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Fairly new to look at for sure. While the overall silhouette hasn’t changed, the face certainly has. Thanks to that new cascade grille that is larger than before and therefore more imposing. The bi-functional LED headlamps are new too and give the Creta’s visage for 2018 a dose of contemporariness. At the rear the new split tail lamps don’t exactly give things a radical new twist but it does liven things up. The skid plates are new too, and, if you manage to get a bird’s eye view of the new Creta, then you’ll also see a sunroof on top of the car.
The electric sunroof is a new addition to the Creta’s already rather expansive list of creature comforts. But it isn’t the only one. There are more. Hyundai has included little bits and pieces that will make the owners’ lives easier. For instance, the little tray in front of the twin 12V power sockets in the centre stack now doubles up as a wireless charger for mobile phones that are capable of wireless charging. The second 12V socket now gets an attached adaptor with a USB port. If you’re as forgetful as I am then you’ll appreciate this little touch because it removes the pressure of having to remember to carry a plug for the 12V socket. The 2018 Hyundai Creta also gets electrical adjustment for the driver’s seat. Given how well equipped the Creta has always been, the addition of these bits makes the 2018 model even more value packed than it used to be.
Mechanically, the 2018 Hyundai Creta is pretty much the same as the 2017 Hyundai Creta. Or the 2016, or 2015. This is a clear case of a midlife update and not a generation upgrade. Naturally, neither the platform nor the engine options have been tampered with. As a result, powertrain options continue to comprise one petrol variant equipped with a 1.6-litre dual VTVT four-cylinder unit and two diesel variants. The lower variants of the diesel is powered by a 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel but what we have here is the top-of-the-line variant powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine.
The 1582cc straight four is mated to a slick shifting six-speed manual gearbox and puts out 126bhp and 260Nm of peak torque. What is more important than the outright power is the way the torque has been spread from 1500rpm to 3000rpm. The end result is a creamy linear delivery that makes it very easy to drive the Creta in all kinds of driving environments.
First and foremost, thanks to the torque being available at such low revs means that it masks quite a bit of the engine’s turbo lag. Second, the linear delivery means you have grunt everywhere. Third, the spread of torque equates to fewer gear changes. As a result you can potter through town or overtake on highways without constantly fiddling with the ‘box. You just need a dab of the throttle to get going.
From the start, the 2018 Creta feels a tad firmer than its predecessor. The wallow of a soft suspension setup endemic to SUVs, feels better controlled. There’s no official communication from Hyundai to suggest that any work has been done to the suspension, but whatever their R&D guys have done works. Over undulations the SUV feels more poised and rides much better than before. Even around turns, the 2018 Creta feels more composed than the earlier one. There’s still a decent amount of body roll to contend with but as you change directions on a set of twisties, you realise that the transfer of weight from the left to the right is not uncomfortable. At the same time, this slight firmness has not had any negative impact on the Creta’s ride quality, which continues to be supple and absorbing.
There is no doubt about the fact that the 2018 Hyundai Creta is an improved product overall. Not radically improved but improved in those little, virtually imperceptible ways that make life a whole lot better. Certainly worth your Rs 15.03 lakh for the range-topping SX(O) variant. All sorted then? Not quite. One question still remains unanswered. Why on earth would Hyundai not give the Creta’s rear seat a 60:40 split?
Here’s our video review of the 2018 Hyundai Creta: