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Creta apa ni? Hyundai Creta facelift, bro. Reader JJ Chang spotted this unfamiliar SUV on our roads and while he did not disclose the location, the background looks like Tanjung Tokong. Thais holidaying in Penang like the Shinawatras? Nope, the car has Malaysian number plates.

We contacted Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) but the distributor declined to comment on the Creta. It’s safe to assume then that HSDM does indeed have plans for this B-segment SUV, although we’re not sure if it will culminate in market introduction.

Pricing is always an issue when it comes to non-national mass market brands introducing new products here. It’s hard to match modern day Perodua in content and equipment when you have higher cost and lower volume. But at least the Creta is made in Indonesia (since January 2022), and can be brought in via AFTA, ASEAN’s free trade area rules with lower duty. The HMMI-made Creta has since been launched in Thailand.

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The Creta is Hyundai’s B-segment crossover for emerging markets, based on the Kia Seltos and positioned below the more compact European-flavoured Kona in the lineup. This is the facelifted second-generation model, sporting a full-width Parametric Jewel grille like the latest Tucson. This means the LED daytime running lights are neatly hidden within the grille, with the main LED headlights sitting independently on the bumper.

On the sides, you’ll find prominent fender creases, plus a silver roof and C-pillar trim that creates a “floating roof” effect without the roof being in another colour. Those split triangular taillights are very distinct, weird even. The car you see here has its Hyundai and Creta rear badging taped up, which is strange as the front logo is naked.

Looks a bit like the Perodua Ativa from certain angles? At 4,315 mm long and 1,790 mm wide, the Creta is 250 mm longer and 80 mm wider than the Perodua, which means it’s a fair bit larger. The 2,610 mm wheelbase is 85 mm longer than the Ativa’s. The Creta’s dash has a waterfall-style design, like on the Tucson and Santa Cruz. It’s rendered in a nice two-tone in this unit, which also has light-coloured seats.

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Thai-spec cars get an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, a 10.25-inch digital instrument display, Qi wireless charger, automatic air con with rear vents and a comprehensive safety package. The latter includes six airbags and Hyundai’s SmartSense driver assist suite including door opening warning. The higher of the two specs (SEL) adds on LED and ambient interior lighting plus a panoramic sunroof.

Under the Creta’s hood is a 1.6 litre naturally-aspirated engine producing 115 PS at 6,300 rpm and 144 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm. Power goes to the front wheels via an Intelligent Variable Transmission (iVT), Hyundai name for CVT. In India and Indonesia, the SUV also comes with a six-speed manual gearbox.

The Creta is priced from 949,000 baht to 999,000 baht in Thailand, which translates to RM115,749 to RM121,848. What do you think of the Hyundai Creta at those prices? For reference, the base 1.5L NA Honda HR-V is priced at RM114,800, and the range goes all the way to RM140,800 for the RS e:HEV hybrid.

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