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HYUNDAI CRETA

According to several studies, as many as 85% of all car-buying decisions are influenced by women, who also happen to be one of the fastest growing car-buying consumer groups worldwide. Be that as it may, cynics may query whether quality decision-making goes hand in hand with quantity, but I’m about to put that question to rest. According to Stanley Anderson, Hyundai South Africa’s Sales and Operations Manager, roughly 68% of local owners of the Hyundai Creta are female. Well, that settles it – even more so now that the Creta has been given a striking new style makeover, improving on an already impressive car. 

Perhaps the most notable change to the facelifted Creta is just that – its “face”. Immediately recognisable as sharing styling cues from its bigger sibling, the Tucson, the combination of the parametric jewel pattern grille and light signature creates the same “pilot’s badge” type shape. 

This is apt as the Creta seemingly flies over both tar and dirt roads thanks to the addition of 17″ inch wheels (compared to the 16″ wheels of its predecessor), a best-in-class 20 cm ground clearance, and a lively 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, which never felt short on power. 

There were three derivatives available at launch – the 1.5 Premium MT, which is paired with a six-speed manual gearbox, and the 1.5 Premium IVT and 1.5 Executive IVT, which come with the virtually seamless gear changing of a six-speed automatic intelligent variable transmission. 

Back to the styling nips and tucks. Gone is the horizontal boot light from the old Creta, with a styling addition of the Creta model name in bold chrome letters under the Hyundai logo. The chrome detailing continues along the top of the side windows with a striking silver inset running from the A-pillar to the C-Pillar. 

Superior Interior

The interior has been reimagined in sophisticated black, with cloth seats in the Premium models and artificial leather in the Executive. The cockpit is clean and uncluttered with tasteful chrome accents adding interest to the door handles, multi-function steering wheel, and surrounding the air vents and gear lever. There is just the right balance of “twiddly” dials and buttons, and touch screen controls to make adjusting the AC and sound options easy while driving. 

Speaking of sound, the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity of the 8” infotainment system allows for the selection of several functions through voice commands, and pairs seamlessly with your smartphone. The Executive model boasts a wireless charging pad, and all models come with USB connectors and 12V power sockets for both the front and rear passengers – so no more fights over who gets to plug in first. Rear passengers also get the addition of a centre armrest with cup holders that folds down from the seat behind. 

Safety First

Ever safety aware, female buyers will undoubtedly take the Creta’s impressive safety features into consideration when opting to sign a purchase agreement for the new model. These include rear park sensors and rearview camera, ISOFIX child seat attachments, electronic stability control, a tyre pressure monitoring system, and driver and front passenger airbags (with side and curtain airbags in the Executive models). 

Starting from R409,900 for the 1.5 Premium manual, the new Creta comes in as more expensive than some of its competitors, including the VW T-Cross, Ford EcoSport and Mazda CX-3, but cheaper than the Kia Seltos. It also comes with a raft of standard specs as well as Hyundai’s hard-to-beat seven-year/200,000 km manufacturer’s warranty.

Last Word

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the new Creta. I appreciate the aesthetic nips and tucks, the ride and build quality, and the zippy responsiveness of this attractive cross-over. It certainly gets my female buyer stamp of approval and, based on comments from my fellow journalists on launch, from the male buying camp too. Win, win!

Report by Nicky Furniss | Images © Hyundai South Africa

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