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DRIVEN: New Hyundai Creta hits the right chord

Published Jul 21, 2022


Launch Review: Hyundai Creta

Johannesburg - First launched in 2017, updated in 2018, the second generation revealed at the end of 2020 and now another upgraded version of the Hyundai Creta sees the Korean brand continue the compact SUV’s success on the back of the previous models.

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It seems to have taken a while to hit the design sweet spot, with this latest generation built in Indonesia definitely getting it right.

The new Hyundai Creta comes in Premium and Executive specification levels, both powered by the same 1.5-litre normally aspirated petrol engine.

The most obvious change is the front grille that follows the Hyundai “parametric jewel pattern” style seen in the new Tucson and certainly changes the complete look of the Creta. The headlights sit below the outer edge of the grille, giving it an attractive and menacing presence even for a compact SUV.

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Along the side a silver inset running from the A-pillar to the C-pillar gives it a refreshed look while at the rear there’s also a revised design that sees the LED strip ditched in favour of the Creta name and company logo.

New 17-inch alloys with different styling (model dependent) complete the exterior changes.

The spacious cabin is a combination of plastics and soft touch surfaces, not out of place in this segment, with the seats of the Premium model trimmed with black fabric upholstery and the Executive getting black artificial leather.

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In the rear passengers get a centre armrest with cup holders that fold out of the backrest while the multi-functional steering wheel is telescopic and height adjustable.

The four-cylinder engine is good for 84kW and 144Nm and is coupled to either a six speed manual gearbox or an automatic Intelligent Variable Transmission (read CVT) powering the front wheels.

It’s a willing motor that cruises along easily at both highway speeds and suburban roads. When you push the accelerator hard though there's a CVT whine while the speedometer tries to catch up with the rev counter and when it does, it settles down to a comfortable ride.

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Discussing the option between a CVT or a manual my driving partner and I disagreed on which one to take, he likes the manual because it gives him the option when to change gears.

However, considering what the Creta’s day is likely to follow, the CVT makes perfect sense. It’s not going to be racing around the streets daily but more likely going to be doing the school run, the home-work-home trip and the occasional family holiday.

Steering is light and easy, ideal for getting in and out of minimum spec parking bays on a crowded Saturday morning.

It handles bumpy roads with aplomb and while it’s no off-roader, it’s comfortable on washed away dirt roads thanks to its 200mm ground clearance and 60-profile tyres.

While driving along a bumpy dirt road you can feel the build quality with not a squeak or a rattle and a general solidness to the vehicle that should be comfortable on a trip that requires a couple of dusty roads to get to your destination.

The eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system is easy to use and is both Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatible wirelessly, and the Executive version has a wireless charging pad.

The rear console has a 12v charging socket as well as a USB plug along with air conditioning vents for those hot days when the kids are all sweaty after a day at school.

Safety is taken care of with side and curtain airbags in the Executive option, Electronic Stability Control, Hill-start Assist, and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

The design updates to the Hyundai Creta have made a significant change to the car and coupled with a solid, comfortable ride it will continue to be a good seller for the brand.

It comes with a seven-year/200 000km warranty, a four-year/60 000km service plan and seven year or 150 000km roadside assistance.

Hyundai Creta Pricing (July 2022)

1.5 Premium MT - R409 900

1.5 Premium IVT - R429 900

1.5 Executive IVT - R469 900

IOL Motoring