Why would I buy it?
- Turbo engine has punchy performance
- Feature-rich cabin
- Appealing exterior styling
Why would I avoid it?
- Lack of hybrid powertrain options
- Low-speed ride could have been better
Engine and Performance
The Creta gets a plethora of engine and gearbox options and we are driving the powertrain that isnewly introduced in the lineup. This is the new 1.5 litre turbo petrol engine that on paper churns out158bhp and 253Nm of peak torque and comes paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. After driving this engine for nearly half a day, we can say that this engine feels extremely peppy and punchy to drive. The strong power built-up coupled with the smooth gear shifts truly brings out the potent performance of the new engine. And if you want to tickle the enthusiast in you, there are paddle shifters and making things more exciting are the three drive modes – Eco, Normal, and Sport to choose from.
Ride and Handling
The new Creta still has great outside visibility. The dashboard is low set, the A-pillars do not intrude on the outside view, and even the window line is just about right. What aids this is the tilt and telescopic adjustment for the steering wheel and the powered driver seat. With the 2024 update, the Creta like its cousin, Seltos gets Level 2 ADAS. This suite of ADAS features include forward collision warning with avoidance assist, adaptive cruise control, a blind spot monitor, lane departure and keep assist, and lastly, rear cross-traffic with avoidance assist.
While we could not test every ADAS feature, we did try the lane departure and lane keep assist that worked seamlessly on the well-marked Jodhpur highway. Besides these active safety features, the Creta also comes equipped with six airbags, a tyre pressure monitor, disc brakes for all wheels, three-point seatbelts for all passengers, ABS with EBD, and hill-assist control.
Coming to the ride quality, there are no significant changes that the brand has made. However, we elt that the ride at low speeds (30-50kmph) was slightly on the firmer side but not to the extent of unsettling the passengers. Once to climb up the speed and cross the 100kmph mark, the suspension feels composed and pliant and irons out all the undulations with ease.
When we saw the first teaser images of the new Creta, in many ways, it looked like a beefed-up Venue but let me tell you, that’s not the case. Because when you look at it in person, you will realise has its own identity. Like the second-generation model, it’s got a strong road presence but the genius with this design is that It does it without looking flashy and flamboyant.
All the major styling changes have been focused on the front profile of the new Creta. The massive dark chrome grille dominates the front that is flanked by two sets of LED lights. The daytime running lights are now connected and run across the width of the bonnet. The vertically stacked headlamps are LED as well and the bumper gets a contrasting silver skid plate with front sensors and the ADAS module.
The side largely remains unchanged and it gets the signature contrasting window arc the only updates are the redesigned 17-inch alloy wheels and the camera mounted only on the side ORVMs.The posterior too looks fresh and mimics the front with the connected LED tail lamps that are neatly tucked in the casing along with the brand logo that gets a flat aluminium finish.
Hyundai seems to have taken a different approach with the new Creta. I mean if we look at all their recent launches, it’s pretty clear that the brand has been very brave with their designs. The Creta, on the other hand, looks surprisingly unassuming but in a good way. There is a maturity to its design that I think is missing in the international spec model that has been on sale for a while. Fair play to Hyundai for going the extra mile in changing the look specifically for the Indian market.
Comfort, Convenience, and Features
Onto the cabin of the Creta, it feels more premium than before, and the dedicated driver cockpit along with the twin displays looks upmarket. The other changes include the new passenger-side aircon vent that is now horizontally placed and the aircon panel gets a new screen and controls for the infotainment system.
In terms of features, the Creta now packs in a fully digital instrument cluster with customisable views, details on ADAS, and even turn-by-turn navigation. Then there are inclusions such as ventilated front seats, a wireless charging pad, electrically adjustable driver seat that has upped the game in the SUV segment. While the interior feels upmarket, we would have appreciated it if Hyundai had added soft-touch materials to the dashboard and the door pads to lend it a premium feel.
The overall dimensions of the Creta have not changed. That means it still gets the same headroom, legroom, and shoulder space making it comfortable to seat three occupants. However, Hyundai has really tried to elevate the rear seat experience with the introduction of sun blinds, a mobile phone holder, reclining rear seats, and these comfy head rests.
So, how did the 2024 Creta fair? For us, the biggest change is in the design department. It looks sophisticated and adding to it is the tech loaded cabin and the extensive list of safety features. The interior is a step above the previous one and the new turbo petrol engine with a surge in power while meeting the BS6 2 emission norms is extremely fun and exhilarating to drive. It is also one of the few SUVs in the segment along with the Seltos and Astor to be equipped with ADAS tech.
However, there are a few misses. The Creta like its rivals, the Grand Vitara and Hyryder misses out on a hybrid powertrain. Also, the Creta has always attracted a long waiting period. But will all this stop the Creta from becoming one of the best sellers in the segment? We feel that Creta already has a cult following and all these upgrades will only help this SUV to record top position on the sales charts.
Pictures by Kapil Angane