Hyundai Alcazar 6 And 7 Seater: Review

Published On Jun 25, 2021 By Tushar for Hyundai Alcazar

One could describe the Alcazar as just a Creta with additional seats. But with a price premium that goes up to over Rs 2 lakh, is that all the extra money gets you?

All it takes is one glance at the Hyundai Alcazar for you to figure out its connection with the Creta. However, its standard equipment and additional features position it as something more premium. So, we take a look at the needs this SUV satisfies and also explore if it’s worth getting over the Creta.

Looks

Well, first of all, there’s no need to worry about black mirrors, steel wheels, or any other unpainted parts. Even if you buy the base-spec Prestige, it is ready to drive home and looks the part too.

Its connection with the Creta is apparent up front, especially because of the standard LED headlight and DRL design. The LED fog light enclosures have been restyled, though, as has the front grille. Not only is the latter notably larger than in the Creta, it also gets dull chrome studs to make it look distinctive. Evidently, some inspiration has been taken from Hyundai’s biggest SUV globally, the Palisade.

FYI  - The petrol gets a ‘2.0’ badge at the rear, while only the top-spec Signature gets its own variant badging 

The side profile is where the design starts to feel completely different compared to the car it’s based on. The roofline is taller and flatter, the rear door is larger, and you also get 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels (17-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels on the base variant). Yes, the dimensions have changed - a 200mm increase in length, a 150mm increase in wheelbase, and a 40mm bump up in height. So, there is a slight bit more road presence here than with the Creta, keyword being slight.

FYI - Colour Options: Taiga Brown, Polar White*, Phantom Black, Typhoon Silver, Starry Night (blue) and Titan Grey* (*available with black roof in the Signature variant)

It’s at the rear where things see the biggest change. It’s a clean, more mature and less controversial design than the Creta’s, somewhat similar to the Ford Endeavour’s rear end. However, there doesn’t seem to be any connection in the design language used at the front and rear. The two ends look like they belong to different cars, which is a little strange.

Dimensions

Alcazar

Creta

Safari

Hector Plus

Length (mm)

4500

4300

4661

4720

Width (mm)

1790

1790

1894

1835

Height (mm)

1675

1635

1786

1760

Wheelbase (mm)

2760

2610

2741

2750

One thing to bear in mind is that while it is a rival to the Hector Plus and Safari, the Alcazar’s competitors have more of the size factor going for them, especially height. The Alcazar looks like an urban 7-seater, and if you want that muscly/butch SUV presence, the Hyundai may not appeal to you in the same way its alternatives would.

Interior

1st Row

The Alcazar will feel homely if you’ve experienced the Creta’s cabin. The layout is easy to navigate and get familiar with as well. There isn’t a difference in quality, fit or finish, and it feels as well built and premium. The difference is in the colour palette, where you get a brown and black dual-tone across the range. This does make it look more unique than the usual beige/black, grey/black, and the all-black most cars in this price range sport. There’s also a gloss black panel for the centre console, instead of the matte grey finish you’d find in the Creta.

For the driver’s convenience, the steering gets both rake and reach adjustment (Creta misses reach adjustment) and an 8-way adjustable powered seat. Overall visibility is great too, and while this is a 7-seater SUV, you won’t find it any more difficult to get used to than a compact SUV.

2nd Row

It’s in the rear rows that Hyundai’s done a commendable job of packaging the Alcazar well, even with a relatively small change in dimensions. The rear entryway is nice and wide, making getting in and out of the car quite easy. A side step is available for older users, but oddly, it’s only with the top two automatic variants.

Two seating configurations are available: a 7-seater (60:40 split) with a middle-row bench seat and a 6-seater with middle-row captain seats. Whichever version you choose, the middle row offers one-touch tumble forward (on both sides) to access the third row, along with the slide and recline functions. Now, with the wheelbase increased by 150mm, is there more room in the second row than a Creta? Well, not exactly. While the sliding seats will offer more flexibility, the actual knee room on offer is roughly the same.

