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It is no secret that Indians love SUVs. Lakhs of people own SUVs in various shapes and sizes and many more aspire to own one. Manufacturers too seem happy with this SUV-buying frenzy and are launching more and more SUV models in various segments.
Hyundai is one of the top automotive manufacturers in the Indian market. It makes some of the best-selling cars. A few years ago, Hyundai heavily relied on its hatchback segment to get its sheer sales numbers with cars like the Eon, Santro, i10, i10 Grand, i20, etc.
In recent times though, that has changed. Hyundai now sells more SUVs than hatchbacks. Hyundai SUVs like the Venue, Creta, Kona EV and Tuscon are all creating waves in their respective segments. Hyundai, though, wanted to enter a new SUV segment with an all-new product and add to its enviable list of SUVs.
On 18 June, 2021, Hyundai launched the all-new Alcazar in the Indian market. The Alcazar had its Global debut when it was launched in India, and that shows just how important the Indian market is, for the Alcazar. We got to drive the top-of-the-line, 6-seater, Signature model of the all-new Hyundai Alcazar for a few hours and here is what we have to tell you about it.
Design & Style
The Hyundai Alcazar certainly has a bold and attractive appearance. Up front, it gets a front fascia similar to what we've seen on the new Hyundai Creta. It gets the same headlamp and DRL setup with the headlamps placed in the bumper. It is a tri-beam LED headlamp, which is a segment-first feature.
The SUV gets a large chrome-studded signature cascading grille and a faux skid plate as well. The Hyundai logo is prominently displayed on the grille while the LED fog lamps and indicators are placed lower down in the bumper. On the whole, the front end is very similar to the front fascia of the Hyundai Creta.
The similarities to the Creta end right there. When one looks at the side profile of the Hyundai Alcazar, it is hard to believe that it is based on the same platform as the Hyundai Creta. The SUV is big in size and imposing to behold. The A, B, and C pillars are all blacked out to give it that premium floating roof design.
The Hyundai Alcazar rides on premium diamond-cut 18-inch alloy wheels with a unique design that sets it apart from the competition. It also gets a first-in-segment side foot step. This foot step blends in well with the overall design of the vehicle. The wheel arches are flared and the SUV also boasts of a sloping roofline.
Hyundai has equipped the Alcazar with classy door handles finished in Dark Chrome. The rear-end of the Hyundai Alcazar takes the premium feel to a different level altogether. It gets split LED tail lamps, with a Dark Chrome strip connecting them. The word Alcazar is spelt out on this Dark Chrome strip.
It also gets a muscular bumper complete with a faux skid plate and a cascading grille-like insert. The Hyundai Alcazar is also equipped with twin-exhaust outlets. We drove the 2.0-litre engine powered model in the Signature trim and it wore the ‘2.0' badge at the bottom-left of the tailgate while the ‘Signature' badge takes place at the bottom-right of the tailgate.
Cockpit & Interiors
The interior of the Hyundai Alcazar seems to be the talk of the town as it is spacious, and comes loaded with features. Tug on the Dark Chrome door handles and swing the door open, and you are greeted by a dual-tone interior. Hyundai calls it Cognac Brown and it is a rather premium combination of Brown and Black.
It does seem like the Dashboard is made of soft-touch materials. That, however, is not the case. The entire dashboard is made of proper hard plastics but is made to look like soft-touch plastic. Seems like a clever cost-cutting move.
Taking centre-stage on the dashboard is a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment unit that comes loaded with features. It gets Bluetooth smartphone connectivity with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Connecting your smartphone to the system is a pretty easy job and all features are easily accessible.
The touch interface of the screen is brilliant and it scores high on ease-of-usage. Several other vehicular functions can be controlled via this touchscreen including the 64-colour ambient lighting. Ambient lighting is a novelty in this space and Hyundai has gone-ahead and equipped the Alcazar with 64 colours, which gives the user endless ambience customisation options.
Instrumentation is handled by a 10.25-inch screen. It displays a lot of information at all times, keeping the driver aware of what the vehicle is upto. The fully-digital instrumentation enables high-end features like blind-spot monitoring.
When the driver uses the left or right indicators, the speedometer on the screen is replaced by imagery from the cameras located in the ORVMs. This highlights any objects present in the blind-spot of the SUV.
The Hyundai Alcazar is loaded with features. The much-spoken about 8-speaker audio system from Bose is brilliant and reproduces sound with clarity. The second row also gets wireless smartphone charging, which again, is a segment-first feature.
