Driver: Lerato Matebese
It’s a hearty welcome to the Hyundai Grand Creta 1.5D Elite to our long-term fleet garage. Yes, the compact 7-seater will be in our care for the next 6 months as we put it through its respective paces.
While functionality supersedes styling in this instance, the Grand Creta has not been beaten with an ugly stick, as one of my team members has purported. Youth! They hurl insults if it isn’t a fancy, modern sports car. Actually, I digress, so back to the Grand Creta then, and I feel that Hyundai has placed the right product in the market. What do I mean? Well, let me elucidate.
Most 7-seaters are either MPV, bakkie-based or outright luxury monocoque items, meaning those shopping for a small SUV have very little in the way of options. This is where the Grand Creta succinctly plugs that gap by offering a decent-sized 7-seater SUV. It has very little in the form of excess, but it’s still comprehensively specified to appease a family’s requirements. Let us begin with those trivial, yet seemingly useful USB ports. There are front-row, middle, rear and even boot-mounted USB ports, which means mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets can be charged, a boon for those long-haul family sojourns. Tick!
Private rear windows and a panoramic sunroof are additional standard features. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, not to mention a wireless charging tray, are also part of the standard list of items. Front seats are ventilated, but not heated, while the driver’s seat is also electrically adjustable. Tick! Thanks to the extra 15 cm legroom compared to the standard Creta, the Grand, as I will abbreviate it going forth, has surprisingly good legroom even for the rearmost passengers. Tick! In fact, we recently managed to cram the Grand chock-full with a total complement of seven passengers all the way to the province of Mpumalanga, the results of which we will share in our next report.
Motivation in our Grand comes in the form of a 1.5-litre turbo diesel engine putting out humble outputs of 84 kW, and 250 Nm shuffled through a 6-speed automatic transmission to propel the front wheels. What it lacks in power, it more than makes up for in exceptional fuel economy. While we are still running in the engine, a figure of 6.4l/100 km is more than acceptable, giving us around 840 km (urban driving) range from the 50-litre tank. Tick! We will, of course, be aiming to eke out a range of 1,000 km from the tank on an extended trip. We will report on this soon.
Unassuming in the way it goes about things, the suspension damping, in particular, is excellent and tackles road imperfections with aplomb. Those 18” alloy wheels have reasonably thick sidewall tyres, making unpaved road travel relatively comfortable. Tick!
Those LED headlights offer exceptional lighting on the road ahead at night. At the same time, the digital instrument cluster not only beams vital information to the driver but also elevates the Grand’s cabin ambience. Overall, a well-appointed interior.
On paper, the price sticker of this diesel Elite does seem a bit much. Still, considering the specification that comes as standard, not to mention the thrifty fuel consumption, especially with current fuel prices, it makes a compelling case for itself.
We are still getting acquainted with the Grand’s positives and quirks. Still, first impressions are that it is a capable, compact family crossover with space for seven occupants. Look out for exploits in the next update, where we put the vehicle through rigorous testing.