FYI: There’s a foldable table for the second row that gets a tablet/i-pad slot and a flip-out type cupholder. While this is an added convenience, the panel that holds this table to the front seats eats about an inch of knee room

For context, two 6ft-tall occupants can easily sit one behind the other. And if you push the front seat in the Alcazar and Creta all the way ahead and pull the middle-row seat all the way back (in the Alcazar), the space available is roughly the same. Notably, headroom is impressive even with the standard panoramic sunroof, and you’ll be fine even if you’re over 6ft tall.

FYI: The backrests in the Alcazar’s middle row are smaller in height vs the Creta’s rear seat

Seat support is good with both the seating options, but understandably, the captain seats are what we’d lean towards. The seat contouring improves your overall support. And exclusive to the 6-seater is a central console that serves as an armrest with storage with two bottle holders and a wireless phone charger. Both versions also get a rear USB charger and a slot to place your phone next to it, along with retractable window blinds.

3rd Row

First, the bad news. Thanks to the console in between the middle seats of the 6-seater Alcazar, you can’t walk through the second row to get into the back. The good news? With the standard tumble-forward second row, getting into the last row is very easy, even for someone who isn’t particularly athletic.

Can adults use this third row? For average-sized users, absolutely! It isn’t too tricky to adjust the front seats to get everyone reasonably comfortable, provided the users ahead are also under 6ft tall. With taller occupants up front, it’s best suited to kids. As you’d expect, the third-row seat base is very close to the floor, so you won’t have much underthigh support to speak of. However, there are some nice amenities here. The last row gets its own set of AC vents with fan speed control, cupholders, and USB chargers.

We also asked the question, “Would you rather be the middle passenger in a 5-seater like the Creta or the only passenger in the third row of the Alcazar?” And our middle passenger chose the Alcazar without hesitation.

Boot

With all the rows up, we have about 180 litres of boot space in the Alcazar, which is enough for two small trolley bags/few duffle bags. The third row folds completely flat, liberating 579 litres (approx) of cargo volume, compared to the Creta’s 433L.

Technology

Here’s a look at the Alcazar’s technology packaging:

  • 10.25-inch touchscreen: Offered with Android Auto & Apple CarPlay. It’s the same unit as we’ve seen in the Creta and is very smooth and easy to use.

  • 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster: A very well executed digital interface that offers brilliant colour quality and resolution. It also changes the theme based on the drive mode selected (Sport/Eco/Comfort). These themes can also be altered through the infotainment system.

  • Panoramic sunroof: Same in size as the Creta’s, and it does bump up the sense of space in the cabin

  • Auto AC with rear AC vents: The AC performance is strong, and cooling is effective across all rows. You will see one additional button on the AC console (vs the Creta) that reads ‘rear’. This button must be switched on to activate the third row AC. We wish the Alcazar offered blower speed control in the middle row as well, especially since the 6-seater will be used by many chauffeur-driven owners.

  • BOSE 8-speaker music system: The setup offers a sweet balance of punch and clarity. With some relaxing music playing on these speakers, the sunblinds up, and the sunroof closed, you can enjoy a nap in the back seat on your way back from work.

Other Features

Air Purifier With Perfume Diffuser

Smart-Key With Push Button Start & Remote Engine Start

Cruise Control

Blue Link Connected Car Tech

64 Colour Ambient Lighting (extends to rear doors)

Electronic Parking Brake With Auto Hold

Ventilated Front Seats

Drive Modes

Traction Modes (Snow/Sand/Mud)

Paddle-Shifters (automatic only)

Wireless Phone Chargers

Cooled Glovebox

Engine and Performance

Diesel

Petrol

Engine

1.5L, 4 cylinder

2.0L, 4 cylinder

Power

115PS @ 4000rpm

159PS @ 6500rpm

Torque

250Nm @ 1750-2500rpm

191Nm @ 4500rpm

Transmission

6MT/6AT

6MT/6AT

Driving The 2.0L Petrol

  • This engine is shared with the Hyundai Tucson and makes more power here.

  • We tested it with the automatic transmission and found it to be a great daily driver, offering progressive power delivery and excellent cruising ability.

