When less is more, the nifty crossover from Hyundai

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Don't you just love choice? I do. And, I also appreciate the concept of creating unique and differentiated products making that choice more complex. 

 

The German motor manufacturers have forgotten that I feel. Rather, they created a design which is part of their current design direction, often referred to as their DNA. Then, they make all their cars share this strong design DNA. In practice, it sounds great, but they end up duplicating one concept into different sizes - small, medium, large and extra-large versions of a very similar design. Like getting your favourite fashion T-shirt in the most appropriate size. 

 

I understand it, but as a car lover, I think it's lazy; leaving little excitement when considering "what could be next?"

 

We all know SUV's are where things are going. And with that said, Hyundai has a new one! They too are introducing a small, in their Creta. Their medium is the Tucson and their large, the Santa Fe. The good thing about the Korean car maker is that each of these cars has a unique design and appeal. 

 

Petite, or compact, SUV's are the most popular type in South Africa. I'd hazard a guess that they are globally the most popular.

 

They are relatively affordable, very practical, versatile and sporty. 

 

Their compact proportions yet utilitarian design means less is more - small on the road, yet big on practicality. 

 

The Creta, strange name is known, is named after Crete - the Greek island. From a design perspective, it's not as overtly flamboyant as say the Nissan Juke or Toyota C-HR. It's understated - clean and simple. 

 

The interior is a tad more adventurous. Two tone human-made leather is standard across the range. A swooping dashboard houses a large touchscreen infotainment system that add a sense of economic grandeur to the environment. Leg and headroom are very generous, with rear passengers having ample room to move. Best suited for four adults, but offers capacity for five. 

 

The boot is also well shaped for ease-of-use, with a cavernous space being created once the rear-split seats have been folded flat. A nice touch is the standard mess-net that lives supported on the boot floor. A nifty tool for suspending groceries. 

 

On the road, the Creta's ride is supple, adding to the comfort of the cars friendly character. Speed bumps, potholes, and surface irregularities are managed well by its compliant set-up. Steering, which is power-assisted, is light with adequate feedback. Brakes aren't the Creta's strong point, with a rear drum system - a hit in the previous century. The brake pedal needs to be properly applied to get the Creta to retard its speed. 

 

Dynamically, the Creta isn't going to win any high-performance awards, but the chassis has been designed to imbue its driver with a warm, fuzzy feeling of familiar friendliness. 

 

Available in two engine variations, both 1.6-l. Beginning with the entry-level 1.6-l petrol motor in either 6-speed manual or automatic. Next up, the flagship model, the 1.6-l turbo diesel. Only available with a 6-speed automatic gearbox and the favourite model. It's nippy with a 0-100km/h sprint in 9 seconds. 

 

For everyday use and practicality, the Creta scores well. The question lies in whether you prefer its understated looks or prefer the more flamboyant ones of its competitors? 

PLUS +

The entry-level model is well-priced. 

Nicely spec'd.

Friendly nature.

Practically.

 

MINUS -

Plain-looking.

Lacks sparkle. 

 

Competition 

Ford EcoSport, Peugeot 2008, Opel MokkaX, Renault Capture, Nissan Juke and Toyota C-HR.

 

Pricing

1.6 Executive R319 900

1.6 Executive Auto R339 900

1.6 CRDi Executive R369 900

 

Service and warranty 

Included in the recommended retail price of the Hyundai Creta is the 5 year/150 000 km warranty, with Hyundai’s ground-breaking additional 2 year/50 000 km drivetrain warranty for even more peace of mind.

 

Roadside assistance for five years or 150 000 km and a five year/90 000 km service plan adds further value to the package. Service intervals are 15 000 km.      

 

My choice

1.6 CRDi Executive R369 900

www.hyundai.co.za

 

 

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