Hyundai Creta launched in India, priced between INR 8.59 and 13.60 Lakhs

After weeks of speculations, factory spy-shots, teaser videos and a whole lot of buzz, Hyundai finally launched the Creta compact SUV in India today. A clone of the ix25 that's on sale in China since 2014, the Creta fits the bill of a compact SUV perfectly in Hyundai's lineup, slotting below the Tucson and Santa Fe. Currently in its first generation, India is the debut market for the 'Creta' nameplate and the second country ever to get this model.

Wearing Version 2.0 of Hyundai's famous 'Fluidic Sculpture' design language, the Creta looks sharp and striking. The familiar front end is characterized by the triple-slat chrome grille, giving it a mini Santa Fe-like appearance. The angular, stretched-back headlamps, the raked window line and the taillights that extend well into the rear fenders are typical Hyundai design traits that the Creta follows to the tee. Standing out are those black plastic inserts in the front and rear bumpers, the prominent shoulder crease lines and the vertically-stacked fog lights. The faux skid plates, chunky C-pillars, roof rails and the tall ride height completes the SUV look, giving the Creta an impressive stance. Make no mistakes though, neither is the Creta as macho as the Duster nor is it as funky as an Ecosport. Many Indians love bling and if you are one of them, Hyundai has given you a royal feast. Apart from the chrome-overloaded grille, higher variants of the Creta have their door handles and rear number plate garnish finished in the shiny stuff too.

The interiors are typically Hyundai, a delightful combination of a well-appointed, feature-loaded cabin with good quality, fit and finish to top it off. The dashboard is a two tone affair with black plastics sandwiching a beige center portion. The flagship SX(O) variant is an exception to this with its plush, all-black cabin. Nicely-shaped vertical air-conditioning vents dominate the center console, flanking the audio system on either sides. All but the base variant are equipped with a touchscreen audio system with the higher variants getting an inbuilt navigation system as well. Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) is standard across the range which is good. Unfortunately though, Hyundai has succumbed to the pressure of having a lower starting price for the Creta and skipped airbags totally on the two base variants.

Having said that, the top spec SX(O) trim’s equipment levels could shame cars a segment of two higher. It gets six airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Hillstart Assist Control, 17-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, height-adjustable front seatbelts, lane change flash adjustment, speed sensing auto door lock, leather upholstery and supervision cluster, all of which are exclusive to this trim.

The Creta borrows its powertrain from the Verna and Elantra sedans. 

The petrol variants get a 1.6-liter Dual VTVT engine that churns out 123 ps at 6400 rpm and 15.4 kgm of torque at 4850 rpm. Paired to a 6-speed manual transmission, the petrol Creta has three trim levels – L, S and SX+ priced between INR 8.59 and 11.19 Lakhs. 

Two diesel engine options are available. 

The L, S and S+ trim levels are powered by the 1.4-liter CRDi engine that puts out 90 ps at 4000 rpm and 22.4 kgm of torque between 1500 - 2750 rpm. These are priced between INR 9.46 and 11.45 Lakhs. The SX, SX+ and SX(O) come with the range-topping 1.6-liter CRDi VGT (Variable Geometry Turbocharger) engine with 128 ps at 4000 rpm and a substantial 26.5 kgm of torque between 1900 - 2750 rpm. The 1.6 retails between INR 11.59 and 13.60 Lakhs.

For the first time in the compact SUV segment, a diesel automatic variant is also on offer. Good news is the Creta gets the same 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox from the Elantra and not the age-old 4-speed unit from the Verna. Bad news is it is available only in the SX+ trim, priced at INR 13.57 Lakhs. So, you either choose added convenience of the 6-speed auto or additional safety of the SX(O) and not both. Why Hyundai, why?

All prices are ex-showroom Delhi.

With 15,000 pre-bookings prior to launch and the mad rush for SUVs in our market, the Creta is going to be yet another successful model in Hyundai India’s kitty. But, with its premium pricing, Creta is now the most expensive compact SUV in the Indian market. For that reason alone, the Creta might not end up creating as much an impact in the sales charts like the Grand i10 and Elite i20 did.

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