The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘domination’ as ‘supremacy or preeminence over another’, or ‘exercise of mastery or ruling power’. There are several things that immediately come to mind when we consider the word domination: a lion swaggering through a dense jungle, West Indies cricketers of the 1970s and ‘80s riding roughshod over every other team in the world, and closer home, the Hyundai Creta’s unparalleled reign in its segment. If zodiac signs applied to cars, the Creta would be a Leo.
The Creta’s dominance in its segment has grown with each passing year, ever since its launch in 2015. And all you need to do to get an idea of its sheer popularity is to simply look around at the number of Cretas that have either been snapped up by customers, or are being eyed by potential buyers. In all, over 5,00,000 Cretas have been sold in the last four years – and that is a staggering number. If you want to know why, all you’ve got to do is get inside Hyundai’s champion of an SUV and thumb the starter button.
Watch me Roar
Like the lion, the Creta has an arresting presence. It’s big and bold and yet classy, and those 17-inch alloys, LED DRLs and faux skid plates add the right kind of touches to a handsome car. The SUV’s visual appeal is complemented by its powerful, refined range of engines. (Hyundai’s SUV is available with three engine and two transmission options.)
Take, for instance, the 1.6-litre diesel engine, which is a favourite among many people. The 128hp, 1,582cc CRDi VGT engine is a quiet customer, but out on the open road, it helps the Creta stalk its prey (read: slow-moving traffic) with a leonine menace. And, like the highly adaptable lion, it performs equally well in diverse driving environments. The Creta’s dominance (and driveability) on roads is thanks to the 260Nm of peak torque the engine generates. There’s torque available at low revs and its power delivery is linear, which means the Creta can compress distances with ease and simply thunder past traffic.
The two other engines in the range are similarly well-equipped and very versatile. In a way, one could think of the range of engines that power the Creta as the big, brave heart of a lion, helping it rule the road. But the engine, however significant, is one part of the success story that makes the Creta what it is. The SUV’s ride quality is sterling as well, and it has consistently proven to be more than a match for the worst of roads in both, our cities and highways. Obviously, being an SUV, it won’t handle like a sportscar, but Hyundai’s engineers have worked on the suspension to make the Creta a safe handler. As importantly, if you are going to spend most of your time in urban India, the car’s light steering will be a boon. The steering setup is spot on and adapts brilliantly to a variety of different driving environments.
Inside the Beast
Hyundai has gained a reputation as the company behind feature-rich cars, and the Creta is another testament to its ability to load an automobile to the gills. The SUV’s cabin actually incorporates things that make both, the daily commute and the out-of-town holiday more enjoyable experiences. The kit on the latest Cretas includes an electric sunroof, a powered driver’s seat, cruise control, wireless phone charging and an auto-dimming internal rear-view mirror. Plus, there’s also a smart keyband (cum fitness band) that does away with the need for a physical key while also tracking the calories you’ve burnt and the steps you’ve taken on any given day.
The Creta’s light steering is a boon in urban environments.
The Creta’s instrument cluster and touchscreen infotainment system have also been upgraded. The SUV’s infotainment unit is among the best setups around. It is loaded with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and works perfectly, with no lag whatsoever. Other tech goodies include the manufacturer’s new Autolink App that keeps track of driving patterns, checks vehicle health, and can be used to avail roadside assistance and make service requests. The features Hyundai loads the Creta with are always underscored by a great attention to detail. The cabin is elegant and sports quality material that won’t look out of place in more expensive cars.
Always On the hunt
You’d think the secret to the Hyundai Creta’s success is the right combination of engines, creature comforts, and, of course, reliability. Now, while a lot of that may be true, the reason the Creta has been the king of the jungle for so long is because the Korean manufacturer has always been on the ball when it comes to keeping the Creta way ahead of the competition. Regardless of whether one is talking about looks, features, or mechanicals. Regular updates, several of which connect the car to its drivers, and the much envied Hyundai reliability and service network, mean that the Creta is always on every potential SUV buyer’s mind. So, when you are this good, competition simply doesn’t matter. Simply put, the Hyundai Creta is king.
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