BIG WHERE IT COUNTS
Creta, currently the smallest of Hyundai’s people carriers (the sub-compact Kona/Kauai will be here soon), is no lightweight when it comes to earning its keep, having cornered around 33% of its particular market segment since being launched here last year.
It wasn’t really due for a facelift but the design studios decided that all family members needed nose jobs, eyelid tucks and butt lifts. Creta was therefore given a new cascading grille, LED daytime running lights, two-tone bumpers, new skid plate and fog lamps, redone roof rails and a subtly restyled rear.
They left the interior alone, so buyers can enjoy the familiar imitation leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel with satellite controls and six-speaker infotainment centre with 8” colour touchscreen. It’s ready for satnav; all you need is the SD card at R2 522.
Also left alone is the three-model product range featuring 1600 cc petrol or diesel engines, six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes and common trim at mid-range executive level.
This provides alloy wheels with 205/65R16 tyres and fully sized spare, ABS brakes with EBD, six airbags, projection headlamps with static bending function, fog lamps at both ends, automatically locking doors, manual air conditioner, follow-me lighting, powered windows all around with one-touch and anti-pinch for the driver, electric mirrors with indicator repeaters and folding function, reversing camera with beepers and a trip computer.
The petrol engine, offered with choice of manual or automatic transmission, is naturally aspirated and develops 90 kW/150 Nm. Claimed average fuel consumption numbers are 7.9 litres per 100 km (manual) and 8.4 l/100 km with the automatic.
The turbodiesel motor comes with automatic only and puts out 94 kW and 260 Nm. Combined cycle fuel consumption is said to be 7.4 l/100 km. Zero to 100 km/h sprint times are around 12 seconds for all versions and maximum speeds are between 165- and 179 km/h depending on configuration.
Practicalities include 402 litres of load volume behind the split-and-fold rear seats, speed hump-mocking ground clearance of 190 mm and a fairly tight turning circle of 10.6 metres. Braked towing capacity ranges from 900- to 1100 kg, also dependent on configuration. Fully grown back seat passengers can wallow in luxurious space, featuring a folding armrest with cupholders, and share the aircon via repeater vents in the centre console.
We drove one just over a year ago and noted: “…we took it out into agricultural country over a mix of gravel roads with small embedded stones (tooth rattling stuff in lesser vehicles) and long stretches of ‘washboard’.
“It soaked up whatever we aimed it at and while not quite as absorbent as really expensive air suspension, it coped well and remained on course all the time.”
Despite appearing rather small on paper, it’s actually quite big where it counts, performs more than adequately and will move a family of five plus luggage comfortably. Any more is probably wasteful.
1.6 Executive manual — R339 900
1.6 Executive automatic — R359 900
1.6 Executive diesel auto — R399 900
Warranty and service plans
Five years/150 000 km with roadside assistance plus additional powertrain warranty up to seven years/200 000 km. Included servicing is for five years and 90 000 km, at 15 000 km intervals.