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Old 30th June 2015, 15:51   #1
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Preview: Hyundai Creta

Mod Note: Our Creta Report has been taken live at this link. Please continue the discussion over on the new thread. Thanks!

We had previewed the Grand i10 before its launch. Similarly, Hyundai invited us to taste the soon to be launched Creta, an SUV that will battle the Renault Duster, Ford EcoSport, Nissan Terrano and Mahindra XUV500. This time however, the car wasn't camouflaged, although we weren't permitted to shoot any pictures.

This is only a preview. A full Team-BHP Official Review will follow once the SUV has been launched, and we drive it in real world conditions. The images here are provided by Hyundai.

Preview: Hyundai Creta-creta-7.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 23rd August 2015 at 15:37. Reason: Adding link to official review :)
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Old 30th June 2015, 15:51   #2
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What is the Creta?

Well, it's the Hyundai ix25 renamed for India. You will agree that the name is awkward, and Hyundai could've definitely thought up something better. The reason for the name change isn't known. My guess is, this has something to do with a change in nomenclature at the global level. Hyundai seems to be dropping the 'ix' series. For instance, the 3rd generation Hyundai Tucson gets the 'Tucson' badge again, unlike the 2nd generation which was called the ix35.

It's shocking how the 6 biggest car manufacturers are late to the million-rupee monocoque SUV craze in India. This is especially so for Hyundai & Maruti who usually have their finger on the pulse of the market. Nevertheless, the Creta is a very important product for the Koreans. Hyundai says that the SUV will be manufactured in India and exported globally (they haven't yet specified which countries). The Indian arm has pumped in 1,000 crore rupees on the Creta, and it will be the company's 10th model on sale.

The Indian ix25 looks exactly like the Chinese car, except for some small changes. As an example, we get a dosage of chrome at the front and rear on the higher variants. Lower variants parked at the factory had a black front grill and no chrome garnish above the rear number plate.

Preview: Hyundai Creta-creta-1.jpg

Preview: Hyundai Creta-creta-2.jpg

Preview: Hyundai Creta-creta-3.jpg

Size wise, the Creta is comparable to the Renault Duster, and not the smaller Ford EcoSport. Move over to the side and you know this is no sub-4 meter SUV. It almost feels like a shrunken Santa Fe! The Creta gets Hyundai's new Fluidic 2.0 design language, with a big Santa Fe-like triple slat grille dominating the front end, along with Santa Fe-like headlamps housing projectors & LED positioning lamps. Side-facing static bending lights like in the XUV500 will be offered too. The flat bonnet is quite large for an SUV of this size. Those black A-pillars look stylish ( la Maruti Swift) while the bottom part of the body has black cladding all around. At the rear, the smart horizontally laid-out tail lamps blend well with the overall design. The only thing I found odd & out of place was that ugly chrome garnish above the rear number plate. It doesn't gel with the car at all. Chrome is further seen on the door handles. Unlike the Chinese ix25, the Creta gets raised roof rails. A shark fin antenna sits at the end of the roof; it works for both, radio and GPS signals. The top SX(O) variant wears 215/60 tyres on 17" diamond cut alloys, while the lower variants ride on 205/65 R16 rubber.

Preview: Hyundai Creta-creta-4.jpg

The Hyundai Creta will be offered with 3 engine options, all shared with the Verna - one petrol engine (the familiar 121 BHP 1.6L) and two diesels (a 1.4L & the 126 BHP 1.6L). The 1.4 CRDi's power output wasn't mentioned, but it should be in the whereabouts of 89 BHP (same as the Verna & Elite i20). All 3 engines will be mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. Hyundai's trump card will be the 6-speed Automatic transmission that's going to be offered with the 1.6L diesel. That will make it the only Diesel Automatic SUV this side of the 25 lakh Rexton & Pajero Sport. The Scorpio AT has been discontinued, the XUV500 AT remains indefinitely delayed and Ford offers the EcoSport AT only with a 1.5L petrol. Premium customers love slushboxes and the Creta has a USP here. On the other hand, I'm perplexed as to why Hyundai won't offer a petrol AT. Petrol engines have been continuously increasing their market share in India. Hyundai already sells the 1.6L petrol with an AT in other cars and I'm hopeful of a correction in product strategy here. If you have the engine & transmission ready anyway, why not let the customer choose if it deserves a place in the showroom or not?

