Hyundai aims to live a new dream now. According to Tarun Garg, director, sales, and marketing HMI, the Korean carmaker targeting a new set of buyers and bridge the gap between Creta and Tucson in terms of price point. Welcome the Alcazar.
The term ‘Alcazar’ stands for a castle in Spanish. Whether it is the high level of automation in making the Alcazar or maintaining the benchmark of creature comforts, Hyundai claims to have stepped no wrong foot.
Alcazar, simply put, is an extended 7-seater avatar of Creta. But unlike Safari-Harrier and Hector-Plus, the association between Alcazar and Creta transcends beyond a touchup job. For starters, the wheelbase at 2,760 mm is extended by 150 mm. This translates into not-so-unproportionate-looking overhangs.
In terms of mechanicals, what’s been divulged so far, Alcazar rides of 18-inch diamond-cut alloys and double discs anchor the braking duties. Even the engine options have been thoughtfully picked.
The frugal 1.5-litre CRDi diesel, power rated at 115 PS, is common in both the Hyundai SUVs. Consider it a gamble or masterstroke, Hyundai has employed the 3rd-gen Nu, 2-litre petrol engine – the same unit which serves Elantra and Tucson. The petrol delivers segment-leading power, mileage and a 0-100 kmph number, Hyundai claims.
Alcazar’s prime rivals — Hector Plus and Safari — are heavily dependent on diesel powertrain. Garg said, “Being a leading SUV maker, we must offer customers the maximum possible options. The 159PS petrol is fun-to-drive and customers will love it in city driving. For those who travel more on highways, the powerful-yet-efficient diesel will be a good alternative.”
Hyundai has offered a 6-speed automatic torque convertor and 6-speed manual transmission options with Alcazar. The 1.4-litre turbo-petrol, unsurprisingly, has been kept out of the loop.
The Hyundai Alcazar previewed was heavily camouflaged, which meant not much could be seen or felt about the SUV. That said, the image handouts by Hyundai suggest considerable differences with Creta in terms of design. While the three-way treatment of LEDs is carried forward, elements like a larger cascading grille, bigger fog lamps, and different bumper lend distinctiveness to the chin. Roof railes are offered, but the side step in Alcazar adds a bit of visual drama.
The rear third gets a completely different treatment from Creta. A chrome appliqué with ‘ALCAZAR’ embossing connects the tail lamp clusters, which seem to draw a bit of inspiration from Palisade.
The company didn’t disclose the list of creature comforts in detail, however, predicting by Hyundai’s standard, features like ventilated seats, wireless charging, panoramic sunroof, connected technology and more will be part of the package.
The third-row seat, the attention grabber, Hyundai doesn’t advocate for adults. Instead, the company says the space is sufficient for kids and teenagers.
Drive experience: 2-litre petrol/6-MT
The cabin is silent as a tomb when the engine is fired. The 2-litre petrol is refined and feels punchy to rev. The 6-speed manual isn’t the most precise in the market but is very slick to shift. The long clutch travel isn’t a problem either, thanks to its lightness. Alcazar’s driveability, view from the front seat is as good as the Creta, if not better.
Body rolls are evident with SUVs of this size and order. Alcazar comes as a surprise though, countering them effortlessly around the corners. The usage of 75 per cent high strength still could be a possible reason behind it. The ride quality is plush over the bad roads and broken patches. What’s interesting to notice is the minimal wobbly, sideways movement inside the cabin — again something that comes as part of the stretched SUVs.
The steering a tad bit heavier and bulkier than the Creta — but in no way will tire you out in city traffic. The feedback isn’t very precise, but surely the entire package is liveable. This, in no way, is a verdict. Hyundai arranged a drive, a curated 10-kilometre stretch mostly on a well-paved, empty road. While the first impression was likable, there is still a bit of time before we see Alcazar in the market.