Driving the 2024 Hyundai Creta in the UAE

Another month, another car! If you haven’t yet, check out the previous post I wrote my experience driving the 2019 Toyota Corolla in the UAE. I had the car for a month and covered 3700 km.

After the month was over, I contacted the car rental company in Ras al Khaimah to look for a different car. Something a little newer.

Of all the cars they had for me to rent for the next month, the 2024 Hyundai Creta appealed to me the most. The Creta was completely brand new, with less than 1000 km on the clock.

2024 Hyundai Creta review in Dubai, UAE.
Less than 1000 km on the odo when I took the Creta.

I had never driven a car that new before, so I wanted to experience the new car feeling without having to buy one.

Over the next month, I drove the 2024 Hyundai Creta all over the UAE and added 2711 kilometers to the odometer.

By UAE standards, that number is low. But I don’t have a commute. That means I drove just to enjoy driving on the wide open highways from E611 to the road leading up to Hatta Dam, not to mention the beautiful and curvy roads in Jebel Jais, a frequent destination from my location in Ras al Khaimah.

Although I’m not an expert car reviewer, my love for driving led me to start this blog and the corresponding YouTube channel. And what must I do after driving a brand-new car?

I must share that experience.

Let’s hear about my driving experience in the GCC spec 2024 Hyundai Creta without further ado.

Click here to see the sections!

GCC Spec 2024 Hyundai Creta Review

At its core, the 2024 Hyundai Creta is a front-wheel drive, small crossover SUV with a 1.5-liter petrol engine. Per Hyundai’s official figures, the engine outputs 115 ps (less than 114 HP) @ 6,300 rpm.

As you know, I drove the Toyota Corolla before renting the Hyundai Creta. Going from a sedan to a crossover SUV is a slight adjustment. The ride height is obviously better, but at the same time, there’s more wind resistance, which makes the Creta less aerodynamic compared to the Corolla.

2024 Hyundai Creta review in Dubai, UAE.

I felt this as soon as I pulled onto the road. The measly 1.5-engine under the hood of this small crossover SUV was underpowered, but that’s likely because of wind resistance. The road visibility is certainly better than the sedan, but is the trade-off worth it?

I’ll answer that toward the end of this review.

2024 Hyundai Creta Exterior

If there’s one thing Hyundai did right with the 2024 Hyundai Creta, it’s the front end.

I 100% like the Creta’s front grille. There are daytime running lights that mesh perfectly into the front grille design. I don’t quite like the shape of the headlamp housing or the fact that the base model comes with halogen headlamps, but I do like both the overall front and side profile of the Creta.

The rear, however, is pretty average. Spaced-out “CRETA” branding makes it obvious that you’re looking at a Creta’s back, but it doesn’t look nearly as good as the front.

The dual tone of the overall color, which, in my case, is black and white, gives it a nice look. I saw several other Cretas on the road in quite a few different colors, and I must say, they all look good. Not head-turning good, but good enough.

2024 Hyundai Creta Interior Review

The disappointment begins as soon as you climb into the Creta. The interior looks and feels cheap. There’s no other way to say this.

Mind you, I’m coming from the 2019 Toyota Corolla, which arguably has a worse interior due to a lack of a proper infotainment system.

In fact, the Creta packs more tech. The instrument cluster looks far better than the Corolla. The infotainment system supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. However, you have to connect your phone via a cable for them to work. There’s a wireless charging spot, too!

2024 Hyundai Creta review in Dubai, UAE.
2024 Hyundai Creta review in Dubai, UAE.

Despite having all this tech, the interior of the 2024 Creta feels strangely cheap. I mean, it’s not a super expensive car, so plastic all around the interior is expected. But for some reason, everything in the interior even looks cheap. Just look at this:

It goes around everything you can touch, too. The window buttons have a strange, spongy feeling. It’s hard to describe it in words, but when you press the window button, it feels so finicky that you think it’ll stop working after a few thousand times. None of the windows are auto.

Then, there are the indicator and windshield wiper levers. Somehow, Hyundai managed to make them feel cheap, too. If you put on the high beam, the left lever does not stay “inside.” As in, it springs back to its original position. Even the cheapest car I ever drove in my life didn’t do this. The only way you’d know that the headlamps have a high beam on is by looking at the instrument cluster for the high beam indicator.

The window glasses feel cheap, too. I forgot to take a picture of them, but if you lower the windows on the Creta, the glass is so thin that you wonder if it’ll break at the slightest pressure against your elbow.

Oh, and the doors do not have any ‘lock/unlock’ button. The driver-side door has it, but for the other passengers, the only way to unlock the door is by using the door lever once (which unlocks their side) and then doing it again.

I legit had to read the manual inside the car to figure this out. How much more would Hyundai have to spend to add proper lock/unlock buttons on all four doors?

