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

Holiday fun with Hyundai

December holidays are meant for family and fun. Often this also involves travelling and exploring, so having a comfortable, reliable, and well-specced vehicle in which to do so is important. After spending numerous kilometres in Hyundai’s new Creta, we are happy to report that it offers all that, and much more.

Exterior design

In a market where compact crossovers seem to be ruling the roost, the Creta sports a fresh new look that includes an imposing front grille and an attractive headlight design. The rear is equally attractive, with the Creta name in bold chrome letters taking pride of place under the brand logo. Viewed from the side, an attractive silver inset that runs from the A-pillar to the C-pillar and new 17-inch alloy wheels complete the picture.

On the inside

We found the interior to be neat and well laid out. There’s ample space, even for rear passengers and after many hours spent behind the wheel, the driver’s seat – with height adjustment – and the telescopic steering wheel ensured a very comfortable driving position.

The Executive model we had boasted black artificial leather seat trim and various other bells and whistles that include remote control buttons on the steering for the infotainment system, a trip computer and cruise control, and a wireless charging pad. Of course, there’s Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity too and the infotainment USB connection in the centre console, an extra 12V power socket, and an additional USB charging socket in the rear of the vehicle meant everyone’s phones remained charged and the roadtrip tunes kept pumping.

Under the bonnet

The Creta has a naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine with a 1 497cc displacement. In the Executive model this is linked to an automatic Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT), which is basically another name for CVT. With 84kW and 144Nm on tap the Creta is no rocket, but it holds its own in terms of acceleration, although the whining of the transmission as it searches for the correct gear can become intrusive. Gear changes can also be done manually though. Its fuel efficiency is a definite feather in the Creta’s cap. We managed an impressive average of around 6 litres/100km.

On the road

We spent very little time driving in urban conditions, mostly travelling on freeways, rural tar roads and gravel routes. The Creta performed admirably throughout, and we were very impressed with its ability to venture off the beaten track. This is mainly thanks to its 20cm ground clearance and 60-profile tyres on 17-inch rims. Muddy patches and water puddles proved to be no match for the Creta’s abilities as a compact crossover vehicle. Manoeuvring in tight spaces is made easy with the rear park assist sensors and camera, which displays its view on the infotainment system’s screen.

Verdict

The Creta 1.5 Executive IVT, with a price tag of R469 900, was a great December breakaway buddy. Come rain (mostly) or shine, it took whatever we threw at it in its stride. It swallowed a considerable amount of luggage (including a bunch of fishing rods, groceries, bedding, and other necessities) with ease and didn’t break the bank at the fuel pump. It’s a big thumbs up from us.

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