Hyundai Creta N-Line: Our overview after a day’s driving

 

The turbo kicks in at ~1,500-1,600 rpm and you’re greeted with a rapid surge of acceleration. The engine pulls strongly and you’ll reach triple-digit speeds in no time.

Hyundai Creta 1.5L Turbo-Petrol 6-Speed ​​MT Driving

The Hyundai Creta N-Line is powered by a 4-cylinder, 1.5 liter turbo-petrol engine that produces 158 bhp at 5,500 rpm and 253 Nm at 1,500-3,500 rpm. We have driven this engine in the Hyundai Verna, Kia Seltos and Hyundai Creta facelift with the 7-speed DCT. It’s quite an impressive engine and a worthy upgrade from Hyundai-Kia’s older 1.4L turbo-petrol engine. However, when it comes to transmission options, only the Verna and Creta N-Line are offered with a proper 6-speed manual transmission. The Seltos gets an iMT, which most enthusiasts turn a blind eye to, and the regular Creta is only offered with a 7-speed DCT.

At idle, the engine is refined, and you don’t hear it at all inside the cabin. Right off the bat, you’ll notice that the clutch travel is a little long like most regular Hyundais. Like most Hyundais you get used to it and it’s quite easy to get off the line. At low speeds, you don’t really feel any turbo lag. There’s enough grunt at low revs for city cruising. Unlike most turbo-petrols, which seem too edgy and eager to rev, you can drive the Creta N-Line MT with ease. Of course, bend your right foot and the car is able to put all those horses to good use. But in the hands of an astute driver, the N-Line wouldn’t feel out of place. The lower gears are longer and you won’t feel the need to constantly change gears while driving in the city.

Get out on the open road and you’ll be able to properly stretch the legs of the Creta N-Line. With 158 bhp on tap, straight-line acceleration is impressive. The turbo kicks in at ~1,500-1,600 rpm and you’re greeted with a rapid surge of acceleration. The engine pulls strongly and you’ll reach triple-digit speeds in no time. The power band extends from ~2,000 rpm to 5,000 rpm after which power begins to decline. As is the case with most turbo-petrol engines, redline is traditionally marked at 6,500 rpm. However, the engine only revs up to 6,250 rpm after which the rev limiter kicks in and fuel is aggressively cut. So if you are planning to reach maximum revs before upshifting, it is not a good idea. You will see first gear max at ~52 km/h and second gear at ~95 km/h.

Even on highways, drivability is good and you can cover miles in comfort. In sixth gear, the car cruises at 100 and 120 km/h at ~2,100 and 2,500 rpm respectively. In most cases, if there is no traffic around you will not have to downshift and can easily overtake other cars. Only if you need to pass a car very fast will you need to drop down one gear and, in some rare cases, two gears. You will never feel that the engine does not have the power to accelerate.

As mentioned earlier, clutch travel isn’t as short as you’d expect in a performance-oriented car. The good thing is that the clutch is light. It’s just that on long journeys the fun of pushing the car and shifting gears gets reduced to some extent. Clutch feel and travel is similar to the old Seltos 1.4 turbo-petrol 6-speed MT. Talking about the 6-speed MT gearbox on the Creta N-Line, the gear knob is beautiful to hold. However, the throws are long and we would like them to be shorter. There is a hint of clunk in the shifts, especially when moving between second and third gear. Note that these comparisons are being made keeping in mind that this is a performance-focused version. Drive it like a regular car and you probably won’t find anything to complain about. The gearbox is definitely slotting to enjoy gear shifting.

Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH)

When we recently drove the Creta facelift, we found its NVH levels impressive. The engine is very refined and you can barely hear it while driving in the city. However, this being an N-Line we were expecting a spirited exhaust note. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The exhaust is barely audible inside the cabin. If you are expecting a fruity exhaust note like the i20, you will be disappointed. At higher RPM, the engine gets louder and this is not something that enthusiasts will like.

Mileage and fuel economy

The Creta N-Line is equipped with an auto start-stop feature that helps fuel efficiency in city driving conditions. ARAI-certified fuel efficiency for the 1.5-litre turbo-petrol 6-speed MT is 18 km/l which is slightly better than the Seltos 6-speed iMT (17.7 km/l). Of course, real-world FE numbers will be much lower, given that turbo-petrol engines are very sensitive to driving style. We’ll wait for some ownership reviews to get a better picture of real-world fuel efficiency. The fuel tank capacity is 50 litres, same as the regular Creta.

This 1.5 litre, 4-cylinder turbo-petrol engine produces 158 bhp at 5,500 rpm and 253 Nm at 1,500-3,500 rpm:

The 6-speed manual gearbox was supposed to have less throw:

suspension

comfortable ride

Compared to the regular Creta, the ride of the N-Line is completely different. The car rides on 18-inch alloy wheels shod with 215/55 section tyres, unlike the 17-inch wheels of the regular Creta. Additionally, Hyundai has stiffened the suspension to make it sportier. You get a lot more feel for the road when driving slowly. Small potholes and speed breakers make themselves known quickly. If ride comfort is an important deciding factor for you, then the regular Creta is better for you. The N-Line’s ride is stiff and similar to the pre-facelift Seltos.

Handling and dynamics

Due to the stiff suspension setup, high-speed stability is quite good. On the expressway, there is no unnecessary bounce or floatiness at triple-digit speeds. The car is well organized and has good balance. The expansion joints of the city flyovers have also been well absorbed.

Dynamics is where the N-Line has made major gains. The stiffer suspension setup allows you to carry more speed into corners. You can attack some extremely tight corners and there’s very little understeer. Body roll is well controlled and the car doesn’t feel like it will lose balance at any point. Traction control limits you if you get too aggressive, but it doesn’t cut the power sharply. Even high-speed corners are handled very well by the N-Line. The JK UX Royale tires managed to provide adequate grip, but were quite noisy when pushed hard. If you want to get some more performance, you should definitely upgrade to wider Michelin or Yokohama rubber.

steering

While the difference between the steering of the regular Creta and the N-Line is not much, the latter feels a little more direct. The EPS is well tuned and light at city speeds. Its weight increases significantly as you increase speed, but this being an enthusiast-focused car, we wished it had a little more weight. In corners, the steering feels lighter, but more consistent. You can easily turn a corner at good speed and straighten up without feeling too nervous.

breaking

Braking in the Creta N-Line 6-speed MT was surprisingly very different from the Creta DCT we drove in January. While the brakes felt overdone and overly sharp in the DCT variant, the pedal feel of the N-Line 6-speed MT was much more consistent. The brake pedal felt much more progressive in corners and allowed the car to decelerate easily. Emergency braking situations were handled well and the car managed to stop without any dramatic incidents.

Continue reading Hyundai Creta N-Line discussion on our forum.

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