Hyundai, the South Korean Auto Giant, has had a long standing presence in the Indian car market and owns a large share of the economy — thanks to its customer-loving products. Hyundai had come to India offering the humble Santro, at a time when the only market leaders were Maruti and Ambassador. The magic certainly worked and did indeed win the hearts of many Indian car buyers. Nine years fast-forward and Hyundai is about to launch a new car for the masses, the all new Hyundai Creta.
The Hyundai Creta belongs to a new brand of the SUV class – called the 'compact SUV'/compact 'crossover'. With many of the other formidable brands venturing into this peculiar unknown territory, and some of the products attracting attention from customers, Hyundai thought of developing something a vehicle that can take on the heat. A little research on the internet might reveal a similar product by Hyundai that was not intended for India – known as the iX25. So, the Creta, as we know, is a modified version of the iX25. Take a closer look and it's pretty easy to spot design characteristics borrowed from the Hyundai Santa Fe, which is fairing tremendously well in India. To add to the confusion, the new Hyundai Tucson which was launched recently, also shares the same design. It is quite evident that Hyundai has been using the same design language for plenty of cars and the Hyundai Creta seems no different. Is it appealing? - ...yes and no.
Much like the crossovers of today, the body gets a good amount of cladding on the area closest to the ground. The front grill gets a fair dose of chrome inputs, lending a mild but aggressive stance to the car. Other common features like day-time-running-lamps, fog lamps, projector-set up headlamps, direction indicators on wing-mirrors (LED); 17 inch alloy wheels, all add to the style quotient of the car. The Creta follows the Hyundai Fluidic Sculpture Version 2.0; the same found on the i20. One ought to think of the Creta as a raised and “SUV'd” version of the i20 – compare the Creta and i20 side-by-side and it's a shocker. The rear end has been done neatly, without any addition of chrome or edgy tail lamp units and it certainly suits the compact cross. Hyundai had tested the Creta in India, using the Golden Quadrilateral, the famous highway network of India, and the test feedback helped Hyundai to give the car minor tweaks and updates to make it as comfortable and fuel efficient a car of this size could be; fuel efficiency is of utmost importance to Indian customers and Hyundai owes its own success to its own range of revolutionary engines.
Come inside the Creta and there is a sudden feeling of being in luxury. On the top end variant, a good amount of quality leather has been put to use and stitched in contrasting colors. This being a compact crossover, it offers neither the tall and commanding view of an SUV nor that of a hatchback/sedan. There is a 7-inch infotainment system with touchscreen, steering mounted controls, Smart Key with Push button Start, a 5-inch touchscreen audio system, automatic climate control, neatly styled AC vents, rear AC vents, reverse parking camera and much more. Hyundai is known to be generous with their interior space and Creta gets the same treatment with adequate legroom, the rear seat gets twin AC vents, they can be folded flat but not split. The last row might be a little difficult to be in for adults but can easily seat kids.
In terms of safety, the car gets Dual Airbags, Side/Curtain Airbags, ABS, Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Hill-Start-Assist Control. However, not all features may be found across all variants. Hyundai also claims that they have used the latest technology while designing the whole structure of the Creta, and it offers high resistance in case of a collision.
The Creta will come in four variants: Base, S, SX and SX (O); powered by three engine options – a petrol and two diesels. The petrol block is a 1.6 Dual VVT engine, also known as the Gamma engine, that provides 123 PS of power. Among the diesel engines, one is a U2 1.4 CRDi engine, similar to the i20 Elite, producing 90PS of power. The other is a 1.6 CRDi VGT diesel that is offered in both manual and automatic transmission, churning out the highest power among all three engines at 128 PS. Hyundai mentioned that the engines have been tuned to make it mileage friendly though no official claimed figures have been revealed.
Hyundai Motor India recently invited several avid car enthusiasts and bloggers to test their new machine and the responses have been so far so good. Hyundai will be betting big with the Creta and it aims to take on the competition leaders like the Duster and the EcoSport. We will have to wait and see how the Indian buyer would react to the car post launch and how it performs in the long run. The expected price as of now runs in the range of Rs 8 to Rs 12 lacs. However, in a bid to own a Creta, customers have been queuing up at dealerships to arrange for a booking, with dealers putting up booking prices at Rs 50,000/- to as much as Rs 75,000/-. More details coming soon.
Hyundai targets the Compact SUV/Compact Crossover segment with the all new Creta
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