The Signature variant we drove was the six-seater variant that comes with captain seats in the second row. Occupants in the second row also get fold-down tables, elevating the convenience levels during a long journey.
We Indians love just that extra bit of space and practicality and that is exactly where the third row of seats come into play. The Alcazar is the only vehicle in Hyundai's portfolio that can seat six or seven people, and this has made the third row of seats the talk of the town.
Passengers in the third row get their own AC vents, and a first-in-segment individual fan control knob as well. Hyundai has also provided USB charging ports for the third row, which makes it more practical.
Comfort, Practicality & Boot Space
Hyundai claims the Alcazar is the most comfortable car in its segment. After spending a few hours with the Alcazar, we can confirm this to be true for the first and second rows. However, the same can't be said for the third row.
At 2,760mm, the Hyundai Alcazar boasts of the longest wheelbase in its segment and this does translate into a spacious cabin. However, it seems like even this wheelbase isn't enough for the third row to be comfortable. Adults will find the third row to be a little too cramped for comfort. We feel the rearmost row must be reserved for kids and adults must avoid being there.
Entry and exit to the third row though, is an easy affair thanks to the one touch tip and tumble feature. The captain seat or the split seat tumbles forward making ingress and egress easy. The second row draws a big contrast in comparison to the third. The seats are very comfortable and the quality of materials used is top notch.
In between the captain seats is a wide armrest with cupholders and mobile phone charging features. The seat back tables make everything convenient. These folding tables come with an IT device holder and a retractable cup holder.
The Hyundai Alcazar comes with an air purifier and a display for the air quality index. This is a feature that is quite useful during a pandemic. Second row passengers also get the convenience of sunshades.
The most comfortable seat though, is surely the one on which the driver sits. It is 8-way power adjustable and gets a three-level cooling and ventilation feature. The front passenger seat too is very comfortable
One of the best features of the Hyundai Alcazar has to be the large panoramic sunroof. The sunroof can be voice-operated via the infotainment unit. The sunroof certainly makes the cabin feel more airy and it gives it a roomier feel.
In terms of practicality, the Hyundai Alcazar certainly makes its mark. It comes with multiple seating options from the factory. The third row and second can be folded down fully or partially. With all three rows of seating up, the Hyundai Alcazar has a boot space of 180 litres. This increases significantly once the seats are folded.
|Boot Space||180 litres|
Engine Performance & Driving Impressions
The Signature variant that we drove was powered by the 2.0-litre MPi motor. This 1,999cc, inline-four-cylinder petrol engine produces 157bhp @ 6,500rpm and a peak torque of around 191Nm @ 4,500rpm. We drove the 6-speed automatic variant, however, this engine is also available with a 6-speed manual transmission.
Hyundai also retails the Alcazar with a 1.5-litre diesel unit that churns out 113.4bhp @ 4,000rpm and 250Nm @ 1,500 - 2,750rpm. This unit is also available with a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
The power delivery on the petrol unit, is linear. The SUV has a strong mid-range but lacks power at the top end. Since it is a naturally aspirated motor, it has a quick throttle response as there is no lag as seen in some turbocharged cars. The gearbox certainty isn't the fastest and feels slightly sluggish.
In the S Mode, the car will hold gears for a longer period of time before shifting to the next one. The driver can also take full control of the gearbox via the paddle shifters. There are three driving modes in the car: Eco, Comfort and Sport.
The SUV gives the maximum fuel efficiency in the Eco mode and with that, the throttle response feels a bit vague. Comfort is when you want to cruise around in the city with a decent throttle response. In the Sport mode, the SUV becomes extremely responsive. Along with these engine modes, the SUV also gets three traction control modes: Mud, Sand, and Snow.
The suspension setup on the Alcazar is on the softer side and will give you a comfortable ride. But at the same time, due to the soft setup, the SUV lacks handling. If you show the car a few corners, it will take it easily, but the Alcazar is not the SUV that you will like to push hard around corners.
Hyundai might have wanted their customers to enjoy the best of both worlds, and since it is a heavy vehicle it had body roll. This, however, is lesser compared to other SUVs of this size.
The steering wheel is extremely responsive and with a flick, the SUV will switch lanes. However, one thing that we liked about the steering wheel is that it now is slightly more stiffer than before. In the earlier Hyundai cars, the steering wheel was extremely light and at high speeds that can be really dangerous. That has certainly changed with the Alcazar.
ARAI mileage claims are 14.5km/l for the petrol manual and 14km/l for the petrol automatic. On the other hand, the diesel manual and automatic variants have a claimed fuel economy of 18.5km/l and 18km/l respectively.
