Hyundai Alcazar First Look: Hands On With The 7-Seat Creta
- by Kartikeya
- Apr 9, 2021
- Views : 5142
Hyundai certainly were playing their cards close to the chest when they gave us a heavily camouflaged prototype for our first impressions. Still, it didn't stop us from coming away with some very definitive thoughts on this brand new three-row SUV.
Have you been yearning for a city-friendly SUV like the Creta, but keep getting tempted by the practicality of the larger three-row SUVs in the market? You may now be able to have your cake and eat it too as Hyundai is all set to bring in a bigger Creta--or as it is called, the Alcazar.
Named after a palace in Spain, this Hyundai is promising to pamper. How? This camouflage-clad pre-production Alcazar is trying to hold its secrets close to its chest; but, after spending some time with it, at standstill and on the road, we can tell you what it’s promising and what you should expect.
Big on Bling
From a distance the Alcazar’s face can easily be confused with the Creta’s. As it comes closer, the smattering of chrome tabs on the grille will let you know that this is the more premium of the two siblings. The headlamp unit is identical although the plastic band running under the LED DRLs gets a textured finish and some of the chrome treatment here too. The bigger 18” wheels, dual tone and machine-cut, up the bling factor from the side too. Like the Creta, lower variants will use 17” rims though. At the rear the Alcazar ditches the Creta theme, opting for chunky, old-school sort-of tail lamps in place of the more delicate and edgy ones on the latter. Behind the tailgate is a class-leading 180 litres of storage even with the third row in use.
Big on Purpose
The Alcazar is bigger than the Creta, the wheelbase, at 2760mm, having been stretched a massive 150mm! So you can expect it to be longer by that much at least. And no, Hyundai hasn’t shared any other dimensions with us. Its designers have been careful to keep the overhangs tight, which has kept the Alcazar from looking awkward or bulky. We won’t call it downright handsome, though, as the change in proportions dilutes the SUV aura a bit.
The big difference between the Alcazar and the Creta is its third row. With practicality and usability key for this Hyundai, the rear doors are much longer, to make getting in and out of the second and third row much easier. Tug the lever on the second row and the seat tumbles forward, giving you easy access to the third row. Sliding second row seats and recline adjustment for the 50:50 split seats in the third row helped my 5’6” frame find a reasonable seating position. However, the short and low seat means the third row is best suited for kids. They won’t be treated poorly for sure, as there’s a dedicated compressor to cool these seats quicker, dedicated blower controls, vents on both sides and USB charging sockets.
The Big Difference
But Hyundai insists the Alcazar is big on comfort. Where, you ask? The second row. The sliding seats open up more knee room here and there’s plenty of headroom for six-footers too. The six-seater has a centre console between the captain seats, which has an inbuilt wireless charger juice up your phone. There is also an armrest with storage underneath it, and cupholders here too. Very handy! Seatback-mounted picnic tables flip up to give you space to snack on; or, you could use the clever slots to “stand” your phone and get to work. You could, alternatively, enjoy the seats (which are longer and better cushioned), roll up the sunblinds, stare out of the panoramic sunroof and just chill!
Big on Wow?
As you would expect from a Hyundai and a more expensive version of the Creta, there is no shortage of features. You can expect the Alcazar to carry over the long and desirable feature list from the Creta with key features such as the ventilated seats, 10.25” infotainment screen, Bose sound system and connected car tech. The Alcazar will also get some exclusive features like a 360-degree camera, plus more. The sense of premiumness is also because of the maroon and black colour combination for the cabin. While the cabin looks richer because of it, the dash doesn’t feel richer as there aren’t any soft-touch materials in use here.
Driving this castle around will be absolutely breezy. Hyundai claims that the sound insulation and suspension have been tuned to create a sense of luxury. On our brief drive the Alcazar was well mannered and cocooned us from sounds and surfaces well. The use of additional high strength steel makes the monocoque chassis more robust and enduring.
Driving the front wheels will be the 1.5 litre diesel engine from the Creta, in the same 115PS state of tune. However, to deal with the extra weight and the additional load it will carry, the final drive gearing (on the differential) has been shortened. Basically, it should feel grunty and peppy even when loaded. This will be available with the 6MT or the 6AT.
Petrol power is available by way of the two-litre four-cylinder engine from the Elantra, albeit in its new 3rd Gen avatar. Hyundai claims better fuel efficiency from this 159PS motor and that’s while going from 0-100kmph in under 10s! On the road the highlight of this engine was its elegance: it felt very drivable at low speeds, and even when it was forced to negotiate an incline at under 1000rpm it didn’t stutter or shudder. So it ought to be absolutely useful in the city, and the zing at higher revs will help it make tracks even on the highway.
There is much more to uncover about the Alcazar. What will it feature? What could it do better? But what's evident even from this brief introduction that the Alcazar is not a tough and brawny SUV but a city friendly and versatile package for urban families. For this flexibility and the features we expect the Alcazar to come at a premium of Rs 70k to Rs 1.2 lakh (dependent on variant) over the Creta when it is launched early next month.
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