Hyundai are on a roll in SA at the moment. Having reached the No3 spot in sales, they are launching updates and new models consistently. A few weeks ago it was the 4th generation Tucson, now the all new model the Grand Creta and in just a few weeks there will be the new performance models, the Kona N and i30N.

The Creta has been around for a few years, filling the role of a crossover/suv very successfully in the range. What was missing was a compact 7 seater model and that’s where the new Grand Creta comes in.

200mm longer than the 5 seater version, many present at the launch felt that the new model looks better in the metal. With the extended rear section it somehow looks more balanced overall. A ground clearance of 200mm is best in class and proved itself during a dirt road section on the launch drive.

With the motor world moving away from diesel power, it’s interesting that Hyundai have chosen to offer the Grand Creta with either a 1.5L turbodiesel or 2L petrol power. Also unusual in today’s world is the option of a manual transmission version or 6 speed automatic.

The launch drive was in a diesel automatic in top spec Elite trim. With only 2 trim options available, Elite adds features like panoramic sunroof, 2 tone leather trim, electric adjustment on the driver’s seat, 18 inch alloys instead of 17 inch, keyless entry and push button start.     

The “entry level” Executive models are still highly specced so it’s all about price at the end of the day. The 3rd row seats are definitely for youngsters but access is easy by folding the middle seats. As always, boot space is limited when the extra seats are in use, but massive when they are folded flat.

On the road, the diesel models are unusually quiet with no noticeable typical diesel clatter. The drive was smooth and comfortable and I was showing 5.3l/100km for the cruise out into the country.

With pricing from R449 900 to R559 900, there is very little competition in this segment.

Alan Rosenmeyer: