Hyundai Creta N Line review

Making your mid-life more exciting

₹ 20,29,000


Turning everything it touches into gold, Hyundai is one of those rare brands that resonates with every Indian car buyer, up and down the pecking order. From the i10 Nios to the retro-chic planet hugger Ioniq 5 that has swept almost every Car of the Year award in 2023, including the Stuff EV of the Year! But what if you find yourself in the middle of the market, with sporty intentions, a penchant for SUVs and the wallet to indulge yourself with something modern? 

The new Hyundai Creta is almost that car, but the N-Line adds the missing X factor - the zing, so to speak. Here’s our review of the new Hyundai Creta N Line, which is priced at Rs. 20,29,000 (ex-showroom) in India.

Hyundai Creta N Line review: Design

If you’re going through a mid-life crisis and want to please yourself as much as the family and the family pet, the Creta N-Line comes as a breath of fresh air. Distinctive enough to be recognised as a ‘special edition’, yet sedate enough to be driven for the everyday school run, it manages to up the perception without upping your budget considerably. 

Priced at a mere Rs. 30,000 over the equivalent SX(O) variant, what you get for your money are generous lashes of red and N-line badges all around, a completely reworked front bumper and grille, side skirts and rear diffuser along with a twin-tip exhaust and a larger, more purposeful roof spoiler. But it’s not all just cosmetic and like its predecessors, the i20 N-line and Venue N-line, it too beefs up the suspension and steering dynamics to add more stiffness and weight for a more engaging drive. 

Sadly though, and this is a big miss, Hyundai has skimped on endowing the Creta’s potent 160hp/253Nm motor with a raspier exhaust note. Blaming an internal survey where customers opted out of a louder exhaust, they have made an enthusiast-oriented car without the one thing enthusiasts crave! 

Although the cabin is largely identical to the everyman version of the Creta, the touch points thankfully remind you that you’re in something a bit more special. The three-spoke N-line steering wheel with large paddle shifters, high-quality buttons and perforated leather is a direct lift from the i20 N-line and we aren’t complaining. Same for the DCT gear lever. Golden. With a touch of red, mind you. 

Even the seats get the N-Line treatment and the branding is subtle yet sporty at the same time. But more importantly, they are super comfy, supportive and ventilated. The driver also gets additional perks like powered seat adjustment.

Hyundai Creta N Line review: Tech

There’s more tech than you’d care to read about too and it helps in padding up the marketing literature, but the ADAS Level-2 features are also suitably calibrated for Indian road conditions and come in handy without being obtrusive like on more expensive luxury vehicles with similar systems. The 360-degree surround-view cam has fantastic resolution and the Blind Spot monitors that magically transform your digital dials into left/right viewfinders are a boon on slow roads with fast and furious riders. 

The 8-speaker Bose audio system remains the best in the segment and doesn’t give any reason to visit your friendly neighbourhood car accessory bhai. Yes, at max volume, with the bass turned up and Billie Eilish playing, there is a hint of protest from the door panels but this is only an extreme case scenario for illustration purposes. Getting professional damping done on the doors should resolve any and all worries. 

Shockingly, Hyundai has thrown every sort of gizmo at the Creta but evaded wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. You do get a wireless charging pad, which seems counterintuitive if you’re going to plug in your phone anyway for mirroring. Charging would just be a faster byproduct. 

Another miss is a sliding centre armrest, which seems easier to do now than ever, considering the parking brake is now electronic and not a giant lever, freeing up space on the centre console. However, the Creta N-Line gets Alexa Home-to-Car comms to pre-cool your car, a year’s free subscription to Jio Saavn Pro and BlueLink connectivity that extends to all smartwatch platforms too. So whether you’re at the pub or a boomer reunion, you have bragging material for every occasion!

Hyundai Creta N Line review: Performance

It’s a responsive engine, building revs rapidly and the 7-speed DCT does a great job of masking the turbo lag in Sport Mode. But even in a manual takeover with the paddle shifts, it won’t hold the revs for you, upshifting at about 6000RPM to save itself from imploding. Triple-digit speeds are achieved effortlessly and the cabin is well insulated from road and wind noise too. But, and this is the big but, the perception of acceleration or ‘fun’ is heavily blunted by the lack of an accompanying aural drama. 

Now, we’d be OK if we were in the regular version of the Creta, but knowing that you’re paying a bit extra to get the go-faster-looking sibling, you also want to FEEL it going faster. A huge component of that feeling is the associated noise as you build speed and in this case, it just sounds like the whining of an engine getting schtick. Not a motor that’s eager to put a smile on your face. 

Having said that, the drive can still be fun if you take over control, engage Sport mode and use the paddle shifters judiciously. The shifts are quick, the steering offers a good turn-in feel and the grip is confidence-inspiring through long and fast corners. The N-Line-specific steering wheel gets thumb stops and is just the right thickness to make it a pleasure to hold over long journeys. The perforated grip areas feel great and even the button quality and feel are leagues ahead of the normal version. 

The salvation comes in the form of a mature ride though, even on the larger 18in wheels and stiffened dampers. Unlike on the i20 N-Line, Hyundai hasn’t revealed how much they’ve tightened the nuts on the suspension, percentage-wise, but it’s a sublime ride quality on all kinds of roads. Keen cutlets might want to upgrade the stock 215/55 R18 rubber but it would only be an exercise in excess. 

Stability at extreme speeds is impressive and at lower speeds, going through a bad patch is dismissed off in a refined and composed manner, without much of the lateral movement common on cars with a stiff set-up. However, our final judgement on this should be reserved for Mumbai city roads and not a 120km round trip on the ribbon-smooth Delhi-Mumbai Expressway.


Being able to buy an OEM car from a showroom that looks tastefully ‘modified’ is reason enough to get excited in this case. And you wouldn’t be entirely wrong in treating this as a special edition of the Creta as opposed to a sportier edition. The lack of a sportier exhaust does limit its overall appeal as a true N-Line car, but it redeems itself with a suspension that screams sophistication. The design bits are superbly crafted and are guaranteed to get you that second glance at the traffic lights. Job done, no?

Stuff Says

With such a marginal mark-up over the standard version, the Creta N-Line is a no-brainer if you want more style, more looks and a bit more sport.
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Design mods are tasteful and distinctive

  1. Ride and handling new benchmark in segment

  1. Loaded with tech and useful ADAS Level-2 safety net

  1. Misses out on a sportier exhaust

  1. No wireless phone mirroring

  1. Some low-rent plastics in cabin

Engine: 4-cyl turbo petrol
Power: 160hp/253Nm
Acceleration: 0-100km//hr in 8.9secs
Transmission: 7-speed DCT (6-sp manual optional)
Wheels: 215/55 R18
Boot capacity: 433lts