The options for compact SUVs in India are growing and while many manufacturers are entering this arena, customers are getting spoilt for choices. If you are in the market to buy a compact SUV, one which is practical, spacious and good-looking and powerful as well, your choice further narrows down. We drive two such diesel powered SUVs that meet all of these criteria, the Hyundai Creta and the Nissan Terrano, to let you know how they compare against each other.

The Nissan Terrano is essentially based on the Renault Duster, which had become one of the most popular passenger vehicles in the recent past and hence the Terrano inherits robust build, well performing engines and interior space. Where the Terrano differs from the Duster is in the appeal, which means it gets a little more premium looking exteriors and interiors. The Creta, on the other hand, is an all new SUV from Hyundai that has set the sales charts on fire and has quickly become on of the favourite vehicles in the country. We have compared both top of the line diesel variants of the two brands, namely the Creta 1.6 SX(O) and the Terrano XV Premium.

Hyundai Creta vs Nissan Terrano Styling and Design:

The stance and dimensions of Terrano give it a slighly brawny look, typical of an SUV. It gets a large chrome plated front grill two vertical slats and a prominent Nissan logo in the centre, reminiscent of the Nissan family look. The headlamps fuse well with grill, tapering upwards, towards the sides. The sides have bulging out wheel arches, giving a bullish look and there are roof rails and bottom claddings. The 10 spoke 16 inch alloy wheels get a black machined finish and these definitely enhance the look of the SUV.  The rear looks stylish with split tail lamps and a chrome bar.


The Creta on the other hand is a very contemporary looking SUV. It reminds one of the Santa Fe and looks more premium than the Terrano. The three slat front chrome plated grill, wrap around headlamps with projectors and vertical fog lamps are striking. From the side, the tapering roofline with an angled window line looks smart. The Creta also gets roof rails, body cladding and a shark-fin antenna on the rear portion of the roof. The 17 inch wheels have 10 spokes and a gun-metal finish that looks mean. The Creta too has split tail lamps and they wrap around, extending to the sides.


The Terrano has rugged looks and the Creta looks sophisticated with new-age styling, following the Fluidic 2.0 design language of Hyundai. Also, while the Terrano measures up slightly bigger than the Creta, it is the latter that looks more imposing. Overall the Creta is more contemporary looking amongst the two.

Hyundai Creta vs Nissan Terrano Interiors:

The Terrano’s beige interiors are bright and make the interior look spacious. It has comfortable leather seats in beige colour and the steering also is leather wrapped. Instrumentation is basic with analogue meters. A small multifunction digital display has a tripmeter, distance to empty and tells the average fuel consumption. The centre of the dashboard has flip open storage area, rectangular AC vents and manual AC controls there is very usable cavity on the passenger side. Interior quality, fit and finish is average. The power mirror switch is awkwardly placed on the floor centre console, below the handbrake which is very annoying to use. The door panels have mock wood finish trims and it gets a rear AC vent too. The rear is quite spacious and comfortable.


The Creta is a departure from the Terrano in terms of interiors. The quality, fit and  finish is easily the best in the segment. The layout is very modern with a black and beige interior theme. With minimal beige and more of black, this looks sportier. Instrumentation is detailed with analogue as well as digital display. The dashboard houses a start/stop button, touchscreen infotainment system and automatic climate control. The leather-wrapped steering has multifunction controls. The leather seats offer good support and comfort. The Creta has twin rear AC vents. The cabin is spacious and the rear seat has good legroom but the width feels less than Terrano.



Getting in and out at the rear is easier in the Creta. Also, the tapering window line may give a somewhat claustrophobic feeling to the rear passengers, as the window sill sits pretty high. Tall, large sized individuals will have no problems sitting in either cars.



Boot space is adequate in both vehicles and it is the Terrano which offers more storage space at 475 litres compared to 402 litres of Creta.

Hyundai Creta vs Nissan Terrano Engine and Performance:

The Terrano houses a 1.5 litre dCi diesel engine churning out 108bhp@3900rpm. The engine has a prominent turbo lag below 2500 rpm and hence can be termed lazy. Once you cross the 2500rpm markup, it pulls very well. This engine has a very strong midrange and is very useful on the highway, especially while overtaking. The Terrano is a very good cruiser and it is only in city traffic conditions that it falls short. Another reason why the Terrano may get cumbersome to drive in the city is because of its heavy clutch, which can take a toll on your left leg in bumper to bumper driving conditions. The six-speed gearbox is good but a bit notchy to use.


The Creta has a very refined 1.6 litre engine and the power of 126bhp@4000rpm is well spread out across the powerband. Turbo lag is minimal and the Creta offers seamless power delivery beyond 1500 rpm, making city as well as highway driving pleasurable. The light clutch is a boon and the smooth slick six-speed gearbox is a breeze to use.

The Creta is hence is the better SUV in the overall performance department.

Hyundai Creta vs Nissan Terrano Ride and Handling:

This is one department where the Terrano excels. The ride is pliant, comfortable and very well suited to Indian road conditions. Suspension set up is brilliant, the way it rides over roads with bumps, craters and potholes, urges one to drive even faster on such roads. The Terrano remains very stable at high speeds and the steering feedback is precise and confidence inspiring.


The Creta has a good suspension setup and its Hydro Rebound Stoppers do a very good job in soaking up jerks on bad roads. The vehicle also remains well planted at high speeds. However, when it comes to handling, the Creta disappoints. The steering though is weighted decently, has very poor feedback and feels vague.  At high speeds it can be a letdown.

The edge here clearly is with the Terrano.

Hyundai Creta vs Nissan Terrano Features:

There needs to be no explanation on the equipment front, which is quite evident and the Creta beats the Terrano hands down in this department. The key features of Terrano XV Premium include Dual Airbags, ABS, Bluetooth audio with audio streaming, USB and AUX, Leather seats and steering wheel, 16 inch alloys and powered mirrors.

The Creta 1.6 SX(O) diesel has a price walk of nearly INR 60,000 over the Terrano. Now, let us see what we get for this extra amount – Six airbags (4 extra), ESP, Push Button start, Automatic climate control, Touchscreen infotainment with Navigation, Steering mounted controls, Electrically retractable ORVMS with turn indicators, Projector headlamps with LEDs and 17-inch alloy wheels, to name a few.


Hyundai Creta vs Nissan Terrano Price:

Hyundai CretaNissan Terrano
VariantPrice INR lakhs (on-road, Mumbai)VariantPrice INR lakhs (on-road, Mumbai)
1.6 Base Petrol10.51XL Petrol11.71
1.6 S Petrol11.76XE Diesel11.85
1.6 SX Plus Petrol13.69XL Diesel14.15
1.4 Base Diesel11.79XL D Plus – Diesel14.37
1.4 S Diesel12.94XLD 110 Diesel14.19
1.4 S Plus Diesel14.18XV 110 Diesel15.86
1.6 SX Diesel14.54XV Premium 110 Diesel16.25
1.6 SX O Diesel16.96
1.6 SX Plus Diesel15.73
1.6 SX Plus Diesel AT16.93


Hyundai Creta vs Nissan Terrano Verdict:

The Terrano though offers good space, fantastic ride and handling with strong engine performance and a robust build, falls short in equipment levels, styling and design, quality of fit, finish and overall refinement when compared to the Creta. Add to that a class leading 3 years / unlimited kms warranty, the Creta emerges as a better proposition and an unbeatable overall package.

Special thanks to: Kundan Hyundai, Pune.

Contact: +(91)-9011017127, +(91)-20-66331111


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