There is an adage: ‘where there’s a will, there is a relative’. It could easily apply to the auto industry in South Africa since auto marketers are very quick to identify and fill real (or perceived) gaps in the market in the never-ending quest for a sizable market share.
Over the years, several of these have been minor changes, with some even being introduced with great fanfare at extravagant launch events, giving a ride to what many motoring journo colleagues refer to as ‘door handle launches’.
All-new Grand Creta
However, the constantly changing local market opens gaps that need filling. The Hyundai Grand Creta occupies the spot left behind as the much larger new Tucson moved up the ladder.
Cost and comparison
On paper, the 2,0-litre Elite version at R539 900 appears more costly than its immediate rivals, such as the Volkswagen Taigo 1.0TSI R-Line and the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 1.5T GLS and the Mazda CX-30 2.0 Dynamic. Consider that Hyundai does not offer a long list of optional add-on features – what you see is what you get.
Infotainment, comfort, and safety
On the Elite version, those standard specification items include a 10,2-inch Supervision cluster and push-button starting along with a sunroof, automatic climate control, blue ambient lighting strips and curtains for the rear windows that slide out of the door panels.
A marvel of an interior and digital infotainment
The infotainment system, accessible through an 8-inch touch screen, consists of Apple’s CarPlay or Android Auto and wireless charging in the centre console. It also has front, mid, rear and boot-mounted USB ports, a tyre pressure monitoring system, electric driver seat adjustment, ventilated front seats and a full-size spare wheel.
With the rear seats down, the cargo area offers 1 670 cubic litres of space, and with all seatbacks up, 180 cubic litres of space behind the third row.
Standard safety equipment includes frontal and side crash bags for the driver and front passenger, two curtain bags and an Electronic Stability Program (ESP) for all versions.
Engine, power, and performance
Power is provided by a 2,0-litre Smartstream MPi engine, driving through a 6-speed automatic transmission, and generates 117 kW at 6 500 r/min with a peak torque output of 191 Nm delivered at 4 500 r/min.
It trundles from rest to 100 km/h in 10,7 seconds with a terminal velocity around the 190 km/h mark. However, it prefers to build momentum at a more leisurely pace, able to hold speed on the highway quite economically.
Fuel consumption during the test cycle averaged 8,9 l/100 km.
Dimensions and drivetrain
The Grand Creta Elite has 20 cm of ground clearance and rides on 18-inch wheels, so the view from the front seat is suitably commanding and practical when negotiating the bits of tarmac between the potholes on many of our roads.
It is 4 500 long and 1 790 mm wide, thus manoeuvring constricted parking spaces with ease assisted by the rear camera.
Overall, its road manners are acceptable, with some ‘push’ coming from entering a corner too quickly, but this is easily corrected, and there are no sudden surprises.
With that ground clearance, the Grand Creta is happy on reasonably unsurfaced roads, the 15 cm increase in wheelbase also providing good on (and off) road stability.
The suspension setup consisting of a MacPherson strut in front and a coupled torsion beam axle at the rear works well to keep the overall ride comfort pleasant.
|Engine||1,5-litre inline 4-cylinder|
|Top Speed||165 k/mh|
|Fuel Consumption||6,2 l/100km|
|CO2 Emissions||147 g/km|