Test all limits in the Nissan Navara
Test all limits in the Nissan Navara

Hyundai Grand Creta Review:

Hyundai has started the first half of the year on a high note with the introduction of a multitude of new products. The new Grand Creta might look a bit familiar, and you might even mistake it for a facelift of the current Creta, but it is an entirely new product.

What are the major differences between the Creta and the Grand Creta? For starters, the Grand Creta is longer and taller than its sibling, which means that it is the only vehicle in its segment to have a third row of seats. Yes, you read that correctly. The Grand Creta is a compact crossover SUV with a whopping seven seats! So, one can argue that this is a new segment populated solely by this new player.

You’re not going to fit a full-grown adult in the third row, maybe for short trips to the shop, but that’s it. I think the third row is more suited to younger passengers, and they’ll love riding in the back as there are two USB ports and adjustable vents for the air-conditioning.

As for the rest of the interior, it is great. The top-end model has all the luxuries we’ve come to expect from a modern Hyundai. The interior is well equipped with ventilated front seats, a digital instrument cluster and Hyundai’s interesting new multifunction steering wheel. The central touchscreen infotainment system offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but it is important to note that the interface sans the screen mirroring is not very intuitive.

The interior of the Grand Creta walks the line between high end affordable. There are a lot of quality materials, but there are also a lot of hard surfaces. The two-tone white on black interior might not be to everyone’s taste, but I like it. It gives your everyday commuter car a bit of a classy feel.

In terms of exterior styling, the Grand Creta doesn’t look too shabby. The attractive front end is brought together very nicely by the large grille and the chrome pieces around it. The side profile is my favourite angle, and it makes the Grand Creta appear a lot larger than it actually is. It feels and looks like a proper seven-seater SUV, despite being a compact crossover at heart. As for the rear, I’m glad Hyundai opted for the new, more conventional taillight design because I’m not a fan of the funky design you find on the normal Creta. Overall, the Grand Creta is a good-looking car.

The Grand Creta, like most of its C- and B-segment South counterparts – including the original Creta – sits on the K2 platform. This front-wheel drive architecture can house a multitude of power units. In the case of the Grand Creta, you have a choice between a 2.0-litre Smartstream petrol engine and a 1.5 diesel unit. The petrol has a power output of 117kW and 191Nm, and the diesel produces 85kW and 250Nm. The entry-level model is available with a six-speed manual transmission, and the higher-end derivatives have a six-speed automatic gearbox. The diesel is available exclusively with the automatic gearbox.

We sampled the diesel variant and absolutely loved it. The 85kW power output might give you the impression that the Grand Creta is a slow car. However, as is the case with its cousin, the Kia Seltos, the torque gives it that necessary for accelerating. Also, like the Seltos, the Grand Creta loves being driven smoothly. It will reward you with genuinely impressive frugality. While on our trip, we managed a mind-boggling 5.2 litres/100km, sometimes even dipping under 5.0 litres/100km.

This is not at the expense of performance, though, because the diesel does make the Grand Creta feel nippy and eager when driving. And the K2 architecture, in tandem with the suspension, gives you great confidence when cruising along the open road and taking the gravel track.

To conclude, the new kid on the block not only holds its own, but might just change the game. In a world where crossover SUVs reign supreme, it just makes sense to make them more practical, and that’s exactly what Hyundai has done. Adding a third row of seats is a highly logical choice, and I think owners of the Grand Creta will use it to significant effect. It is a brilliant choice due to its fantastic frugality and good overall on-road performance.

*Hyundai Grand Creta 1.5 Diesel Elite AT: R559 900. The model range includes seven variants, priced from R449 900.

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