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The Creamy White Creta is as smooth as it sounds

The first thing that got me about the Hyundai Creta (Creamy White is the color scheme but I think it all just sounds nice together) was that I thought the doors were left open. Because, for some reason, the doors open almost effortlessly. That doesn’t mean they are thin or insubstantial, because they are not. They have a nice heft to them. But the pulling of the door handle feels so smooth I thought I had left the thing unlocked. It showed that they were focusing on the little details that connect you with the car. Which is nice. And that feeling continued.

The cabin is pleasant and clean, a five seat layout (rear with a 60:40 split) with, in our case, nice brown leatherette seats.

The car as tested was the Creta 1.5 GLS IVT, which uses what they have armed a Smartstream G1.5 engine of 1497cc and four cylinders that produces 115ps and 144 Nm of torque that comes in max at 4,500 rpm. This all happily powers the front wheels. The key for how modern powerplants work so well though, is pretty much in their transmissions, and here the car uses what they are calling an Intelligent Variable Transmission. I pretty much think this is why the car is so smooth and is surprisingly pleasant to drive. It doesn’t roar or chirp its wheels or anything, but it is quick enough to be fun. As with many modern cars, it doesn’t transmit a lot of road feel into the cabin or the steering wheel. But steering is quick, easy and precise. Drive Mode allows the choice of Eco, Comfort, Smart or Sport. There is a rotating button on the console that allows you to choose. The same button also gives you access to Traction Control Mode, which if ever needed, allows you to choose proper settings for snow, mud or sand. What you would use most though would be the drive modes. They are pretty self-explanatory, and there are small changes in terms of how the power is delivered in the different modes. I was pretty content in Eco mode most of the time, Sport meant the engine was more responsive to the demands of your right foot. It won’t launch hard from start so much as just roll on the power more quickly.

The cabin is pleasant and clean, a five seat layout (rear with a 60:40 split) with, in our case, nice brown leatherette seats. Apple CarPlay was pretty seamless and was wireless, connecting automatically once set up, throwing data to a nicely-integrated 8-inch audio display. There are power plugs (including one in the rear), as well as a wireless charging pad that perfectly holds an iPhone Pro Max. Air conditioning controls and audio volume controls are analog dials. Oh and the glove box cools.

The steering wheel and assorted controls are pretty complete and standard, everything falling easily to hand. There is a 10.25-inch Full TFT LCD Meter Cluster which means everything is pretty crisp and clear. The layout and color scheme changes a bit if you play with the driving modes. There is even an “attention level” meter with a coffee cup.

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The GLS had a suite of SmartSense safety systems, with a Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist system that will warn you of possible impact risk then automatically perform emergency braking. We did not test this, and you should never rely on systems to the point of ignoring common sense and proper driving awareness. We did have fun with the Lane Keeping Assist though, because we found it did surprisingly well at following a curving set of properly marked lanes. It will call your attention though if you do this by taking your hands off the steering wheel. The rear view monitor is crisp and clear.

What is the overall impression of the Creamy White Creta? Besides sounding Iike a cheese? It is just surprisingly simple and easy to drive, but not in a way that makes it soulless. A pleasant everyday drive with a good amount of space and a nice package of features. With so many new brands coming into the market with lower prices and all the bells and whistles, it is very nice to be able to choose a very well-sorted compact SUV from a name you already trust at a pretty competitive price point.