I normally have a great time driving a Hyundai. There are always nice surprises under the hood and all different models have something unique. I had high expectations for the new Creta and when I saw it up close for the first time I quite liked it. There was certainly a surprise waiting for me to take on the road but this time I was not that happy with what I found. However, upon further reflection I realized there was a positive side that I had not considered.
As I said, the Creta is truly attractive on the outside. I am no fan of boxy cars but I think Hyundai came up with something very special. Even though it leans a bit more to the squared, straight-lined side, the overall result is appealing. The front has Hyundai’s characteristic grill, while the back resembles the Tucson and the Santa Fe. The sides and the top are what stand out from the new Creta. They give the crossover a straight look, complemented with a pair of roof rails. Sadly, these come instead of the panoramic roof we loved from the Santa Fe. The limited version we tested also includes chromed finishes in the grill and the door handles.
Inside, the Creta is quite cozy and well finished. The pleather seats are comfortable in the front and the back seat has enough leg room to sit throughout an entire road trip. The dashboard and the cluster are in line with Hyundai’s style, although there are a couple unique details. The dashboard is topped with a blue digital watch, while the AC system features an ornamental light that changes color according to the desired temperature. The infotainment system is very complete and everything is within reach for the driver. The software is relatively easy to handle and everything is centralized in the 7-inch touchscreen. Hyundai also included Android Auto for all technology lovers, coupled with a six-speaker audio system.
Now, we move onto the actual driving. The good thing is that you will love the Creta in the city. It handles perfectly and for a crossover it is quite small, so it fits easily in narrow streets. The rearview camera is clear enough and visibility is almost perfect. The only problem is its narrow rear windshield but you quickly get used to it.
The issue I had with the Hyundai is its highway performance. As you step on the accelerator, something becomes clear right away. The 1.6-liter engine revs up like crazy but the transmission fails to keep up. If you accelerate little by little there is absolutely no problem. In fact, the Creta has great uniformity as it reaches the next gear. Unfortunately, if you want to overtake someone, chances are you might need a moment for the powertrain to actually deliver the speed you want.
I was not very happy while experiencing this but then it occurred to me that the Creta would be excellent for first-time drivers. The engine is overly stable and it requires some effort to go past 100 km/h, i.e. the dream car for every nervous parent. Plus, it is safe to handle and it is considerably fuel efficient at 16.1 km/l. So, there you have it. If you are considering buying your first car and you are still nervous about driving fast, the new Hyundai is the way to go.