2024 Hyundai Creta Facelift first drive review: Every engine option driven!
Things just got very serious in the mid-size SUV segment. They always do, when the Hyundai Creta gets an update. The 2024 Hyundai Creta is a facelift — a comprehensive one on the styling front, with smaller tweaks and upgrades to the interior. Facelift or generational change, when a new Creta arrives, everyone takes notice. Because not only did it make everyone realise that there’s money to be made in this segment, but it also sets the baseline expectation for everything else sold around it. The Creta ascended from being merely a car, to being a metric for the competition to be measured by. And that’s because Hyundai understood the customer, nailed the brief from the get-go and made it as ubiquitous as a vada-pav stall in Mumbai. The competition today is more intense than ever. The Skoda Kushaq, Volkswagen Taigun, Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara, Toyota Hyryder, Honda Elevate, Citroen C3 Aircross, MG Astor, Seltos facelift — they have all been launched in the four years since the Gen 2 Creta’s launch. And despite this, Creta sales were going strong. Now this update is here, to add some wind in its sails.
2024 Hyundai Creta Facelift styling updates
The real big update to this 2024 Creta is the styling, and it's far more palatable than before. The older styling really didn’t sit well with me. Reason enough not to get the car, personally. However, this update remedies that. The face is completely new, with clear links to the other SUVs in the range with its split headlamp design and strong DRL-line up top. The DRLs are striking in the flesh and the horizontal slats on the grille, the light bar and the strong bumper lend it a sense of width. There’s sequential indicators as well, which are very cool. The wheels stay 17-inchers, and in profile not much has changed. The rear tail lamps mimic the front DRLs in their design and look pretty neat. There’s new paint schemes on offer and the dark green metallic paint is lovely. Looks black in some light, green in others. It’s great to see Hyundai get braver with its paint offerings in this segment. Overall, the styling is a big win in my opinion. It isn’t polarising like before, seems to be universally accepted and looks objectively good too.
2024 Hyundai Creta Facelift interiors and features
The interior also gets a nip and tuck. Three features headline the occasion — the new digital instrument cluster, dual zone climate control and Level 2 ADAS. Nothing radical, but all very welcome touches. The digital cluster is straight out of the Alcazar — a neat looking unit that has clear dials, logically laid out info, and changes colours with the modes as you’d expect it to. Miles better than the semi digital, semi analogue unit from the older Creta. It's nicely resolved in the dash as well, with the infotainment screen and this new cluster flowing seamlessly from one to the other on this floating unit. Since the infotainment screen (with great touch sensitivity!) has moved higher up, the air vents move lower down with the new dual zone HVAC controls below that.
Something else that’s new is the trim colours — the Creta gets a new light / dark grey colour scheme on the dash and seats with copper accenting all over the place. It looks fresh for sure, particularly the copper accenting that stands out against this colour scheme. But the dark grey plastics don’t feel particularly expensive and I have a feeling the light grey on the seats will stain easily.
The Creta continues to be incredibly well-equipped with the Bose sound system, wireless phone charger, panoramic sunroof and tonnes of connected car features. I do wish it got wireless Apple CarPlay / Android Auto as well. A big miss for such a tech-laden car; you cannot even connect your phone via a USB-C cable, relying instead on the older USB-A.
In the rear, not much has changed. It continues to be a spacious, comfortable place to be. The only addition here are the new fluffy neck pillows, again taken from the Alcazar. The sunshades are a boon in the daytime and overall, this can be an SUV you look at for some backseat driving in.
2024 Hyundai Creta Facelift: New 1.5 turbo engine
The big news on the drivetrain front is the new 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine. Not all new, because we’ve driven it a fair bit now already on the Verna, Alcazar and even the Kia Seltos. It replaces the older 1.4-litre unit and gets better peak outputs — a total of 158bhp and 253Nm. One upping the Germans, mind you. The new engine certainly brings more enthusiasm to the package — floor it and you sense the torque steer, and you’ll see the ESP light flashing on the dash board. Once on boost, it picks up its skirt and runs. Performance is impressive and going by the sub 10sec 0-100kmph time we got on the Seltos, this shouldn’t be too far off that. The engine doesn’t sound particularly sporty or soulful when being revved out, but the performance more than makes up for that. Maybe we can expect a Creta N Line down the line with a slightly fruiter exhaust note. The DCT is a fuss free unit too. In the interest of longevity, you can’t launch it aggressively but that aside, it shows in shifts quickly and purposefully. The new drivetrain injects a deliberate and noticeable layer of enthusiasm to the Creta, which is very welcome.
