HYUNDAI CRETA 1.6D
Compact and more affordable than the ever-popular Tucson - we test the new Hyundai Creta.
Recently I was involved in a discussion – or possibly an intervention – where I was accused of being rather too critical of new cars.
I'll save you my whining retorts but promised all the participants that I can indeed be positive about deserving automobiles.
And wouldn't you know it, the new Hyundai Creta is a perfect example.
Launched on the same day as a more upmarket and expensive German rival, the compact Korean SUV aims to capture more city dwellers with adventurous hearts, a strong yearning for extra ride height and the occasional soft-roading requirements.
Buyers get the choice of three different models – two 1.6L petrols in manual or automatic and our test car, the 1.6L turbo-diesel automatic. Where the aforementioned premium competitor from Deutschland will require at least half a million of your moolah, the Creta's pricing ranges from about 330,000 to 375,000 dollars.
Better yet, where the other brands charge you an arm and three legs for niceties, Hyundai sends their cars to the shiny showrooms with extremely generous levels of specifications.
Six airbags, ABS brakes, rear parking peepers with camera, leather trim and a whopping warranty are just some of the highlights we enjoyed in our test unit and every single one of these nice-to-have items is included in the price of the Creta we test-drove.
The only optional extra I could find was metallic paint and that goes for all three Creta models – they have identically awesome specifications.
Another gigantic plus that I discovered in this little SUV was the generous amount of space inside.
These observations were confirmed by (a) a bunch of inquisitive friends with an ix35 owner in their midst as well as (b) the Hyundai Tucson we drove straight after testing this metallic red Creta.
Its passenger space and comfort is admirable, as is ride comfort and luggage space. Every observer and Namwheels team member loved the snazzy two-tone leather seats.
A Creta will take 402 liters of luggage (Tucson: 488L) with a full-size spare wheel and flat-pack rear benches for more carrying capacity. The smaller SUV also has the now-familiar Hyundai touch-screen Cd/mp3 unit with optional navigation.
Power delivery from the 1.6L turbo-diesel can be a tad noisy but is otherwise smooth and also relatively even. Torque naturally drops off near the redline.
The peak outputs of 94kw (128hp) and 260Nm mean that this is not racer but the turbo- desiesel automatic Creta can reach 100kmh in 11.9 seconds (we clocked 10.38 at sea level!) and hit almost 180km/h.
Hyundai claims that it sips an average of 7.4L/100km 50ppm and I can confirm that as highly plausible. Our test car hovered just under eight liters per 100 during a week of mixed town, country and highway motoring.
The spread and intensity of the Creta’s headlights is commendable; and so are the ABS brakes. Our only measured emergency stop from 100km/h took 3.29 seconds and 43.22 meters. The 2.0D Tucson took 3.17 seconds and 40.60 meters. Notes from other drivers give lots of praise to the softroader’s raised seating position, its excellent trip computer, the light driving controls and solid interior finish.
With a ground clearance of 190mm, we even traversed some dirty ditches with ease. The lack of proper 4x4 gear mean that a Creta won’t make it through the Namib but it will ace a bit of dirt - and use less fuel.
In fact, its frugal diesel use and butter- smooth autobox meant that this city SUV was always in high demand with our team.
Which means that all in all, I'm not just being nice to the latest Hyundai to prove my aforementioned point. Other drivers agreed that the Creta does everything right and feels like a much bigger and more expensive SUV.
The design and quality of Hyundai vehicles keeps pushing new heights and the Creta's pricing is very competitive.
Test-drive one today and tell me if I'm lying! 1.6 Exec (M) N$343,000 1.6 Exec (A) N$363,000 1.6D Exec (A) N$393,000
“Creta’s pricing ranges from about 330,000 to 375,000 dollars.”
Hyundai Creta prices: