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April 10, 2023

The Hyundai Creta Offers A Fresh Perspective In Subcompact Driving

In the Philippines, there’s no doubt that the Japanese reign supreme when it comes to motoring. Not only do Japanese carmakers carry some of the most iconic automotive brands, their products have also offered top-notch quality and value for over decades. If there’s one thing to be said about Filipinos, it is the loyalty that they have toward brands that have served them—and continue to—for generations. But that hasn’t deterred others from trying their hand at getting a piece of the pie in the Philippine automotive industry.

One such brand that has been around for quite some time is South Korean brand, Hyundai. Hyundai was previously represented by a local distributor before the Korean multinational office decided to officially set up shop here in the Philippines under Hyundai Motor Philippines Corporation (HMPH). HMPH established its foothold in 2022, with the introduction of a new line-up of vehicles that’s designed to give the brand its much-needed reboot in the country. The philosophy, in concept and design, is to be the brand that brings humanity forward and into the future.

With “Progress For Humanity” as its driving force, Hyundai’s focus is in providing a new experience to its customers, beginning with fresh products under its passenger vehicle line-up — and we’re not talking about standard facelifts, either. Its product range now seem to represent a life stage to go with each model, which allows the brand to grow with its customer base.

The first notable vehicle that Hyundai unveiled is all-new Hyundai Creta. As the brand’s sub-compact SUV, the Creta is made for fast-paced city living. It comes in the perfect size and configuration that can support the working lifestyle of a young professional, while providing him with a vehicle that can be taken out on the open road for a much-needed weekend respite from the urban jungle.

The Creta represents the personality of an avid, ambitious youth, with a classic silhouette and the slightly more mature parametric jewel-pattern grille. The dynamism is introduced in the stacked LED headlamps on either side and in the 17-inch two-tone alloy wheels. Hyundai veers from the basic look by incorporating a black floating roof to contrast with the body, giving it the illusion of length, and integrating its new signature futuristic lighting detail to the rear of the car, representing progress and fluidity.

The interior cabin is where it makes a difference for the Creta’s targeted customer. While the exterior is kept clean and neat, the inside is modern, updated, with a touch of luxe. Personally, I appreciated the two-tone black-cognac brown colorway that it comes with. Besides being a unique design element, it creates a different perspective from the outside, as it is specifically incorporated into the major areas of the interior — the dashboard, the door paneling, and the seats.

You will also come to notice how the modern touch is consistent in various key details. The first is how the 10.25-inch instrument cluster is in full-color and fitted into the dash in an easy-to-view layout. I would have preferred it in a slightly larger size that is shaped specifically to the housing frame, but I like how it was easy on the eyes, with all the pertinent information right where I needed to see it.

The 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display is also perfectly integrated into the center of the dashboard, offering most of the modern connectivity requirements, such as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. What Hyundai could improve on is the speed and consistency of connection, especially with wireless CarPlay as part of its features. There’s a challenge for the system in detecting your device after the first connection. Given this, if you’re in a rush to get going, things could have been better off using a cabled connection. Alas, there’s no option for one.

Full disclosure: the Hyundai Creta was my first Korean car experience. Again, coming from the performance of Japanese-made vehicles that I’m accustomed to, I came in to it with a grain of salt. In terms of handling, the steering is smooth and easy, making it incredibly responsive when maneuvering through city roads. It is, however, too light for my taste, for someone who prefers a bit of solidity and weight when it comes to the vehicles that I drive. It does have a stable, grounded feel, which is an important control point for me, especially when running at speed on a highway or blasting through corners.

I also love the responsiveness of its Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT), which is basically a CVT with a built-in shift logic. I find that it automatically adapts to most driving conditions without fuss.

All in all, the Creta is an impressive, comfortable driving experience for someone who places a premium on how a car performs in a daily urban setting. It ticks the boxes if you’re looking for a fresh perspective when it comes to city driving that is comfortable, feature-packed, and reliable.

Again, with Hyundai’s new line-up, it is a great introduction to the brand. The Creta aims to be an innovation that carries the same familiarity that Filipinos expect along with good value as they move forward into the future.

Words and Photos by Gen Tiu.


  1. But only 2 airbags even in the TOTL

  2. Yeah, Hyundai is on a roll lately. I hope the air-conditioning problems they have on some previous models (most notorious of it is the Accent) has been fixed.

    And btw, how many times did you change your name, Kuchi888? LOL


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