The only variant on display at this preview event was the 1.6L diesel. I must say, even the 1.6L CRDi engine is a comfortable fit in the engine bay. There is ample space under the hood. The engine sits low; considering the bonnet height, I thought it would be positioned higher. As with all other Hyundai diesels, the turbocharger is bolted on the backside of the block. The demo cars had a plastic engine shield.

Unfortunately, the Creta won't be coming with an AWD option. For now, Hyundai will be offering it in FWD only. A part-time AWD is surely on our wishlist. Sometime in the future, perhaps?

The suspension hardware is similar to its FWD competitors. McPherson strut layout at the front and a torsion beam rear. The suspension doesn't intrude into the boot, although the huge 17" spare wheel occupies nearly all the depth. The rubber bump stoppers, marked prominently in orange, are clearly visible on the rear suspension. The underbody is clean. There aren't any low hanging bits and everything is tucked in properly. The fuel tank is positioned ahead of the rear axle. Braking hardware is the staple disc brake front + drum brake rear. Hyundai is making this the norm for all cars below the Elantra. The new Verna & Elite i20 also lost the rear disc brakes of their predecessors. Sadly, Hyundai has chosen to follow market trends here, and not lead by example.

While the ix25's ground clearance is 183 mm, the exact specification for the Creta hasn't been shared yet. It will be at least as much, if not a little more (Indian versions are usually raised compared to their international counterparts). Even the i20 Active has 190 mm of ground clearance!

Hyundais have always been loaded with features and the Creta is no different. Among other things, you get leather seats, 7" touchscreen ICE, navigation, reversing camera, engine start / stop button, projector headlamps, 17" rims and electrically folding ORVMs. The safety kit is topnotch with the Creta SX(O) having 6 airbags, ESP & Hill-start assist. In particular, Hyundai's communications are focussing on the Creta's safety levels. It has an ultra-high tensile steel body structure with protection in all directions from 'ring-shaped frames'. Each pillar, including the center pillar, side frames and bottom are positioned in a ring-like layout, all connected. Hyundai says that the ring-structure brings a significant increase in body stiffness. In the Chinese NCAP tests, the ix25 scored the full 5 stars for safety.

Preview: Hyundai Creta-creta-5.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 1st July 2015 at 20:12.
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Old 30th June 2015, 15:51   #3
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The Creta gets keyless entry & go and a smart key shared with the Elite i20. The request sensor is only present on the driver's door though. Press it and simply walk into the SUV (ingress is easy).

Although the exteriors look upmarket and contemporary, it's when you sit inside the Creta that you are truly impressed. It's not just the clean design, but also the sheer quality of materials here. Fit & finish seem to be directly lifted from a segment above. This is an interior which won't look out of place even in the Santa Fe. A word of advice to Duster owners - don't check out this cabin. It might cause you heartburn .

No interior pictures have been shared by Hyundai. To give you a peek inside, I picked an image of the Chinese ix25 and mirrored it for our RHD orientation. The interior looks exactly like this! The Indian car gets black interiors with dark beige inserts that don't stretch all the way onto the doorpads. Silver highlights have been tastefully applied as well. A large infotainment system with a touchscreen sits prominently in the center of the dashboard, surrounded by long vertical air-con vents. There aren't too many buttons here. Right below are the climate control knobs. Getting used to the Creta's controls takes no time at all. The ergonomics are perfect and everything is where you expect it to be.

