Hyundai Creta vs Honda City: Handling And Comfort Compared  – ZigWheels
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Hyundai Creta vs Honda City: Handling And Comfort Compared – ZigWheels

We keep hearing that SUVs have started to drive more car-like. And given the modern monocoque architecture of most urban SUVs, they have indeed improved upon their city driving manners. This basically means that despite them being taller and heavier, the dynamic ability is actually closer to a traditional three-box sedan. To check if this statement is really true, we decided to pitch the best selling SUV in India, the Hyundai Creta, against one of the most sophisticated everyday sedans, the Honda CIty. These will compete in a cornering challenge, acceleration and braking challenge and finally a join-the-dots ride comfort challenge. Place your bets people, it’s time to get started.

1. Cornering Test

This test is simple: both cars will go through a corner which has been made sharper by laying down some cones. Each car will first attack the corner at 60kmph, and then we bump the speed up to 70kmph. The objective is to maintain a nice, tight line or not destroy too many cones. Up first, the Creta.

The Creta at 60kmph takes the corner easily. It did feel a bit top heavy and there was body roll, but it managed to stay within the cones, which is pretty impressive. The fat-ish 215-section tyres feel grippy here and help you turn in sharply.

However, at 70kmph, the story changes. The Creta can no longer hold the line and ends up running wide. The top-heavy nature is amplified and it does get a bit unnerving inside the cabin. The front end loses some grip and washes wide, causing understeer and running into the cones. As a result, 2 cones get taken out.

Just by sitting in the Honda City you feel more confident. It is low, and sporty. But the concern we have are the skinny 185-section tyres which might give up before the Creta’s did. At 60kmph, the City exhibits no drama whatsoever. It remains very flat through the corner, with little complaint from the tyres, and remains well within the cones. The nose turns in sharply, making for a clean entry and a cleaner exit.

At 70kmph though, there was some body roll and the tyres just about managed to hold onto the tarmac. Yes, it did start to run a bit wide but still managed to stay within the line of the cone. This is highly impressive as there are not many cars which have managed to take the corner at 70kmph as cleanly as the City. Now, technically this test is over and the CIty has already won. But because it performed so well at 70kmph, we decided to do something we had never done before with any car. Take this corner at 80kmph!

Approaching the corner at 80kmph caused some serious butterflies in our stomachs. However, the Honda City was still feeling confident. Turned in, the Honda City ran out of grip. It exhibited understeer and not even the low ride height could keep the body roll in check.

Despite being thrown into the corner at a higher speed, the City clipped just 2 cones. That alone says a lot about the gulf in handling between the SUV and the sedan.

The sedan is the clean winner here. It was more stable and was able to carry a lot more speed than the Creta. The SUV does feel more natural and easy to drive in a city with its tall seating and better visibility, but the sedan is the one which will put a smile on your face. Now, we mourn for our fallen cone brethren?

2. Acceleration And Braking

With its wider tyres hugging the tarmac better, the Hyundai Creta manages to come to a stop from 100kmph in less distance than the Honda City. The Creta took 40.12 metres whereas the City took an additional 1.74 metres. In the real world, these are pretty close but on a performance test, the Creta wins by over a metre.

In the acceleration department, a lot depends on the powertrain of the car. And because we have here a diesel-manual City and a turbo-petrol-automatic Creta, things were clearly in favour of the Creta. But we have tested the other powertrains as well. Have a look.

Car / Powertrain

0-100kmph in seconds

Honda City Diesel MT

12.37s

Honda City Petrol CVT

12.74s

Hyundai Creta Diesel MT

12.26s

Hyundai Creta Petrol DCT

9.41s

Even in a Shimla-apples to Kashmiri-apples comparison, the Creta is clearly the winner here. The more powerful engines give it a slight lead in the diesel drag race, and a massive 3.33 second lead when it comes to the petrol-automatics.

3. Ride Quality

The concept of this test is simple. Both cars would be driven at the same speed over the same surface. The front passenger will then play a scientific game of joining the dots. The cleaner drawing of the dolphin wins. However, immediately there was one challenge. The front lip of the Honda City is quite low, which meant we had to pick a broken path which wasn’t too cruel. And also keep the test speed limited to 30kmph, or the City would start ploughing the surface like a farmer.

The Honda City has a more cushioning ride quality. It manages to absorb the bumps better and isolate the occupants from the road’s surface. Even at 30kmph on the bad surface, the City managed to keep the movement in the cabin under control and did not let the harshness of the bumps impact the drawing too much. It did bottom out on the level changes and there was the occasional scraper of the front lip, but nothing serious. As a result, the drawing managed to look like a dolphin at the end of the test.

The Hyundai Creta has a longer suspension travel and a higher ground clearance. This means it won’t bottom out that easily and could go much faster. But because the speeds were locked at 30kmph, the test was done there. As the drive starts, the first thing you notice is how much more the cabin moves around. The higher centre of gravity and the longer suspension travel means you get thrown around side to side more. And this has a big impact on the drawing. At places, the marker decided to follow its own destiny and not be in control. As a result, the dolphin looked more crooked this time. Like the poor thing had been hit by cosmic radiation in a superhero movie.

In this test, the Honda City did come out a winner. It may not have the added ground clearance or suspension travel but the low stance gives it an advantage as compared to body roll. But in the real world, while you will have to mind your speeds in the City, the Creta could go much faster over the bad stull and offer you a lot more freedom in your explorations.

Verdict

We set out to find whether the statement ‘SUVs nowadays drive more car-like’ stands true in the case of the Hyundai Creta and the Honda City. Well, not quite. In a straight line, the Creta might have the edge in acceleration and braking because of the more powerful engines and fatter tyres. However, the comparisons tips in favour of the City the moment you start talking about handling and comfort.

In the cornering test, the low centre of gravity of the City really shines and keeps it in check at speeds we would not even try in the Creta. In terms of comfort, it’s the City that offers a more plush and sophisticated ride despite it having less suspension travel. Yes, you do have more freedom with the Creta but the City still offers a more comfortable ride experience.

The craze for SUVs is justified. However, team sedan isn’t giving up without a fight. Don’t write them off just yet. If roads don’t resemble the lunar surface, they’re still a whole lot more fun.


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