What is it?
With the gap between diesel and petrol costs narrowing by the day, there’s a sharp swing in demand back to petrol-powered cars. And to cash in on this trend, Hyundai wants to make its petrol fleet even more attractive, which is why the Korean maker has launched the Creta 1.6 petrol with a six-speed automatic transmission. This variant also plugs the last gap in the wide Creta range and is aimed at urban dwellers with short commutes for which a diesel car doesn’t make sense.
Priced at nearly Rs 2 lakh cheaper than its diesel sibling, the petrol auto makes a strong case for itself. Available only in the SX+ variant, like the diesel, it misses on some features from the top-spec SX(O) version like side and curtain airbags, electronic stability control, hill start assist, leather seats etc. But, put the two automatics together, and it’s hard to make out the difference, until you press the start button.
What’s it like inside?
As mentioned earlier, the petrol auto is available only in the SX+ trim and though some of the goodies are missing, the cabin quality with the two-tone dashboard though, is still top notch and the buttons and knobs feel well built and long lasting. At the rear, the familiar story continues as the Creta has a wide rear bench which comfortably seats three abreast. The middle passenger too can go on for long hours as there is no centre tunnel getting in the way. Also, the rear AC vents don’t protrude giving the middle passenger vital extra inches for more legroom. Cabin insulation is good too and once you shut the doors you feel nicely isolated from the traffic.
What’s it like to drive?
Hyundai has given this petrol automatic the same 1.6-litre engine seen on the Verna. With 123hp and 150Nm of torque, it has an adequate amount of power. At city speeds, it ambles along effortlessly, and also it feels quite tractable on our traffic laden roads. The engine operates smoothly and works well in tandem with the six-speed auto ‘box. Speaking of which, this old-school unit is quite smooth in operation unless you intend to go ahead quickly. This is where the gearbox struggles a bit, as there’s a slight delay before downshifts and the relatively weak mid-range of this engine makes hard work of overtaking on highways. If you’re in a hurry, you will find yourself using the triptronic function to up your pace. The good thing is that in manual mode, the gearbox allows you to go all the way to the redline before upshifting, and this is useful when you need to pass a long row of trucks on the highway. The steering feels light at slow speeds and well-weighted as the pace increases but it does lack a bit of feedback. At high speeds, the ride does get slightly wallowy but the upside is a suspension that is supple and smoothens out sharp edges.
Should I buy one?
If your usage is primarily in the city, the Creta is one of the better options around. It’s easy to drive in traffic and fairly responsive too. The Creta’s strengths of good fit and finish, a spacious cabin and are carried over. No doubt, the petrol is more expensive on the pocket than the diesel, but it has still got a respectable 10.42kpl in the city and 13.82kpl on the highway. But, the higher running costs are offset by a nearly Rs 2 lakh price advantage over the diesel. Hence, if you’re daily runs are short and you want the convenience of an automatic to tackle the rough and tumble of city driving, the Creta petrol auto does tick the right boxes.
Hyundai Creta 1.4 diesel review