Nip and tuck for Hyundai’s popular Creta

We’re still reeling from Hyundai’s global design offensive after the Korean brand released its latest alternative-energy cars in the form of the IONIQ 6 N and the Vision 74 N hydrogen-electric concept. They are gobsmackingly attractive designs and concept studies, which we’re excited about, and we hope they make it into production, but let’s move on to more current affairs, shall we? On the same day these cars were shown to the world, back in SA, Hyundai launched the updated Creta crossover. 

Hyundai’s local product line-up is teeming with crossovers and SUVs. Of the 14 passenger products available, eight are some sort of SUV/crossover. The Creta has been one of the volume sellers and Hyundai’s update to the car is the next step in ensuring it remains popular. The model has lost some market ground to the likes of the Suzuki Jimny and Renault Duster in recent times, so the South Korean marque is hoping this updated Creta can change that. 

The update sports a new look both in the front and at the rear. The front will command most attention because Hyundai has given it the Parametric Jewel Design face, similar to that of the Tucson, bringing the Creta into the brand’s most current design fold. It works well. This Creta will suffer less criticism about its face. 

The interior of the Hyundai Creta

The interior remains much the same except for the change from dual-tone faux leather trim to straight black. Some might not like this, preferring the black-and-white combo, like I do. 

Besides this, the Executive model adds a wireless charging tray, electric-window jam protection and one-touch operation, and two additional tweeters in the speaker mix. 

The Creta remains a well-appointed option, considering its price tag, with most features standard across the range, including an 8-inch infotainment system with Android and Apple mirroring functions. 

The update has also seen Hyundai SA tidy up the model range, opting for just one engine, the 84 kW naturally aspirated 1.5-litre motor. There are now three derivatives: the 1.5 Premium Manual at R409 000; the 1.5 Premium IVT (Intelligent Variable Transmission) at R429 900 and the 1.5 Executive IVT,  which retails for R469 900. 

We drove the Executive IVT at the launch and it continues as before without much change to the drive itself. It is a compliant and composed drive and that 1.5-litre engine doesn’t suffer too badly even at Gauteng altitude. 

For the market and context, it performs adequately, balancing its need to drive comfortably with a family and to deliver respectable fuel consumption figures. Hyundai claims fuel consumption of 6.3l/100km for the IVT and 6.5l/100km for the manual. Performance figures, if you’re interested, are: 0 to 100 km/h in 11.8-seconds or 12 for the manual with a top end of 170 km/h. 

Other than facing stiff competition, there’s no reason the updated Creta shouldn’t continue from where the previous models left off and move Hyundai along with strong sales. Creta generally sells between 200 and 300 units a month, and rightly so, performing well as a competent and well-priced option in a market where downsizing and price are trumping everything else. Oh, and it’s better looking now too, so that should help. 

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