The B-SUV market, one of the most competitive in Malaysia, welcomes a new player today. Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) has officially launched the 2023 Hyundai Creta. A CBU import from Indonesia, the Creta facelift is powered by a 1.5 litre naturally aspirated engine and is priced at RM149,888 on the road excluding insurance.

What do you get for the money? Let’s inspect. At 4,315 mm long and 1,790 mm wide, the Creta has a similar sized footprint to the Honda HR-V (which is 70 mm longer), and its 2,610 mm wheelbase matches Honda’s popular benchmark. Having a ‘conventional B-SUV’ size means that the Creta is larger than stablemate Kona, which is more of a Euro-flavoured crossover.

The Creta’s boot is sizeable at 416 litres, which is a fair bit larger than the Proton X50‘s 330L and the Perodua Ativa‘s 380L. With the 60:40 rear seats folded, capacity jumps to 1,384 litres. The wheels are 17-inch items (rare to see a single-tone wheel these days) with 215/60 Kumho Solus rubber and there’s a full-sized steel spare wheel under the boot floor.

The Creta’s design is far from generic, offering something for those who want to be different. The Korean firm currently has two corporate faces in rotation – one is the ‘Staria-style’ with the full-width LED signature and square mouth (also used on sedans), and the other is the Parametric Jewel look as seen on the Tucson SUV and Santa Cruz truck. The Creta wears the latter, with LED daytime running lights that concealed within the grille. The split tail lamps and silver rear pillars are unique.

“The Hyundai Creta targets those who desire individuality, who wish to stand out and break free from the norm. Its Sensuous Sportiness design language endows it with unmistakable presence and style. At the same time, it is equipped with all the technology and convenience features to perfectly complement active daily lifestyles,” said Jeffrey Gan, Sime Darby Motors’ MD of retail and distribution for Malaysia.

Under the hood is a Smartstream G 1.5 litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine with 115 PS and 144 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm. Torque goes to the front wheels through an Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT, Hyundai’s term for CVT) with steering paddles. There are four selectable drive modes at the driver’s disposal – Eco, Normal, Sport and Smart. 0-100 km/h is done in 12 seconds and top speed is 170 km/h.

There’s just a single spec called Plus, and it comes with goodies such as a 10.25-inch digital instrument panel; an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Android Auto/Apple CarPlay and voice recognition; single-zone auto air-con with rear vents; keyless entry and push start; and an electronic parking brake with auto hold.

Safety wise, the Creta comes with six airbags and Hyundai’s SmartSense suite of active safety features. The pack includes Forward and Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Following Assist, Leading Vehicle Departure Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Safe Exit Warning and High Beam Assist. This SUV has five stars in the ASEAN NCAP crash test. There are also two Isofix child seat mounts.

Once again, the 2023 Hyundai Creta is priced at RM149,888, and HSDM is including a free extended warranty package of five years or 300,000 km, as well as three years/50,000 km free service for the first 150 buyers. Colours options include Galaxy Blue Pearl, Titan Grey Metallic, Midnight Black Pearl, Creamy White Pearl and the signature Dragon Red Pearl you see here. What do you think of the Creta’s looks and package?

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