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The Hyundai Creta is a lovely thing from inside and out, and it’s no wonder you see so many of them on the road. The quiet cabin and smooth highway ride make the Creta my road-trip shuttle, having already made as many as three trips to Goa over the past couple of months. It has also been my weapon of choice for numerous trips to Mumbai as well as my daily commute, thanks to its automatic gearbox which makes city driving a breeze.
Let me be honest, I have never been a big fan of Hyundai cars and when I drove the pre-facelift Creta, the suspension setup was way too soft for my liking. But I’m happy to report, that this automatic diesel version, which now gets a slightly firmer setup, has addressed that issue. The ride and handling feels a lot more secure now and I have developed a fondness for the Creta. What I really appreciate about the Creta is just how comfortable it is to drive, given its excellent dimensions. The torque converter gearbox may not be the quickest thing going around, but it gets the job done well enough. I would have liked the option of a Sport mode, but you can use the manual mode on the gear lever when you want to get a serious move on. That said, the 1.6 litre does provide more than adequate punch to keep triple-digit speeds on the highway, while being very responsive in urban conditions.
Another factor that makes me appreciate the Creta, especially in traffic, is the large infotainment system, which helps generate a premium feel in an otherwise plasticky cabin. In addition to size, the infotainment unit has great response to touch and is very intuitive to use. I would have liked the resolution on the reverse camera to be a bit better though, especially at night, where it can be a little difficult to look at what’s behind.
Cabin refinement is pretty good and it’s one aspect Hyundai have really worked on, on all their newer cars. Despite some spirited driving and regular use on not-so-good road surfaces, the cabin has shown little or no sign of wear, with no audible rattles or squeaks.
A visit for a scheduled service included an oil change, brake pad change, AC and oil filter changes, along with tyre rotation, wheel alignment and balancing, which cost just short of `7000, showing that the Creta is pretty inexpensive to run as well. The work carried out at service definitely improved the way the car drives. The service station also returned the car to us within 24 hours, a great turn around time considering the amount of work carried out.
The Creta has many positives that have made me overlook the minor flaws (including the bright orange paint) it has and the lack of driving emotion it generates. It’s a hassle-free SUV, which has made it a popular car ever since its launch. It’s also why you’ll still find the Creta making it to the best-seller list every month and I think I’ll drive it around for a few thousand kilometres without having much to fuss about at all.