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The compact crossover/SUV segment is arguably the most popular, and therefore the most important, segment for car makers right now!

 

Locally, there are almost 20 options for customers to choose from. Competition is clearly steep!

 

The previous Hyundai Creta, which launched here in 2017, was mediocre when put nose to nose with its field of competitors. Shortly after its arrival, the Creta underwent a minor facelift –  to maintain its appeal for which sales were good – with almost 15 000 units rolling off showroom floors into happy homes.

 

The new Creta is immediately less bland. In fact, its bold new styling could come across overtly bold, which could polarise public opinion. This is a good thing when it comes to competition. Now more genetically akin to its larger siblings –  the Tucson and Santa Fe –  the DNA thread has been evenly woven throughout its design. I am a fan of its brave design for standing out from the crowd.

 

Bigger and better than before, the Creta has been created for a broader appeal. Wider, longer and taller with increased leg, head and storage room, the Creta offers more than ample accommodation for four – or five at a squeeze.

 

Like the exterior, so too is the interior a vast improvement over its predecessor, with the use of interesting plastic textures and the contrast of an off-white and black colour palette. Most of these plastic surfaces are hard and scratchy – clearly to keep costs down, but like you would find in most cars in this segment. The look is upmarket and contemporary, which brings an upgrade to the Creta as a sub-brand of Hyundai. As with most cars in this class of vehicle, technological innovation is key –  with a wireless charging port, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto all part of the standard package. The Creta also features its touchscreen infotainment system that is easy to operate most of the car’s functionality. What the upmarket functionality is missing is a climate control. Instead, the Creta range features a manual air-conditioning.

 

The ride of the Creta is well-suited to our roads – the suspension setup is firm yet supple and enough to absorb poor road surfaces. The raised ride height makes easy work of speed bumps and allows for soft off-roading despite only being a front-wheel drive.

 

A great selling point of the Creta are its engine and gearbox options – there is something for everyone! The options are a 1.5-l naturally aspirated engine mated to a light 6-speed manual gearbox as an entry point. This engine can also be mated to a CVT automatic gearbox. This model is perfectly suited to casual city driving. For those doing longer commutes, the option of a 1.5-l turbo diesel is your best bet, which is mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Lastly is the range-topping 1.4-l turbocharged petrol motor that is paired with a slick shifting dual-clutch 7-speed automatic gearbox. This one is for the sportier drivers.

 

For me, the new Creta is a big step up and over its predecessor. With so many competitors, that package needs to be exceptionally good and unique. I think Hyundai has succeeded in the task, putting it within the top 5! I would shortlist this car on my test drive list before making a final decision.

 

The competition

 

Citroën C3 Aircross, Fiat 500X, Ford EcoSport, Honda BR-V/ HR-V, Jeep Renegade KIA Seltos, Mazda CX-3, Mitsubishi ASX, Nissan Qashqai, Opel Crossland X, Peugeot 2008, Renault Duster/Captur, Suzuki Vitara, Toyota Rush/ C-HR and Volkswagen T-Cross/T-Roc

 

Pricing

Creta 1.5 Premium (manual)                                          R 374 900

Creta 1.5 Executive IVT                                                 R 429 900

Creta 1.5 Executive IVT (2-tone)                                     R 434 900

Creta 1.5 Executive Diesel (automatic)                            R 469 900

Creta 1.5 Executive Diesel (automatic) (2-tone)               R 474 900

Creta 1.4 TGDI Executive DCT (2-tone)                          R 484 900

 

Service and warranty

All Cretas are sold with a 7-year / 200 000km manufacturer’s warranty; 4-year / 60 000km service plan; and roadside assistance for 7 years or 150 000km.

www.hyundai.co.za

 

 

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