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HYUNDAI GRAND CRETA

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HYUNDAI GRAND CRETA|

The Hyundai Creta’s reputation as one of the Korean carmaker’s most convincing value offerings has now become even more compelling with the addition of two seven-seater models dubbed the Grand Creta.

As household budgets come under increasing strain, getting more than you pay for when buying a car has become more challenging. Consequently, as most families have begun downsizing from larger, less economical vehicles, the demand for more compact, seven-seater SUVs has ballooned.

Hyundai’s response to this trend comes in the form of the new extended-wheelbase Grand Creta, the brand’s seventh SUV/crossover model range and its only compact seven-seater offering. 

LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING

Although based on the same platform as the standard-wheelbase Creta, the Grand Creta is a welcome evolution of the nameplate from a design point of view. Sporting an updated version of the Hyundai cascading grille and a longer, more assertive roofline than its five-seat sibling, it echoes the design of Hyundai’s flagship seven-seater Palisade.

Hyundai’s stretching of the Grand Creta by 200 mm (with a wheelbase increase of 150 mm) makes the car feel even roomier than the already sizeable Creta. In the back row – where legroom is all but a myth in some seven-seaters – the Grand Creta offers decent legroom that is ideal for kids but usable for adults. There are also dedicated ventilation and USB charging ports for all seat rows.

The range comprises five models with a choice of two engines, with only the entry Grand Creta 2.0 Executive offered with a manual gearbox. The grade-walk also includes two range-topping Elite spec versions, both with additional spec for added value.

Both grades come standard with an 8” touchscreen infotainment system for Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility, a four-spoke multifunction steering wheel, and a 10.2” Supervision cluster for the Elite spec cars. The two Elite models also get automatic climate control, colour-changing ambient interior lighting, a panoramic sunroof, handy fold-out trays behind the front seats, and sunblinds for the second-row passengers. The latter has a clever fold-out cup holder and convenient slot that holds an iPad upright.

Wireless smartphone charging, cruise control, and a rear-view monitor nicely round off the interior appointments.

POWER FOR THE FAMILY

The two available engine choices are a normally-aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol (117 kW and 191 Nm) and a 1.5-litre turbodiesel that offers 84 kW and 250 Nm of torque. The latter is available exclusively in automatic. On paper, the power figure seems unimpressive, but the sprightly diesel’s broad powerband and generous torque mean the driving experience is by no means muted. 

Overall, the road performance is great for what is, essentially, a baby people mover. The modern suspension does a fair job of balancing road-holding and comfort, while the cabin is quiet and comfortable. Faux leather is used in the interior of all models, and on the safety front, you get Isofix anchor points (it’s a family car, after all), six airbags, ABS with EBD, and stability control.

LAST WORD

Although it is easy to summarise the Grand Creta as a versatile, well-appointed hatch that straddles the B- and C-segments in size and price, we will spend more time evaluating it against some of its growing list of competitors in a later edition. In particular, the Grand Creta’s most inimitable rival, the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro. As the compact seven-seater segment grows exponentially, expect to see many more good-quality competitors enter the market soon.

Report by BERNIE HELLBERG JR | Images © HYUNDAI SOUTH AFRICA

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