The recently launched 2024 Hyundai Creta has upped the ante in the mid-size SUV space with its powerful new 1.5L turbo-petrol engine. Part of the automaker’s Kappa family of motors, this turbocharged unit makes 158hp and 253Nm, slotting the Creta at the top in terms of performance figures against rivals like Kia Seltos and Skoda Kushaq. We took the latest iteration of this popular compact SUV for a spin to find out if the new engine gives it the punch to match those numbers.
Settle into the spacious cabin, thumb the engine start button, and the motor settles into a smooth idle. Slot the gear lever into drive and the Creta moves forward in a progressive manner – the low-end torque of the turbo-petrol makes city driving a smooth affair. Dip deeper into the throttle and the engine responds eagerly, urge building consistently through the rev range thanks to the bolt-on turbo. There’s no sudden surge of power, just a seamless wave that has you traversing gaps in traffic and completing overtakes with ease.
Give it the beans on an open stretch of tarmac and the acceleration is properly rapid. The dash from 0-100kmph is dispatched in 9.5 seconds, which is hot hatch territory. Keep your foot pinned down and the Creta will top out at 190kmph. The 7-speed dual-clutch automatic works well too, executing quick shifts to keep the engine on the boil. For that additional sense of control, the paddle shifters work nicely when you want to take charge.
Power Meets Control
Hyundai has balanced out the sporty edge of the turbo-petrol with a pliant ride. Over gnarly patches of road, the suspension goes about absorbing bumps and ruts admirably. Body movements are controlled, and passengers won’t be tossed about when you attack potholes – unless you opt for the larger 17-inch wheels, which do firm up the ride. Pick up the pace through corners and the Creta displays predictable manners – reasonable grip, controlled body roll, and progressive understeer when pushed hard. The steering offers decent feedback but feels vague around the dead-ahead position.
Stop and Go
The Creta’s brakes have a sharp, responsive feel to them. Stomp on the middle pedal and this 1.6-tonne SUV scrubs speed without fuss – high speed stability is particularly impressive. ABS kicks in gently, retaining control admirably. For outright stopping power, the brakes could do with slightly more bite, but for regular driving they perform admirably.
Efficiency and Refinement
ARAI has certified the 1.5L turbo-petrol motor at 18.4kmpl, which is quite respectable given the performance on offer. Refinement levels are praiseworthy – the motor remains smooth and vibe-free across the RPM range, with a sporty snarl emerging when given the beans. Road and wind noise are well contained within the cabin too thanks to sound-deadening materials.
The new 1.5L turbo-petrol makes the Creta properly quick, expanding its appeal beyond family car territory. Drivers will enjoy the punchy performance while practicality hasn’t been compromised. And Hyundai has packaged this potently powered compact SUV smartly, with a comfortable ride and decent handling capabilities. Factor in the Creta’s lengthy features list and solid safety kit and this new turbo-petrol version has all the makings of another blockbuster for Hyundai.
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