Every weekend, I head out on a mandatory trip – one to visit my parents who live in Nashik. Because of this, our long-term Creta has become a frequent flyer on the NH 3, covering close to 400 kilometres in the process. Let me be honest, I have never been a big fan of Hyundai cars and when I first drove the petrol Creta, I didn’t appreciate it too much, especially because the suspension setup was way too soft for my liking. But thankfully, our long-termer is a diesel version, which gets a more firmer setup in comparison, and over the last few months of driving this SUV, I have developed a fondness for it.
What I really like about the Creta is just how comfortable it is to drive, given its size. The light clutch makes it almost effortless to drive in peak-hour traffic – something I experience daily, going from where I live in Chembur to office and back. Another bonus is that the steering is light to operate at parking speeds and the six-speed gearbox is slick to use. And even though there is never an opportunity to get past the fourth gear or fifth, I have no complaints.
Cabin refinement is noteworthy and it’s one aspect I have really come to appreciate, especially when crawling in traffic, even though this Creta runs on a diesel motor. The suspension on this SUV is great in the way it dampens and irons out potholes or any other undulations the road throws at it. This is most evident during my drives between Nashik and Mumbai where the highway is littered with potholes and rough sections, made worse thanks to the monsoons.
I must mention the electric-folding mirrors, and the window control that can be operated even after the car is switched off; very useful when I forget to fold the mirrors or roll up the windows.
This long-termer is the top-of-the-line SX (O), which is loaded with features, and looks stunning with the 17-inch alloy wheels that come as a standard fitment. You get leather seats, keyless entry and go, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with sat nav, Bluetooth connectivity, USB, aux and even video playback. Hyundai has never skimped on loading its cars with features and there is no doubt that this SUV too is packed to the brim. But it does have a few weak points. I have a grouse with the keyless entry feature. Although useful, it only works for the driver’s door or the boot, as these are the only two doors that have unlock buttons on them.
Another thing I don’t like is the rear-view mirror which is a basic day/night tilt mirror instead of an automatic dimmer which Hyundai surprisingly offers in its cheaper Elite i20.
The factory-fitted infotainment system is great and everything worked perfectly. I found the reverse camera to be very useful, especially with the trajectory lines for reference. But it could have been much better with a sharper video resolution.
The Creta has a fair number of positives that have made me overlook these minor flaws, and I think I’ll drive it around for a few thousand kilometres more. But for now, what I need to figure out is a way to keep the keys away from other Autocar staffers.