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Date: 08 Jan 2018 Author Type: Public Review
Author: Julian Lurie Edited by Liam Mothilall
Source: Julian Lurie
The all new Hyundai Creta was launched locally back in February last year and fills an important slot in the local model range of the South Korean carmaker. I wondered what the name “Creta” stood for, so after checking on the internet, it turns out to be the largest Greek island. Three derivatives were launched – they are the 1.6 Petrol 6-speed manual, the 1.6 Petrol 6-speed automatic and the flagship model – the 1.6 Diesel 6-speed automatic, which is the model we feature in these road impressions.

In Hyundai's local SUV range, the new Creta slots in just below the top-selling Tucson - in terms of price as well as size, with the bigger Santa Fe as the largest of the trio. The Creta is based on Hyundai Motor's evolved Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design philosophy and is very attractive for an SUV, and is packed with a basket full of bells and whistles on the inside. From the front, itis recognized by its triple slat chrome radiator grille, projector headlamps integrated with LED positioning lamps, vertical fog lamps, sporty stylish skid plate and dual tone front bumper. The Creta's belt line along with its sloping roof line brings a sporty and aerodynamic appeal to the side profile, while the mix of curves and sharp character lines are just about perfect.

From the sides; the black over fenders, black side sills and 10-spoke alloy wheels, which on the press vehicle were shod with 205/65 Goodyear rubber, and hooray for Hyundai, as the Creta comes with a full-sized alloy spare wheel.

The rear profile shows a stylish dual layered step tailgate design with impactful crease lines, wrap-around rear lights, and roof rails that complete the SUV appearance of the Creta. It also enables the Creta to carry a variety of practical accessories, such as a roofbox or bicycle-holders.

The interior of the Creta is everything one would expect in a modern Hyundai. The dashboard, with its futuristic water flow inspired design and smart ergonomic contours; make the cabin environment of the new Creta a pleasing and enjoyable place to spend time in. The seats are covered in two-tone full-leather upholstery which looks good. The front bucket seats are fully adjustable to provide a comfortable driving position, while the rear bench seat, being wider than most in this segment, can accommodate three adults with reasonable comfort. Getting in and out of the vehicle was relatively easy thanks to the wide opening doors and the relatively high-set rear bench.Rear passengers also benefit from convenience features such as rear air vents and rear center armrest with cup holders. The 208 litre boot is smallish, however the rear seatback splits 60:40 ratio and folds down to create 992 litres more luggage space when needed. The leather-bound four spoke multi-function steering wheel is adjustable tilt only. It houses the remote controls for the sound system and buttons for the trip computer and system information. The center dash board console houses the infotainment and satellite navigation system with an 8-inch high-definition full-colour touch screen. The sound system's output can be customized to individual tastes, and can act as a Mirror-link for an Android cell-phone or an iPod music display from an iPhone connected via a USB cord. Music can also be streamed via Bluetooth from a cellphone or iPod to the sound system, and it allows hands free cellphone calls via Bluetooth with remote controls on the steering wheel. The infotainment screen also displays a rear view camera picture when one engages reverse gear, supplemented by reverse parking sensors. Underneath the infotainment screen and the air conditioners control buttons are two 12V power sources, as well as USB and AUX ports for the sound system.

The Creta 1.6 Executive CRDi automatic is propelled by a four cylinder 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine that develops 94 kW of power at 4 000 rpm and 260 Nm of torque delivered at 2 750 rpm. Drive is to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. Diesel consumption was excellent as I averaged a very frugal 7.4 litres of diesel per 100 km, and CO2 emissions of 156 g/km. In acceleration tests, leaving the gearlever in the “drive” position and letting it do its own changing, the Creta turbo-diesel did the 0 to 100 km/h dash in just on 12 seconds and has a top speed of around 189 km/h. Driving the Creta was quite a pleasure. The view from the driver’s seat is good for a compact SUV, but you don’t get the feeling of sitting two storeys high.

Start the engine and it is so quiet that even at idle, you’d probably not know that there’s diesel power under the bonnet. On the freeways, the Creta 1.6 CRDi Executive auto impresses with its surprisingly perky performance and smooth shifting, six speed automatic gearbox. The electric power steering is well weighted and accurate, especially good when driving at speeds on twisty roads. Despite its 190 mm ground clearance, the handling is good for a compact SUV with negligible levels of body roll in sharp corners, good straight-line stability while thanks to the new suspension; bumps are soaked up well to provide a comfy ride. The brakes were also top notch, bringing the Creta to a full stop from 100 km/h in just 3.2 seconds.

TheHyundai Creta is a handsome looking compact SUV with good interior design and build quality, smooth running diesel engine, responsive automatic gearbox, and even ride and handling to a large extent. The recommended retail selling price for the Hyundai Creta 1.6 Executive CRDi Diesel automatic is R374 900, which includes a 5-year/150 000 km manufacturer's Warranty with an additional 2-year/50 000 km manufacturer's power-train warranty and a 5-year/90 000 km service plan.
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