Hyundai is perhaps the only manufacturer which now understands the Indian market as well as their closest rival – Maruti Suzuki. The manufacturer has had a few failures too to its name, but it chooses to look at them, only as something which is inevitable in the process of learning. Hyundai has come a long way since it launched its first successful car – Santro and experienced its first, and perhaps least, unexpected failure - Getz.
The compact SUV – Creta, that has been launched at an introductory price is set to disrupt the market. The car is priced competitively and aimed squarely at king of the compact SUV segment - Duster. But does it really have, what takes to be winner?
The compact SUV market has grown steadily since the launch of EcoSport and forms one of the major portions of the market now, after entry-level hatchbacks and sedans. The sales number for compact SUVs in India are likely to quadruple to 970,000 vehicles by the year 2020, according to IHS Automotive, which expects that 550,000 of compact SUVs would be sold this year alone.
Why would it be winner?
Even before the car was not officially launched, Hyundai received 15,000 bookings and over 30,000 queries about the car and it speaks volumes about the eagerly awaiting prospective customers that were actually in line. The car’s styling seems inspired from the larger sibling from the same family – SantaFe. Unlike some of the cars that are already in the market (EcoSport) and about to be launched (S-Cross), the car has a proper SUV like stance and looks very well proportioned too.
The roof rails are mounted only the roof that slopes towards the rear which makes the car look very sporty along with the upward rising character lines present on the sides. The overall look of the car is clean, sharp and SUV like.
The trademark Fludic Styling from Hyundai works wonders in the interior department too. The dual tone interiors are functional and have an upmarket feel too. The car is well equipped and provides features like navigation system, coat hooks, rear camera with steering adaptive parking guidelines, ISOFIX etc. These are some of the features that are not present even on the top most variant of the Terrano which lies highest on the rung of the compact SUV ladder.
In terms of safety too, the car is way ahead of its rivals and offers 6 airbags with the top variant and features like ESC (Electronic Stability Program), VSM (Vehicle Stability Management), Hill assist, SBL (Static Bending Lights) etc. Among all these features, VSM and SBL are not present on any other car that competes with the Creta in this segment.
The Creta comes with three engine options – 1.6 litre petrol, 1.4 litre diesel and 1.6 litre diesel. Unlike all other cars which offer a five speed transmission with petrol engine, the Creta comes with a standard 6-speed gearbox across all variants. Infact, the automatic gearbox found on the higher capacity diesel motor too uses a 6 speed configuration.
If that’s not all, Hyundai is offering 3 years of unlimited warranty on the car – That should afford you complete peace of mind.
If there is something that we find missing, it is perhaps the lack of 4X4 transmission as an option even on the top most variant. With the Creta, you sort of get a car that's 80% in size of that SantaFe for spending almost 50% less amount of the money that you would have otherwise spent on the SantaFe. Hyundai has big plans for the Creta, since the demand of compact SUVs is on the rise globally, Hyundai also has plans to ship about 13,000 units outside India in 2015.
Hyundai has plans to offer an all wheel drive variant but it won’t come as yet. The car, even without the presence of an all wheel drive option would keep the competitors busy and make them think hard, of their next big move.