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The Hyundai Creta has gone through a thorough revamp for 2020. Here’s what we think of the refreshed SUV.

Story: Anosh Khumbatta
Photography: Saurabh Botre

The 2020 Hyundai Creta is more than just a new face; the SUV is all-new, with a thorough redesign, more interior space and new BS6-compliant engine options. Petrolheads can now choose between a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder unit mated to either a manual or CVT transmission, or a punchier 1.4-litre turbocharged four-pot mill that gets a 7-speed DCT. The outgoing 1.4- and 1.6-litre diesel engine options have been replaced by a 1.5-litre CRDi motor that can be had with either a six-speed automatic, or the six-speed manual transmission of our test unit. Additionally, this is the fully-loaded SX(O) variant, and gets features like leather upholstery, ventilated seats, full-LED lighting, a large infotainment display and more.

The look of the new Hyundai Creta is certainly going to polarise opinions; The Korean manufacturer has adopted a somewhat overstated design inspired by the flagship Palisade SUV, with more prominent curves and creases than before. The grille is now larger, the wheel arches more exaggerated and the narrow, stretched-out head and tail lamp clusters from the outgoing model have been consolidated into squarish units with unique LED signatures. The trio of LED headlights are positioned low, and do a great job of illuminating the road ahead, but I don’t really agree with the placement of the turn signals, all the way at the bottom of the bumper, alongside the fog lamps. This top-end SX(O) trim also gets the attractive 17-inch diamond-cut alloys shod with 215-section rubber, and these do a fine job of filling up the flared wheel arches.

Hyundai have always excelled at creating inviting interiors, and the new Creta welcomes me into the cabin with snazzy red and black floor mats and an elegant, leather-wrapped flat-bottomed steering wheel. The black and greige (that’s a combination of grey and beige for the uninitiated) interior with silver accents sprinkled around has a sophisticated charm to it, while the massive sunroof lets in loads of light for an extremely airy feel, especially for rear-seat passengers. The new Creta is 70 mm longer and 10 mm wider than its predecessor and the result is an even roomier interior, with ample leg and knee room for both rows. Also, once the sun sets, the passenger side of the dashboard gets lit up by a horizontal electric blue strip, adding a new-age touch to the cabin.

The driver interface is now a seven-inch screen which displays an analogue-style round speedometer, flanked by a physical tachometer on the left, with fuel and temperature gauges on the right. An ultra-wide 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment display takes centre stage and music plays through an eight-speaker Bose set up.

Under the hood of our test Creta was the 1,493-cc in-line four-cylinder common rail diesel motor that is shared with the Kia Seltos. It makes a healthy 250 Nm of torque between 1,500 and 2,750 rpm, with its peak 115 hp coming in at 4,000 rpm. There’s ample drive on tap from just under 2,000 rpm to about 3,500 rpm for quick overtakes or brisk acceleration to triple-digit speeds, helped along by well-though-out gear ratios.

During our performance test the Creta dispatched 60 km/h from a standstill in under six seconds, while the triple-digit mark was breeched in just over 12 seconds; ample performance for a vehicle of this nature. The diesel motor’s torquey nature also ensured excellent in-gear roll-on times from 80 km/h to 120 km/h; about 10 seconds in fifth and just over 12 seconds in sixth gear. Complete details of our performance test can be found at the end of this story. Cruising at 120 to 140 km/h in top gear is an effortless matter, the accurate steering and well-damped suspension providing a nice compromise between feel and comfort. In fact, the excellent suspension was one of the high points of driving the new Creta. It manages to absorb sharp edges and sudden bumps without jarring the occupants, but still felt taut enough to keep excessive body roll at bay when attacking corners.

The latest Hyundai Creta seems like a well-rounded package, with striking looks and a multitude of features. It is ready to take the fight to contenders like the MG Hector, Tata Harrier and its own cousin the Kia Seltos with a competitive sub Rs 10 lakh starting price (ex-showroom) for the base diesel or petrol variants, while this manual transmission diesel-powered example in the SX(O) trim will set you back by 15.79 lakh (ex-showroom). So if you are in the market for a competent mid-size crossover with proven lineage, and this new design language appeals to you, you owe yourself a test drive in the 2020 Hyundai Creta.

Hyundai Creta 1.5 CRDi MT Performance Test


About the author: Anosh Khumbatta



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