety levels. Offered with an option for 6 Airbags, Electronic Stability Program. Fared will in China’s crash tests too.
Diesel Automatic on offer.
If you like to have a bit of off-road fun and the Thar is too uncivilised for you, the Duster AWD will do well on the beaten path. On the other hand, if you’re looking for an SUV and will spend most of your time on paved roads, look no further as the Creta is the best option.
"The Creta is certainly the perfect companion for the urban jungle."
The claims by Hyundai about the Creta being ‘The Perfect SUV’ is a long shot due to the lack of a 4WD option, the Creta is certainly the perfect companion for the urban jungle.
The Creta, without a second thought, is the best looking car in its segment. The Renault Duster is ageing fast and the tall stance of the Ford Ecosport is not as well-proportioned as the Creta. The Creta is based on Hyundai Fluidic 2.0 design philosophy. It is a mini Santa Fe of sorts. The car has neat lines and elegant bulges where required. Overall the styling is aggressive, a good character trait to have in an SUV.
On the front, you are greeted by the three slats of chrome and a zealous pair of headlamps. The chrome sits in the characteristic Hyundai hexagonal grills.
The headlamps are a busy unit which house the daytime running lights at the bottom, a large projector lamp unit, turn indicator and the cornering lamps. The bumper is large and houses vertical fog lamps and a bogus silver skid plate. You will find the fake skid plate at the back too.
On the side, the 17-inch diamond cut alloys immediately catch your eye. The fit well in the wheel arches. Only the top spec diesel manual offers the 17-inch rims, all other variants have to make do with 16-incher. The rims are wrapped by 215mm of rubber, same as the Duster. The car has a continuous skirt of black cladding.
A neat line runs from the top of the front wheel arch to the tail lamp at the back. Another line runs on top of the black cladding from one wheel arch to another. The car gets a neat pair of roof rails. They are purely cosmetic and cannot be used for loading luggage onto the roof. They give the car a few extra mm in height aiding with the SUV stance.
Moving to the back, the design is minimalistic with a trip of chrome housed above the number plate area. It gets split tail lamps and a couple of long, horizontal reflectors on the bulgy bumper. The bumper gets similar faux plastic skid plate treatment as the front.
In terms of dimensions, the Creta’s length is 4270 mm which is 45mm lower than the Duster and 30mm lower than the S-Cross. It is a good 270mm larger than the Ecosport which is just below 4 meters to take advantage of the sub-4m tax benefits. Creta’s width of 1780mm is 42 mm behind Dusters 1822 mm.
While the Renault Duster looks more like a typical SUV with its macho looks the Creta looks at home in the urban environment. The design of the Creta, just like the Ecosport, feels out of place in the off-road environment.
|Ford EcoSport||Renault Duster||Maruti Vitara Brezza||Hyundai Creta|
|Ground Clearance (mm)||200||205||198||190|
|Wheel Base (mm)||2520||2673||2500||2590|
|Kerb Weight (kg)||-||-||1170||-|
Boot Space Comparison
|Renault Duster||Maruti Vitara Brezza||Hyundai Creta||Ford EcoSport|
Interiors have always been a really strong point for Hyundai. The interiors of the Creta is dominant by black. There is beige on the dash that runs from one door pad to another and onto the doors. The fit and finish are top notch, something that is typical of modern Hyundai’s.
At the centre of the dash is a 7” touch screen In-Car entertainment system with navigation. The lower variant is offered sans the navigation system, but you get 1GB of onboard storage for your media. You can use Bluetooth, USB or Aux as inputs for the media. It is a snappy unit and easy to navigate around its features.
At the top is a small digital clock integrated into the dash. On either side of the touchscreen are vertical air-con vents. These vents are surrounded by chrome inserts.
At the bottom are the controls for the climate control system. A nice touch is the mood bar that moves from blue to red depending on the temperature that you have set. The air conditioning unit is powerful and is aided by the presence of the vents at the rear.
Ahead of the gear lever is a nice large storage area lined with an anti-slip material coupled with slots for the power socket, AUX & USB. The AUX and USB slots get no cover but have a blue illumination to aid with finding the slot.
The steering wheel is a leatherette-wrapped unit with useful thumb contours. The steering wheel tilt (rake) can be adjusted but misses out on reach adjustment. This is a let-down as this feature is available on the i20 but Hyundai has missed out on inculcating it here. However, the wheel is neutrally placed and most people can find a comfortable position. The buttons on the steering wheel are a combination of buttons and switches. The left ones control the infotainment system whereas the controls on the right control the instrument console.
The instrument cluster is clean with two identically sized dials for the tachometer (Rev-Counter) and speedometer. Digital temperature and fuel gauges are inculcated into the same dials. At the center is the MID (Multi Information Display). This shows two trip computers which also show distance travelled, average speed and trip time in respect to that trip. The computer misses out to show fuel economy or distance to empty, which we feel is a must have for a car of its segment.
The other readouts are traction control & stability control status, key not in vehicle warning, gear shift indicator, outside temperature and the parking sensor display.
