What is it?
Why I would buy one?
Easy to drive, proven, feature-rich
Why I would avoid one?
Not exciting enough, could do with better plastic quality
What is it?
This is the 2018 Hyundai Creta. And it seems to be a Botoxed version of its predecessor. Face work really, so it could get rid of those faint crow’s feet and frown lines that come with middle age. In fact, any treatment done to it is just skin-deep. So, it’s the same as the older car mechanically; it gets the same engine and gearbox options; and the dozen plus trims continue as well. But, there are changes, and these are centered around features, gadgets, and styling.
Talking of styling, the Creta gets a bigger and shinier grille upfront. Revisions have been made to the front bumper. The SUV now gets new DRLs that wrap around the fog lamps. There’s no change, to speak of, in profile barring the new design for the alloy wheels. At the rear, the Creta gets a mildly updated bumper along with tweaked tail lamps.
How is it on the inside?
Inside too, the 2018 Creta doesn’t exactly boast of major changes. The layout and design for almost everything is the same including the dashboard, and the various knobs, buttons and dials. The space on offer hasn’t changed, and neither has the quality or the look and feel of materials.
But, the new top-of-the-line Creta does get some additional features. There’s an electric sunroof, an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, wireless charging for the cellphone, and a smart key band. The latter, unlike the one for the Tata Nexon, isn’t waterproof. But, the Hyundai’s band doesn’t just lock and unlock the Creta; it also works as a fitness band, like a Fitbit, if you will.
How does it drive?
Like the older car did. Which isn’t really a surprise given the 2018 edition hasn’t changed mechanically. Our test car has the 1.6-litre diesel with a manual transmission. It makes 126bhp and 260Nm of torque. And it is mated to a 6-speed transmission.
It’s the same unit as before. So, it is still quiet and free revving for a diesel. There’s still some turbo lag under 1800rpm, but not enough to be bothersome. And, the various controls like gearshifts, clutch and steering are still light and easy.
Now, the Creta was always a relaxing car to drive, courtesy good visibility, planted straight-line stability, and powerful and feedback-rich brakes. But, it was never overly sporty or fun. The 2018 edition maintains the status quo.
And, it is still a good family car. The ride isn’t plush, but it is comfortable. It has a quiet cabin. It gets six airbags. There’s cruise control. And, it has a good selection of cup and bottle holders as well, both front and back.
Should I buy one?
Almost 10,000 Indians buy the Creta every month. And with good reason. It’s a proven product with hardly any shortcomings that can be labeled as deal breakers. But, it’s not an emotional SUV. It doesn’t look dramatic and won’t put a smile on your face every time you drive it. But, that’s the price one must pay for peace of mind. At least, with the 2018 edition, Hyundai has added some excitement in the form of new features.
Where does it fit in?
The Hyundai Creta competes against the likes of the Renault Duster and Captur, the Honda BR-V, the Nissan Terrano, and even the Ford EcoSport at the lower end of the price spectrum. But, it’s also seen as an alternative to the popular Jeep Compass on the pricier end. The Creta which we have reviewed retails for a little over Rs 18 lakhs on the road in Mumbai.
Pictures by Ameya Dandekar