By Gordon Hall
When a manufacturer describes its latest offering as “ALL-NEW!” it’s usually a light lip and nose job with, perhaps, a new touchscreen. But this time there really is significant new content.
Let’s look at it: The previous Hyundai Creta range consisted of three models based on one specification level with two 1600 cc engines, petrol and diesel, a six-speed manual gearbox and a six-speed automatic.
Both boxes are carried over to the new line-up but that’s about it. Creta for 2021 boasts three brand-new engines, two new gearboxes, a new “entry-level” spec’ option, disc brakes for the back wheels, more safety equipment, a slight increase in size, 31 litres more luggage space and 40kg less body mass.
The facelift is striking; new split-level lights in the front and rear, new bumpers, less silver paint, black fender arch trims, black grille and a completely reworked interior. Still recognisable as a Creta, its new look is more subdued, almost formal, much neater.
Suspension was also carried over from previous models but that’s no hardship. The launch drive took in three stretches of gravel ranging in severity from plain old district road to tyre-shredding small stones and unavoidable potholes. We could hear and feel what was happening but the car remained consistently stable.
The new range consists of:
1. Creta 1.5 Premium m/t. This has the previous manual gearbox but the engine is new; 1497cc, 16-valve four-cylinder with multipoint injection, developing 84 kilowatts and 143Nm. Zero to 100 km/h takes 12.2 seconds, top speed is 170km/h and average fuel consumption is a claimed 6.5 l/100km,
2. Creta 1.5 Executive IVT. Same engine as above and the Intelligent Variable Transmission is also new. It’s more sophisticated than most of us are accustomed to, so we can’t wait to get our hands on a test unit. Acceleration and top speed are as per the manual version, while average fuel usage is claimed to be 6.3 l/100km,
3. Creta 1.5 diesel Executive a/t with the carried-over autobox. Another new engine tweaked for efficiency, it displaces 1493cc and produces 84kW with 250Nm, to sprint to 100 km/h in 11.7 seconds and top out at 173km/h. Combined cycle fuel consumption is given as 5.9 l/100km,
4. Creta 1.4 T-GDI Executive with seven-speed DCT. This power plant puts out 103kW and 242Nm. Zero to 100 in 9.7, top whack of 185 and combined cycle fuel usage of 7.2 l/100km. This is what we drove on the familiarisation route along freeways, byways and the gruesome gravel mentioned earlier. The engine spins like a turbine and the dual-clutch gearbox works brilliantly. Santa, you know where we live!
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The standard palette comprises seven colours and a couple of two-tone options, black over red or black over white, but only on Executive models. The price premium for these is R5000 with Hyundai listing them as separate models, making six in all, with the 1400 turbopetrol available only in two-tone.
Standard equipment at Premium level includes two airbags; 16” alloy wheels; tilt and reach adjustable steering wheel with remotes; fabric upholstery; cruise control; tyre pressure monitoring; ABS brakes with EBD, ESP and hill start assist; automatic halogen headlights with welcome and follow-me, and a trip computer.
Other kit includes an 8” touchscreen infotainment centre with voice control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; rear park assist and camera; manual air conditioner with extra vents for the back seat area and a 3.5” LCD cluster monitoring minor functions.
Executive models have six airbags, 17” alloy wheels, LED lights all around with foglamps in front, artificial leather upholstery, electrochromic rearview mirror, electrically folding wing mirrors, wireless phone charging and roof rails.
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Average price increases were kept to about R15 000 that, with all the extra kit, looks reasonable.
Information gathered at a manufacturer-sponsored press event:
Price range: R374 900 to R484 900;
Engine details, economy and performance: See text;
Warranty: 5 years, 150 000km with additional 2 years and 50 000km on drivetrain;
Roadside assistance: 7 years, 150 000km.
Ed’s note: In case you’re wondering about the headline, the name Creta was inspired by the Greek island of Crete, and also has associations with creativity. Beautiful Crete is renowned for its varied terrain.