2024 Hyundai Creta Facelift: 1.5 NA petrol engine
I also drove the 1.5 naturally aspirated engine, the one that will be bringing in the numbers for the Creta. The first thing that stood out about it was the refinement. At idle, you barely notice it’s on and even once you’re on the go, it is incredibly smooth and well resolved. Being a nat-asp engine, it doesn’t have that strong shove in the mid-range, but performance is adequate. Sure getting up to highway speeds takes a little longer, and quick overtakes need a bit more planning, but that’s the nature of all these nat-asp engines and the same holds true here. In terms of sheer outputs, it makes 113bhp and 144Nm, which is enough for most people, most of the time. If you aren’t ‘most’ people, fork up the cash and look at the diesel or turbo-petrol instead. The engine comes mated to a CVT, which is rather neatly calibrated as well. The rubber band effect isn’t too apparent and you get paddle shifters to access seven ‘steps’ to mimic a conventional automatic transmission. It all works quite well — use the left paddle to ‘downshift’ pick up the revs and slam in an overtake. Or upshift a couple of times, watch the revs drop and settle into a lazy cruise. The automatic certainly adds to the convenience factor and will appeal to urban buyers, no doubt.
2024 Hyundai Creta Facelift: 1.5 Diesel engine
Maruti and Hyundai will have you believe otherwise but fact of the matter is that diesels are still very popular and in fact half of all Creta sales are of the diesel powertrain. No surprise then that the 1.5-litre 4-cylinder oil burner continues, making the same 114bhp and 250Nm of torque (which is a drop from the pre-BS 6.2 figures of 128bhp and 260Nm). It gets the option of the 6-speed torque converter automatic and that is what we tested – a lovely powertrain combination with adequate performance (0-100kmph in around 12 seconds) and excellent fuel efficiency (21.8kmpl on the manual, 19.1kmpl on the automatic). The torque, just 3Nm shy of the turbo-petrol, makes it an excellent highway mile-muncher, relaxed at the expressway speed limit, the automatic quick to downshift and deliver a fast overtake, and the efficiency meaning it will be hours and hours before you have to stop for fuel. It is also a very refined unit, now getting the integrated starter generator for smoother stop-start (hence the excellent efficiency) and there are no vibrations to bother you, making a very strong case for the relevance and continued buyer enthusiasm for diesels.
2024 Hyundai Creta Facelift: Ride and handling
There are updates to the chassis front — more reinforcement and the use of HSS steel to improve safety, mainly. This could mean Hyundai targeting 5-star B-NCAP scores, but this has also leant a sense of robustness to the driving experience. The sensations that the Creta delivers has improved marginally — it feels more sophisticated, doesn’t feel as floaty and soft as before and rides with a composure that was absent in the erstwhile model. The Creta has always been focussed towards the comfort end of the ride/handling spectrum and that hasn’t changed. It just rides with more maturity, now. The Creta continues to ride on 17-inch wheels at the top end unlike the Seltos that were upsized to 18s on the X-Line and compromised on ride, but again this indicates the possibility of an N-Line more than anything else.
As for handling, the steering remains lacking in feel. It has an artificial weight in sport mode, but that doesn’t do much to help the feeling of connection. That said, it is accurate and the car is easy to place at speed. The roads of Rajasthan have long, sweeping bends more than they have switchbacks and the Creta is more than happy hustling along at highway speeds, putting lateral loads into the chassis. It may not be segment-best in terms of handling chops, but it can hold its own against the sportier competition. Worth noting is the fact that the Creta now gets rear discs as standard. Should improve braking distances compared to before.
2024 Hyundai Creta Facelift: Level 2 ADAS
One of the big updates, and where the Creta was lagging behind the competition, was the ADAS suite. It has gone straight to Level 2, with radar-enabled features including adaptive cruise control and rear cross traffic alert. It gets the usual sprinkling of front collision warning, front collision assist and lane departure warnings as well. These features don’t give you much by way of safety in the city but they are certainly useful at highway speeds, and something like adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist can help you one the many expressways coming up across the country. As we saw with the Verna and its 5-star G-NCAP safety rating, Hyundai has started taking safety very seriously and are investing time and money in that space. This is but another step in that direction. And of course all variants now get 6 airbags as standard.
2024 Hyundai Creta facelift verdict
Despite being nearly four years old, the Creta has been outselling its fresher competition month after month, averaging 14,000 to 15,000 units. That speaks volumes of the strength of the product. It was hard to criticise the old Creta — the only real criticism I would levy at it were the safety figures and it looks like Hyundai are quietly confident that the Creta will score 5 stars in the new B-NCAP crash tests (else they wouldn’t have an exoskeleton on display at the media test drives). If the safety factor has been sorted then it’s hard not to see this flying out of showrooms particularly when you add in the far better resolved styling of this facelift along with all the features on offer, not to mention the slight tweaks to the chassis and suspension adding a dose of robustness to the driving experience.
Prices for the Creta have been announced and the range starts with the MPI drivetrain, at Rs 10.99 lakh to Rs 18.69 lakh. The T-GDI engine gets but one top-end variant at Rs 19.99 lakh, while the diesels get a whole spread starting at Rs 12.44 lakh to Rs 18.73 lakh for the manuals, and the ATs from Rs 17.32 lakh to Rs 19.99 lakh (all introductory ex-showroom prices). At these prices, the Creta sits on par with the likes of the Seltos, and even undercuts the Elevate, Kushaq and Taigun at the bottom end. Great pricing, that should ensure you see many of these on the road.