SUVs are becoming the most popular while thinking of a new car purchase. As a result, we come across so many of them to capture more corners of the market. We have all seen how the Toyota Innova has been successful and is the default choice for a family car or a chauffeur-driven vehicle. However, what if the same space and comfort are added to an SUV? This need and desire led to the birth of this 3-row SUV.
Here you get 3-row practicality and space with the road presence, performance, and ground clearance of an SUV. With MG and Tata Motors coming in with their Hector Plus and Safari, Hyundai was definitely on something big and elegant, especially when they are the market leaders with one of the best SUVs in the market, Creta.
Here comes the Alcazar, Hyundai has done a lot to make it a standalone product along providing great value with disruptive pricing. We have tested the petrol and diesel automatic to see if all that hype is justified or not.
How does the Alcazar look?
Park it next to a Creta, and it looks much more purposeful and more present, largely due to the bigger grille and the different front bumper treatment. The grille looks like the Palisade SUV seen overseas with a dark chrome effect being applied.
The headlamps are similar to the Creta with LED units, but the skid plate design is different. To the side are the bigger 18-inch diamond-cut alloys, which are a size larger than the Creta plus the longer 4500mm length, of course.
To include the third row, the quarter glass is also increased while the rear has a set of new tail-lamps, wider along with a big chrome garnish with “Alcazar” lettering. There are six color options and two dual-tone ones. The Alcazar overall looks big, imposing, and has more presence.
What about the interiors?
There is a new dual-tone cognac brown interior color which adds a feeling of space and luxury inside. The whole look here is similar to the Creta but added elements like leather steering chromed switches and gloss black finishing looks plush and well built.
The real deal is with the amount of space on offer. While you enter via side footsteps, the sense of space is great, and a tall person can relax behind the driver’s seat to an equally tall passenger. The top-end Alcazar gets a 6-seater option which we have here, and that gets you two captain seats along with a floor-fixed console.
The two captain seats are comfortable, while you can slide it and recline it too. The Alcazar has a 2760mm wheelbase, and that is longer than rivals which shows. There is also an assist handle to get to the third row while space is enough for adults going on short journeys. There are 2 USB chargers and 3rd Row AC Vents with Speed Control too. With the third-row seats up, the boot space is 180l.
What about features?
Hyundai has turned up the volume with the Alcazar, and they have put features and technology normally found on cars costing way more. We loved the 10.25-inch digital dials for a start. You can adjust the views and information while the screen layout changes according to the drive mode. The display is crisp, and another party trick is the blind spot display which opens when you turn on the indicator. It works both ways, and the view through the dials is crisp and looks clear.
Move to the center, and here you get the Creta 10.25-inch touch screen which has split views and again the best in class in terms of responsiveness or even the display quality. It has features like smartphone connectivity, navigation, and more. It also houses the new 360-degree camera with multiple views- again, the display is superb.
You also get premium features like an electronic parking brake, panoramic sunroof, 8 speaker BOSE audio system, front and rear parking sensors, wireless charging, 8-way powered driver’s seat, front row sliding sun visor, front ventilated seats, air purifier, tilt, and telescopic steering plus more.
For second-row users in the 6-seater variant, there are retractable tables and cup holders, while there is even a wireless charging place along with a rear sunshade and a headrest cushion.
What about the technology?
The Alcazar gets the digital dials and the blind spot monitor as mentioned above, while the 360-degree camera is also new. Bluelink’s connected car technology comes with 60 plus features and voice commands and a smartphone app. So with “hello bluelink,” you wake up the voice commands and open the sunroof, and more.
There is also a remote start function where you can cool the car before you step in. There are also Drive Mode Select (COMFORT | ECO | SPORT) and Traction Control Modes (SNOW | SAND | MUD)
What about the driving experience?
Unlike the Creta, there is no turbo petrol; instead, you get bigger 2-liter petrol with 159hp and 191Nm. The diesel is shared with the Creta but tuned with a slight weight increase. It is a 1.5l unit with 115hp and 250Nm. Standard with both engines is a 6-speed manual, while a 6-speed automatic is optional.
The 2.0l petrol is the choice if you want performance and the smoothness of a petrol engine. There is plenty of power on tap. Since you also get paddle shifters, it feels more agile and quicker than rivals. It cruises at 100kmph, and the gearbox is also blended well. As a fast highway option, the petrol is very nice.
Also worth talking about is the light steering and the tight turning circle of 5.2m which makes driving the Alcazar much easier in the city. The automatic also makes it painless to drive. The diesel is for those who will drive more and want the torque along with the enhanced efficiency.
The diesel might make less power than rivals, but it is lighter too, and the good torque output with the automatic gearbox makes it an able SUV. It is fast enough and cruises well. The petrol is more thrilling. The petrol has a more firm ride quality, though, and feels lighter than the diesel that said the suspension handles our speed breakers or on non-existent roads with ease along with the 200mm ground clearance. There are traction modes also along with drive modes that alter throttle response and surface traction.
Has Hyundai done it again? Yes, is the plain answer. It is much more than a three-row Creta with the amount of luxury and features they have put along with bigger 2.0l petrol, which has been a great move.
It is not an off-roader, or it does not have the stance of a Safari, but nothing matches the Alcazar in terms of features, luxury, or performance at this price point. Speaking of which, the prices for the Alcazar start at Rs 16.3 lakh, while the top-end version is priced at Rs 19.8 lakh. At these prices, even compact SUV buyers would be tempted. Expect to see a lot of these on the roads soon.