Preview: Hyundai Creta-hyundaiix25chinadealer1a.jpg
Pic Source

The 7" touchscreen infotainment system has 6-speakers, 1 GB of internal storage, navigation and a reversing camera display. The parking assist shows adaptive guidelines too. A camera mounted just above the rear number plate and 4 sensors help with visual & audible feedback. The infotainment system is nicely integrated with the dashboard and it looks fab. On the other hand, visibility in bright sunlight was poor. We will wait until we have a chance to play with its settings before arriving at a conclusive verdict.

Almost all the switchgear has been lifted from the common parts bin. Not a bad thing as Hyundai is the segment leader in terms of quality. The steering is superb to hold and feels very premium. Strangely, the steering didn't have reach adjustment (which the Elite i20 offers!!). The light & wiper stalks are the same as the Santa Fe. The black leather seats are large and comfortable. These seats wear perforated leather in the middle area. Nope, there is no adjustable lumbar support, nor the Elantra's cooling feature. Must say that the driver's seat height adjustment has a healthy range. You sit higher than in a tallboy hatchback (but certainly not like in a proper SUV). Similar to other Hyundai cars, only the driver's window gets auto up / down functionality.

To the steering's left is the engine start button. To the right is a small switch console which has an 'ESP / TC Off' button. All four doors get full-size bottle holders and enough space for other storage. The car has a total of four cup holders, two near the gear console and another pair on the rear armrest. There is no vanity mirror on the driver's sunvisor. The front passenger gets a mirror, but no illumination.

For the exterior size of the car, the rear seat is reasonably spacious. Even with the driver's seat adjusted for a 6 footer, I could comfortably sit on the back seat. This is easily amongst the roomiest small SUVs around. There are adjustable headrests for two passengers. The seat does feel like it's been modified for India. The ix25 I had a look at last month in China, didn't have a backrest that was reclined as much as in the Creta. This one is relaxed. Further, some of the ix25 reviews suggested limited rear headroom, yet that wasn't the case with the Creta. I'm 6'3" and had enough space left over my head. In terms of visibility, shorter passengers will find the outside view to be restricted. Not cool.

Unlike the Duster, the Creta's floor is nearly flat! Three people can squeeze onto the second row. The seatback is slightly raised in the middle, although it shouldn't be much of a concern. The back side of the center console has twin A/C vents for rear passengers. These vents can be individually adjusted, but the air volume control is common (can be used to shut airflow too). A charging point has been provided for the smartphones of rear occupants.

The full size 17" spare wheel eats into the boot space. The result is a high boot floor. Fold down the rear seat and it forms a flat bed. No 50:50 or 60:40 split for the 2nd row though. There are two metal hooks in the boot which can be used to strap luggage.

Last edited by Aditya : 1st July 2015 at 20:29.
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Old 30th June 2015, 15:51   #4
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Drive Experience

I drove the Creta 1.6L CRDi MT & AT, both. The test track was a short well-paved section in Hyundai's factory premises (picture below). It had 2 straights of approximately 350 meters each, a u-turn and a round skidpad. We managed a number of rounds in cars equipped with both transmissions.

These are merely initial impressions. A full driving report will follow once we test the Creta on regular roads:
Preview: Hyundai Creta-track.jpg

Let's cover the manual variant first. The Creta 1.6L has a muted idle with just slight vibrations. Sharp clatter is superbly controlled. Overall NVH levels are excellent and similar to the Verna / Elite i20. This is indeed one of the quietest SUVs around. The gearshift action again is familiar; a typical Hyundai gearbox with smooth shifts.

