2021 Alcazar Road Test Review: The Hyundai Alcazar is in no way an extension of the Creta. Although it is based on the same platform and uses largely the same engines as the Creta, there are some differences.
It has a longer wheelbase to allow for a third row of seats, in 6- or seven-seater configurations. This makes it appealing to large families and those with more than four people living together.
This increases the Alcazar’s capabilities, makes it more versatile and places it in a premium market. It is risky to sacrifice base variants in order to lead consumers towards top-end variants. Is it possible to make it work?
Initial reports indicate it might succeed. Hyundai has already secured over 4,000 bookings in a matter of days, according to this report. Is it a winner? It was tested to see if it could win the bet.
Interiors and styling for 2021 Hyundai Alcazar
Hyundai has done a good job covering up any visual cues that might have made the Alcazar look like an extension to the Creta.
Its unique appearance and visual impact is due to the Alcazar’s new cascading grille. Only the headlamps’ shape and internal components are distinctive. It is a beautiful visual overall.
No. It was attractive, however. It could be the SUV’s length, the slightly higher height, or the sensational alloys that make it look larger and more valuable.
The cabin of the Alcazar looks very similar to that of the Creta. Other than the three rows and brown/black colour combination on the upholstery, it is difficult to tell the difference.
The interiors are a mixed bag. Hyundai appears to be targeting upwardly mobile executives with their 6-seater variant, which features captain seats in the middle row.
In their communication campaigns, they talk about the ample legroom that allows busy executives to stretch out in a middle row with an adjustable length.
They also mention the foldable tables for executive work while being chauffeured around. There’s nothing wrong with this, but I think the Creta needs better imagery.
Hyundai is also interested in large families, where three rows of seats are necessary. This is because Indian families love to do everything together.
Depending on the space requirements, the first and second rows can move forward or reverse.
Both ideologies work, but I would lean more towards larger families, as there is a lot of demand from this type of consumer.
In the last row, passengers get their own cupholders and air-con vents that can be adjusted at high speeds.
The car can comfortably seat two adults, with enough support under the thighs to allow for long drives. This has the advantage that you don’t have to sit with your knees high. Comfort is assured over any journey.
It is easy to fold the second and third rows, regardless of whether you have a 6- or 7-seat Alcazar. You can save a lot of space by folding all the seats.
Hyundai gets high marks for the cabin’s usefulness, but the grading system isn’t like the post-service customer feedback, where everything lower than a 9 is poor. It gets a solid 7/10 for the layout and features for each row of passengers.
It is lacking in basic areas, like the track. The track could have been widened to make it more stable, given its increased height and length. This would have given the track a wider footprint and increased shoulder space for middle row occupants.
2021 Hyundai Alcazar Chassis and Suspension, Ride
The Alcazar is seated on a stretched chassis that has a wheelbase 150mm wider than the Creta. The Alcazar’s length is almost 200mm longer because of this.
The Alcazar is also equipped with 215/60 R17 tires, which are the standard size. However, top trims have 215/55 R18 tires/wheels. The top trim has slightly more ground clearance, though Hyundai has not disclosed the figures.
To handle the increased loads, the suspensions at both the front and rear were also reworked.
The McPherson suspension at the front and a torsion beam in the rear still work, but these have been modified with stiffer damping and a longer travel to accommodate the increased loads.
The front strut has a hydraulic rebound stopper, while the rear dampers are more upright and give it a more planted feeling.
The ride quality is good, but you may experience bump stops on some expansion joints and potholes due to the limited travel of the shock absorbers.
The thing I like about the rear end is that it never feels tail happy or bouncy, even when the vehicle is extended. It feels composed and stable, even though there is some body roll from the increased height.
The steering has been tuned to give it a more linear torque feel, which allows for better maneuverability in urban areas. Although it does feel light, the weight balance between urban driving and highway driving does not change. It would have been nice to feel heavier when driving at higher speeds on the highway.
It has an electronic feel and some vagueness that is common with all electronically-powered steering systems. The automatic models also have the drive mode selector that shifts the maps to adjust the steering effort. This is something I did not experience with the manual.
2021 Hyundai Alcazar Engine Performance and Fuel Efficiency
Hyundai has given the powertrains of the Alcazar a slight twist to make it stand out from the Creta. There are two options for petrol and diesel, but not the same petrol that powers the Creta.
The third-generation Nu engine, which was borrowed from the Tuscon and heavily upgraded to provide more power and better performance, is what you get. The petrol engine has a displacement of 1,999cc.
It produces 159PS at 6,500rpm and 191Nm at 4,500rpm. Hyundai has optimized the heat management module and the power consumption of the variable oil pump to increase the power output in the Tuscon unit. This is for the Alcazar.
I drove the 1.5-litre direct injection turbocharged diesel oil burner. It belongs to the U2 family, which is also shared with Creta. The engine’s emissions are taken care of by a lean NOx trap, a diesel particulate filter, and a VGT for low-rpm turbolag.
This engine produces a maximum power output of 115Ps at 4,000 rpm and a tremendous torque output of 250Nm between 1,500-2.750 rpm.
You have the option of a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed auto transmission.
Both transmissions are optimised to reduce frictional loss and improve fuel efficiency. The manual has a higher final drive ratio to balance fuel efficiency with performance.
The diesel manual is quiet and refined. You get sweet acceleration in the middle range with torque starting at 1,500rpm. You don’t have to use the power to overtake, just drop a gear and put the Alcazar into the powerband’s sweet spot.
The throttle will then be pressed. It does suffer from a bit of lag at the lower end. Low end torque is likely sacrificed to improve fuel efficiency and driveability. The Alcazar is a great urban driver, with a phenomenal acceleration test showing it hitting the tonne at standstill in 13.3 seconds.
The conditions in which our tests were conducted were slightly damp, but it is possible that acceleration results may be better in dry conditions. The Alcazar returned a city figure 14.6kmpl, while we managed 18.8kmpl highway.
The Alcazar petrol AT, which we also tested, managed to accelerate from 0 to 100 kmph in 10.6 seconds. It returned an overall efficiency score of 12kmpl.
Verdict for 2021 Alcazar
The Hyundai Alcazar is just a little more capable than the Creta. If I had to choose between them, the Alcazar would be my choice.
It’s more practical, offers more space, is safer, and has more powertrain options. Although I think Hyundai should have included side and front airbags in all trims, rather than just the top.
Pricing aside, the strategy works well and offers good value. However, I feel Hyundai could have attracted more customers if it had a more affordable base model.
This could also indicate that there are other options for those in these segments. The package will not disappoint anyone who is looking at the Hyundai Alcazar with keen eyes. I recommend the petrol automatic.
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