The Hyundai Creta and Toyota C-HR are the new kids on the block. Which one would you choose?
Compact SUV or cheerful urban crossover. Which would you choose?
If you hanker after a Santa Fe or a Tucson, but find both either too big or too expensive, Hyundai has a third option. Named after Crete, the birthplace of Europe’s first advanced civilization, the Creta aspires to live up to the legacy of the Minoans by being a leader in the compact SUV segment. There’s already a host of decent competition in this segment: vehicles like the Renault Duster, Ford EcoSport and Suzuki Vitara, all of which cost less than the Creta. So what does the Creta offer that others don’t? Hyundai chose not to give the South African market the bare-bones, entry-level version, which means that all models have the same infotainment system with satellite navigation, reverse camera and cellphone apps on an 8-inch touch screen. The interior is smartly designed and there’s a fair amount of legroom for all five occupants. Two engine options are on offer: a 1,6-litre petrol and a 1,6-litre turbo-diesel. The petrol models come with either a six-speed manual or an automatic gearbox; the turbo-diesel is auto only. All models are front-wheel drive; an all-wheel-drive model isn’t on the cards. I tested the Creta on highways and twisty gravel roads and it did a fine job. But is “fine” good enough against the cheaper, 4x4 turbo-diesel Duster?