The gearing is tall and well spaced out. The 1.6L CRDi has a bit of lag till ~1,500 rpm. It still feels responsive low down, yet the real torque only starts showing up by 1,500 rpm, after which, it gradually becomes stronger till 1,800 rpm. From 1,800, power continues all the way to 4,200 rpm. The good part is that the torque delivery is linear, compared to the sudden violent surge that used to be a CRDi trademark (e.g. 1st-gen Verna and Getz CRDi). Taller gearing does compromise its driveability though. Don't expect the engine to be anywhere as tractable as the Duster 85 PS. Acceleration beyond this initial lag is strong and the Creta gets past 100 kph in no time. The 126 horses are evident in the way the SUV moves, making the Creta quicker than even the Duster 110. Despite the tall gearing, I could hear some wheelspin during aggressive upshifts. Another positive aspect is the revv-happy nature of the diesel. It doesn't feel stressed at 4,000 rpm. In comparison, the 8 valve Renault K9K and Ford EcoSport are nowhere as refined near the redline. Like most diesels, the engine starts losing punch beyond 4,000 rpm. Push it and the revv needle will see 5,000 rpm, albeit there's no point going all the way.

As I mentioned earlier, the 6-speed AT diesel variant will be a USP. The Automatic transmission gets a 'tiptronic' manual mode, but no paddle shifters or a 'Sport' mode. We had the SX variant, which didn't have ESP, 6 airbags (only 2 at the front) or 17" rims (205/65 R16 instead). It seems unlikely that the AT will be available in the SX(O) trim level. The 6-speed torque converter gearbox is the same unit as the Elantra's. It feels so much superior to the 4-speed AT in the Verna CRDi. Not only is the spread of gearing more practical, but it also feels quicker and more responsive. With an easy or moderate driving style, the slushbox upshifts early (as it should!) and keeps the power delivery lag free. Being a torque converter unit, the AT masks the engine's initial lag. Importantly, shift quality is very smooth. The gearshift logic appeared to be sorted with an easy driving style. Get aggressive and the gearbox can get confused from time to time. Push the accelerator pedal and it'll hold gears to the redline. I liked how the AT doesn't unnecessarily change gears during cornering (provided you convey your intentions using the A-Pedal & keep the input gradual and smooth). The shift times are obviously slower than a DSG's and it does feel old school. No point using the 'tiptronic' as manual gear changes are slow, with a delay before the gearbox responds to your input.

The road surface was clean. Thus, I had no chance to check out the ride quality or that infamous long wave bounce. For a tall, softly sprung SUV, body control with the ESP on was good. Pushing it harder got a lot of roll, with a heavy amount of lean (especially on the rear axle). This was definitely more than in the EcoSport or Duster. The handling felt predictable, but in no way are the dynamics engaging or fun. It's no Ford EcoSport in this department. The over-servo'ed steering is easy to use. While the EPS has gained weight (compared to earlier Hyundais), it's neither too quick, nor too direct.

The brakes performed as expected. No issues when braking from 100 kph. The pedal's soft feel is similar to that of the Verna.

Last edited by Aditya : 1st July 2015 at 20:12.
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Old 30th June 2015, 15:52   #5
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This is the Hyundai ix25 that I clicked in China last month. Comparing it to the Indian Creta, there aren't any major changes, just high doses of chrome everywhere.

Preview: Hyundai Creta-dsc00371.jpg

Preview: Hyundai Creta-dsc00372.jpg

Preview: Hyundai Creta-dsc00374.jpg

Scoop Shots:

The Creta has been spotted a number of times on Indian roads. Here are direct links to those posts:

1 (Hyundai ix25 Compact SUV caught testing in India. EDIT: Named the Creta)

2 (Hyundai ix25 Compact SUV caught testing in India. EDIT: Named the Creta)

3 (Hyundai ix25 Compact SUV caught testing in India. EDIT: Named the Creta)

4 (Hyundai ix25 Compact SUV caught testing in India. EDIT: Named the Creta)

5 (Hyundai ix25 Compact SUV caught testing in India. EDIT: Named the Creta)

6 (Hyundai ix25 Compact SUV caught testing in India. EDIT: Named the Creta)

Disclaimer: Hyundai invited Team-BHP for the Creta preview. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by Aditya : 1st July 2015 at 19:49.
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Old 30th June 2015, 16:15   #6
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re: Preview: Hyundai Creta

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to Official Reviews. Thanks for sharing!

