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First Drive: Hyundai Grand Creta

A compacted spin on the seven-seater, family-carrier concept

Jordan Schmidt
April 1, 2022
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In the world of family-first vehicles, and especially the more exclusive seven-seater market, there are not many options to choose from. Typically, your options stem between a large SUV or an MPV of sorts. And now, with a growing interest in SUVs but a massive concern with current fuel prices, the motoring industry has been hard at work designing smaller and more economical SUVs to meet the modern desire for large, yet efficient family cars. 

Many of these companies are keeping their manufacturing focus on smaller five-seater crossovers. However, the team at Hyundai have been hard at work improving their Creta to be somewhat of a pioneer in what they consider to be a new, unexplored area of smaller seven-seater SUVs – hence the inception of the Grand Creta.  

Being a very busy launch season as companies are starting to return to the new normal, there has been a seemingly endless number of new and refined family SUVs. One which deserves its moment in the spotlight is the new Grand Creta from Hyundai. The Grand Creta is a small- to mid-sized SUV with seven seats and a confusingly spacious cabin. Coming in both a diesel and petrol option, this impressive people carrier accommodates your preference in power units. Combined with its large chrome front bumper, striking wheels and artistically sleek body, this small SUV is exactly what every family is wanting and what most dads would happily consider investing in. 

Like any car, the Grand Creta comes in a variety of options. These options fall into two categories, either your Executive or your Elite packages. The executive model comes with 17” wheels, full leather seats, rear parking sensors, keyless entry, a full infotainment system and all your basic creature comforts. The Elite package, on the other hand, is loaded with new and special features. 

For one, the elite package comes with automatic air-conditioning, drive mode select, front and rear parking sensors, an electronic parking brake, a massive panoramic sunroof, privacy glass, LED fog lamps, mood lighting on the crash pad and doors, electronic driver's seat, ventilated front seats, rear window curtains, keyless-entry and start as well as a 10.25” LCD TFT supervision display with rheostat. Quite a mouthful. Hyundai is trying to make sure that if you chose to spend the extra R100,000 on the premium model, you should be getting your money’s worth. 

This SUV is not the most impressive option as far as power is concerned, I'm afraid. The Grand Creta comes with two power unit options. The first is a Smartstream 2.0-litre petrol engine producing 117 kW at 6,500 r/min and 191 Nm at 4,500 r/min. It can be paired with either a 6-speed manual transmission for the Executive model or a 6-speed automatic ‘box that’s available for both trim levels. 

The second option is a Smartstream 1.5-litre diesel engine producing 85 kW at 4,000 r/min and 250 Nm between 1,500 and 2,750 r/min and is exclusively available with the 6-speed auto. Now, I must mention the cost for each option, we start off with the 2.0-litre petrol Executive manual option that opens bidding at R449,900 and the automatic version at R489,900. On the other side of the coin, we have the 1.5-litre diesel with the Executive package coming in at R509,900. The Elite package starts at R539,900 for the auto petrol option and R559,900 for the diesel option that’s also paired to an auto box.

The overall interior feel of this car is pleasant. The seats are comfortable, the cabin lets in the perfect amount of light and despite the illusion that it’s quite compact on the outside, there’s an abundance of space on the inside.

As far as interior aesthetics go, I'm of the opinion the cream and grey trim is surprisingly complementary. The build quality is also good as you’d expect with a Hyundai. I must say, however, that if you are wanting to be picky; there are rather extensive uses of plastic to cover the less obvious areas like behind the infotainment display and the rear seat trays and then again, the interior of this car is built with family usage in mind. 

The front row provides a mature and stylish atmosphere while the middle seating area complete with fold-up tray tables, window curtains and variable climate control undoubtedly caters to the little ones. The third row of seats come with another variable climate control cluster and USB charging ports to accommodate your rear passengers more conformably, coupled with a rather large rear window that allows the rear passenger to feel less claustrophobic compared to other seven-seater options. 

Naturally, I must mention the drive quality of the Grand Creta and it’s positively smooth with little noise intrusion at highway speeds. It’s even comfortable and well composed on gravel. While the light steering-feel makes this car pleasing to drive, the lack of power is perceivable. Driving with only two passengers, I found this car takes a while to get up to speed. It’s not that it’s a deal-breaker, but I can’t help to think it will heave with a full seven-passenger line-up. 

With all that said, I am impressed with the new Grand Creta from Hyundai. It’s a stylish small SUV with a dedicated purpose in mind, to be a capable and comfortable family-centred SUV. Hyundai believes that compared to its competitors in the form of the Haval H6, Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5 and its established Kia Sorento cousin, the Grand Creta although bigger than some, provides higher quality, comfort, and design purpose that differentiates it from the competition. 

Having seven seats is the most noticeable difference yet, Hyundai believes the Grand Creta is difficult to define. I’ll then give it a go: The Grand Creta is an impressive small to mid-sized SUV with seven seats and a passion for family. It is a car designed to please all family members, as long as you don’t have any aspirations of winning any races… 


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