First Drive Hyundai Creta 2022, Many Plus Values To Compete

 Indonesia is becoming increasingly important in the automotive world. For example, Hyundai introduced the facelifted version of the Creta for the first time in the world at GIIAS 2021, meaning that its global debut will take place in Indonesia. 

This Creta is special to mark the operation of Hyundai's new factory, which will be the production base for several other models in the future. The factory which is handled by PT Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (HMMI) is located in Cikarang, West Java, and has been running since the end of 2021.

First Drive Hyundai Creta 2022, Many Plus Values To Compete
First Drive Hyundai Creta 2022

The first model that is confirmed to be born from this factory is the second generation Hyundai Creta. This compact SUV will also be the product with the most affordable price in the Hyundai line-up in Indonesia so far.

Creta entered a fairly competitive segment against the Honda HR-V, Toyota C-HR, and its own twin, the Kia Seltos. In the family of Hyundai's own SUV model, its position is below the Kona, which is now only marketed as an electric version. To be able to have it, prepare funds of RP 279 million - Rp 397.5 million (OTR Jakarta).

Hyundai is so proud of this new facility that they invited us to visit and have a tour to see the facilities they have at the factory. And on the same occasion, a short test drive session of the Hyundai Creta was also given.

The short test drive session or you could say the first drive was carried out in the proving ground area of the factory, as well as several roads around the factory. At least 5 kilometers we feel the impression of driving from Creta which is claimed to be ready to be sent to consumers soon. It is indeed short and short in distance, but at least it can give an impression of how it feels to drive directly on the road, not just on paper or a closed test track.

The look of this new version of the Creta immediately attracts attention from afar, especially because of the jewel pattern grille design that dominates the front fascia. The design style that adopts the look of the latest Tucson is at the same time reminiscent of the Hyundai SUV uniform as also used in Santa Fe and Palisade. The play of the design elements is attractive, the body lines are firm giving a dashing impression, and the combination of the taillight pieces is anti-mainstream.

Entering the cabin, a two-tone, black and brown dashboard is presented, which eliminates the impression of monotony. However, because all parts of the dashboard are made of hard plastic, Creta Prime, which is the highest and most complete variant, should be able to get a soft touch panel combination. At least to dampen the nagging of noisy and less appreciative netizens who always argue 'it's better'.

As a reminder, the Creta for the Indonesian market is equipped with a non-turbo 1.5 liter engine variant, which offers a power output of 113 hp and 143.8 Nm of torque. Because what we tried was the most expensive variant, Prime, the unit we tried had an IVT transmission, which is a system with further development of the CVT type. This car already has a keyless entry, so to turn it on, just press the engine start-stop button.

Looks like Hyundai designed the Creta engine to release its torque at low torque. Because when you just drive slowly, you can already feel this car has a solid torque in the early rounds, although usually the CVT transmission takes a bit of time to transmit torque from the engine to the wheels. Moreover, CVT applications generally prioritize comfort and smoothness, not performance. But this Creta transmission can provide a smooth feeling and torque at the same time, in a dose that feels just right.

The proving ground circuit at the Hyundai factory became the first test location, starting with a long straight track for acceleration tests. Immediately we gas in this car gradually to invite a little speeding. Indeed, the torque can be felt immediately at the beginning of acceleration, but as the speed increases the speed still feels smooth. Even until the speedometer needle touches 80 km / h, the engine does not feel breathless.

At the end of a long straight track, an oval bend with a medium radius greets you. The body's response when braking hard enough before entering the corner did not swing much towards the front. Even when asked to turn at a speed of 40 km / h and change direction before returning to a straight track, the suspension is quite stiff to withstand body roll. The steering wheel also feels full, not just light, so it's more communicative to maneuver.

First Drive Hyundai Creta 2022
First Drive Hyundai Creta 2022

Devoting the next straight track, we try to switch to Sport mode to feel the maximum performance. Just step on the full gas, the engine immediately screams to the red line. Of course, faster acceleration and more abundant torque are felt. But in this Sport mode, the ECU instructs the transmission to simulate a gearshift at more than 6,000 rpm, almost touching the red line at 7,000 rpm.

Then the next obstacle is an incline with an angle of about 20 degrees, to prove the ability of the engine and front wheel drive on a steep incline. I deliberately stopped Creta for a moment at the beginning of the incline to feel the Hill Start Assist as well. After successfully holding for a few seconds when the brake pedal is released, the Creta can easily climb without being forced. The trick With an IVT transmission, give the gas input gradually to get optimal torque when climbing.

We were invited to leave the factory area to experience Creta on public roads. This gives preference that is more relevant to everyday use. What we go directly to are roads with damaged or bumpy surfaces. We want to know what the damping quality of the suspension is like.

Incidentally, the traffic around the factory was quite quiet, so we were able to take Creta back with a bit of a rush. When we tried to accelerate fast with manual mode in the transmission, the shift of the 'gear' every time the paddle shifter was touched felt smooth, not jerky. The existence of a paddle shifter will accommodate our needs to maximize engine performance or even to make fuel consumption more efficient.

The roads around the Hyundai factory in the Deltamas area are apparently not too damaged even though many heavy vehicles pass by. But at least there are some roads that have a slightly uphill contour. Quite amazed when crossing the bridge that begins with an incline. Drove quite fast, above 60 km / h, Creta turned out to have a suspension character that is arguably better than the price. Soft when swinging, but the damping is not harsh. It can be claimed that it is more mature than the current HR-V's suspension.

If we can compare, we think the Creta suspension damping can be compared to a higher class SUV, maybe in the Rp 500 million class. This is the thing that has stuck with us the most from our brief session with the Hyundai Creta, so far. Sorry, Seltos, but your twin brother is on a level better taste.

There are quite a number of active safety features built into this Creta, and during this session we got to try a few. Most noticeably work are Lane Following Assist (LFA) and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA). These two features often provide warnings and steering corrections as soon as we pass road markings without turning on the turn signal. There are many more safety features in the Smartsense package, as well as Bluelink which is an attractive offer from Creta.

From this short first drive, we see that the Hyundai Creta has a lot of potential that can be explored again. Moreover, it is interesting to see what can be done through Bluelink technology which can provide first aid when an accident or vehicle is stolen. It cannot be underestimated, the first product of Hyundai produced from Indonesia. We are waiting for further action.

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