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Hyundai Alcazar – First Drive Review

Thrilled up with the success of Creta, Hyundai has recently launched its three-row version called "Alcazar", which has been endeavored between the Creta and Tucson, to fill a large cleft that existed in Hyundai’s SUV line-up. The Alcazar has been named and inspired after the glorious Moorish Palace and Fortress in Spain, and the company says the SUV is primarily targeted at the young urban audience, who need the practicality of a larger three-row SUV with modern-day features. And going by this thesis, the Alcazar is a very candid utility vehicle. However, we can't deny the fact that it’s an extended version of Hyundai Creta with a much longer wheelbase, distinctive appearances, more features, and new powertrains. So, do these variations really make the Alcazar better than the Creta? Let's find out. 

Hyundai Alcazar – Exterior 

Based on the same platform as the Creta, Hyundai engineers have done enough to give the Alcazar a much distinct appearance. A quick walkabout instantly reveals how well it’s put together, from the redesigned studded chrome grille that beautifully blends into the split design headlamps, all the way to the new bumper with different styling for the faux skid plate and well-placed chrome accents on the fog lamp housings on each side of the bumper. Similar to the Creta, the front design of the Alcazar can be a little polarising to some. 

Like the front, the side design also carries the Creta DNA in the shape of the shoulder and character line. However, it looks longer than the Creta and features blacked-out pillars, side steps integrated into the body cladding, a larger rear overhang, and quarter glass panels. The Alcazar also gets an upsized dual-tone alloy wheels (18'') than the Creta with its own design. To create room for the third-row seats, Hyundai has widened the space between the front & rear wheels (wheelbase) by 150mm and the roofline here does not slope down like the Creta.  

The rear design of the Alcazar is what really has made a world of a difference. It has nothing in common with Creta. It features horizontal wraparound split tail-lights connected with a chrome-finished strip with ALCAZAR lettering on it. It also gets a beefy silver-colored skid plate with dual-tip exhausts that give it a slightly rugged appeal. 

Overall, the Hyundai Alcazar looks nice & well proportioned and possesses of head-turner road presence. And we have to acknowledge that it isn’t extremely flashy or uncultivated as the Creta. However, all the change in dimensions weakens the SUV character a bit. 

Now, have a look at its dimensions: – 

Dimensions

Hyundai Creta

Hyundai Alcazar

Difference

Length

4300mm 

4500mm +200mm

Width

1790mm 

1790mm

Height

1635mm

1675mm +40mm

Wheelbase

2610mm 

2760mm (segment's largest) +150mm
Ground Clearance (unladen) 190mm 200mm +10mm
Wheel size 17-inch 18-inch +1inch

 

Hyundai Alcazar – Interior, Comfort & Features

Those of you who have experienced the Creta before will find the Alcazar's cabin familiar. The dashboard layout is the same except for the new black-&-brown upholstery, which adds to the richness of the cabin. But the extensive use of hard plastics on the dash is a bit of a downer. However, the steering and gearknob are clothed in leather and even the door pads are well draped in the same brown upholstery as the seats. 

There’s a new 12.3-inch full-colored digital instrumentation cluster that is beautifully laid out and displays a lot of information including tire pressures, compass, mileage, tank range, and various other trip-related information. It features two circular digital dials on each side of the screen for the speedometer and tachometer respectively, which also illustrates a high-resolution video feed from the cameras mounted on side mirrors (only if the driver engages a turn signal) to show vehicle hidden in their blind spot zone. Plus, it also gets four different themes which you can choose according to your mood or link to drive mode.

Coming to the infotainment system, it gets the same 10.25-inch horizontally placed touchscreen unit as the Creta. It intacts a similar user interface, which is quite neat and easy to operate, while the colors are admirable and touch response is quick. It also gets BlueLink connected car technology with similar functions to its 5-seater counterparts like remote lock/unlocks, remote engine start/stop, geofencing, vehicle tracking, monthly health reports, OTA maps support, and even some new voice commands for POI search, contact no info and operating panoramic sunroof & driver's side window. It also gets premium 8-speakers Bose sound system for an in-cabin theatre-like experience. 

Below the infotainment system, you get a control panel for auto AC. You’ll also find some storage space with USB ports and a wireless charging pad in the central console. Besides, there are switches for the electronic parking brake with auto hold, and a camera view next to the gear selector. Further, the automatic variants also receive a rotary dial to toggle between the three drive (Comfort, Eco, and Sport) and traction control modes (Snow, Sand, and Mud). 

In terms of cabin comfort and seating, the front seats are well contoured and supportive. It gets an 8-way power-adjustment function for the driver's seat along with the tilt & telescopic adjustability for the steering wheel. So, finding an appropriate driving position won't be an issue in Alcazar. Also, the icing on the cake is the cooling function for both front seats, which will enhance the riding pleasure to an extent especially during summers. The sliding sun-visors in the front row are also a nice touch.

Second Row

The Alcazar can be had with captain seats (6-seater) or 60:40 split-bench seats (7-seater) and we got to experience the former, so let's start with that. The captain seats are nicely shaped and they offer good comfort. However, they are not as widespread as you would find in MPVs, so it could be trouble making for occupants with a generous proportion. The captain seats can be reclined and slid backward & forward to get comfortable. While there is an ample amount of headroom and knee room, taller passengers may complain about a lack of under-thigh support.

Compared to the Tata Safari, the Alcazar misses out Boss Mode lever that enabling front co-driver seat adjustment from the rear. However, it gets a segment-first front seatback fold-out table with a retractable cup-holder & and a special groove to place your tablet or large smartphone on top of it.

Another niche addition is the floor-mounted central console between the captain seats that acts as an armrest and features two cupholders, tiny storage areas, and another wireless charging pad. Besides, the occupants in the middle row also get the convenience of seatback pockets, window sunshades, dedicated rear AC vents, USB charger, auto air purifier, and a phone holder mounted at the back of the front armrest. We must confess that this place feels truly overwhelming, especially when you are traveling in the valleys and with sunroof curtains open.

Third Row

The biggest talking point of the Alcazar is its third row of seats, and heading to them is quite easier if you have the captain seat configuration as they can be tumble fold in one touch. 

The rear seat is fairly comfortable and gets two adjustable headrests for added convenience, but it lacks under-thigh support because you sit with your knees facing up. Two adults of descent height can sit behind one another for short journies. However, it would be hard for two six-footers to sit in the same column. Also, there is a lack of headroom when sitting leaning backward. 

In terms of features, Hyundai has equipped the third row with dedicated AC vents with a blower controller, LED reading lamps, cup/bottle holders, and USB charging ports. 

Boot Space

The Hyundai Alcazar offers a class-leading 180-liters of storage space even with the third row in use, which is quite sufficient to place two small-sized trolley bags and one backpack. However, the boot can be further extended by folding 2nd & 3rd-row seats if not in use. In fact, the six-seater configuration enables more versatile storage options enabling utilizing one or more of the rear seats.

Other Convenience and Safety Features

Besides, the above-mentioned techs, the Alcazar also gets Apple Carplay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, cruise control, paddle shifters (automatic trim), 64 colors ambient lighting (extends to rear doors), cooled glovebox, all-LED lighting system, bottle holders in all doors, sunglass holder, electric tailgate release, auto headlamps with follow-me-headlamps function, rear wiper & washer, and more. Click here for variant-wise features details. 

For passenger's safety, the Alcazar comes equipped with 6 airbags (driver, co-driver, side, and curtain airbags), ABS with EBS, electronic parking brake with auto hold, all-wheel disc brakes, electronic stability control, vehicle stability management, hill start assist, ISOFIX child seat anchorages, tire pressure monitor system (TPMS), auto-dimming IRVM, height-adjustable front seatbelt, auto headlamps, speed sensing auto door lock, impact sensing auto door unlock, front & rear parking sensors, 360-degree camera, blind-view monitor, and many more. Also, it uses 75.6 percent of both high strength steel and advanced high strength steel to offer a more rigid frame.  

Hyundai Alcazar – Engine and Performance

Hyundai has offered the Alcazar with both petrol (2.0-litre) and diesel (1.5-litre turbo) engines that can be had with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed torque converter automatic. While we got a chance to run both the engines, but only with an automatic gearbox coupled model. 

Starting with the 2.0-liter petrol engine that we have already seen in the Hyundai Tucson. It makes more power in the Alcazar (159PS/192Nm). This naturally aspirated engine is pretty refined and has fantastic cruising capability. It works great with automatic transmission, offering gradual power delivery. However, being hard on the throttle makes it sound harsh. So be gentle on the acceleration pedal and you will have a relaxed experience. And a similar experience you will also get from the 1.5-liter diesel (115PS/250Nm) automatic powertrain that has been taken straight forwarded from the Creta. However, the brand has tweaked its gear ratios so that it can work smoothly with the additional 80kg weight of the Alcazar. It delivers most of the torque around 1500rpm, which makes the city driving effortless, but overtaking on the highway will need planning especially in full-load condition. The power delivery of Alcazar-diesel is gentle and won't make any inconvenience. However, if you are expecting an enthusiastic performance like other cars offer in the segment, it's just not the right companion for you. 

In short, both engines are tuned for utility purposes that will serve your family touring motive thoroughly.

Hyundai Alcazar – Ride, Handling, and Fuel Economy

The ride quality of Hyundai Alcazar is quite comfortable over smooth roads and it can easily go over small bumps and potholes without transferring the jerk inside the cabin. The steering feels lights on low speed, making city maneuvering easy, and as the speed rises, it gains some weight which helps in high-speed cruising. Also, the stability of the SUV at high speed is pleasing; however, there are some body-rolls thanks to its taller stance. So, you cannot attack the corners aggressively. 

In terms of fuel economy, the Alcazar petrol can deliver around 11-13kmpl in mix-driving circumstances, whereas the diesel can deliver you approximately 15-17kmpl in similar conditions. However, you can expect more mileage on highways.

Hyundai Alcazar – Pros and Cons

Things we like about Alcazar: – 

  • Well-packed variants.
  • One of the most feature-loaded mid-sized SUVs. 
  • City-friendly proportions with easy maneuverability.
  • Comfortable in-cabin experience.
  • Chauffeur-driven 6-seater model.
  • Generous boot space even when fully loaded.

Things should have been improved: – 

  • Doesn’t have a strong SUV-like appearance. 
  • Third-row is not suitable for adults. 
  • Misses out options for 7-seater petrol automatic.