Hyundai calls its all-new Creta ‘the perfect SUV’, which is a bold claim, especially since it competes in an extremely competitive swathe of the SUV market. It’s got all the right ingredients for sure: three engine options, manual and auto transmissions, a spacious, well-built cabin packed with equipment and, above all, proper SUV proportions – so essential in this segment. So, has Hyundai walked the talk? Any MasterChef contestant will tell you that it’s not just the best ingredients, but the right mix that serves up a winning recipe. Hence, the proof of this pudding is in the driving, which in this case is the full Autocar road test treatment.
The Creta’s urban-biased focus is evident in the way the suspension has been set up, which is on the softer side. The suspension works silently even on heavily rutted sections of road, and bump absorption too is right up there with some of the best riding cars in its class. It may not ride as flat as the Renault Duster, and on uneven surfaces, there’s a fair amount of vertical movement but it rarely becomes uncomfortable. Yes, sharp bumps filter through, and you hear the odd clunk from the suspension. It does feel a bit fragile but for the most part, especially at lower speeds, ride quality is excellent and Indian car buyers will like that.
The big surprise was the Creta’s steering, especially on the diesel variant. To begin with, it is light and easy to twirl, and what makes it better is the fact that it feels reasonably direct, with not as great a sense of vagueness around the straight-ahead position as you find in most Hyundai cars. Straight-line stability is good, and the steering weighs up nicely as you speed up too, but that weight does feel a bit artificial.
Unfortunately, the petrol Creta, with its lighter front, doesn’t inspire the same confidence as its diesel sibling. The steering, which seems to have been calibrated for the diesel, lacks weight and feels vague in comparison. As a result, you have to constantly make corrections even in a straight line at high speeds and the petrol doesn’t feel tied down to the road and further drives home the point that the Creta petrol is best used in urban confines.