2020 Hyundai Creta Test Drive Review: Can it outdo the Kia Seltos?

In March 2020 Hyundai India launched the all-new second-generation Creta SUV. And quickly became the best selling car in India in the month of May 2020, amid the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown. We were able to test out the brand new Creta Turbo with the 1.4-litre 7-speed DCT automatic variant to see what it has to offer, what it's like on the road and to find the answer if it has what it takes to take on the Kia Seltos.

By:Updated: Jun 05, 2020 1:48 PM

Since its launch, the Hyundai Creta has been a roaring success and has topped the sales charts making it the compact SUV that every other carmaker wanted to have. Many companies tried but couldn’t dent the Creta’s success. Then its sibling came along in the form of the Kia Seltos in India aimed squarely at the Creta. Hence, Hyundai had to respond and the all-new Creta is their answer. Unlike its predecessor which had little to no competition, the key challenge for the 2020 Hyundai Creta is to outdo the Kia Seltos, which is at the top of its segment right now.

2020 Hyundai Creta – Design and Appearance

Now, the first thing you notice about the new Hyundai Creta is that it looks pretty much new. It has got little or almost no resemblance to the outgoing model and whether that’s a good thing or not depends on an individual’s choice because the biggest change with this Creta is that unlike the older model which was kind of pleasing and soothing on everyone’s eye, this one has got a bit of a polarizing design. The biggest change that you will notice upfront is of course, this massive grill and it has got lots of chrome that should keep many buyers happy. You also get great looking headlamps that are adequately bright in the dark and the LED DRL too looks the part.

2020 hyundai creta

The rest of the design upfront is also quite dynamic and sharp. The bonnet also features some character lines. Even in the lower part of the bumper, has a lot of sharp angles that give the Creta a sporty appeal. Now the same sporty appeal is carried over in profile with the muscular wheel arches, which gives the Creta a compact and kinetic stance. In addition, you get nice looking 17-inch alloy wheels with the top variant and with the lower ones you’ll get 16-inch ones.

Move along further towards the side and you get smart looking roof rails and of course, the body lines are again quite dynamic and sharp. The same kind of sharp creases continues at the rear as well where the tail lamps are quite striking ones. They look sharp and the LED cluster inside is quite dynamic and looks special in the dark. The tailgate has some very nice creases going across it. That, coupled with the lower part of the bumper and twin exhaust tips give the Creta a sportier feel than it had in the previous generation. For my personal taste, it does work but for some, as I said earlier, this is still a polarizing design.

2020 Hyundai Creta – Interiors and Features

Now, as I talked about the new 2020 Hyundai Creta design, which is polarizing and people could have different opinions about it, that isn’t the case with the interiors once you are inside the Creta. That’s a good thing because you will be spending a lot more time inside the cabin then seeing the design on the outside, and that means what you get is a package that is going to appeal to most people in my opinion. We drove the 1.4 litre turbo variant with DCT in which you get all-black interiors but depending on the variant you choose, you could have a dual coloured dashboard as well. You also get a nice and premium looking 10.25-inch infotainment screen in the center console and the good thing is it is slightly tilted towards the driver. The screen setup is quite nice and it sports good resolution and even under direct sunlight, the visibility is quite nice.

2020 Hyundai Creta touchscreen

The user interface is quite nice as well and comes with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, navigation and the best part is you get Hyundai’s BlueLink connectivity, which means like we have seen on the Venue earlier, you get an inbuilt SIM within the car and that means this is a fully connected vehicle and what that does is it allows you to do a lot of things, including tracking your vehicle’s, location, geo-fencing and tracking down the vehicle if it’s stolen. You can even remotely start/stop your vehicle or switch on the air conditioner and that is something that really sets the new Creta apart from many of its rivals. Further down in the centre console there’s a mobile wireless charging pad along with a fast-charging USB outlet, a 12-volt socket, and a normal USB outlet as well. So if you have multiple devices, keeping them charged on the go is not a problem for the new 2020 Hyundai Creta.

