There’s a new crop of SUVs on the market, and truth is told, the Creta leads the group. Rivals, both new and old, are well aware of what seems like its never-ending dominance of the segment. And buyers seem to never get enough of the Creta, either. But truth be told, it’s a bit on the expensive side, but if you’re ready to take the plunge, it rewards in its own special ways.
Possibly the least offensive crossover SUV design out there, the Creta’s major appeal lies in how special it makes the owner feel. The recently revamped front works pretty well, and the rear won’t ever have eyebrows raised. But it’s the profile, which might not be as dramatic as a lot of new-age compact/crossover SUVs, that helps the Creta make an impression. It sits quite high, so that helps, and thankfully without a roofline that’s too low, it treads finely between being stylish and practical. The increasingly popular dual-tone paint job can be opted for as well.
Like any other Hyundai, the Creta proudly has the distinction of offering a decently built interior that’s heavy on features. The quality of materials in the cabin is good, and there’s enough to hook on to as well. The touchscreen infotainment system isn’t a bad start, while optional bits include an electrically operated sunroof and up to six airbags. But where the Hyundai Creta manages to outdo its rivals — or cars from a segment above for that matter — is in the presence of features like wireless charging. Sadly unlike in the Verna and Elantra, there are no ventilated seats.
Before going any further, one must keep in mind that due to the lack of an all-wheel- drive system — or an off-road-oriented suspension — the Creta is more of a practical everyday vehicle. And not something you’d choose for off-road escapades. With that out of the way, it has to be said that Hyundai’s offered a wide range of engine options on the car: a 1.6-litre petrol (123 PS), a 1.4-litre diesel (90 PS), and a 1.6-litre diesel (128 PS). Bar the entry-level diesel which gets a six-speed manual gearbox, all engines are available with either a 6-speed MT or a 6-speed AT. The 1.6-litre diesel is an easy choice if you’re looking at doing long journeys: it’s effortless especially when mated to the AT and optional cruise control.
Prices for the Hyundai Creta in India start at Rs 9.43 lakh for the petrol engined version and Rs 9.99 lakh for the diesel. Go up the ladder and soon you’re looking at about Rs 13 lakh, ex-showroom. The fully loaded diesel model costs Rs 15 lakhs, which is quite some money for a compact SUV, you may wonder. But keep in mind that the Creta has better on-road dynamics than most of the rivals, has a feature list that can’t be ignored, and most importantly, makes you a happy buyer.
The Creta’s main rivals include the Ford EcoSport, Renault Duster, and most importantly the Mahindra XUV 500. The latter proves to be a better VFM proposition when compared to the top-spec Creta but fails to compete in terms of overall drivability and refinement.