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Hyundai Alcazar Review (1st Drive) - Much Needed 6/7-Seater SUV for India or Just an Extended Creta?

Hyundai Alcazar. (Image: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

Hyundai Alcazar. (Image: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

We recently drove the Hyundai Alcazar at the outskirts of Delhi to understand if it's something special from Hyundai's arsenal or is it just an extended Creta? Here's our First Drive Review.

Not more than 5 years ago, Hyundai changed the course of sub-Rs 15 lakh SUVs in India by offering Creta, the 5-seater mid-size SUV. Fast forward to 2021, Hyundai is now aiming at the sub-Rs 20 lakh 7-seater SUV segment with their newest offering, the Alcazar. The Hyundai Alcazar is brand’s first 6- and 7-seater SUV that is placed above the Creta and below Tucson in the company’s product lineup. We recently drove the SUV at the outskirts of Delhi to understand if it’s something special from Hyundai’s arsenal or is it just an extended Creta? Here’s our Hyundai Alcazar First Drive Review-

Design

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We will start our review with the exterior of the Hyundai Alcazar first because there’s a lot of chatter on how it resembles Creta. After seeing the SUV in reality, I can say that the Alcazar barely resembles Creta, barring few elements like the headlight design or few body lines. The rest of the design is actually more inclined towards bigger SUVs from Hyundai like the Palisade (not sold in India).

For me, the most exciting angle to look at the SUV is from the front, thanks to a dark chrome exterior signature cascading grille, the tri-beam LED headlamps and muscular skid plates. The sides, due to its lower height as compared to the rivals, snatches away the muscular theme that one might look while buying an SUV in this segment. However, the 18-inch diamond cut alloys looks fabulous. The rear is the weakest angle to look at, at least for me. The whole dark chrome garnish and tail lamp design didn’t excite me at all.

Hyundai Alcazar side profile. (Image: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

In terms of dimensions, while the wheelbase is the longest in the segment, the overall dimensions are at least 100 mm less than rivals which is quite visible in the overall profile stance.

Cabin

Unlike exterior, the interior of Alcazar is more or less same as the Creta, with a same dashboard design having a large 10.25-ich horizontally placed infotainment system with BlueLink connectivity. What changes, however, is a new fully digital 10.25-inch instrument cluster which has multiple themes to choose from and elevates the cabin experience.

Hyundai Alcazar cabin. (Image: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

The cabin, as we said, resembles Creta in a good way and you get a familiar layout, which is among the best in the industry. The dark theme with dual trim of Cognac Brown and Black cabin adds to premium touch. The seats are super comfortable and cushiony to hold you in the place. High seating and large glass area also elevates the overall driving experience.

In terms of features, the Alcazar gets 8-speaker BOSE surround sound system, 360-degree camera, powered driver seat, ventilated seats, wireless charger, air purifier with inbuilt perfume among others, making it the most feature packed car in its segment. And not to forget the incredible Bluelink connectivity with 60 plus connected features.

Hyundai Alcazar middle row bench type seating. (Image: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

Talking about the middle seat now, this is the first 6- and 7-seater SUV from Hyundai. While the 6-seater version gets captain type seats, the 7-seater version gets a full bench type seating. The good thing is you get a wireless charger (in 6-seater version) and a front seat installed back tray to keep your laptop and work in comfort while getting chauffeur driven. The legroom is ample in the middle and the sliding seats are a boon for taller passengers. The headroom is also generous. One commendable thing is the quality of the plastic tray which is built solidly to support heavy items like laptop. However, for the same, a 12V DC charger for laptop would have helped the cause.

Hyundai Alcazar third row seating. (Image: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

This is the first time Hyundai is doing a third-row and we were skeptical for all the right reasons. However, our worries were addressed as soon as you get inside and hop on to the rear most seats. Getting inside and out of third row is rather easy with one touch folding middle seats. The space is also good for a vehicle of this segment and you also get your own AC control knob and USB ports which is a good move.

In terms of practicality, there’s no dearth of space to put your regular stuff in the car. But you are heavy hauling with lot of hopping or bigger items, the Alcazar is the perfect SUV for that. All the 2nd and 3rd row seats can be individually folded to create additional space as per your touring preferences. The boot in itself is 180-litre with all the rows up.

Hyundai Alcazar boot. (Image: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

Performance

In terms of engine options, Hyundai played is smartly to further distinguish between Creta and Alcazar. What they have done is add a new 2.0-litre NU Petrol unit, while the diesel motor remains the same 1.5-litre unit. The gearbox options include a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic, both of which are available for both engines. While the 2.0-litre unit produces 159 PS and 191 Nm of torque, the diesel gets 115 PS and 250 Nm of torque.

In terms of mileage, Hyundai claims the petrol unit can do around 14 kmpl while the diesel can do 18-20 kmpl depending on gearbox. Since the Alcazar is lightest SUV in its segment, you can feel the difference while doing the initial acceleration, which is real good for a car of this size. The gearbox, 6-speed manual, which we drove was smooth, easy to shift and jitter free and complemented the engine well.

Hyundai Alcazar fully digital instrument cluster. (Image: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

There are also drive modes and traction modes to fiddle with to alter your driving dynamics. The steering felt like a typical Hyundai, light to use with little feedback, but that helps you maneuver city traffic easily. The braking is on point, while the ride quality and NVH levels are plush. In terms of safety, the Alcazar gets 6-airbags, Blind View monitor for both sides, ABS with EBD, HAC, ESC among others.

Hyundai Alcazar rear profile. (Image: Manav Sinha/News18.com)

Verdict

The Hyundai Alcazar is easiest the most premium, feature packed 6- and 7-seater SUV you can buy in India under Rs 20 lakh. There are 14 variants to choose from leaving aside the optional variants, 7 each in petrol and diesel. The pricing starts at Rs 16.30 lakh. But, is it value for money? At this starting price tag, it’s easily more than a couple of lakhs expensive than rivals. That being said, even the base variants get features like panoramic sunroof and full size infotainment system. So if you are looking for a high quality good looking multi-row SUV, the Hyundai Alcazar should be definitely on the top of your list.

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first published:June 25, 2021, 11:01 IST