The good news continues, with a clutch and gear-shift action that are both incredibly light and smooth, in true Hyundai fashion. And while it’s not as silent as a petrol engine, it is very refined by diesel engine standards, with only a slight grumble emerging after about 3,500rpm. The suspension does feel stiffened up slightly compared to the turbo-petrol version – par for the course for many diesel variants to help cope with the heavier engine – but this hasn’t made things uncomfortable. You merely feel a bit more movement in the cabin over bumps, and overall the Creta’s ride comfort remains a strength. Driving dynamics, on the other hand, aren’t a strength, thanks to a lifeless steering and lots of body roll; if you’re after a keen driver’s car, you’re better off with a Kia Seltos.
What else is new on the 2020 Hyundai Creta diesel-manual?
A few points of note are that while this SX(O) retains the incredible equipment list that includes a panoramic sunroof, cooled front seats, wireless charging, a powered driver’s seat and a 10.25-inch touchscreen with connected car features, you do miss out on driving modes with this manual gearbox. Interestingly, while the turbo-petrol gets a sportier all-black colour scheme, the ‘standard’ beige and black theme with its brushed aluminium highlights has a far more premium appearance. Crucially, it does a better job of distracting you from the liberal use of hard, shiny plastics on the dashboard and doors. Similarly, the 17-inch wheels on this diesel are a nice two-tone chrome and black finish, which look far more upmarket than the dull grey ones on the turbo-petrol.
17-inch dual-tone alloy wheels look more upmarket than the ones on the turbo-petrol.
And a mention certainly has to be made of the back seat since this is a variant that’s likely to be chauffeur-driven. Hyundai has done a great job here, with generous cushioning, good thigh support, a well-judged backrest recline angle, a USB charging port and pillows that are strapped to the rear head-restraints.
Well cushioned and comfortable rear seats.
Should I buy the 2020 Hyundai Creta diesel-manual?
With the naturally-aspirated petrol covering the lower price points and the turbo-petrol handling the performance end of the spectrum, it’s correct to assume the diesel Creta is aimed at those looking for practicality and the lowest running costs. The good news is, while it does deliver those things, what you also get is a smooth and refined drive as well as a generous equipment list and an impressive rear seat experience. It’s not the most exciting to drive, and those looks are an acquired taste, but it certainly is versatile. In fact, the only thing that would make it more versatile would be an automatic gearbox – and hopefully that’s the variant we’ll drive next.