Hyundai Crete was born conservative. In 2017, the fight Jeep Renegade vs. Honda HR-V and Nissan Kicks had a few months in store when the Hyundai started showing up in dealerships. And this conservatism was certainly one of the elements that led him to always appear among the best sellers.
From an SUV that has changed little so far, the new Hyundai Creta entered the list of controversies of the year with its design that divides opinions and fills our comments area. More than that, the SUV evolved by changing the 1.6 aspirated by the 1.0 turbo in most versions and it was this set that we chose for our first test with the new generation of SUV.
If Hyundai really wanted to create an SUV that would get attention on the streets, it did. The front with the headlights divided into two parts is not something new in the market, as Citroën C4 Cactus and Fiat Toro already show on the streets, but the new Crete goes a little further. The Platinum version, at the top with the 1.0 turbo engine, has a grille highlighted with silver elements, creating a 3D effect. The headlights have projectors and a flaw: while in this price range it has a competitor already with LED headlights, Crete is limited to using the technology only in daytime running lights.
On the sides, Crete exchanges a few lines of the previous one for creases and lines purposely placed to highlight the wheel boxes and give an effect when the light hits. From the previous Crete, the new one has kept the front door glass with a square cut and, as our car is silver, it hides a gray appliqué that goes from the rear to the roof – with the car in dark colors, it appears more. The traditional black appliqués on the fenders and underside of the car exist in Crete, framing 17″ wheels of the Platinum version.
I left the rear last on purpose. I know design is subjective, but while the rest of Crete I’ve liked over the days, the rear…well, it’s the rear. The lanterns are divided as are the headlights, but the designers’ bet on geometric shapes transformed the look of Crete. I think I’ll get used to it one day…the same thing happened with HB20.
Inside, the environment has improved a lot. In design, Crete gained a look that gives the impression of a superior segment, with a multimedia center with a 10.25″ screen in this version and the instrument panel with another 7″ screen, in addition to the design of parts such as the outputs air and steering wheel with flat base. On the doors, an interesting finish for the speakers and, in general, a very interesting look – I would only change the color to brown or give the option of black, since it ends up being “interrupted” by the linings of the doors in black.
In materials, good quality rigid plastic, but there is no soft touch beyond where the arms rest on both the doors and the center console. This one actually got higher and, in the Platinum version, it keeps the electronic parking brake, auto hold, seat ventilation, driving mode selector and the activation of 360º cameras. We still have the induction charger (almost unused, since the multimedia calls for cables for mirroring), USB communication socket and another for fast recharging and automatic air conditioning in 1 zone with 3 operating modes.
Despite changing enough to be a new generation, the new Crete has not changed the platform or grown that much. It is now 4,300 mm in length, or 3 cm more, and 2,610 mm in wheelbase, or an extra 2 cm – height and width have not changed. However, the compact SUV already had a good internal space among its competitors. It was left to Hyundai engineers to make the Crete more comfortable.
Crete was already good at this. Good-sized seats and well-calibrated suspension stood out in the SUV and the new one puts an “extra point” in that judgment. The front seats gained new foam and shape, became more comfortable and the driver does not get tired even on longer journeys. On the back seat, there’s still good legroom, with an almost flat floor, shoulders and head, and comes with the air conditioning outlet, with a really cool design, and a USB port for recharging smartphones. Interesting point of Crete Platinum, a large panoramic sunroof that goes up to the heads of the rear occupants.
In the trunk, the low 9 liters is not as “important” as reducing the height of the compartment. I noticed that it was shallower, but also that there is a space for the spare tire that could be better used by Hyundai, since the wheel is of the temporary type, with a thinner tire. That’s still a good 422 liters.
The suspension deserves praise. Hyundai already had problems to find the best hit in this part, especially the first HB20, but they found the recipe. The new Crete filters what arrives to the occupants well and, despite not being exemplary in curves, it holds the roll of the body well considering a hit aimed at comfort. It rocks more than, say, a VW T-Cross at high speeds, but the electric steering communicates well with the driver, unlike the HB20 in the past.
In fact, if you didn’t like the look of the new Crete, you’ll like the way it walks. Hyundai replaced the 1.6 aspirated (123/130 hp and 16.0/16.5 kgfm) for the 1.0 turbo, much more modern, with 3 cylinders and direct injection. There are 120 hp and 17.5 kgfm of torque with any fuel (obviously less diesel…) and connected to the already good 6-speed automatic transmission. It may seem small, but even your pocket will appreciate this exchange.
The Crete 1.6 had the characteristic behavior of an aspirated engine: it asked for rotation to deliver power, with peak torque at 4,500 rpm and power at 6,000 rpm. The 1.0 turbo even sends its 120 hp in the same range as the 1.6, but delivers its 17.5 kgfm from 1,500 rpm and for a range that goes up to 4,000 rpm, like most low-displacement turbocharged engines.
In other words, he wakes up earlier and, when carried, will not appear to be suffering to carry his family and luggage. As a result, less acceleration and earlier gear changes save fuel. In our ethanol tests, the new Crete scored 8.5 km/liter in the city (with the help of the start stop that works well), better than the 7.7 km/liter the 1.6 had registered – the driving mode selector helped, with the Eco, Normal and Sport calibrations, which act on the accelerator, steering weight and gear changes. On the road, however, the 10.7 km/liter was worse than the 12.0 km/liter of the predecessor.
Better consumption, better performance also in measurements. The Hyundai Creta 1.0T accelerated from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.6 seconds, compared to the 13.2 s of the 1.6 – as a reference, the 2.0 aspirated before restyling registered 9.9 seconds. The restarts, in the 8-second range from 40 to 100 km/h and 80 to 120 km/h, were better than the 10.1 and 9.5 s, respectively, of the 1.6 aspirated, which results in better overtaking, for example.
Despite the wet track on the day of the test, which did not allow the recording of the correct brake numbers for comparisons, the new Crete improves the feeling of braking on a daily basis. An old observation I always made about Crete was in its brakes, with a pedal that took longer to start to actually actuate, for a well calibrated and sensitive set, besides receiving the discs in the rear in this new generation.
In such a long test, is the new Hyundai Creta Platinum perfect? Negative, dear internet commentator. As Toyota did with the Corolla Cross, Hyundai left important equipment reserved for the top of the line, here with the 2.0 aspirated. The Creta Platinum 1.0 turbo is indebted to competitors such as automatic emergency braking, full-LED headlights and a simple photochromic interior mirror. It has 360º cameras and the rearview cameras show the image on the instrument panel as if it were a “blind spot alert”, although it works better for maneuvers.
Hyundai Crete has improved a lot. Its look is controversial, but the sales figures show that, so far, it has been accepted and, on the streets, they are already starting to appear in good numbers. The compact SUV improved important points, kept others that helped it all these years, despite flaws in the equipment list – such as the absence of a simple illumination on the buttons on the electric windows… -, even more when it charges R$ 137,990. In the end, he’s a good guy, with a good heart. Beautiful? Maybe nice…
Photos: Mario Villaescusa (for Motor1.com)