When the first-generation Hyundai Creta was launched, it found a multitude of buyers and eventually redefined the segment because of how popular it became. However, having grown slightly long in the tooth, Hyundai found it imperative to give it an all-new avatar. With its radical design, powerful new engine and lost list of features, it’s bound to be a better bet. But the question is, will it win the battle with Tata’s butch-looking, feature-packed SUV that is based on a modern Land Rover platform – the Tata Harrier? We drive both to tell you which is better.
The new Creta is a breath of fresh air, but we’re not sure if its design will be liked by everyone. It gets a huge grille up-front, flanked by sleek LED DRLs that surround the main headlamp cluster. The flared wheel arches along the sides give the SUV a muscular stance, but we still think it needs bigger wheels. The rear looks rather stylish with the sharp creases and radical tail light design. The Harrier is the bigger SUV of the two, and happens to be the more attractive of the two – with those slender DRLs up-front, the large headlights positioned lower in the bumper, the bulging wheel arches and the slender tail lights at the rear with the gloss black accent running in between. Even the sloping roof line gives it a sporty appeal
It’s easy to get comfortable in the Hyundai Creta, and visibility from the driver’s seat is great, thanks to the tall seating. The cabin is a mix of some nice, crisp lines and orange highlights, and the ambient lighting, along with the 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, look rather cool. The part-digital instrument cluster looks modern and blends rather well with the small, flat-bottomed steering. Those front cooled seats are very comfortable and supportive. Among the two, the Harrier is easily identifiable as the more spacious SUV. There’s ample headroom, shoulder room and legroom at the front and rear. Boot space on both cars is adequate, and the rear bench on the Harrier offers wonderful support. There’s faux wood on the dashboard with a metallic accent on the lower half and soft-touch plastic above. You will also find tan leather all over the cabin. Everything looks well built, and the fit and finish is the best we’ve come across on a Tata.
The Tata Harriers offers features like a sunroof, electric powered driver seat, sunroof, auto dimming mirrors, mood lighting, dedicated button to lock/unlock the doors, voice command, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, driver information system with a TFT display and a cooled glovebox, while the Creta gets six airbags, Height adjustable front seat belts, 17-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, 7.0-inch instrument cluster, auto dimming inside rear view mirror, paddle-shifters, 8-speaker Bose premium sound system, leather upholstery, remote engine start-stop, front ventilated seats and powered driver’s seat among a host of other features.
Performance & Handling
The Creta is powered by a 1.4-litre Kappa Turbo GDi petrol engine that develops 138bhp and 242Nm of torque with power being sent to the front wheels through a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The engine is refined and power is delivered in a linear manner. It features three modes: Eco, Comfort and Sport. In Eco and Comfort mode, the gearbox upshifts somewhere around 2000rpm, while Sport mode improves throttle response. The Creta soaks in bumps well, but the harsher ones can be felt. When it comes to handling, the Creta’s steering is light and accurate, and there’s a good amount of feedback too. Around corners, the Creta feels confident. The traction control modes; Mud, Sand and Snow provide different responses for batter traction on these terrains.
You’d be surprised to know that the Harrier has the makings of a good product – like good body control, ride quality and steering operation. The clutch feels light, making it easy to drive in traffic. The Harrier betters the Creta when it comes to ride quality too. However, the engine is a bit coarse, and wind noise outside can be heard in the cabin. The steering on the Harrier is light and quick, and changes directions effortlessly. At high speeds, the Harrier stays planted and confident. Power comes from a 2.0-litre diesel engine that makes 140bhp and 350Nm of torque, but acceleration isn’t impressive.
Now while the Creta might offer great performance, refinement, drivability and features, it’s the Harrier that feels more of an SUV with its larger dimensions and its semi-independent twist blade axle. It has an equally impressive equipment list, drives well, has plush interiors and feels a lot safer to be in with all those safety features on-board. The Harrier just feels like the better bet.