  • It’s also a very refined engine, and the experience in the cabin is very smooth.

  • The overall driving behaviour is best suited to a relaxed driving style. The peak performance is higher up in the rev band, so if you go for quick overtakes or want to drive fast, the transmission will downshift. The engine will rev up quickly and get close to the redline, getting very loud in the process.

  • Drive with a heavy foot, and you’ll find that the transmission is still smooth but not as quick or aggressive as the Creta 1.4L turbo’s DCT.

  • Claimed fuel efficiency: 14.5kmpl (MT) / 14.2kmpl (AT)

Driving The 1.5L Diesel

  • This engine is shared with the Creta and produces the same power and torque. However, the gear ratios have been altered to improve usability with load.

  • We tested it with the manual transmission, and its low-rev torque delivery already makes us like it more than the petrol. The performance is very smooth, and even when the turbo activates around 1500rpm, the power delivery increases gently and not with a sudden surge.

  • For overtakes and quick driving, you don’t need to rev it as much as the petrol. So while it will be just as easy as the petrol for city driving, highway cruising and outstation trips will be better with this engine. This isn’t just down to the performance but also because of the superior fuel efficiency you can expect, considering the engine itself is more relaxed in any given driving scenario.

  • We also tested it with six people on board and found the performance to be adequate for everyday usage. When fully loaded, overtakes will need a little more planning, but the engine had enough grunt to deal with open roads, regular traffic, and even went up sharp inclines from a dead stop without a struggle. Just feed in a little more throttle if you’re starting an uphill climb and be sure to stay around 1800-2000rpm if you’re attempting an overtake.

  • Notably, both engines are tuned for usability and not outright excitement. It’s not the kind of performance that will spoil you but can manage high-speed cruising easily. 

  • Claimed fuel efficiency: 20.4kmpl (MT) / 18.1kmpl (AT)

Ride and Handling

  • With the 18-inch wheels, the Alcazar’s ride quality feels a little firmer than the Creta’s. There’s some notable side-to-side movement at low speeds, but you can go over small bumps and potholes with ease. You can even get through our often inconsistently sized speed breakers with a full passenger load.

  • Hyundai has increased the ground clearance to 200mm (10mm more than the Creta) to help with this kind of usage. 

  • Body roll is evident while driving through curves/corners and will become a lot more apparent when you load up the Alcazar with passengers. Be sure to give yourself more room to turn or brake if you have more people on board.

  • Maneuverability is car-like with the Alcazar. All the controls are light to use, and this feels very easy to drive and park in cramped cities. 

Safety

Standard Safety Features

Dual Front Airbags

All Wheel Disc Brakes

ABS With EBD

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) & Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)

Hill Start Assist

Auto Headlamps

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

Auto-Dimming IRVM

ISOFIX

Rear Parking Sensors

Rear Camera With Dynamic Guidelines

LED Front Fog Lamps

Additional Safety Features

6 Airbags

Front Parking Sensors

360-Degree Camera

Blind View Monitor

Notes:

  • The blind view monitor needs a slightly wider and taller view to be considered as something that can do the same job as an outside rear view mirror.

  • All the camera systems offer great resolution and visibility.

  • Both rear camera and top-view camera get dynamic guidelines.

Verdict

The Hyundai Alcazar builds on the qualities we appreciate in the Creta. In fact, we can see a lot of buyers who’ve booked the Creta making the switch to the Alcazar. For those who just want a better chauffeur-driven experience, along with the benefits of a third row, even the base-spec Prestige (with captain seats) will get the job done and well.

If you expect to use all the 6/7 seats for adults regularly, an alternative like the Tata Safari or Innova Crysta will do a better job. However, the Alcazar is worth considering for those who need the last row for their kids (occasionally for adults) or just want a larger boot than the Creta. It also gets a few additional features to make it feel like more than just a utilitarian upgrade vs the Creta.

Prices (All India Ex-Showroom)

Petrol: Rs 16.30L - Rs 19.85L

Diesel: Rs 16.53L - Rs 20L

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