First Drive Review: Hyundai Creta SX Petrol Automatic

  • Aug 09, 2016
Practicality! Convenience! Value-for-money! These are the three traits of a perfect car. Things like ride comfort, handling, power and fuel efficiency are by-products of building a perfect car. But, the world isn’t perfect so we can’t expect a car to be perfect either. But striving for perfection can produce some great results and one such example is the Hyundai Creta Petrol Automatic.

So, while there may be few that will lock horns with the new entry in Hyundai's compact SUV's variant range, there are some things that are really good, and other aspects that could be better in this car. Time to find them out!

Boy Does It Look Good


Design cues on the Creta are somewhat simple with modern touches. The silhouette is in sync with the 'Fluidic Sculpture' theme and that looks proportionate. The bulges, the curves and straight lines are all in the right places. The Creta may have some similarity with the Sante Fe but still has its own identity. And it’s front fascia isn’t loud or brawny like a few cars in its segment. The swept-back headlamps house projector units while the four chrome slats sport the Hyundai logo. Personally, I'm not a fan of chrome, but it suits the Creta very well thanks to the lower portion of the entire car having a matte black finish and silver cladding in the front and rear. The side profile is simple and has a strong shoulder line that is fused neatly with the A, B and C-pillars. Nothing feels out of place! The blackened out pillars and chrome door handles balance the design perfectly on the Creta and nothing looks over done.


The rear, like the front, gets a sliver cladding at the lower portion of the car. This is a great contrast on the colour options provided in Creta's portfolio. They are Polar White, Sleek Silver, Pearl Beige, Stardust or a dark grey, Mystic Blue, Red Passion and Phantom Black. We had the silver option which can look a little too much for some buyers, but with the right contrast of black and chrome, the paint job stands out.

To sum it up, the Hyundai Creta looks like a proper urban SUV. It won't mind getting its feet dirty during monsoons and look good while doing so. Personally, I love the blue shade which has a sort of understated appeal to it when one does not want to be too loud.

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So, how is it on the inside?


Let me tell you this! Hyundai has evolved from being a brand that was restricted to the mass market but had big plans for India. In their evolution, they have taken care of every detail, particularly with the Creta. No wonder it has been awarded the Indian Car of The Year accolade (ICOTY) by JD Power and that's a huge achievement for the Korean manufacturer who at one point in its life didn't have the right cards or cars.

Once you sit in the driver's seat, the first thing that one would not miss is how impeccably well and clean the dashboard is. A neat 7-inch infotainment display unit sits in the centre console and is placed at the right place. It has the usual list of features like USB, smartphone connectivity via Bluetooth, AUX input, four speakers, two tweeters and an in-built navigation system as well. What it should ideally have as this version is the SX+ automatic petrol engine powered one, a 1GB internal storage memory (this could have been really handy in adverse situations when you don't want to waste your data pack, have forgotten your USB stick and have some good audio or video to listen or see) that is available in the lower SX trim.


That said, there are enough gizmos to keep you and the company safe at the same time. Case in point are the steering mounted audio controls and phone operation controls. They are ergonomically placed and keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times. Speaking of the steering, it comes with a leather stitched cover that is chunky to hold. In fact, the size of the steering is also just right.

Coming to the cubbyholes department, there are so many in this compact SUV, that one may forget where they kept the house keys. The centre armrest too houses a stowage space for knick-knacks. Front door panels have space to keep bottles and cup holders for the front occupants plus more cup holders for the rear passengers means you would never have to worry about stowage space. Speaking of which, the boot is more than ample and can carry your weekend luggage and a lot more with utmost ease. Its 405 litres to be precise!


So, here is what we think of the interior! Its spacious for four and even five adults with an average height of 5'10”. The build quality is fantastic, the infotainment system has a very good sound quality and there is more than enough on the inside of the Creta to keep you comfortable no matter where you sit. My only gripe is the lack of cruise control as the version above this (SX Option) gets it and that is a brilliant feature to have for long hauls.

Does it drive and ride well


The last Hyundai I drove was the third generation Verna (the one just before the current model) and the suspension setup on it was so soft that taking a turn at as low as 40kmph with three adults sitting at the rear would take the sedan a little out of line. Although the good side of a softer spring is the way a vehicle tackles bad roads. Undulations are barely felt. I was expecting the same for the Creta, but to my surprise, Hyundai has got the almost perfect balance between stiffness and softness that keeps this compact SUV absolutely planted irrespective of the speed. The translates to a very comfortable ride. Although go over rural roads and the rear passengers would bounce around due to the stiff setup.


The handling is where this setup helps a lot. The slightly stiff suspension makes the Creta a brilliant handler while taking tight corners and it feels very planted on paved roads. On unpaved ones, the story is different even if only slightly! This compact SUV does have a considerable bounce especially for rear passengers on bad roads. That said, there would be barely a time when you would be taking this 'Urban SUV' out on dirt.

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Automatics are sluggish, aren't they?


For the Creta or some very recent automatic cars we have driven recently and we are not talking about high-end Bimmers or an Audi here, the SUV in question has a very sprightly motor. The automatic gearbox is a torque converter unit, but mated to the 1.6-litre petrol engine, the car is rev happy and changes gears without any drama. One would, however, notice the slight jerk when the Creta shifts a cog. It is, although, nothing to complain about as the workaround to this is removing your foot from the accelerator when the car is about to shift into a higher gear to have a more comfortable transition. This is a slight issue with the torque converter gearboxes which a dual-clutch doesn't have but to keep costs in check, the Creta comes with the torque converter.

Besides that, there is nothing to complain about. NVH levels are kept in check. There are enough safety devices to cocoon you properly. There isn't a better interior that we've witnessed in a compact sedan. After all, its not easy winning the Indian Car Of The Year as us Indian journalists are particularly difficult to please.

So, its the perfect car, right?


Its got a really good design language where the right balance of a grey plastic cladding and chrome play their part to accentuate the appeal. The interior has a feel that is a segment above. The engine and gearbox are perfectly married to each other. Suspension setup is the best we have witnessed off-late in a compact SUV.

But there are small things that still don't make it the perfect car. For Rs 14.80 Lakh, on-road price in Delhi, you don't get cruise control. Nor do you get automatic headlamps like on the i20 or auto dimming rear view mirror. But then there's more like speed sensing door locks, cornering lamps, leather seats and so much more at probably a little more moolah. But despite its lack of convenience equipment, the Creta still proves to be a great package. It is comfortable, rides well, has decent handling and is quite fuel efficient as well. It returned 12 – 14kmpl on our test.

Hyundai Creta Videos

Watch latest video reviews of Hyundai Creta to know about its interiors, exteriors, performance, mileage and more.

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