The cabin also features ventilated seats which really come as a blessing during the summer season. Talking about the seats, these themselves are quite comfortable with nice padding and a firm setting to it. Inside the new 2020 Hyundai Creta, you get a chunky steering wheel to hold with audio, MID, cruise control and telephony controls. Beyond that, the AC vents are quite nice and very different in terms of design. These get red accents too which look nice and go well with the sporting theme of the said variant. In terms of practical spacing, the door pockets are large enough to easily accommodate large 1-litre bottle and still be left with more space. Even on top of the phone when you put it on the charge, you can place your wallet.

The new 7-inch instrument cluster changes its graphical design on the basis of the mode selected and hence looks fresh and interesting. You get loads of information yet everything is spot on and very clear to read, which is not the case with many modern vehicles. As far as the rear seat is concerned, this is not a place where anyone should have any complaints. Now, the reason for that is because even after having the driver’s seat adjusted to my driving preference, I had a lot of legroom to spare. I could easily slide my feet under the driver’s seat and in terms of headroom, I really didn’t have any problem. In fact, even for people who are taller than me wouldn’t face an issue and my height for reference is 5 ft 8 inches.

Watch our 2020 Hyundai Creta video review:

The rear seat itself is quite nice and you get a nice backrest angle to it. In addition to this, you get really good pillows that give you very good support, especially if you’re going to be on a long drive in the rear seat of the new 2020 Hyundai Creta. There’s a nice cushioned armrest as well which gets dual cup holders. Just like the Seltos, you get an air purifier with a digital display that looks premium. The best part about this is that you can easily tinker around with some of its functions sitting from the rear seat itself. Other really nice bits about the new Creta include sun blinds which is a really good thing for comfort as well as privacy after you’ve had a long day. Apart from this, you also get a segment-first panoramic sunroof that you can access using voice control. The large sunroof looks the part and adds to the airiness of an already spacious cabin.

2020 Hyundai Creta – Engine performance

2020 Hyundai Creta engine

As far as the powertrain is concerned, the new 2020 Hyundai Creta is equipped with the same powertrain options as the Kia Seltos. The new Creta gets a 1.4 litre turbocharged engine with a DCT gearbox but unlike the Seltos, the Creta does not get a manual option with this engine. The engine develops 138 horsepower of peak power along with a healthy torque of 242 Nm. Now, that’s quite a lot of torque for this category of a compact SUV and the best thing about the torque is that it is delivered from quite low in the rev range so you get it between 1,500 and 3,200 rpm. This means that the driveability of this motor is quite nice and it doesn’t really need to be revved all the time to get performance from it. The transmission is quite impressive and the shift speed is quite nice and if you are in sports mode, the gearbox is quite eager to downshift.

2020 Hyundai Creta exteriors

Apart from that, if you want more control, you get segment-first paddle shifters which are really impressive and these allow you to take control of the gearbox and that means you can have a lot more fun with this impressive motor. As far as the refinement is concerned, this engine scores well. It is a refined motor and in most day to day conditions, you won’t even notice any sound from it. It’s only when you’re really revving the motor hard, the sound can get a little intrusive inside the cabin but beyond that, it’s a great motor which delivers quick off the line performance and the rolling in-gear performance is impressive too.

Reaching triple-digit or highway speeds is effortless and you can drive at triple-digit speeds effortlessly through the day and the motor will not complain. The 2020 Hyundai Creta also offers a naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre petrol engine with a manual or CVT gearbox and a 1.5-litre diesel unit with a manual and torque-convertor automatic gearbox.

2020 Hyundai Creta – Ride and Handling

2020 Hyundai Creta rear

For a car that has a potent powertrain combination, it’s quite important to have good handling and the new Creta is significantly better than the older model in this regard. The new Creta gets a suspension setup that’s slightly stiffer and firmer than the older model. It makes a great deal of difference to the way this vehicle handles. So now around corners, you can push the Creta a lot harder than you could push the older one. The straight line stability has also improved marginally and so has the stability under hard or panic braking so overall, it is a positive development. The ride quality might not be as plush as the older Creta but again, the difference is quite negligible and the new Hyundai Creta is still a very comfortable vehicle to be in. It can still soak in most of the road undulations and potholes quite nicely and filter them out. So, yes, a good balance between performance and comfort.

