Snapshot – We just drove the Hyundai Creta compact SUV at the South Korean automaker’s Chennai factory. We now have a sense of what the Creta will bring to the table, and indicative prices as well. With this, we’ll give you a sense of why the Creta compact SUV is a big threat to the likes of the Ford Ecosport, the Renault Duster and for that matter, even the Mahindra XUV500. Let’s go.
Hyundai is known to price its vehicles aggressively, and the Creta could start at a slight premium to the Renault Duster.
We’re getting indications of an 8.49 lakh rupee starting price tag, which will put the Creta at a slight premium over the Duster, but with a more powerful petrol engine to kickstart proceedings, and with a 6 speed manual gearbox to boot.
If Hyundai chooses to get more aggressive, and decides to undercut the Renault Duster, the Creta could get off to a flier. The top-end variant of the Creta is likely to be at a similar level as the AWD Duster, as the former is front wheel driven but with a 6 speed diesel automatic option.
Higher variants of the Ecosport and the lower variants of the Mahindra XUV500 could be the collateral damage, more so since the current market isn’t really expanding quickly to make room for new players. Growth for the Creta is expected to come at the expense of the other players.
The Creta is feature packed. The kind of equipment and refinement levels offered by the Creta can scarcely be matched by the Ford Ecosport nor the Renault Duster. Top end variants of the Creta will bring in the most powerful turbo diesel engine in is class, with the 1.6 liter CRDI turbo diesel motor making 126 Bhp-260 Nm.
A 6 speed automatic gearbox is another class leading act. The build quality of the SUV is a peach too. In fact, the Creta has a heft is quite unlike a Hyundai car, with the doors feeling especially solid while shutting. Then you have the 17 inch alloy wheels and comprehensive list of safety equipment gives the SUV.
After building a slew of uninspiring lookers, Hyundai’s Fluidic design philosophy bet really upped the ante when it came to the design of its cars. The Fluidic 2.0 design actually takes things to the next level. The Creta looks like a baby Santa Fe, and is bound to attract SUV buyers to its fold.
People who found the Renault Duster too low slung, the Ford Ecosport too hatchback-like and the Mahindra XUV500 overstyled are likely to root for the Creta. On the looks front, Hyundai has tasted success with the Grand i10 and the Hyundai Elite i20. The Creta promises to be the third big success.
Premium Quality Interiors
Cars are usually a man’s second largest lifetime purchase, after the house of course. The better halves, women in this case, usually play a big part before the man of the house signs on the dotted lines and drives the car home. Interiors make or break the fairer sex’s perception of a car and the Hyundai Creta is sure to keep them happy.
This compact SUV runs rings around the Renault Duster and the Ford Ecosport when it comes to the quality of interiors that it offers buyers. Soft touch plastics, high levels of fit and finish, and strategically placed leather bit and the leather seats themslves makes the Duster and Ecosport feel rather spartan. And this should swing plenty of buying decisions towards the Creta considering how plush the cabin feels.
The numbers tell a story
The EconomicTimes has put out a report about Hyundai aiming to produce about 40,000 units of the Creta in six months’ time, with the yearly production numbers touching 70,000-80,000 units next year. An 80:20 domestic-export strategy is said to be on the cards. This means that the Creta is aiming to be the top selling SUV in India, with about 5,000 monthly units. Now, this is higher than what the Ford Ecosport, or the Renault Duster or the Mahindra Scorpio or the XUV500 do. Hyundai is an automaker that usually meets its forecasts, and with the strong ‘unofficial’ booking demand for the Creta, this prophecy might well come true.