The stalks on either side of the steering are dependable units in terms of quality. The left houses control for the front & rear wipers. The right stalk controls the turn indicators and controls for the headlamps & fog lamps.
On the dash, on the driver's left is the start stop button and on the right are control switches for traction control, instrument cluster illumination and headlamps levelling to set the throw of the headlamps. The key less system is a really smart unit which not only detects the presence of the key in the vicinity but also detects if it is inside or outside the cabin. You can access the car by a request sensor on the driver's side door. Just click the black button and it detects if the key is around to unlock the car. There is no need to pull the key out of your pocket. Once you are in, just hit the clutch with the start-stop button to bring the car to life.
The wing mirrors are electrically controlled and foldable from the console on the door. The power window controls are on the door armrest along with the central locking control. The door houses the front speaker and has ample storage space with provision to store a 1L bottles.
The glove-box is neither illuminated nor cooled. It is made of hard plastic and does not have a lining either.
Moving to the top, the sun visors again are a let down in terms of quality for the price tag the Creta commands. Passenger side visor gets a vanity mirror without illumination and the driver side visor gets a simple strap for a ticket holder. The cabin lights at the front are two individual units separated by the switch and Bluetooth mic. The sunglass holder in integrated into the same unit.
The seats are covered in black fake leather with white stitching which have a rich feeling to them. The lower variants get a fabric treatment to the seats. The seats are comfortable and the driver seat can be adjusted for height. Finding a driving position is easy and headroom is ample. However, we found the shoulder room to be on the lower side.
Moving to the rear, the seats continue to get the same treatment as the front. There is ample leg room and the seating position is relaxed. This may translate to strain on your lower back during the longer drives but is not much of an issue.
There is a centre armrest with cup holders. Even though the floor hump is really small, we found that the rear seats are more suitable for 2 adults as opposed to 3.
You get two large adjustable headrests, rear air-con vents and a charging point.
However, because of the design of the car, you get small rear windows which makes visibility for the rear passengers difficult. This also contributes to a claustrophobic feeling at the back.
When you go all the way back, the boot stands at 400 litres. This is smaller than the dusters 475 litres. While this is ample space for the weekend trips, more space can be made by dropping the rear seats which fall down flat. Well, almost flat.
We feel the fit and finish along with the quality of interior are exactly where they need to be with a car in this segment, but we expect more from Hyundai and there are many features that have been missed out that are already available on lower variants. As a Hyundai, the Creta fails to justify its higher price tag.
The petrol engine on Creta is the 1.6L VTVT unit carried over from Verna. This engine churns out 123PS of power and 151Nm of torque. This puts it at the top of Ecosport’s 110bhp and Duster’s 103bhp.
The petrol engine feels lethargic. The power is available at the top the rev range and needs to be pushed hard to extract its best. When we drove it on the highway, overtaking usually involved going down a gear to complete the overtake manoeuvre. At higher RPMs the engine sound does make its way into the cabin. This is not very harsh and pleased our petrol head ears. The engine can be had with a 6-speed manual gearbox, or a 6-speed torque converter automatic. While the clutch on the petrol is super light and barely a bother in stop and go traffic, the two-pedal version bumps up the convenience quotient to a whole new level. Shifts aren’t as lightning quick as a dual-clutch unit, but there’s no perceptible lag or lurch as the gearbox swaps cogs. It is only under kickdown that the gearbox fumbles a bit before downshifting and giving you the burst of acceleration you need.
The ARAI rating for the petrol stands at 15.29kmpl, but our car touched the 11kmpl on the test.
The petrol is a perfect option as a city runabout. If you’re looking at a heavier usage, you will have to look at the Creta’s diesel line-up.
Performance Comparison (Petrol)
|Renault Duster||Hyundai Creta||Ford EcoSport|
|Engine Displacement (cc)||1598||1591||999|
|Top Speed (kmph)||160 Kmph||-||180 Kmph|
|0-100 Acceleration (sec)||11.5 Seconds||-||11 Seconds|
|Kerb Weight (kg)||-||-||-|
|Fuel Efficiency (ARAI)||13.06kmpl||13.0kmpl||18.88kmpl|
|Power Weight Ratio||-||-||-|
The Creta is offered with two Diesel engine options. A 1.4L CRDi and a larger 1.6L CRDi. The first 3 variants offer the 1.4L engine and the top 3 variants offer the 1.6L engine.
The engine, which is also found in the i20 makes 90PS of power and 220Nm of torque. This is mated to a 6-Speed unit. The engine has good low-end torque making it well suited for snail pace moving city traffic. While it doesn’t instil confidence on the Highways as the 1.6 does, it won’t disappoint either.
As the 1.4 is only on offer for the bottom 3 variants, the option best for the budget conscious who still want the SUV style vehicle in their garage. The engine is suitable for the city condition and the occasional intercity run.
