Hyundai Creta: Road Test Review

Saneet Dsilva
For those looking for practicality and efficiency

When launched back in January, the biggest talking point of the facelifted Hyundai Creta was its new 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine paired to the 7-speed DCT and 6-speed manual transmission. However, there’s no escaping the fact that the diesel manual variant has been the backbone of Creta sales since introduction. Does this relatively humble powertrain still deliver the goods and make it a worthy buy? We drove the Creta 1.5 diesel MT SX (O) variant to find out just that.

It is interesting to note that despite the intense competition in the premium mid-size SUV segment, Hyundai stands out as the sole brand offering an SUV equipped with a diesel manual powertrain combo in its top-tier variants offering a larger choice to the customer. The SX (O) trim is similar to the 1.5 turbocharged petrol Creta Ed drove back in January so to know more about the design, interiors and features, you can check out his review here.

The Creta’s 1.5-litre CRDi diesel powertrain is a tried-and-tested mill, delivering 116PS and 250Nm, mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. It is known to be the jack of all trades, offering adequate performance and impressive fuel economy. These traits have been carried over along with better refinement. The demeanour of the engine immediately makes an impression by displaying a notable absence of the typical diesel clatter or judder at startup becoming vocal only close to the redline.This makes it quite the relaxing intercity cruiser. The powertrain impresses in other areas, like the ample low-end torque which makes overtaking manoeuvres in congested city traffic an effortless affair.

I have always preferred manual gearboxes primarily for its ability to be able to skip gears while downshifting or upshifting. While this is also achievable in a DCT with paddle shifters, the manual transmission offers a quicker transition from 5th to 3rd gear. Achieving that perfect gear shift is very satisfying, with the Creta being forgiving even amidst imperfect executions. The low-end torque ensures seamless acceleration from low speeds, even in third gear, even when met with a heavy foot.
While this is no sporty diesel, it revs up swiftly accompanied by precise and positive gear changes. The clutch pedal feels quiterev light for a diesel, helpful in navigating stop-and-go traffic situations. Its fuel-efficiency too, returning an impressive 14kmpl in stop-and-go city traffic. Cruising at 90kmph in 6th gear yielded an impressive fuel economy of over 20kmpl.

The Creta’s diesel variants feature a softer suspension tune further complemented by 16-inch wheels shod with high-profile tyres. These help the Creta tackle potholes and speed bumps without discomfort to the passenger. It’s worth noting that this suspension setup offers a more supple ride compared to its turbo petrol counterparts. Furthermore, the effortlessly light steering makes light work of navigating traffic and city bylanes, contributing to an overall relaxing driving experience in the city. Despite the softer suspension tune, the diesel Creta feels composed at highway speeds, ensuring a comfortable ride and exhibiting stable dynamics in corners.

To sum it up, the Hyundai Creta, with its 1.5-litre diesel engine and 6-speed manual transmission, presents itself as a compelling entryway in the mid-size SUV segment, with prices starting at Rs 12.45 lakhs for the diesel MT powertrain variants and topping off at Rs 18.89 lakhs for the Creta diesel MT SX (O) variant we are driving. With refined performance, commendable fuel efficiency, and a comfortable ride, it stands out among its competitors by being an all-rounder family SUV. The integration of technology, coupled with a relaxed driving experience, ensures a soothing experience both in urban landscapes and on open highways. For those seeking a combination of efficiency, performance, and calm driving pleasure, the Hyundai Creta diesel MT emerges as a worthy contender in the segment.

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