As the COVID-19 crisis ramp up and keep disrupting our daily lives, there is not much one can do but stay at home and remember the time where going out for a drive was a harmless affair. Things have changed now and will be for sometime. But what about the last car you drove? The last time you had a chance to exert your free will of pointing your steering wheel in a desired direction and just setting off. For me it was before the Janta Curfew that took place on the 22nd of March before which I drove the all new 2020 Hyundai Creta. So in the two days I had the car to myself before the lockdown took away our freedom to movement or assembly – the below explains my first drive of the new Creta.
How does it drive?
I know you want to know about this. We all know how it looks and I’ll get to that later. But it’s time to get to the meat and potatoes of this new car. The Hyundai Creta gets three new engine options with the 1.5-litre petrol/diesel mills and the sportier 1.4-litre petrol unit. These all come with the option of a automatic and manual gearbox expect the 1.4-litre mill that only gets the seven-speed DCT auto as its transmission option. Maybe Hyundai will give it a six-speed manual like the Seltos in a later variant offering, who knows? So what did we drive? Well it was the diesel option for our first drive of this all new Creta. And it came with the six-speed manual transmission. And I don’t mind that configuration at all. It’s only boring. Okay don’t get me wrong, let me clear somethings up. 115bhp feels adequate. You want to put your foot down? Go right ahead and do it but don’t expect furious acceleration. The 250Nm of torque gives provides decent pick up and also has you covered though the 4000rpm mid-range but by the time you are reaching triple digit speeds the power is backing off. You realize this car does not really want to do this. Obliviously one can turn off the ESP and make it misbehave while having some tyre spinning fun but you don’t do that in this car. You see, the Creta diesel might not be in hurry to achieve a top speed but once its there and this car settles in a cruise at a decent highway speed it’s comfortable. Just like it’s predecessor. No niggles. There is decent involvement from the higher gears to indulge you in up-shifting and downshifting between fifth and sixth gears for overtakes. The NVH levels are contained far better than any car in the segment plus the 17-inch wheels feel just right on the road over almost any kind of surface.
Also Read: Hyundai Creta Things We Like
In terms of handling, the new Hyundai Creta with its all new proportions and underpinnings feels a bit more sure footed. The visibility is excellent and the feedback from the steering wheels is more lively too. I should point out that the automatic versions of the Creta have various driving modes between road and rough-road situations to choose from. To round up the driving experience of the diesel Creta – better and predictable. Its continues to be the comfortable mid-size chariot of all chores. Be it traffic, the clutch is light or the highway where you don’t want too much dynamic involvement but yearn for stability and comfort. This is one supple ride.
Looks – Lets talk about it
The 2020 Hyundai Creta’s design is the elephant in the room that nobody understands how to discuss. This is important to understand as the last generation Creta left us with it’s last superb and much easy on the eyes – a fluidic design language that all we Indians love. The new Creta struggles here consistently. Let’s start at the front. The new bigger grey grille looks good. But this new design language as Hyundai calls it – ‘Sensuous Sportiness’, makes one almost forget to take in or notice the headlights. One glance at the front of the new Creta with make you register the grille, LED daytime running lights and the more sculpted bonnet only. There is nothing else that is striking or remarkable about the front that registers. The turn signals even when switched on are placed at the bottom of the bumper make it a really awkward place to look at. This same description fits the rear which is again a busy section full of cuts and different lines. But the taillights blasted apart in three separate units will make you do a double-take. The side of this car is it’s only redeeming section with the alloy wheels and the wheel arches providing some freshness and the silhouette of the previous generation Creta gives some comfort to the eyes. The car overall with the bigger chunkier tyres does look more butch and proportionate.
This is why I don’t care about the exterior. If you own this car, this is where you will spend the most time – looking out of. The new Hyundai Creta brings back some sense and neatness to the segment. In typical Hyundai fashion every button, switch and storage section is placed perfectly. The new 10.28 touchscreen that comes with a host of features like BlueLink, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay is easy to use. The eight-inch instrument cluster is digital and displays everything from media, tyre pressure to navigation alerts. The voice-activated sunroof is perfect for all those who crave more sky and this car from the lowest to top variant gets an electronic handbrake. I like the steering mounted controls and the air purifier too. The Bose system found here is similar to the Seltos but the mood lighting does not change colours with the beats of the music. That’s okay, the classy interior does not demand it. I like the leather upholstery, the front seats which are cooled and the driver seat which is power-adjustable.
Coming to the rear, here again, the space is generous and the occupants have looked after. There is a charging socket, rear AC vents, phone holder, centre armrest and sun blinds to make you feel content. The legroom is sufficient and the headroom is not bad too. One can solve that and be more comfortable by changing the recline of the rear seats. Hyundai also now adds a cushion to the rear headrests for added comfort. Boot space sits at 433 -litres which is good but bigger boots in the segment will swallow more. Overall, the interior is excellent. I love it. It’s my favourite of almost any new car I have driven this year. Hyundai knows what their customers want and have spruced up the Creta with the right amount of features and convenience options.
Also Read: Hyundai Creta Variants breakdown
Can it fill the boots of its predecessor? Yes. If 14,000 plus bookings in the second week of its launch were any figures to go buy, this car is well on its way to reclaiming it throne and bringing hell for the Kia Seltos. With the Rs 9.99 lakh (ex-showroom) starting price to Rs 17.20 lakhs (ex-showroom), it is great value for money option any day to consider. The diesel that drove is available from no features in the E variant all the way till the SX (O) diesel automatic. I’m very sure once this lockdown is done with and sales are back in full swing, the cash registers will start going off at the Creta counters in Hyundai showrooms as they always have. It will be interesting to see what Kia has in terms of strategy planned to answer this lethal threat because for sure, from however and whichever angle you look at the new Creta, it’s back with a vengeance.
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