Would you like your Creta in grande or regular?
When the Hyundai Creta was first launched here in SA in 2017, its name raised a few eyebrows because of its meaning in some parts of the world. Thankfully, it’s been 5 years and people have moved on or perhaps forgotten. During that time the Creta has gone through two growth phases, bringing us to the 2022 version of the Korean vehicle
What is it?
It’s difficult to tell where the Hyundai Creta and Venue fit in the firm's model range because although the former is slightly larger and technically a compact SUV, the vehicles are of similar stature. It’s built in Indonesia, at Hyundai’s 77,6-hectare factory in the country’s capital, Jakarta, and it comes in two sizes; Grand Creta and Creta. In Grand Creta, you’re getting more car for more money. Of course, having three similar and seemingly redundant models in your lineup is a result of the world’s insatiable desire for crossover/SUV vehicles.
Who is it for?
As people go through different stages of life their needs change. Someone driving a Hyundai i20 may be looking to upgrade to something larger within the brand, or just be feeling left out and hop onto the crossover/SUV trend. The two vehicles would probably offer similar cabin space, the only real difference being their ride height. In the Creta, you’re getting the SUV look and feel, in a compact package - it works if you like the segment but don’t need the extra bulk and space of a larger SUV.
The good and the ugly
What stands out with the Creta is its functionality, Hyundai didn’t waste time or recourse going to town with shiny bits and fancy tech. It does all the basics and even the interior screams minimalist. Yes, you get your media screen with smartphone integration, a reverse camera, and steering wheel-mounted controls, but aside from that and an electronic handbrake, there's not much else to write home about. When designing the Creta, Hyundai neglected to install a cover board in the boot to conceal your valuables. As it is, anyone peering through the rear glass has a clear sight of the boot's content. As an afterthought, they tinted the rear windshield so it would not be so obvious that the cover is missing. The Hyundai is built for city dwellers, whose lives involve zipping around town for errands and other life duties.
How does it drive?
Speaking of zipping around, we have to talk about its driving attributes. It utilises Hyundai’s 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine, and what makes the motor interesting is that although it’s naturally aspirated, it’s quite punchy. The combination of the engine and a lightweight body makes the Creta zippy and fun to drive in town. We sampled the CVT variant, and as much as this transmission is loathed by many, sometimes manufacturers get it right and it works. Such is the case with the Creta. The only downside to its get-up-and-go attitude is high fuel consumption. Hyundai claims a combined figure of 6.3l/100km, but we didn’t achieve anything under 7l/100km during our time with the compact SUV. Driving it gently and slowly is counterintuitive, because, with a natural spring in its step it yearns to go.
How much does it cost?
With a starting price of R409 900, the Creta comes loaded with a 7-year / 200 000 km manufacturer’s warranty; a 4-year / 60 000 km service plan; and roadside assistance for 7 years or 150 000 km. Competitors include the Suzuki Grand Vitara, Kia Sonet and the Mazda CX-3.
Creta 1.5 Premium MT R409 900
Creta 1.5 Premium IVT R429 900
Creta 1.5 Executive IVT R469 900
Words: Gugu Masuku