Both the Hyundai Creta and Tucson have had cosmetic updates.
Both the Hyundai Creta and Tucson have had cosmetic updates.

Hyundai SA has taken the knife to its popular Creta and Tucson models, which have emerged from surgery looking more prim and proper than before.

The former gets a new grille, which is taller in aspect than the outgoing model with a cascading effect and some chrome embellishments that give it a more integrated and tidier look. That front valance has also been chiselled slightly and receives a satin silver scuff plate, while the front fog lamps now feature chrome housing inserts. At the rear new light clusters and a revised bumper round off the exterior updates.

Moving into the cabin of the Creta, little has been altered, save for the new eight-inch touchscreen, which can be specified with navigation for an additional R2,522. As part of its Executive trim, the entire Creta range comes standard with leather seats, cruise control, electrically folding mirrors and rear park assist with reverse camera.

Motivation still comes in the form of the normally aspirated 1.6l petrol engine that makes 90kW and 150Nm and paired to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic, while oil-burner fans can still enjoy the 1.6l turbodiesel powerplant that musters 94kW and 260Nm and allied solely to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Pricing starts at R339,900 for the 1.6 Executive manual (R359,900 for the automatic) and tops out at R399,900 for the 1.6 TD Executive.

Moving up a rung on the Hyundai SUV ladder brings us to the updated Tucson, which, much like the updates introduced to the Creta, also receives a sharper grille with a similar cascading design, while the front bumper also gets a satin skid plate, and a new 18-inch alloy design has been introduced to the flagship Elite trimmed model.

The Tucson now has a new touchscreen infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay.
The Tucson now has a new touchscreen infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay.

Obvious updates

At the rear is perhaps where the most obvious updates can be seen in the form of the redesigned tail lights (now LED equipped), while a new, wider licence plate housing and spruced up rear bumper complete fresh updates.

The cabin, too, has been given a more refreshed look with new air vents and, more significantly, a "floating" seven-inch infotainment screen atop the dash now features Apple CarPlay.

Three specification levels are still offered — the entry-level Premium, which comes with amenities such as cruise control, the aforementioned touchscreen infotainment system, LED daytime running lights and driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags. This variant is powered by a four-cylinder, 2.0l naturally aspirated petrol engine, delivering 115kW and 196Nm paired with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox.

The mid-spec Executive, over and above the Premium trim, adds standard features such as an Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), leather seats, Blind Spot Detection for side mirrors, Cross Traffic Alert detectors at the rear, electric seat adjustment for the driver and a full auto air conditioner with climate control.

It also comes with the 2.0l petrol engine, but paired with a six-speed automatic gearbox as a new addition, while the Executive turbodiesel variant with a 2.0l displacement pushes out 131kW and 400Nm and features a new-to-the-range eight-speed automatic gearbox.

The flagship Elite models takes the specification sheet even further with such things as a panoramic sun roof, electric seat adjustment for both driver and front passenger, keyless entry and push start engine button. It also includes the Blind Spot Detection and Cross Traffic Alert safety features, while an additional USB port in the rear quarters has also been specified

Engines used in the Elite derivatives are the abovementioned 2.0l petrol, the 2.0l turbodiesel and the 1.6l turbo petrol with 130kW and 265Nm paired with a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. The 1.7l turbodiesel variant has been dropped from Tucson line-up.

Pricing for the Tucson overlaps that of the Creta range with a starting price of R399,000 for the 2.0l Premium manual version and R559,900 for the 1.6T Elite automatic variant.

By rationalising the Tuscon range, Hyundai sought to make the offering simpler than before, while the popular Creta looks set to continue with its success of being the only turbodiesel automatic offering in the segment until the new Renault Duster hits the market later this month, which I have on good account will be squared directly at the Creta diesel buyer.