What do you call an SUV that has sold over 5,00,000 units in less than four years and bagged a mind-boggling number of awards from a variety of experienced and acclaimed jurors? We think king of beasts is apt. No other sobriquet fits the Hyundai Creta better – such is its total domination of the SUV segment in India. Like the Hyundai Creta, its discerning buyers have also been men and women who are individualistic and have always chosen to not follow the herd.
In hindsight, the signs were always there. In the first eight months after its launch in 2015, the Hyundai Creta received a staggering 1,00,000 bookings. In May this year, it became the country’s bestselling SUV, selling over 9,000 units in a single month. That’s the thing with the Hyundai Creta – competition makes no difference to it. Like the lion, it forges its own path. The reasons for its suzerainty over the SUV segment are not too difficult to see. It’s been clear and apparent – and a clear and present danger to its competitors – all along.
The lion hunts alone
Four years ago, when the Hyundai Creta burst onto the scene, it was by far the most good-looking and capable SUV in the market. Similar to a lion’s appearance, its looks commanded respect. And that hasn’t changed in 2019 either. Thanks to periodic updates, the Hyundai Creta has a commanding road presence, thanks, in part, to a larger and bolder grille, cool-looking LED DRLs, and those large faux skid plates at both the front and the rear. Those 17-inch diamond-cut alloys add more heft to its good looks, and in case you weren’t aware, the Creta is also available with LED tail-lamps.
The Creta’s well-laid-out cabin is strikingly contemporary, and yet reassuringly familiar.
The Creta’s cabin has won fulsome praise from all quarters. Its well-thought-out layout is strikingly contemporary, and yet reassuringly familiar. User-friendliness and quality are at the core of the cabin design, and it shows. Take the dashboard for instance – it is clean and uncluttered and not overstyled. The Creta’s instrument cluster and satnav-equipped touchscreen infotainment system exude a cutting-edge, user-friendly vibe, and the latter is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. As with all Hyundais, there are numerous cup and bottle holders. Seats and space, you ask? Well-contoured and supportive; and the cabin, which is tastefully done, exudes an air of sophistication. Plus, the SUV’s 2,590mm wheelbase means there’s generous amounts of space – and legroom and headroom – all around. Being feature-rich is a Hyundai tradition, and the Creta stays true to form here with segment-first features such as ventilated seats and wireless charging. Other equipment includes rear parking sensors, a speed alert system, an electric sunroof, a powered driver’s seat, cruise control, and an auto-dimming, internal rear-view mirror.
Like the lion, the Creta is an apex predator, right at the top of the food chain. If the lion once roamed across Africa, Asia and Europe and adapted to different environments, the Hyundai Creta, too, is unfazed by what the roads or surroundings throw at it. It can be relaxed if you want it to be, until, like a lion, it is ready to charge. It aces city streets as well as the highways. A lot of that has to do with the engines that power it. Hyundai’s SUV is available with three engine and two transmission options: a 123hp, 1.6-litre petrol engine (with automatic and manual gearboxes), a 90hp, 1.4-litre diesel (mated to a 6-speed manual ‘box) and a 128hp, 1.6-litre diesel (with either a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission).
The one thing common to all engines is refinement and responsiveness. Love the sticky fuel? The Creta’s 1.6-litre diesel engine is a punchy beast and its tall gearing helps it conquer highways effortlessly. Hyundai’s other diesel, the 1.4-litre CRDI, which is mated to a 6-speed manual and is equipped with 90hp of firepower, is a hit when it comes to fuel economy as well. The Creta’s petrol motor has been especially appreciated for its responsiveness and brisk performance, and it tackles both urban roads and highways equally well.
So here you have an SUV that checks every box. Looks? Check. Capable, refined engines? Check. Classy interiors? Check. Ride? The Creta has an absorbent ride, and its robust suspension makes short work of bad roads. In fact, when it comes to bump absorption, it belongs to the top league.
All hail the king
Like the king of the jungle, the only competition a Hyundai Creta has is with itself. It looks contemporary and purposeful, is well-built and well-equipped, and has great powertrain options and space. As far as packages go, there is nothing to beat it. If you are looking for a moral in this jungle tale, it is this: when it comes to midsize SUVs, the Hyundai Creta roars loudest.
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