•Kona Clinches Electric Car of the Year

Hyundai Creta beats Corolla, Rio to emerge Nigerian Car of the Year
From left — The Federal Road Safety Commission Corps, FRSC, Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi; presenting Car of the Year Award to Mr Gaurav Vashisht of Stallion Motors; and Dr. Oscar Odibo.

By Theodore Opara

FOR the second time in three years, Hyundai Creta Compact SUV has been voted as the Nigerian Car-of-the-Year, ahead of Toyota Corolla and Kia Rio.

The Nigerian Auto Journalists Association, NAJA, announced the latest verdict on Wednesday at its 2021 Auto Industry Awards held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

 Launched into the Nigerian market for the first time in 2016, the compact SUV had made a history by winning the prestigious car of the year award in 2018.

The 2021 NAJA event also featured the crowning of Nigeria’s first ever Electric Car, the Hyundai Kona, as the Electric-Car-of-the-Year.

The colourful event was attended by leading stakeholders of the nation’s automobile and road transport sector, including the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road safety Corps, FRSC, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi and representative of the Director General of National Automotive Design and Development Council, NADDC, Jelani Aliyu.

Journey to 2021 NAJA Awards started with nomination of finalists by jury members of the Nigerian Auto Journalists Association, while the ultimate winners emerged from voting by Motoring journalists drawn from the nation’s leading print, electronic and digital media.

Reacting, Mr. Gaurav Vashisht, Head, Sales and Marketing at Hyundai Motors Nigeria, commended the organisers (NAJA) for putting up the prestigious award and for finding the Hyundai Creta and Kona worthy of honours.

Vashisht described the two award winning vehicles (Creta and Kona) as a testimony of Hyundai’s core vision of always developing high-quality vehicles.  He said: “We are honoured to, again, win the most prestigious automotive award in Nigeria.

“We dedicate the awards to our teeming customers and lovers of Hyundai brand across the country.

“We thank the motoring media and jurors who have chosen CRETA as the Nigerian Car of the Year 2021 and crowned the Kona as the Nigerian Electric Car of the Year.

“With innovation at its core, Hyundai is committed to continuously make global quality cars with cutting edge technologies and fortify the Hyundai brand, caring for our customers in Nigeria and globally.”

Currently selling in Nigeria is  a new generation 2021 CRETA  created for an unparalleled driving experience for customers across sub-Sahara Africa, including Nigeria.

Transformed into the ultimate  sub-compact SUV for any terrain, the redesigned and more powerful  CRETA  comes with a choice of three engines. The Smart stream G1.5 (maximum power of 115ps/6,300rpm and maximum torque of 14.7kgf.m/4,500rpm) and the Kappa 1.4T-GDI (140ps/6,000rpm and 24.7kgf.m/1,500-3,200rpm) are both gasoline engines, providing better fuel economy on the roads.

Offering more choice is the diesel U2 1.5 VGT (DSL) engine, which has a maximum power of 115ps/4,000rpm and a maximum torque of 25.5kgf.m/1,500-2,750rpm.

Inside and out, the new CRETA is longer and wider than its first-generation predecessor. Due to its 2610mm-long wheelbase and extra amounts of legroom, headroom and shoulder room, the CRETA’s cabin is able to accommodate five persons more comfortably than ever.

In addition, its ergonomically sculpted seats use multi-density foam to provide varying degrees of firmness and softness that compensate for uneven weight distribution on the seat cushion, backrest, the side bolsters, and headrest.

The CRETA SUV offers multiple levels of protection, including its ultra-rigid monologue steel body shell that is designed to safely absorb impact forces

Ample stopping power is provided by 16-in front discs and ABS, which are standard equipment. Dual front depowered airbags, curtain airbags and front row thorax protection are also available as part of the six-airbags option.

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