Ever since Hyundai launched the Creta in 2015, it has been the segment leader in terms of monthly sales. After all, this was a product that catered to the SUV needs of an average Indian buyer – a well-proportioned body line, spacious interiors, high quality cabin and excellent engine options. The new 2018 model is more than just a facelift and ensures that newer options like the cheaper EcoSport and the more expensive XUV500 do not displace it from its throne.
Let’s start with the design first. It is as good as before, but has been tweaked substantially to give it a fresh appeal. Up front, this includes the Bi-functional Projector Headlamps which are ‘functional‘ too as they provide a better throw at night. Next up are the new LED day time running lights (DRLs) and positioning lamps. The front end also benefits from a new dual-tone bumper and new skid plates. I particularly like the new shape for the 17″ alloy wheels for the higher trim levels. These look bling at standstill and even better on the move as visible in our video below.
At the rear, changes are less and limited to the new profile for the tail lamps, new dual-tone bumper and skid plates. Hyundai has also introduced two new colours for the 2018 Creta, Marina Blue and Passion Orange. The latter is visible here and makes the car look bigger than what it actually is.
On the inside?
When launched in 2015, the Creta set new benchmarks in terms of fit and finish inside the cabin and continues to do so even today. The dual-tone theme works well and for 2018, the new Creta has more kit than ever before. First up is the sunroof that is fast becoming a must have for modern day buyers. Next is the powered driver seat which just makes your life easier in terms of getting into that perfect driving posture.
Third is the addition of wireless charging – this is located in front of the gear lever and eliminates the need to carry your adapter and wire. Talking of which, the Creta also comes with a factory-fitted, high-speed charger up front – just in case your phone does not support wireless charging. All these three features – the sunroof, powered seat and wireless charging – are segment-first offerings.
The Creta also gets cruise control, which is I personally feel is a great add-on. This is highly usable on open roads and even early morning commutes when traffic is thin. The front arm-rest now gets a sliding option and this along with a driver seat height adjust are standard fitment across the line-up. The infotainment system also gets an update and now supports Auto Link that helps you keep a check on your car’s health, keep an eye on your driving patterns, book a service etc. Likewise, the driver information display now gets the ever important fuel economy indicator, something that was surprisingly missing till now.
Another cool feature is the smart key band – this allows hands free access to the car, including engine start/stop, and also works as your personal fitness track with features like sleep monitoring, step counter and calorie counter etc. Neat! Apart from the add-ons, the Creta continues to provide a good environment for passengers on the inside. Space and visibility is great up-front and the same goes for rear passengers. That said, the rising window line at the back can be an issue for shorter passengers. Rear air-con vents, 60:40 rear seat split, and climate control with cluster ionizer continue to be offered. However, we do miss the ventilated seats that are now offered on the cheaper Verna.
How does it drive?
The three engine options are a carry over from the earlier version. This means you get the same engine options that include a 1.4-litre diesel with 90 PS / 220 Nm, a 1.6-litre diesel with 128 PS / 260 Nm and a 1.6-litre petrol with 123 PS / 151 Nm. Both the 1.6 units come with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard and optional 6-speed auto ‘box too. The engines have always been the Creta’s strong point and continue to play an important role.
Though power and torque figures remain unchanged, Hyundai has re-tuned the graphs to make sure performance comes in early in the rev range, which in turn helps you in city driving. We drove the 1.6 petrol for this test, and this was the first time I was driving the Creta with this engine. It turned out to be a nice experience with good part throttle response, though I was left wanting for more between 2500-4000 rpm. Beyond that, the engine becomes impressive and rewards you with a good drive. The diesel too gets the torque coming in early, which should erase that minor turbo-lag. The icing on the cake are the improved economy figures, up by 3% on the petrol and 4% on the diesel.
How does it ride?
Like the engines, the suspension set-up also remains largely unchanged save for some re-tuning. The light steering has always been a boon for the Creta and now at triple digit speeds, the extra firmness comes into play. This is even more apparent when driving with a load of four passengers. This apart, the Creta remains as easy to drive as ever, thanks to good visibility, light steering and sharp brakes. So nothing much to talk about here.
To summarise, while the pricing for the entry-level models remain more or less unchanged, features have increased. Hyundai has also made the mid-level versions cheaper and the top end is more expensive due to add-ons, such as a sunroof, powered driver seat and wireless charging etc. The Creta also gets 3-year unlimited mileage warranty along with 3-year roadside assistance to complete the package.
The Creta continues to remain a solid choice in the Rs. 9-14 lakh bracket and if there is one thing that I could ask for, it has to be an optional 4×4. This one driver aid would further increase its appeal in my opinion. Do go through the video above.