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Hyundai Creta forging its path

BY RORY DALEY
Observer writer
daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, January 04, 2019

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As the junior sport utility vehicle (SUV) in the Hyundai line-up, the 2019 Creta takes a few cues from its older brothers and refines the key elements that made it work in the previous generation.

Externally, the first change is a switch in the visuals. The 2018 Creta was the young, fun, small, crossover with its own design language, taking a more angular style than its Hyundai SUV stablemates. The new version keeps that angularity past the B pillars. Up front, it's taken a switch with the largest Hyundai SUV, the Santa Fe. It inherits a front fascia similar to the mid-size Tucson, boasting projector headlights and lower daytime running light and fog lamp combinations, while the Santa Fe goes its own way appearance-wise. This leaves the Creta a blend of its original uniqueness and enough of the corporate styling that one knows what it is.

On the inside is where the new model has also shown its growth in many ways. There is more flair to the dashboard as it swoops to join the doors in a solid integrated manner. Material quality is par for the segment with key areas made soft to the touch, like the leather-wrapped steering wheel. All major functions are within reach and logically grouped keeping things from becoming a clutter of buttons. Seating is comfortable with higher trim levels offering more daring colour combinations. The infotainment is fast, clear and has all the expected connectivity. Control is bolstered by Hyundai's Supervision gauge cluster with its smaller screen and steering wheel-mounted buttons. Passengers, front and back, get their own USB ports. There's plenty of space for everyone and their gear to be comfortable as the expected SUV storage elements, like flexible seating arrangements due to the folding rear seats and cubby holes, abound.

Once all is ready to go, the Creta is able to handle whatever the average SUV buyer will throw at it. The raised ride height doesn't impact the sedan-like driving experience. This is the best of both worlds allowing competent cornering, keeping occupants isolated from road imperfections and the ability to handle light off-road duties. The 1.6-litre engine that powers the front wheels is a willing partner. For more go, one can slip the transmission into manual mode, but left to its own devices it's more than a match.

The 2019 Hyundai Creta builds on the attributes that made it a popular choice for the brand. The increases in size, refinement, and options continue to keep it competitive in the segment while giving the vehicle its own flavor in the line-up.

FINAL WORD

MODEL: 2019 Hyundai Creta ENGINE: 1.6-litre four cylinder — 123bhp/112lb/ft DRIVETRAIN: six-speed automatic/ front-wheel drive SUMMARY: Gets better with each mile as vehicle familiarity grows.


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