Hyundai’s new Creta compact SUV gets a mega refresh and it’s better than before

• Hyundai has refreshed its second-generation Creta compact SUV.

.• Not only does it look better than before, but its driving dynamics are also improved.
• The range has been restructured and is even more affordable than the 2020 model range.

Just when you think Hyundai couldn’t make its existing cars even better, they prove us wrong. Although their styling is more edgy and maybe even futuristic, Hyundai’s Creta has undergone a mega makeover with a full list of standard features. It’s no wonder that the Korean automaker’s compact SUV remains a popular choice in a rather competitive segment of our local market.

The refreshed Creta arrives just months after the introduction of the Grand Creta, Hyundai’s larger seven-seat version of the model. The Creta compact SUV debuted in South Africa in 2017, and the first-generation model was an instant hit, despite its acquired taste for style. It then received a minor facelift the following year, followed by an all-new second-generation model in late 2020.

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Hyundai Creta 2022

What’s impressive is the fact that the new streamlined model range is even more affordable than the range previously introduced in 2020.

Already, the new model has boosted Hyundai sales as more units of the Creta are sold. In July, 228 new vehicles were sold, compared to 124 in June, according to the monthly report of Naamsa (National Automobile Association of Manufacturers South Africa). However, with customers knowing that a new model was on the way, it’s only natural that the numbers dropped before the refreshed model arrived.

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Hyundai’s new range includes three derivatives with two specification levels: Premium and Executive. Under the hood hides a naturally aspirated 1.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine mated to either a 6-speed manual gearbox or an intelligently variable automatic transmission (IVT).

Hyundai Creta 2022

Hyundai Creta 2022

Driven by the front wheels, the engine delivers 84 kW at 6,300 rpm and 144 Nm at 4,500 rpm. There are two injectors per cylinder and applies advanced valve timing, called Intermediate Position Lock CVVT, to improve engine efficiency.

The automaker says the intelligent variable transmission uses a belt and chain pulley system with an increased gear ratio range to keep the engine and gearbox at peak torque levels.

How does it ride?

Hyundai SA bosses love to take the off-road launch lane to show how well their cars can run on gravel. This time was no different, and Crete held its own even on the most gruesome pothole road we’ve encountered in a while. This is South Africa, after all, and potholes are part of our daily life on the road, no matter where you drive. Even so, dodging the bad road proved just how effectively this car can handle the (literally) beaten path.

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The car is easy and comfortable to drive, whether you’re driving leisurely or sticking to the speed limit on the highway. It feels much livelier than before, and there seems to be a lot of improvement in its handling and driving dynamics.

Hyundai Creta 2022

Hyundai Creta 2022

The automaker says the McPherson strut front suspension and coupled torsion beam axle (CTBA) for the rear wheels have been tuned to give the Creta an even more solid and confident feel on both surfaces of the car. road than before, and they mean business. The CTBA offers noticeable improved compliance characteristics when the Creta encounters a mountain pass or bumpy road.

South Africans drive more gravel roads than most other markets in the world; if we’re not camping or heading to a rugby pitch – or if we live in areas that haven’t been tarred yet (yes that’s real), the 20cm ground clearance is very convenient. The good 60 profile tires also contribute to this on the 17 inch rims and alloys. On the tarmac, it’s fiery and ready to overtake fairly quickly.

There is less road and wind noise through Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) which gets some TLC due to increased body stiffness along safety-critical structures at the using industrial strength adhesives that increase spot welds.

What else should you know?

Firstly, it’s built at a brand new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Indonesia, which only started rolling cars off the line in early 2022. The 77.6-hectare factory site is in Kota Deltamas in Bekasi district, 40 km to the east. from the Indonesian capital Jakarta. Along with the new Creta, the plant will produce the Santa Fe, a new minivan model due later in 2022, and Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 electric vehicle.

super fresh styling

Gone is the curvy bubble-shaped front end, which took some getting used to. Instead, there’s a nice front grille and lights design, which now makes it more similar to other products in the stable – like the new Tucson. The Executive derivative’s daytime running lights are integrated into the parametric jewel-patterned grille. The headlights (halogen for the Premium derivatives and LED for the Executive) are located under the outer edge of the grille.

At the rear, the tailgate got a new design with many sharper lines, and the Creta model name is now in bold chrome letters below the logo. It might look a little busy, but it definitely looks more modernized. There’s a new silver insert that runs from the A-pillar to the C-pillar and new 17-inch alloy wheels, with different styling for the Premium and Executive variants, respectively.

The new Creta range is available in the following body colors: Magnetic Silver, Optic White, Titan Gray Metallic, Midnight Black Pearl, Dragon Red Pearl and Galaxy Blue.

Hyundai Creta 2022

Hyundai Creta 2022

Inside, less is more. The cabin is spacious, even for the rear passengers. Seat upholstery is available in black cloth for the Premium derivative and black leatherette for the Executive version. Hyundai and sister company Kia have made great strides in improving their build quality over the years, and it shows once again inside the Creta. There are some cheap plastics you can’t ignore, but everything else makes up for it, like the new ergonomic shifter and other nice-to-the-touch materials and gear controls.

comforting creatures

There’s a multifunction steering wheel with remote buttons for the infotainment system, trip computer and cruise control, and a wireless charger (in Executive derivatives).

Additionally, the infotainment system’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity with its 8-inch touchscreen allows the driver or passengers to select multiple functions via voice commands.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connect wirelessly to your smartphone in the new Creta, and the Executive trim offers wireless phone charging as standard equipment.

Hyundai Creta 2022

Hyundai Creta 2022

Along with the infotainment USB connection in the center console, the Creta also caters to rear passengers with an additional 12V power outlet, USB charging socket and storage space in a useful console. This storage compartment also contains rear air vents for the manual air conditioning.

The steering is quite direct, so it’s easy to use this compact SUV around town and in tight parking spaces thanks to the sensors and the rear park assist camera. He displays his view on the infotainment system screen. The gear lever has been replaced by an electronic lever to free up more space in the front.

Safety devices

On the safety side, Hyundai has not skimped on this front. There are front and side airbags for the driver and front passenger and two curtain airbags. However, side and curtain airbags are not included in the Premium derivative.

There are Isofix child seat mountings on the outer rear seats and 3-point inertia reel seat belts with pretensioners for the front seats. The outboard rear seats are also equipped with 3-point inertia reel seat belts.

Other standard features include electronic stability control (ESC), a tire pressure monitoring system and hill-start assist control.

The Creta faces a huge range of competitors in an oversaturated segment, but its most direct power competitors are the Volkswagen T-Cross and Toyota C-HR. Both are good cars by comparison, but you get so much more for your money in the Creta, and that sets you apart from thousands of other models on the road.


Creta 1.5 Premium MT – R409 900
Creta 1.5 Premium IVT – R429 900
Creta 1.5 Executive IVT – R469 900

All Cretas are sold with a manufacturer’s warranty of 7 years or 200,000 km; a 4-year or 60,000 km maintenance plan; and roadside assistance for 7 years or 150,000 km.