On the upside, though, the all-around visibility is fantastic. I was super happy with the ride height and visibility of driving the Creta. The bucket-like seats were also super comfortable. However, I can’t say how comfortable the rear seats would be in long journeys. There are AC vents in the rear, though. So that should keep them cool and comfy!

Driving Experience: What is it like to drive the 2024 Hyundai Creta in UAE?

With all that said, let’s turn over the engine and go out for a drive.


Not for a single instance over a month did the Creta feel powerful. In fact, ‘powerful’ may be too strong a word. It didn’t even feel like the engine had enough power to move its own weight. I drove all by myself with zero cargo, and yet, just getting up to speed on a 100 km/h road felt like a chore.

Compared to Corolla

The much older 2019 Corolla felt more powerful. Of course, it had a slightly bigger engine. At 1.5-liter, the Hyundai Creta’s engine is only marginally smaller than the Corolla’s 1.6-liter engine. Yet, the car is so painfully slow that I wondered what it would feel like if all seats and cargo space were occupied.

I’m fairly certain that the crossover’s higher body has something to do with it. By body type, the Corolla — a sedan — is more aerodynamic than the Creta, or any crossover for that matter. So, for a crossover to be more powerful, it needs a significantly more powerful engine.


I liked the Creta’s braking performance a lot. The brakes engage early and quickly bring you to a complete stop. I enjoyed the confidence-inspiring braking performance on the 2024 Creta.

Steering feel

The steering feel, however, is dead. I don’t know if it’s because the car was brand new or if it gets better over time, but the Creta has a “steer-by-wire” system, which means the front wheels are not directly controlled by the steering wheels. They are electronically controlled. Coming from the Corolla, the lack of any steering feedback felt extremely frustrating.

Driving on mountain roads

2024 Hyundai Creta review in Dubai, UAE.

I drove the Creta several times up and down Jebel Jais in the north. I wouldn’t use the word ‘struggle’ when going uphill, but the engine definitely makes some noise. The gear shifter has a manual mode, so you can engage that if you’ve got passengers and need more power.

City driving

In the city, the Creta has an average driving experience. In stop-and-go traffic, you won’t really complain. You might complain when getting up to speed due to the Creta’s poor acceleration. On the other hand, the braking performance is satisfactory.

Highway driving

What about driving on the highway? I drove from Ras Al Khaimah to Hatta Dam and all over the E611 several times, and I can confidently say that once you’re at cruising speed, you won’t really care. It’s when accelerating and turning around in corners that the Creta’s lack of power against the wind and body roll will be most apparent.

Other things I liked

Three other things I liked about the Creta:

  • When you turn off the engine and pull out the keys, all doors are automatically unlocked.
  • The e-brake (no manual handrake on the Creta) is automatically disengaged when you put your gear on Drive or Reverse.
  • A headlight level adjuster lets you set the height for your headlamps.

How’s the Infotainment in 2024 Hyundai Creta

I touched on this a little bit in the interior section of the review. But to recap, the Creta has both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, albeit wired. I also enjoyed having a wireless charging area under the infotainment system.

The screen quality on that relatively small infotainment system was disappointing, though. It looks washed out with a lack of vibrancy in colors and sharpness in the text.

2024 Hyundai Creta review in Dubai, UAE.

On the plus side, the software is straightforward. I don’t think anyone will need any degrees to figure out how it all works. It also helps that there aren’t many things to do other than configure common settings like Bluetooth and audio.

The sound system on the 2024 Hyundai Creta is decent. It won’t blow you out of your seat, but that’s probably for the better. 😉 If heavy bass is your minimum requirement for long drives, the Creta isn’t going to cut it.

Driver assistance technology in the 2024 Creta

A few things contribute to a pleasant driving experience in the 2024 Hyundai Creta. They are:

Rearview camera

It’s not ultra-high resolution, but it gets the job done, even at night.

Cruise control standard

I truly don’t want to drive regularly on the UAE highways without cruise control. Thankfully, it seems standard in all 2024 Hyundai Creta models.

Parking sensors

Creta’s parking sensors will warn you before you collide with something. Still, the lack of an indicator on the instrument cluster will confuse you if you’re parking in a tight spot. Thankfully, the rearview camera will let you see what’s behind.

What’s the 2024 Hyundai Creta’s mileage/fuel efficiency?

Driving a car with a small engine will always have one big upside: Saving money on fuel. The Creta is no different. Because it’s got a 1.5-liter petrol engine, you won’t really be spending a lot of money at petrol stations. However, you will be spending a lot of time going there!

That’s because the Creta’s fuel tank is rather small. At 40 liters, the Creta will take you to the petrol station more often than, say, a Toyota Corolla with a 50-liter tank. I mostly drove on the highways, so I had to stop by fuel stations annoyingly often.

