Compact SUVs have been the toast of the Indian car buyer for a few years now. Off late it is the fastest growing segment in the Indian car market. A trend that started with the Renault Duster and the Ford Ecosport was carried forward by the Maruti Brezza and the Hyundai Creta. The latter despite being overpriced for many set the cash registers ringing for Hyundai. And now almost 3 years after its launch the Korean car maker has given it a mid-life facelift that company says has made the car more appealing than before. We got behind the wheels of this SUV to experience it in an all new avatar.
What has worked for the Creta in all these years is how it looks and what efforts has Hyundai put in designing the compact SUV. The exteriors could always be defined as bold and sporty and the facelift is an extension of that. The car gets a whole lot of new features on the outside to add to the bling. These include Bi-functional Projector Headlamps along with LED DRL & Positioning Lamps. A noticeable change on the front is the introduction of the skid plate and they at least in this orange colour remind of the Renault Duster. Smooth creased hood lines, voluminous bumper and next- gen imposing Cascade Design Front Grille give an impressive and dynamic look. Side body cladding always worked well for the Creta and that continues here too. The rear too sees some changes prominent being the new split tail lamps.
The 2018 Creta sees a lot of changes on the inside as well. Hyundai cars have always know be feature rich but Hyundai has gone ahead and added some more, including few which are a segment first. These include a smart electric sunroof as well as wireless charging docket. Apart from this the Creta now also gets Cruise control along with 6-way Power Driver Seat. The luxurious details such as soft touch paint on crash pad, leatherette finish on the door, steering and seats make for a premium image. On the second row the car gets AC vents and the seats can be folded in a 60:40 split to accommodate more luggage. The car has a new touch screen AVN system that works with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Mirror Link. Another first in Segment feature is the introduction of a smart key band with in-built functionality of a smart key and fitness tracker controlled by smart phone application.
Hyundai has done a lot to make the Interiors and Exteriors better on the new Creta but the engine options remain the same on the SUV. The 1.6 petrol generates segment best power of 123 ps while the 1.6 CRDi diesel engine also churns out segment best power of 128 ps. But in case you’re looking for better fuel efficiency a 1.4 Diesel engine with 90 ps is also on offer. The good thing is that the company is continuing to offer both manual and automatic transmission options in both Petrol and Diesel. Hyundai says this new Creta offers improved fuel efficiency by up to 3% in petrol and up to 4% in diesel engine. What Hyundai has also done is to ensure impressive NVH performance by the use of enhanced sound absorption materials, advanced engineering design of engine, transmission and body structural parts thus ensuring quiet cabin.
Cars are getting safer than ever and the new Creta is no different. The strong HIVE Body Structure denotes structural strength, stability and connotes sturdiness. The ring frame structure has meant a significant increase in body stiffness, and this ensures better handling, a sore point of cars from the brand. The car gets 6 airbags which is segment best together with the seatbelts and the available pre-tensioning system. Along with this the Creta also gets Hill Assist Control for a safe start on an uphill incline without rolling backwards. Stating Bending Lights and Child Seat Anchor (ISOFIX) complete an impressive list of safety features.
The Creta continues to dominate the segment even in this new avatar. That is evident from the 15,000 bookings the SUV managed in within just ten days of its launch. Hyundai is giving the Indian buyer what he wants – a car that looks like an SUV, is loaded with features and is coming from a reliable brand. And the company is best-in-class warranty of 3 Years Unlimited kilometers with Road Side Assistance. Prices start at Rs. 9.49 lakh for the base Petrol variant and go all the way up to Rs. 15.03 lakh for the top Diesel. Notwithstanding the prices which are still on the higher side the Creta is still the perfect SUV you’re looking for, at least for the urban jungle.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars