• Gaurav Chakraborty

Hyundai Alcazar: A Fortress on Wheels?

The obsession with SUV’s in the Indian market doesn’t seem to end any soon. Another day another SUV gets released in the Indian market. Every other manufacturer craves to take a piece of share in this market. Hyundai India dropped in another vehicle (SUV) to the Indian market. Yes, a Creta with a third row? Is it?


Presenting you the all new Hyundai Alcazar.




`What does Alcazar mean? It’s a fortress. Does this SUV really stand out to it‘s name? Is it a Fortress? Let’s answer all your questions.


Yes and No. The Alcazar may be tall and strong like a fortress with it‘s list of gimmicky features but physically it‘s just an extended Creta with an additional row of seats best reserved for kids.


Let’s dive into the specs sheet of the Alcazar and find out if it’s worthy over it’s competition.


Exterior-


Upfront just like the Creta and Pallisade, the Alcazar too wears a huge grill upfront which looks like a mask to resemble the Hyundai family. Well it does try hard to differentiate itself from the Creta with different chrome design and grill elements, but over all it still has the typical Hyundai-ness around it. A closer look to the grill and you’ll notice that the front camera is neatly integrated under the Hyundai logo.





Lower half of the front bumper we get to see the front parking sensors which is a nice touch to the feature list of this vehicle.

The Alcazar gets the similar DRL and LED Headlight setup as seen in the Creta, however the turn indicators are placed really low near the Fog lamps and are disappointingly not LED. However the front fascia does look impressive and bold.





A walk over to the size and that’s where you’ll notice the difference in the design of the Alcazar and Hyundai Creta. Unlike the MG Hector+, Hyundai did spend some resource and R&D behind the Alcazar and managed to extend a good 150mm extra wheelbase over the Creta.





The Alloy wheel design thou looks unique and funky it doesn’t go that well with the overall design of the car (imo). However the good thing being, the Alcazar gets a new set of 18 inch wheels over its sibling. Type profile being rated at 215/55/18. Although the vehicle gets 18 inch wheels, its the rear half of the vehicle along with the Alloys design which makes the car look ungainly and the wheels look undertyred.





Apart from that along with the Body coloured ORVM’s is the 360 degree camera placement along with the puddle light projection which is just another gimmick. The vehicle also gets side-foot step just to make the ingress-egress easier.





Over to the rear design of the vehicle and you’ll be reminded of the kid who copied the homework of Ford Endeavour and Tata Hexa. They do look a lot similar thanks to the Taillight design. Apart from that the brake lights are LED however, the indicator and reverse light are halogens.





The rear of the vehicle gets a huge chrome strip connecting the tail lamps which scream Alcazar. Apart from that its good to see Hyundai provide with ”actual“ dual tip exhaust to the vehicle. The bumper is wrapped in a different colour to reduce the visual bulk of the vehicle. Overall the Alcazar looks just tat fine when compared to the competition.





Interior-


Step in an you’ll find many similarities between the Alcazar and Creta since the basic design is the same. However to make things look premium, the designers have played along with the colour pallet. What’s more evident is Hyundai playing around with a lot of glossy materials in the center console which are just finger print magnets.





Minor tweeks like perforated leather wrapped steering and gear lever gives it a better experience than the Creta. Coming to the major change, the Alcazar doesn’t get the weird looking speedometer. Rather it boasts of a 10.25 inch instrument cluster which looks better than the one on Creta. Yes it also gets the same 10.25 inch screen seen on the Creta with the same layout which is a joy to use.





The 64 colour ambient lighting gimmick feature is another add-on something which will be appreciated while being chauffeured around as it sets in the mood.


Apart from all this the Alcazar boasts of a panaromic sunroof which opens with voice command “I want to see the sky” …. Sounds familiar? Hello MG.


One useful feature of the Alcazar being the blind-view monitor which turns on instantly on the cockpit with the flick of the indicators. Which eases the driving in city.





The list is just too long and it goes on with features like ventilated seats (important for India). Perforated leather seats, 8-way Electrically adjustable seats, Bose sound system and the Air-purifier which may save you from viruses.


The Alcazar is also provided with Hyundai’s Bluelink connectivity which comes in quiet handy for various occasions. This lets you cool your cabin before hand so that you get to enjoy a comfy cabin when you get in. Bonus of this being, the Alcazar now gets wireless charging. What we would have appreciated is the inclusion of android auto and apple car play, to say bye to fiddly cables.


Enough of this huge endless list of features. Let’s look at the 2nd row. The Alcazar can be offered with a bench seat configuration or the captain seats configuration. Since the car is not wide, we would suggest the one with captain seats. If you thought all the goodies were provided only for the front row, then you will be wrong.






Hyundai has thoughtfully given the second row some reasonably good features, like manual blinds, a table to use your iPad or Laptop or even have your food during those long journeys, with rear AC vents and a center-console with wireless charging to get going. Oh yes, feels like a business class out of a budget airlines.





Moving on to the third row which is the main USP? Of the car. Yes, it gets blowers, USB charging and a pair of adjustable headrest. Yet this place is the best reserved for the kids. Although reaching the 3rd row is easy with the one touch tumble operation, its the seats which will end you up with knee-high situation. With all rows up, the Alcazar get 180-litres of luggage space.


Engine


Let’s talk some mechanicals. Under the hood Alcazar gets a petrol or a diesel unlike some of it’s rivals. The 4 cylinder Petrol engine gets a 2.0 litre petrol extracting 159BHP @6500rpm and 191Nm @4500rpm. All this power is transferred to the front wheels with the help of a 6 speed Manual or 6 Speed Automatic. The ARAI fuel figures are at an acceptable 14.5kmpl on the manual and 14.2kmpl from the automatic.





Talking of the Diesel engine, on paper it seems to be least powerful making 115bhp @ 4000rpm and 250Nm torque @ 2750rpm. The power is transferred to the front wheels with a 6 speed manual/ 6 speed Automatic. While the ARAI figures stand at 20.4kmpl or 18.1kmpl.





The Alcazar gets a pretty good 200mm ground clearance to move over most of the daily obstacles. It’s best that this so called FWD SUV is not used for something that a Jeep Compass Trailhawk or a Mahindra Thar does.


Pricing-


Well the Alcazar is a bit pricy when looked at INR 16.30lakhs for base variant and the top of the line stretching up to INR 20.14 lakhs. However when we look at the base variant of the Alcazar it, makes all sense as even the entry level car feels a lot loaded over its competition.


Rivals-


The Hyundai Alcazar takes on head-to-head with the likes of MG Hector+ and Tata Safari. When compared the Alcazar trumps both of them with the never-ending features list, however mechanically the rivals are far superior to the Alcazar. However the happiness of Alcazar, Safari and Hector+ maybe short lived with the launch of the upcoming Mahindra XUV700 which will be a ground up 7 seater.


Safety-


Although the Alcazar has a host of safety features. Like 6-Airbags, TPMS, ESC, Hill start assist, 360-degree camera and more. Yet it finally comes down to the crash-test. None of the vehicles in this segment have been crash-tested. But, since the Alcazar which is based on Creta and the Creta shares its platform with the KIA Seltos. We fear that the Alcazar MAY share the same fate. Thus said it will be best if we wait for G-NCAP to crash-test the vehicles of this segment.


Verdict-


Well the Alcazar is great on paper with the feature list however it lacks heavily on the engine compartment. Should you buy the Alcazar? Well for base variant, it’s definitely worth the money one spends.




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