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Don’t ask a journalist what car to buy, find out what car he has put his money on. When Adil buys an Innova and uprgades to a Crysta you know it’s a must-buy, when Sirish rallied a Polo almost everybody in the INRC followed suit, and now there’s the Creta of which there are a dozen in my immediate family.
The other weekend at our farm, the porch looked like a Hyundai dealership – my dad-in-law’s blue-bordering-on-grey Creta, my uncle’s black Creta (the best colour for it, if you ask me), my brother’s white Creta, my cousin’s blazing red Creta that suits her personality and my long term silver Creta (the first of the lot). And this is at a farmhouse that’s limited by only four bedrooms, else there’d be more! The boys at evo India are always asked to recommend cars to friends, readers and random acquaintances (“You work for a car mag? What car should I buy?”) but the car they’ve been recommending to family (people who’d grab their necks if anything went wrong) is the Creta. And they’re not wrong.
I’ve been driving TN 21 BZ 0769 for 19 months now and despite the boys borrowing it all the time, despite the treks to our farm loaded to the gills with parts for the ATV and feed for the bulls, despite drives to and from Leh, despite being loaned to journalists from other auto magazines, this Creta hasn’t skipped a beat. Moving up from my cherry red i10, I initially thought the Creta would be too big for the city commute but it took me less than a day to get used to it – it’s a big “small” car! The ease of driving an automatic is unmatched and the seating position is so comfortable that it’s very relaxing to drive. Light but not too light steering, well sorted ride without compromising handling and an eager motor that requires tanking up once every two weeks.
Problem areas? The wipers seem to be made of poor quality and this is the second pair that has literally disintegrated. Everytime you start the car you have to hit the ‘Agree’ button on the touchscreen to activate it, and the touchscreen itself isn’t very responsive or quick so you end up jabbing the screen a couple of times in frustration. The Bluetooth takes forever to pair. There’s no distance to empty readout for the fuel. The doors don’t autolock, a serious issue for us whose handbags and shopping bags are so visible on the passenger seat. And if the Grand i10 can get automatic headlights and mirrors that fold in when you lock it, why can’t the Creta? Aniruddha also points out that on the highway the Duster is more planted and stable – and he’s right – but the flip side is in the city when you’re battling horrendous traffic snarls, the Creta is so much better. No wonder the Creta unanimously won the Indian Car of the Year two years ago, and I suspect if it were eligible to defend its crown, life would have become really difficult for the reigning ICOTY.
Here at evo India, as with any magazine, we have a problem of plenty – we change our cars more often than our shoes, every day there’s a new car that comes along that needs testing and goes into our recommendation engine. But just last week the publisher of our new lifestyle magazine, URBANE, asked for a recommendation and his Creta has now taken the place of mine in GTO towers. For a car to find favour – strong favour! – even after two years? Now that’s as rare as an auto journalist buying a car.
Date acquired: November 2015
Duration of test: 19 months
Total mileage: 45,465km
Mileage this month: 2,287km
Overall kmpl: 13.8kmpl
Costs this month: Nil