Hyundai Creta, hyundai Creta long term review, features, interior and mileage – Introduction

First report: India’s favourite midsize SUV joins the Autocar fleet, and it’s come to us in an unexpectedly low spec.

Okay, calling this low-spec doesn’t tell the whole story. This unassuming-looking Abyss Black Creta SX (O) is, in fact, about as fully loaded as it can get, which with the facelift means goodies like dual-digital screens, dual-zone climate control and ADAS, among much, much else. It is, however, powered by the base engine – the meek 115hp, 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol with the unglamorous CVT gearbox. With no big headline figures to boast of – no sky-high ARAI fuel economy figure, no class-leading performance, no state-of-the-art gearbox, a car’s base engine is usually left out of the spotlight, seemingly by design. It is never available on any media drive, does not exist in the press fleet and even dealerships would rather show you the more expensive turbo-petrol or the diesel. In fact, it wasn’t until I bought a Creta CVT in 2021 that anyone at Autocar India could drive one; we got a fair few comparison tests out of that one.

I’m glad Hyundai has added one to its fleet – and ours – because it’s a really good powertrain. Simple, smooth and hassle free; no wonder it regularly outsells the other engines on offer. I’ve been running it for a few weeks, and though familiar, I have some observations. Even with the chaotic traffic I encounter on my way to work, fuel economy is 20 to 25 percent better than a corresponding turbo-petrol engine, and that’s down not just to the un-boosted engine. It’s also down to the CVT, which feels so much better suited to stop-and-go use; it’s far smoother than the dual-clutch gearboxes in this price range, Hyundai’s own included. Corny as it might sound, a car’s temperament often affects yours, and I arrive at the office a lot calmer in this car.

Understandably, I’ve spent a fair bit of time behind the wheel of my own Creta, and so it’s surprising how long I took to adjust to this new one. The first few days I’d be constantly fiddling with the powered seat adjuster – and consequently the mirrors – every time I started driving. Then I realised it was the new dual-screen infotainment and dials, which are set relatively low. The seating position is high, as you’d expect and enjoy in your SUV, which leaves you looking down at the dials, not into them, a fact only emphasised by the lack of a hooded covering as you got in the old car. It’s no deal breaker, but it makes for slightly unusual ergonomics.

Dual screens are nice but set low in this SUV.

Speaking of starting up each time, first order of the day is to switch off ADAS. It’s what I do in every car equipped with the tech, because while it can be helpful in some conditions, it’s a potential hazard on Mumbai’s crowded and chaotic roads. The good news is, unlike in most European cars that need you to do this on every start-up, in the Creta, once it’s off, it’s off till you manually switch it back on.

Sticking with smaller 17-inch wheels means ride is plush.

When Kia decided to move up to 18-inch wheels on its Seltos X-Line, I assumed Hyundai would too for the top-spec Creta. Ultimately, the bigger shoes were kept only for the sporty Creta N Line, and handsome as they are, I’m glad this standard model stuck to the 17 inchers. Cushy ride quality is a Creta selling point in my opinion, and the chunkier side walls ensures it stays that way. The comfort levels are only amplified by the big cushy seats, front and rear, but one unwelcome change on this front is the switch to off-white upholstery, especially at the tops of the seats and the headrests. They’re stain magnets, and in fact, the car came to us with greasy black fingerprints already on it. Note to self: don’t grip the white bits with your hands.

White upholstery all too prone to stains and dirt.

It’s still early days, and while the car has now moved on to another member of the team, hopefully I’ll soon get it back to put more of its capabilities to the test. And there are a lot of them – the Creta is a great all-rounder, and this might just be the most rounded variant of them all. I should know; I bought one.

Also see:

Hyundai Creta long term video review

Hyundai Creta N Line review: Sporty intentions

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