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Review: 2018 Hyundai Creta

Healthy competition often results in better products. Why else would Hyundai put its hot-selling SUV, the Creta, under the knife in what is only its third year of existence? But we aren’t complaining. Popularity of the Jeep Compass made the Korean carmaker get its tooling kit out and improve its “perfect SUV”, which brings us to the MY2018 car.

One look at the bright orange car and you’ll agree it looks a bit more mature, premium and butch than before. The bigger grille, the resculpted bumper, a skid plate and newer elements for the headlamps do give the Creta a more sporty, wider stance. Sadly, the designers couldn’t find a solution to the Creta’s odd-looking derriere; only re-profiled tail-lights, altered bumper design and a skid plate conclude the changes. Rounding off the exterior changes are the new diamond-cut alloys for the top variants.

There’s a similar story on the inside; subtle changes and the addition of new features keeps things interesting. Bigger changes are the addition of sunroof and power-adjust for the driver seat. Plus, there’s an auto dimming rear-view mirror and a new wireless charging pad too, which is a great feature if you have a compatible phone. Although the dashboard design and colours remain the same, instrument cluster and the touchscreen infotainment system get few tweaks. There’s also the AutoLink app, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, but no ventilated front seats, auto headlamps and wipers like in the new Verna.

As with any mid-life facelift, there’s nothing new in the Creta MY18 as far as the drivetrain goes. The 1.4-litre diesel is available only in manual trim, while the 1.6-litre petrol and diesel variants get both manual and automatic options. The car seen here is the 1.6 diesel manual SX (O), which according to Hyundai, is now 4 per cent more frugal than before. It doesn’t feel any different in the way it drives, which means its driveability continues to impress, both in the city and out on the highway. Even ride quality continues to impress – it is softly sprung compared to a Duster, but it also means bump absorption at urban speeds is as impressive as its well-composed high-speed manners. Another good news is that Hyundai has improved the braking efficiency on the Creta, offering better bite and stopping power.

Overall, this milder facelift has made the Creta even harder to resist if you’re in the market for a mid-size family SUV. It’s got a lot working for it – space, comfort, ride quality, driveability, efficiency and creature comfort. The only negatives we could point out are the few features it misses out on and that the automatic variants do not come with all the bells and whistles, yet. Which could be a put off for some. Apart from that, the Creta continues to get our thumbs up.

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