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The Koreans have recently become trendsetters in terms of car styling, so it came as no surprise when the 2016 Hyundai Creta morphed from a conventional looking crossover into a daring and polarising car. For the facelift of the model that launched in 2021, Hyundai has done a bold thing again.
The new model adopts the large and scaly grille that was pioneered by the larger and newer Hyundai Tucson. It gets the same “parametric” lights that are only visible when activated. It’s a striking façade on an unchanged and silhouette that is bang on-trend with its raised roof ending with a blocky but curved rear. The tail is virtually unchanged except for a new brow above the tail lamps.
It’s a handsome car which is unlike the seven-seat Grand Creta that continues with the old styling.
The cabin has a few revisions in the form of a blue tint of light in the instrument binnacle and missing red edges on the new car’s air vents. It’s still a remarkably well insulated cabin with good material texture and ergonomics, and the two grades come with an eight-inch touch screen display, dual USB connection, Bluetooth, voice control, a four-speaker audio system, rear view camera with dynamic guidelines, airbags, cloth upholstery, cruise control, a luggage net, power outlet and more.
The Executive model adds roof rails, wireless phone charging, artificial leather upholstery, LED headlamps instead of halogens, and it’s exclusively had in Hyundai’s Intelligent Variable Transmission (iVT). The entry-level Premium model gets a six-speed manual transmission, but mechanically all three models on sale are powered exclusively by a 1.5l four-cylinder petrol motor driving the front wheels.
The 1.4 petrol turbo and 1.5 diesel turbo engines have been dropped from the line up, and there is no all-wheel drive option available.
The naturally-aspirated petrol engine that produces 84kW and 144Nm across the board is rated at 12.0 seconds to 100km/h for the manual shifter while the autos can sprint in 11.8 seconds. Top speed is 170km/h for all.
We drove the auto at the launch and the engine and transmission give the Creta decent real-world pace, comfort and frugality. It’s effortless to drive anywhere and gathers and maintains highway speeds with little fuss while the iVT is a smooth operator. Hyundai says it will consume 6.3l/100km, which is welcome and believable.
While the dampers ironed out the road imperfections with aplomb, the cabin remained quiet even on a longish gravel section. It’s a brilliant rival to segment rivals including the Toyota Rav4, Kia Seltos, Volkswagen T-Cross and the Opel Mokka.
According to Hyundai SA the mismatch in looks between this new five-seat Creta and the seven-seat Grand Creta will be rectified in about two years time when the larger car is due for a facelift. Also, expect no fitment of a tow bar in the initial batch of cars. The company will offer it towards the end of the year.
The Hyundai Creta can be had in six colours including Magnetic Silver, Optic White, Titan Gray Metallic, Midnight Black Pearl, Dragon pearl (pictured) and Galaxy Blue Pearl. All Creta models come standard with a seven-year /200,000km warranty and a four-year/60,000km service plan.
Hyundai Creta 1.5 Premium M/T — R409,900
Hyundai Creta 1.5 Premium iVT — R429,900
Hyundai Creta 1.5 Executive iVT — R469,900
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.