The 2023 Hyundai Creta 1.5 GLS IVT deserves more attention – Review

The Hyundai Creta has been on the market for a little over a year now, and it’s been selling decently as far as I can tell. While the Creta has started to make waves on our roads, I honestly haven’t really given it a fair look. I was able to take it on a short drive when we went to Cebu with Hyundai last January but it registered a simple “meh” in my book.

Keen to reassess my understanding and verdict on the Creta I borrowed one for a week, and guess what? I was wrong about it, it’s much much more than “meh”.

2023 Hyundai Creta GLS IVT Exterior

One of the reasons why I was “sleeping on the Creta” was because of its looks, while it adopts the Hyundai family design language it wraps it in a very modest package.

Hyundai Creta Review

The modern front fascia incorporates the sharp angles of the design language the brand is known for, from the LED Headlights to the grille, over at the side there are some character lines that ensure that there is no flat surface, and at the rear are the minimalist taillights that are actually a treat to see illuminated at night.

Hyundai Creta Review


Inside the best thing about the Creta is the non-monotonous color combination. I’ve said time and time again that black on black is too plain, the Creta thankfully has some nice brown panels on the dashboard, seats, and door cards. The Creta is supposed to be a budget-friendly crossover so most of the panels are hard-touch plastics which aren’t bad at all, they’re some of the best in the business.

Hyundai Creta Review

There are some soft-touch leather materials found on the steering wheel, gear lever, and the seats as well so it’s a welcome mix of soft and hard. The instrument cluster is a fully digital screen that has decent resolution and provides all the vehicle information. The infotainment system is sizeable enough and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capable, it’s also nice to see that Hyundai decided to keep physical buttons which are a blessing for the ease of navigation of the infotainment screen.

One thing I can say about the interior is the lack of a panoramic sunroof, which is almost standard for vehicles in this class and price range.

Hyundai Creta Review

Safety and Performance

Hyundai takes safety seriously and the Creta is no exception, it has features like lane keep assist, hill start assist, blind spot monitoring, and forward collision warning among others.Hyundai Creta Review

In terms of power, the Creta uses a 1.5-liter naturally aspirated gasoline engine with 115ps and 144nm of torque, which is paired with the brand’s Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT)

Hyundai Creta Review

Driving Impressions

Finally getting enough seat time in the Creta enabled me to amend my first impressions, it is one of the easiest vehicles to drive and get to know. It is literally a “Gas and Go” type of car, no fuss, no weird ergonomics just a simple modern vehicle. I enjoyed how light the steering and chassis are, zipping about in the city is a breeze and the perfect size allows you to be confident in blind corners or tight parking spaces and streets.

Out on the highway, the Hyundai Creta settles into a smooth groove, the car leans more toward a more relaxed driving dynamic. The engine (while small) is peppy and the transmission doesn’t get lost, it feels very much like a normal automatic transmission which is high praise for a CVT type. The size and zippiness of the Creta also translate on the highway, I enjoyed navigating through the perils and hazards of NLEX, and not once did I or the Creta break a sweat, it truly is one of the most relaxing vehicles I’ve driven in a while.

In terms of fuel efficiency, in the city, my best average in heavy traffic was 9.4 km/l, while the highway went as high up at 18 km/l making the Creta frugal enough for the budget-conscious drivers out there.

Hyundai Creta Review

Points for improvement

My main issue with the Hyundai Creta is the ride, it seems to be hit or miss in terms of quality. On some roads, it can manage the bumps properly but on others, it seems to be very much near the firm side. I also find it surprising that the Creta lacks Adaptive cruise control because the more affordable and bigger Stargazer has it, I don’t understand the omission and why it was necessary.

Hyundai Creta Review

Price and Verdict

This top-of-the-line Hyundai Creta GLS 1.5 IVT costs a sizeable PHP 1,388,000. That is a decent chunk of dough for a very decent crossover. It’s not meant to surprise or excite and yet its modest nature on the road is endearing. If you want something simple, new, and decently packed with features then you can’t go wrong with the Creta. “meh” it is not.

Pablo Salapantan

Pablo Salapantan

Pablo's first word was probably "Car", and this has developed into a personal passion that has consumed his professional life as well.

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