One of the best things about the 1.6 CRDi Creta is the refinement levels of the engine. The engine sets into a smooth idle once started. It is derived from the Verna and churns out 128PS of power which is ahead of the 110PS offered by the Duster and 100PS offered by the Ecosport. The engine has evident turbo lag up to the 1900rpm mark which is followed by smooth power delivery. The high torque figures translates to fewer downshifts. The gearbox is mated to a light clutch. While the light clutch is a plus, the higher travel of the clutch can get irritating in stop-and-go traffic. The 6-speed automatic offers smooth shifts too, and can be an ideal companion in case your usage involves a lot of city commuting.
The engine comes into its own on the highway. It is capable of carrying highway speeds all day long without making a fuss and munches miles with ease. Somehow, the engine feels more at home here than on the Verna.
Performance Comparison (Diesel)
|Maruti Vitara Brezza||Ford EcoSport||Renault Duster||Hyundai Creta|
|Engine Displacement (cc)||1248||1498||1461||1582|
|Top Speed (kmph)||175 kmph||182 Kmph||168 Kmph||190 Kmph|
|0-100 Acceleration (sec)||13.8 Seconds||13.5 Seconds||12.5 Seconds||10.5 Seconds|
|Kerb Weight (kg)||1195kg||-||-||-|
|Fuel Efficiency (ARAI)||24.3kmpl||22.77kmpl||19.72kmpl||17.01kmpl|
|Power Weight Ratio||74.05857740585773 bhp/ton||-||-||-|
Ride & Handling:
One of the stand-out features of the Creta is its ride and handling. The way that the Creta soaks up road bumps and undulations is truly a class apart. Even with the kind of weight, it carries, the body roll is in check. While the car is not meant to be driven hard around corners, the car does behave well when thrown into a corner.
The steering, again, is an excellent job by Hyundai. The system is one of the best amongst all they Hyundai’s on offer. At low speeds, the steering is light and effortless. This is a boon for city driving. The steering weights up better than any other Hyundai at highway speeds and shows that Hyundai is trying to head in the right direction as far as steering response in concerned.
1.4 CRDi L
1.4 CRDi S
[ In adition to 1.4 CRDi L ]
Front fog lamps,
Rear centre armrest,
Rear AC vents,
[ Variant 1.4 CRDi L price ] + 1,22,257
1.4 CRDi S Plus
[ In adition to 1.4 CRDi S ]
Rear parking sensors,
R16 clean silver alloys,
Shark fin antenna,
[ Variant 1.4 CRDi S price ] + 90,679
1.6 CRDi SX
[ In adition to 1.4 CRDi S Plus ]
Rear wiper and washer,
Safety power windows,
[ Variant 1.4 CRDi S Plus price ] + 25,836
1.6 CRDi SX Plus
[ In adition to 1.6 CRDi SX ]
Steering adaptive parking,
Child seat anchor,
R17 diamond cut alloy wheels,
[ Variant 1.6 CRDi SX price ] + 99,908
1.6 CRDi AT S Plus
[ In adition to 1.6 CRDi SX Plus ]
Touch-screen infotainment system,
Rear parking sensors,
Shark fin antenna,
[ Variant 1.6 CRDi SX Plus price ] + 20,043
1.6 CRDi SX Option
[ In adition to 1.6 CRDi AT S Plus ]
Speed sensing auto door lock,
Electronic stability control,
Hillstart assist control,
[ Variant 1.6 CRDi AT S Plus price ] + 86,326
1.6 CRDi AT SX Plus
[ In adition to 1.6 CRDi SX Option ]
Steering adaptive parking,
Child seat anchor,
R17 diamond cut alloy wheels,
[ Variant 1.6 CRDi SX Option price ] + 7,070
1.6 VTVT E
Driver and passenger airbags,
ABS with EBD,
1.6 VTVT E Plus
[ In adition to 1.6 VTVT E ]
LED turn indicators on ORVMs,
Electrically adjustable ORVMs,
[ Variant 1.6 VTVT E price ] + 73,270
1.6 VTVT AT SX Plus
[ In adition to 1.6 VTVT E Plus ]
Rear defogger with timer,
Bifunctional projector head lamp,
Electrically foldable ORVMs,
[ Variant 1.6 VTVT E Plus price ] + 2,98,079
The Creta is offered in 3 engine options (1 Petrol & 2 Diesel) option.
The 1.6 petrol engine is offered in 3 variants. Base, S & SX+. The smaller, 1.4 diesel engine is offered in the bottom three variants of Base, S & S+. The 1.6 diesel is offered in the top three trims of SX, SX+ & SX(O). The option for an automatic is only offered with the 1.6 SX+ option.
The petrol Creta is perfect for the short office shuttles. You can get it in the SX+ trim as the SX(O) is not offered with the petrol. In case your use involves the occasional highway stint, you could go for the Diesel automatic that is offered only in the SX+ trim. In case, if you’re looking for the fully loaded trim, your only engine option will be the 1.6 diesel manual. This certainly is our pick of the lot as the variant is high on safety features and offers premium additions such as the 17-inch alloys and the leather upholstery.