Safety & Key Features
Hyundai has loaded the Alcazar with lots of safety features as well as other important features. Even the entry-level model of the Alcazar comes with more features than the SUVs competitors offer. We drove the full-loaded variant and hence, the features' list was exhaustive.
Hyundai Alcazar Safety Features:
- Blind View Monitor (BVM)
- Three traction-control modes: Snow, Sand, Mud
- ABS with EBD
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- Hill Start Control (HSC)
- Electronic parking brake with auto-hold
- Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
- Auto headlamps
- 360-degree camera
- 6 airbags
- Rear parking camera with adaptive guidelines
Hyundai Alcazar Key Features:
- Cruise Control
- 8-Speaker Bose Audio System
- Voice-activated sunroof
- Remote engine start with smart key
- Paddle shifters
- Puddle lamps
- Follow-me-home headlamps
Variants, Colours & Pricing
The Hyundai Alcazar is offered with six single-tone colour options and two dual-tone colour options.
- Taiga Brown
- Polar White
- Phantom Black
- Typhoon Silver
- Starry Night
- Titan Grey
- Polar White with Phantom Black roof
- Titan Grey with Phantom Black roof
|6-seater Models Pricing|
|Alcazar Variants||P 2.0 MT||P 2.0 AT||D 1.5 MT||D 1.5 AT|
|Prestige||Rs xx Lakh||NA||Rs xx Lakh||NA|
|Prestige (O)||NA||Rs xx Lakh||NA||NA|
|Platinum (O)||NA||Rs xx Lakh||NA||Rs xx Lakh|
|Signature||Rs xx Lakh||NA||Rs xx Lakh||NA|
|Singature (O)||NA||Rs xx Lakh||NA||Rs xx Lakh|
|7-seater Models Pricing|
|Alcazar Variants||P 2.0 MT||P 2.0 AT||D 1.5 MT||D 1.5 AT|
|Prestige||Rs xx Lakh||NA||Rs xx Lakh||NA|
|Prestige (O)||NA||NA||NA||Rs xx Lakh|
|Platinum||Rs xx Lakh||NA||Rs xx Lakh||NA|
Hyundai is betting big with its new SUV and is confident with its product. The company is offering 3 Years/Unlimited Kilometres warranty along with Roadside assistance cover as standard.
Buyers can opt for an extended warranty of upto 5 Years/1,40,000 kilometres. This extended warranty is also transferable in case the car's ownership gets transferred within this period.
Competitors & Fact Check
The Hyundai Alcazar is entering a highly competitive segment in India. It will compete with the likes of the new Tata Safari and MG Hector Plus. The upcoming Mahindra XUV700 will also compete in this very segment. Some buyers might even compare the Hyundai Alcazar with the Toyota Innova Crysta!
Well, we do know that the Hyundai Alcazar wins the features list battle hands down, when compared to all of its competitors.
|Specifications||Hyundai Alcazar||Tata Safari||MG Hector Plus|
|Engine||2.0-litre Petrol / 1.5-litre Turbo-Diesel||2.0-litre Turbo-Diese||1.5-litre Turbo-Petrol / 1.5-litre Turbo-Petrol Hybrid / 2.0-litre Turbo-Diesel|
|Power||157bhp / 113.4bhp||167.6bhp||141bhp / 141bhp / 167.6bhp|
|Torque||191Nm / 250Nm||350Nm||250Nm / 250Nm / 350Nm|
|Transmission||6-Speed Manual / 6-Speed Automatic||6-Speed Manual / 6-Speed Automatic||6-Speed Manual / DCT / CVT|
|Starting Price||Rs 16.30 lakh (ex-showroom)||Rs 14.99 lakh (ex-showroom)||Rs 13.62 lakh (ex-showroom)|
The Hyundai Alcazar offers top-notch equipment and features. It even comes with a premium design. The SUV offers multiple seating options, multiple powertrain options and a number of trim levels. So it does seem like a win-win — Hyundai sells more cars and the buyers get a brilliant car.
This is exactly where the price factor comes in. The Hyundai Alcazar's entry-level trim costs Rs 1.31 lakh and Rs 2.68 lakh more than the entry level model of the Tata Safari and MG Hector Plus respectively. Now, this is a huge price gap irrespective of the number of features being offered by Hyundai.
Given the price factor, it remains to be seen how it performs in terms of sales. If the price and sales aspect is kept aside though, we have a winner on our hands.
Written by Stephen Neil; Reviewed by Promeet Ghosh