Hyundai Creta Hints At Future Crossover for U.S.
Global Versions Offer Diesel Option, Premium Features
Playing catch-up with the rest of the world in offering a subcompact crossover, Hyundai recently unveiled its Creta crossover in India. The Creta is a more production-ready version of the ix25 crossover concept shown last year at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show. Other than a few shiny bits, little has changed on the Creta in the transition to production.
Mechanically, the India-spec Creta is offered with the choice of two turbodiesel I-4 engines (1.4 and 1.6L) and a 1.6L gas I-4 making 123 hp. Hyundai is also claiming a class-exclusive automatic option with the diesel engine. For a vehicle of its size and class, the Creta is surprisingly well-equipped, even by developed-world standards, with LED running lights, pushbutton start, an available leather interior, touchscreen navigation, rear heating and air conditioning vents, and a backup camera. Antilock brakes, vehicle stability control, and six airbags are standard. Safety regulations in India and other developing countries are typically much less stringent than North American and European standards, but the fact that these features were designed in to the Creta suggest it could be sold in more markets.
Manufacturers that have fielded a subcompact SUV in the U.S. market have been rewarded with strong sales, with the Honda HR-V selling more than 6,000 units in just half a month in May, and the Buick Encore selling 5,400 units in May, a 20-point increase over last year. The similar Chevrolet Trax also sold 5,700 units in May. Hyundai Motor America officially says it has no current plans to bring the Creta to the U.S. market, but if the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3 turn out to be sizzling successes, don’t expect Hyundai to stay out of the subcompact crossover segment for long.