Last edited by GTO : 30th June 2015 at 16:16.
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Old 30th June 2015, 16:34   #7
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re: Preview: Hyundai Creta

I almost missed the "preview" word and was amazed and excited at how quickly the "review" is out but it seems that Hyundai has not yet allowed any reviewers to reveal about the drive till now.

Nice to read about the short drive report, this car it seems is similar to Elite i20, neither will the normal customer be frustrated with its dynamics and nor will the enthusiasts be satisfied with it. I had expected Hyundai to stiffen the suspension and improve on dynamics further, wonder how good the stability is without ESP. Ecosport and Duster have very very good dynamics with Duster even having a superb ride quality but this Hyundai would set sales charts on fire, it has every thing that a normal Indian loves.
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Old 30th June 2015, 16:35   #8
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re: Preview: Hyundai Creta

A Nice preview!! Surprised why interiors pictures were not allowed? Maybe Indian editions will not have black interiors but biege. The affordable SUV segment truly started by Duster and Ecosport took to higher level. I still have a soft corner for the DUster external looks.
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Old 30th June 2015, 16:37   #9
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re: Preview: Hyundai Creta

Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
As I mentioned earlier, the 6-speed AT diesel variant will be a USP. The Automatic transmission gets a 'tiptronic' manual mode, but no paddle shifters or a 'Sport' mode. We had the SX variant which didn't have ESP, 6 airbags (only 2 at the front) or 17" rims (205/65 R16 instead). It seems unlikely that the AT will be available in the SX(O) trim level.
Great Preview!

So it seems Hyundai does not care the safety factor for AT customers. Now that is sad.

It is tough to get a diesel automatic below 20 lakhs which has ESP. Only Vento comes into the picture.
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Old 30th June 2015, 16:37   #10
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re: Preview: Hyundai Creta

nice preview

eagerly waiting for the launch and detailed review of the TBhp.

one question though, somewhere in the news i have read that 1.4L diesel will be cheaper than 1.6 L Petrol. Is it true??
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Old 30th June 2015, 16:42   #11
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re: Preview: Hyundai Creta

Nice Preview. I like the way this car looks.

Going by what has been seen till now, I believe this has the potential of becoming the Compact SUV to buy. It might not have the ride and handling combination of Duster/Ecosport or the rumored monstrous torque output of the upcoming S Cross. But with the quality on display and the high level of equipment clubbed with the super refined characteristics of the engine, I believe Hyundai has a winner in its hand.

I like it that Hyundai is not skimping on the interior quality in the name of cost cutting. By far the best quality inside out in its segments.
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Old 30th June 2015, 16:44   #12
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re: Preview: Hyundai Creta

Originally Posted by sandy0904 View Post
One question though, somewhere in the news i have read that 1.4L diesel will be cheaper than 1.6 L Petrol. Is it true??
We have shared all the info we had, nothing else will be shared by Hyundai till launch. So whatever else you hear might be just rumors.
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Old 30th June 2015, 16:51   #13
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re: Preview: Hyundai Creta

Thanks for the Excellent preview! Creta is surely a head turner in its segment. Got to wait and see how they price it to appeal to the masses. Will it taste success like the Verna fluidic when it was launched in spite of its mediocre handling manners? lets wait and find out!
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Old 30th June 2015, 16:54   #14
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re: Preview: Hyundai Creta

Looking at the NCAP video, during the side crash the car almost rolled over and managed to sit on top of the barrier sled.

This only means, the car is top heavy, which further means there could be chances of roll over accidents similar to the ecosport? Any views here ?

EuroNCAP video for Ecosport is here :

Last edited by groom : 30th June 2015 at 17:00. Reason: Added Ecosport video
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Old 30th June 2015, 16:57   #15
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re: Preview: Hyundai Creta

Your preview is as good as a review! : )
Looking forward to the full review after real world driving experience though :P. Thanks!
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