Hyundai Creta’s exterior design is as impressive as it gets in the compact SUV segment, the reason being this small of an SUV seeks inspiration from Hyundai’s flagship offering, Santa Fe. Creta seeks design cues from Fluidic Scuplture 2.0 which happens to be the brand’s new design language to be seen on all modern cars. The front gets a multi slate chrome dipped radiator grille with edgy sweeping headlights. It also features high intensity projector lights with LED position strips and cornering lamps. The lower section of the front bumper is finished in contrasting matte and has vertically slotted fog lamps. The side has a strong shoulder line with darkened B-pillar and rugged cladding running by the rocker moulding. The rear gets a compact tail lid with sharp tail lights and a high positioned registration plate. The lower half again features the same matte cladding.
Styling an SUV does not give designers as much freedom as enjoyed by them while working on sedans. The Nissan Terrano, based on the Renault Duster, draws inspiration from the premium line Nissan Pathfinder which makes it look more attractive compared to the bare bone looking Renault Duster. The detailing done on the headlight along with the large meaty chrome radiator grille makes it look premium from the front. It doesn’t get projectors or day time running lamps. The silhouette is exactly similar to that of Renault Duster with a tall ground clearance and a soft roofline.
It also gets contrasting and bright roof rails for the athletic touch. ORVMs are finished in two-tone shade of body colour and matte black. These mirrors can be adjusted from inside. There is a strong profile line running along the rocker moulding. The wheel arches are flared up and give it the necessary SUV look with bulging contours. It also gets machined diamond cut alloy wheels. The rear portion is more interesting with larger tail lamps compared to that of Dutser. The single exhaust pipe tucked underneath the rear bumper comes in a chrome finish.
The interiors of Hyundai Creta, much like the exteriors, earn a lot of praise on various grounds. Firstly, the dashboard and the console are neatly placed and the entire arrangement doesn’t feel clustered. The interiors are done in dual shades of beige and black. In terms of comfort, the seats in the Hyundai Creta offer the best in the segment.
They are well cushioned and supported except for a minor under thigh support missing. The legroom for front and rear occupants is decent. Only the driver seat gets height adjustment. The design of the dashboard and the central console doesn’t eat up on the front passenger space which makes it rooms. Also, the overall design of the roofline makes it offer better headroom than some of its rivals. To make sure the rear occupants are in comfort too, there is a centrally located AC vent which maintains the same temperature as front. In terms of features and in typical Hyundai style, the Creta too features a 2-DIN music system with BT, USB and Aux-In connectivity options. The system also has an on-board 1GB memory storage option. Also, seen in the Creta are the numerous storage options with a generously sized boot space.
The inside of the Nissan Terrano also is clearly inspired from the Renault Duster but Nissan has made sure that the Terrano looks and feels much more upmarket than the Duster. The steering wheel is different and this one too only offers a tilt only function. There are no media controls mounted on the column instead one has to operate it directly. The recess on the top of the dashboard which is useful for storing mundane articles has a lid to keep everything intact. The centrally placed music system has a piano surround for that extra appeal. The entertainment system comes with a 2-DIN music system along with USB, Aux-IN and Bluetooth connectivity.
In terms of comfort, Nissan offers premium beige upholstery compared to the ebony seen on the Duster. In addition, all variants except the premium get rich quality fabric while the top end variant of the Terrano sports leather seats with a leather draped steering wheel. The front passenger space is decent with sufficient headroom and legroom but the rear area is very tight and is very low on comfort. The rear seat also lacks support and comfort which becomes tiresome on long journeys.
The Hyundai Creta comes with numerous engine options. The petrol motor makes use of a 1.6-litre Dual VTVT engine that produces 121 bhp of power at 6400 rpm and 154Nm of torque at 4850 rpm. The engine is mated with a 6-speed manual transmission only. It delivers a mileage of 12.65 km/l. The diesel comes in a 1.4-litre CRDi configuration that makes 88 bhp of power at 4000 rpm and generates a torque output of 224 Nm at a band of 1500 to 2750 rpm also delivers a mileage of 21km/l. The Creta also comes with a higher displacement 1.6-litre CRDi motor that makes 126 bhp at 4000 rpm and 265 Nm of torque between 1900 to 2750 rpm. In addition to a 6-speed manual, this unit comes with an optional 6-speed automatic box.