However, the 2024 Hyundai Creta gets about 15 km per liter. On the dashboard, you can only see its fuel consumption per 100 km. And it hovered between 6 to 6.5 liters per 100 km.

That fuel efficiency meant the regular trip to the gas station was worth it. And I suspect many buyers looking for a fuel-efficient crossover in the UAE will feel the same.

Is the Hyundai Creta better than the Toyota Corolla?

The Hyundai Creta is a small crossover SUV with a 1.5-liter petrol engine under the hood. The Toyota Corolla, on the other hand, is a sedan. The Corolla I drove had a 1.6-liter engine. So, it was a little more powerful. But it’s not just the engine that affects the driving experience.

Sedans like Corolla are a little more aerodynamic due to their shorter body height. So, they accelerate slightly faster. A Creta, on the other hand, will meet more wind resistance, and its smaller engine won’t help. So, you’ll feel like the engine is sluggish.

However, the advantage of crossovers like Creta is that they are higher, so you have much better road visibility. They also look nicer, though that’s subjective.

2024 Hyundai Creta review in Dubai, UAE.

If you already have a sedan car that’s 1.5-liter or higher, switching to a Creta will not give you a better driving experience. But a newer car will feel better. Coupled with technologies like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, it’s not a terrible idea to upgrade from an old sedan like a Corolla to the Creta.

If better acceleration and less body roll on the roundabouts and curvy roads are what you’re after, sedans are the way to go. It’s unfortunate that even old Toyota Corollas are so overpriced in the UAE market. These cars have legendary reliability if maintained well, but are they worth sacrificing basic features like a rearview camera? I’ll leave that decision to you.

Is the Hyundai Creta worth it in Dubai/UAE?

It’s hard to sum it up since buyer preference and budget will be huge contributing factors, but if you’re in the market looking for a small, fuel-efficient crossover SUV and you want to buy brand new, the Hyundai Creta is worth a look.

My one advice? Test drive (do multiple, if you can) before you book your car.

2024 Hyundai Creta price in the UAE

Prices vary, but I found online that the 2024 Hyundai Creta base model costs between 65,000 and 75,000 AED.

If you check, the 2019 Toyota Corolla, which is obviously used, is in a similar price range. That’s another reason why many buyers may find themselves debating between the reliable old Corolla and a brand new Hyundai Creta.

2024 Hyundai Creta Pros and Cons

2024 Hyundai Creta review in Dubai, UAE.

So, should you buy the 2024 Creta? I tried to answer it several times throughout this post. But here are main advantages of purchasing a brand new 2024 Hyundai Creta:

Reasons to be excited about the 2024 Hyundai Creta:

  • Solid front design with daytime running lights.
  • Great all-around visibility from the driver’s seat.
  • Keyless entry. The base model I drove didn’t have a push start button, but that’s available in higher trims.
  • Headlight level adjuster.
  • Extremely sensitive braking performance that inspires confidence.
  • E-brake that automatically disengages the parking brake when you put the shifter to D or R.
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
  • Rearview camera and parking sensors.
  • Cruise control.

Reasons to be disappointed about the 2024 Hyundai Creta:

  • Slow and sluggish acceleration.
  • Disappointing steering wheel feedback due to the steer-by-wire system.
  • Cheap interior plastic and switches that even look terrible.
  • Poor interior design.
  • Window glass feels prone to breaking.
  • Poor screen quality on the infotainment system.
  • The speedometer is incorrect. (If you set 100 km/h on cruise control, the analog meter does not show 100 km.)
  • A lot of body roll on roundabouts and corners.

A note on speedometers

If you use GPS on an app (like Waze) or a dashcam, you’ll quickly discover that a lot of cars don’t actually have accurate speedometers. However, in Creta, I wasn’t comparing it to a GPS. The dashboard shows what speed I set the cruise control. And the analog speedometer should match what the cruise control is set to by the same car.

2024 Hyundai Creta review in Dubai, UAE.
Mileage when returning the car.

Yet, they were always different. Whatever I set on the cruise control, 100 km/hr or 120 km/hr, it’s never reflected correctly on the analog speedometer. It’s more apparent if you watch the POV driving footage of the 2024 Hyundai Creta and pay attention to the highway driving when I set the cruise control.

Should you buy the 2024 Hyundai Creta?

2024 Hyundai Creta review in Dubai, UAE.

Overall, if you need a fuel-efficient commuter and don’t mind sacrificing acceleration, driving dynamics, and a bit of interior feel and want a slightly higher ride, the Creta will satisfy you.

It doesn’t drive excitingly well, but it’s also not terrible, especially at the relatively affordable price point for a brand-new car.

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