The other good thing in the new 2020 Hyundai Creta is that you get different driving modes and you get different modes for traction. There is a choice between Eco, Comfort and Sport. As the name suggests, Eco will change the settings to the point where the throttle response is lower and the engine will not feel as sprightly, but it’s not really a dull mode so you can use Eco mode even in daily city usage. Comfort is a good balance between all the traits on offer. Sport is the one you want to be in when you want to have fun and enjoy the performance. The gearbox holds on to the gears much longer in the Sport more and hence, you can have a lot of fun with that.

In a nutshell, if you are in the market with performance and driving pleasure being your key requirements then the new Creta with a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine is pretty much the best vehicle to go for in the compact SUV segment right now.

2020 Hyundai Creta India Price and Verdict

2020 Hyunadi creta

By now, we have clearly established that the new Creta is definitely is a lot better than the older version and it is better in almost every sense. It’s got more features, it’s more comfortable, it’s more modern, it’s more connected, and it’s much more refined and better to drive. Now, the big question that remains to be answered is can it take back the segment leadership and that too considering the fact that the Kia Seltos is running pretty strong in the segment right now. I personally think the new 2020 Hyundai Creta is a very good package. Whether it can beat the Seltos or not warrants for a one-to-one comparison, which we will do in a short while from now but for now, what I can tell you is that if you go for either of these two vehicles, you won’t be going wrong.

The only difference is that the Creta being a newer one has some more features than the Kia Seltos such as the paddle-shifters and the panoramic sunroof. Also, the DCT works slightly better in the Creta than the Seltos and at the same time, the Creta is also a bit more fun to drive. The Kia Seltos has a better-looking design and also the option of a manual gearbox with the turbocharged engine along with some features such as the 360-degree view and HUD. So the choice between these two will largely come down to personal design preferences and the preferences for the features that either of these two SUVs offer. That said, as far as the cabin is concerned, the new Hyundai Creta is pretty much spot on. In terms of pricing that starts at Rs 9.99 lakh (ex-showroom), the Creta is priced very competitively as well. The key takeaway from this article then is that if you’re looking for a premium and dynamic compact SUV that gives you the best of all worlds then the new 2020 Hyundai Creta is pretty much the perfect vehicle in its segment.

2020 Hyundai Creta Engine Specifications:

EnginePowerTorqueGearbox
1.5L Petrol115hp144Nm6-speed MT/CVT
1.4L Turbo Petrol140hp242Nm7-speed DCT
1.5L Diesel115hp250Nm6-speed MT/6-speed AT

 

2020 Hyundai Creta dimensions and detailed features:

DimensionsLength: 4,300mm
Width: 1,790mm
Height: 1 635mm
Wheelbase: 2,740mm
Fuel tank capacity: 50-litre
FeaturesLED Headlamps with LED DRLs
Panoramic Sunroof
7-inch digital instrument cluster
Ventilated Front Seats
Air Purifier
Ambient Lighting
10.25-inch Touchscreen with BlueLink
Safety FeaturesRear Disc Brakes
6 Airbags
Driver Rear View Monitor
Speed Alert System
Puddle Lamps
ABS with EBD
Traction Control
Vehicle Stability Management
Hill Start Assist Control
BlueLink FeaturesRemote Engine Start Stop
Vehicle Tracking
Voice Recognition
Voice Operated Sunroof
Smartwatch App Compatibility

 

New 2020 Hyundai Creta variant wise pricing:

VariantPrice (ex-showroom)
1.5L Petrol MT EXRs 9,99,000
1.5L Petrol MT SRs 11,72,000
1.5L Petrol MT SXRs 13,46,000
1.5L Petrol SXRs 14,94,000
1.5L Petrol SX(O)Rs 16,15,000
1.4L Turbo DCT SXRs 16,16,000
1.4L Turbo DCT SX(O)Rs 17,20,000
1.5L Diesel MT ERs 9,99,000
1.5L Diesel MT EXRs 11,49,000
1.5L Diesel MT SRs 12,77,000
1.5L Diesel MT SXRs 14,51,000
1.5L Diesel MT SX(O)Rs 15,79,000
1.5L Diesel SXRs 15,99,000
1.5L Diesel SX(O)Rs 17,20,000

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