The noise levels inside the Hyundai Creta are very well contained as there is no unnecessary noise seeping inside the cabin. The credit to this feature goes to the impressive manufacturing technology that Hyundai uses to make sure the vehicle is put together in the best way possible. The power delivery varies with the engines as the petrol seem well spirited for shorter dash but then runs out of breath on highways while for the diesel, the performance gets impressive as it enter longer and empty stretches of road and not the most suggested to be driven inside the city. The automatic box helps greatly in removing the woes of multiple shifts.
The Nissan Terrano comes in multiple engine options which include one petrol and two diesels. The K4M petrol engine makes 103 bhp of power and 145 Nm of torque at 3750 rpm. This motor delivers an efficiency of 13.24 km/l. The diesel range makes use of a K9K diesel engine that has been tuned in two different versions. The lower spec makes 83 bhp of power and 200 Nm of torque at 1900 rpm and delivers a mileage of 20.45 km/l while the higher spec model makes 109 bhp of power and generates 248 Nm of torque at 2250 rpm. This one delivers an efficiency of 19.01 km/l and comes with a 6-speed manual transmission.
Mechanically, the motor is identical to that of Renault Duster and thus its overall behaviour is very reminiscent. The higher spec engine is great for often highway commutes. The initial turbo lag is evident but only till the motor enters mid-range wherein the lag diminishes. Shifts are not the best in class especially with the heavier clutch but if all of that is overlooked, on highways, the Terrano behaves with great confidence. The 109 bhp motor pushes the vehicle to reach triple digit speeds without an effort. The lower spec 83 bhp motor runs out of breath comparatively sooner and thus is best for in city traffic. Also, if the monthly distance to be covered is not as much then the petrol motor makes perfect sense as it is a smooth revving motor with the right balance in performance and efficiency.
Ride and Handling:
The Hyundai Creta does fit in the SUV category with its bulging exteriors and tall stance but none of that come across as an obstacle when it comes to tackling city traffic or swallowing long miles on the highway. The driving dynamics is similar to any hatchback as the steering is extremely light making it easy to drive in tight situations. The suspensions setup does a good job in making the Creta drive over surfaces with great ease. The front is powered by a McPherson Strut with Coil Spring suspension while the rear is equipped with a Coupled Torsion Beam with Coil Spring. Collectively, they do a great job in making the ride feel confident and comfortable at the same time.
While the Renault Duster offers a rigid ride, the one in Nissan Terrano has been tuned for softer dynamics. Undoubtedly, the suspensions do a great job in making sure the ride and handling is well in place and also it is as strong on rough roads. However, the aspect where the Nissan Terrano scores more is its confidence to hold on to the tarmac at great speeds. The steering feel is pretty direct and doesn’t get jittery at sudden manoeuvres.
While taking it around corners at higher speeds, there is a mild body roll. Not to the extent of writing it off but then it exists. This is taken care by the tight biting brakes which do a great job of making sure the vehicle stays in control and there is panic moment felt.
Value for Money:
Hyundai Creta :
The prices of Hyudai Creta petrol variants lie between Rs 9.01 lakhs to Rs 11.74 lakhs while that of diesel variants vary between Rs 9.93 lakhs to Rs 12 lakhs. The more powerful 1.6L diesel variants are priced between Rs 12.16 lakhs to Rs 14.23 lakhs. Hyundai Creta offers the best of design, feel and performance and is also one of the best options in the segment.
The Terrano is a good premium alternative to the bare and basic looking Renault Duster but in terms of post sales experience both the brands are similar with their approach. With an expressive design and more premium feel inside, the Terrano does tend to score more from its original model. The prices of Nissan Terrano variants lie between Rs 9.99 lakhs for the XE D variant to Rs 13.47 lakhs for the XV D THP PREMIUM variant.
Hyundai Creta vs Nissan Terrano:
The Creta is the best value for money product in this segment when we consider quality, and features vis-a-vis price. The Terrano feels rugged, but it is the Terrano that wins it.