The compact SUV segment is definitely the hottest in the Indian car market at present. These SUV models offer all the benefits of a truly sports utility vehicle while also being city friendly with their compact design. Moreover, the popular compact SUV models in India come laden with many attractive features, while also offering stylish visual appeal unlike the bulky traditional SUVs. There are several great and very popular compact SUV models in India including the Renault Duster, Nissan Terrano, Maruti Suzuki S-Cross and the good old Mahindra Scorpio. But the one model which is currently ruling the roost is the incredibly popular Hyundai Creta which launched last year.
The Creta craze is continued and seems to be unstoppable. However, Honda India has now launched its brand new BR-V to challenge the hot four-wheelers in this segment. The Honda BR-V certainly has been a highly awaited vehicle launch in India, and it is a bold and capable new compact SUV that should be easily eating into the demands of its already established market rivals. However, is the BR-V able enough to take on the immensely successful Creta?
Let us take a look at the kind of battle that the Japanese and the South Korean compact SUVs are engaged in, by comparing the Honda BR-V against the Hyundai Creta:
Although looks are subjective, the Hyundai Creta does look more stylish over the Honda BR-V. Take one look, and the Creta flaunts its SUV stance better, while the BR-V looks larger. The BRV’s overall design is very similar to the Mobilio MPV, but it is bolder and more premium looking and its front fascia seems to be reminiscent of the CR-V which enhances its premium appeal. On the other hand, there’s no questioning the handsomeness of the Creta and Hyundai has done a fantastic job on it with great aggressive styling elements. Then again, while the Creta looks like a well proportionate and sculpted SUV from every angle, the BR-V’s stretched design makes it look something between a SUV, MPV and a van.
Step inside and the scale starts getting heavier on BR-V’s side, as the space and comfort it offers are simply wow. BR-V can simply win over with the sheer space that it offers which no other model in its own class does, all thanks to the stretched exterior that we just criticized. The second row offers magnanimous space, while the third row is also far from being cramped. The third row might not be right for the tall passengers, but is handy for sure. The third row also can be folded up easily to reveal a humongous cargo space for all extra luggage. The BR-V is also the only 7-seater model in its own class other than the Scorpio which is also less spacious than the BR-V. The top-end model of the BR-V offers keyless entry and pushbutton start/stop among other features.
On the other hand, the Creta impresses with a wide range of features. The 5-seater SUV also offers smart key entry and pushbutton start/stop like the BR-V and much more which the latter lacks. The top-end Creta gets a touch screen navigation system and reverse camera which the BR-V lacks.
Both the Honda BR-V and the Hyundai Creta are offered in both petrol and diesel versions. The BR-V petrol packs the refined i-VTEC mill that is paired to a fuel economical CVT gearbox option. The 1.5 iVTEC motor along with its CVT companion performs really well and offers a superb smooth and extremely pleasant drive in the heavy traffic laden city roads with smooth gearshifts. In comparison, the Creta with its automatic transmission option is not so refined.
The Creta’s petrol version is also nice and powerful and now offers the AT option on the range topping SX variant. Nevertheless, the major attention drawer is certainly the Creta’s diesel version. Hyundai has been offering the AT option on the diesel version of the Creta right from the beginning, but the manual transmission option offers a better fun drive. The diesel mills of the Creta really go well with the 6 speed transmission gearbox. And although the engine is a tad crude and also has too much grunt to like, its gearbox makes up for it. In comparison, the BR-V’s i-DTEC diesel motor is more refined and fun too, but it is also not flawless and is really noisy which doesn’t go in its favor. Although Honda claims that the company has sweated a lot at reducing Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) levels of this engine, it is certainly not apparent on the BR-V.
When we talk about cars in India, price is certainly one of the top priorities of the buyers. True, now the Indian car buyers have become very quality and feature conscious, but they still look for the better value for money or affordable cars. In terms of affordability the BR-V does have an edge over the Creta. The Creta has been priced starting at Rs. 9.15 lakh for the base petrol which goes all the way up to Rs. 12.86 lakh for the top petrol variant. The BR-V’s petrol range on the other hand, starts at Rs. 8.75 lakh and tops at Rs. 11.99 lakh. The Creta diesel range starts at Rs. 9.99 lakh and goes up to Rs. 14.5 lakh for the range topping diesel variant. The BRV’s base diesel model has been priced at Rs. 9.9 lakh while the range topping trim is tagged at Rs. 12.9 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom New Delhi). So, the price difference between the BR-V and the Creta is very apparent, and it shows that Honda has surprised everyone by playing very aggressively when pricing its BR-V, although Hyundai has been a better price master so far.
From this comparison it is evident that the Honda BR-V wins in terms of space, seating capacity, pricing and also a wee bit more of powertrain refinement, while the Hyundai Creta remains unchallenged in terms of great design, SUV stance and better features.
We surely think that the capable Honda BR-V is more practical and will attract a lot of buyers, but the overall winner of this SUV comparison remains the craze worthy Hyundai Creta.