REVIEW: 2022 Hyundai Creta looks sharper but feels like a comfy pair of slippers

Published Sep 16, 2022


Review: Hyundai Creta 1.5 Executive

Johannesburg - A facelift can make or break a car. The mid-life design “enhancements” made to the first-generation Hyundai Tiburon, for instance, could only have been the work of a disgruntled employee. Thankfully, it’s a different story for the recently facelifted Hyundai Creta SUV.

I know, of course, that styling is a subjective thing. But I think it’s also safe to say that before its recent rehash, the second-generation Hyundai Creta was something of an acquired taste with its goblin headlights and top-heavy cascading grille. And, frankly, I never met anyone who managed to acquire it.

But the 2022 model you see here will probably hit the right notes with buyers in this segment, especially since its redesigned front end strongly resembles the striking new Tucson, which is in a higher price bracket than the Creta. The new face features triangular daytime running lights that flow into a new “parametic jewel”-shaped grille, which has become a key feature of Hyundai’s latest design idiom for SUVs.

Designers made some welcome changes to the rear end too, with new triangular tail lamps extending further into the tailgate to lend a more purposeful appearance.

Not too much has changed inside the cabin, which is not an bad thing as it was a rather neat-looking design to begin with. Overall, build quality is excellent but if I have to nitpick, the atmosphere is perhaps a little sombre. There’s an abundance of, well, dark grey, dark grey and even more dark grey.

Ergonomically it’s hard to fault as everything is simple and neatly laid out, and you get traditional rotary controls for the ventilation. Strangely, at this price level, it has conventional manual air conditioning rather than auto climate control, and there are only four fan speed levels, which seems a bit skimpy.

The 8.0-inch touch-screen infotainment system can connect you to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wirelessly, and Hyundai has also thrown in a wireless phone charger in the range-topping Executive model.

But is the Hyundai Creta practical? Moving to the back seat, leg room is generous, with plenty of leg-stretching room available, and there are aircon vents to keep occupants cool, while a USB port and 12v charging socket will keep them connected. Boot space is relatively generous, with 416 litres of stashing space.

What’s it like to drive?

In terms of overall size, this is what you might call a Goldilocks car. It’s small enough to be agile and manoeuvrable in the urban grind, but large enough to serve as a family car.

That “just right” feeling extends to the urban-driving experience as well. It’s easy to get comfortable behind the wheel, manoeuvring is easy, the ride is fairly comfortable and on-road refinement is hard to fault. This is the automotive equivalent of a comfy pair of slippers.

If there is one downside, it’s that Hyundai offers only one engine option, in the form of the familiar 1.5-litre normally aspirated petrol unit.

With the vehicle now being sourced from Indonesia rather than India, this is the only option available and this means that the lovely 1.5 turbodiesel offered in the previous range falls away, along with the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol.

Nonetheless, the surviving 1.5-litre petrol unit does seem to punch above its weight in performance terms. With outputs of 84kW and 144Nm, this is certainly no rocket ship, but it offers relatively effortless and comfortable performance in urban and freeway applications.

The Executive model that we had on test comes with a CVT gearbox, while the Premium base version can also be had with that or a six-speed manual. The CVT gearbox can get a bit droney when you’re pushing it hard, as continuously variable gearboxes tend to but, thankfully, the Creta is not underpowered to the point where you’ll be revving the guts out of it regularly – unless you have a heavy right foot, in which case you should probably try a different vehicle.

Then again. The Creta is priced between R409 000 and R469 000, and you could argue that a turbocharged engine should be part of deal at that level.

When it comes to economy, our car averaged about 7.7 litres per 100km in a mixture of conditions. A freeway stint between Joburg and Pretoria saw us average 5.9 l/100km, and after the trip was reset for some town driving, we saw 9.6 l/100 on the on-board read-out.


Spacious, easy to drive and big enough for the family, the Hyundai Creta is like a comfortable pair of slippers. And following what appears to be a somewhat successful facelift, this is a pair of slippers that you’ll happily wear in public.

FACTS: Hyundai Creta 1.5 Executive

Price: R469 900

Engine: 1.5-litre, 4-cyl, petrol

Gearbox: Continuously variable (CVT)

Power: 84kW at 6 300rpm

Torque: 144Nm from 4 500rpm

0-100km/h: 11.8 seconds

Top speed: 170km/h

Fuel use, urban: 9.6 l/100km (tested)

Fuel use, highway: 5.9 l/100km (tested)

Kerb weight: 1 175kg

Fuel tank capacity: 50 litres

Boot volume: 416 litres

Warranty: 5-year/150 000km (7yr/200K drivetrain)

Service plan: 4-year/60 000km