Car Test   R0261
August 2002
  Hyundai Trajet
Printer Friendly Page Featured model: 2.0 GSi
Say what you like about Hyundai, you canít deny that it doesnít offer a huge range of models. Thereís something for everyone, from the baby Amica, right up to this whopper.
   The Trajet is the Korean companyís first stab at a full-size MPV, and rather than innovate, itís chosen to emulate its big-brother rivals.
   So, itís a conventional seven-seater, with five of the heavy and cumbersome individual seat tumble-folding or lifting out in familiar fashion. Alas, there are no clever Zafira-style back seats folding tricks here.
   The front Ďcaptainís chairsí swivel to face the rear, however, and all three centre seats slide fore and aft. The result is generous kneeroom (though foot space is tight) and it also ekes out space for the two occupants at the back Ė who are never too cramped, anyway.
   The original two-litre petrol engine is now joined by a two-litre turbo-diesel and an automatic-only 2.7-litre V6. These are worth considering if you regularly travel with a full load, because, even when lightly laden, this petrol two-litre is woefully lacking in acceleration below 3000rpm. If you keep the revs well up, with plenty of use of the (fortunately slick) gearchange, hill climbing is less doleful and progress generally is a good deal more acceptable. Cruising is unstressed, in any case.
   Itís only on patchy B-roads that the suspension feels firm and jiggly; otherwise the ride is compliant and comfortably cushioned. It can, however, feel floaty on rises and dips, which wonít please bad sailors.
   The Trajetís weight and bulk donít encourage exuberant bend-swinging, yet this portly people-carrier has sensibly geared steering and corners with composure if not agility.
   With the five rear head restraints removed (or the seatbacks folded) all-round vision is excellent from the height-adjustable driving seat. Tall drivers will wish for more rearward seat travel, however, and the steering wheel is only adjustable for rake. The bold instruments and major controls are well sited.
   Although the Trajet lacks the top quality fit and finish of its costlier competitors, it makes amends with the quantity of its convenience features, including air conditioning, table tops and storage areas galore, sunglasses holders, roof lights and a trio of power sockets.
   With all the seats in place, thereís Ďbootí space for only a pile of squashy bags, but risk a rupture by manhandling out all the back chairs and youíve got yourself a warehouse on wheels.
  considering size, price and rivals
Overtaking Ability
Fuel Economy
Security, theft of
theft from
  • Hyundai's 5-year warranty (across the range)
  • easy-to-brush-out floors
  • near accuracy of speedometer and odometer
  • illuminated ignition keyhole
  • tilt-adjustable front head restraints
  • lugging the 23kg seats in and out
  • no load cover to conceal valuables
  • no hooks for take-aways or shopping bags
  • unprotected sills likely to become scuffed
  • small, fiddly radio/CD player controls
Undeniably, the Trajet lacks the poise and the polish of its more expensive rivals (some of which boast clever back seat folding, too), and this two-litre engine has to work hard for its living. Nevertheless, itís a spacious holdall that offers a great deal Ė in more ways than one. It could prove a bargain buy for big families on a budget if the likes of, say, a used Galaxy doesnít appeal.

engine 1997cc, 4-cylinder petrol, 133bhp at 5750rpm,
137 lb ft at 4600rpm; belt-driven double overhead camshafts, 16 valves
  transmission 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive; 22.9mph/1000rpm in 5th, 18.4 in 4th
suspension front: independent MacPherson coil spring/damper struts; anti roll bar
rear: semi-trailing arms with coil springs; anti-roll bar
  steering hydraulic power assistance; 2.9 turns lock-to-lock; 11.6m diameter turning circle between kerbs (16.6m for one turn of the wheel)
brakes ventilated discs front, solid discs rear with standard anti-lock and brake force distribution controls   wheels/tyres 6in steel with 215/6R15H tyres (Michelin Primacy XSE on test car); full-size spare

size and type upper-medium (budget-priced) 7-seater MPV   trim levels GSi, V6
engines petrol: 4cyl/2.0 litre/133bhp, V6/2.7/167
diesel: 4/2.0/111
  drive front-wheel drive, 5-speed manual (4-speed stepped automatic standard on 2.7 V6, optional on 2.0 and 2.0TD)

HOW THE TRAJET 2.0 COMPARES* engine (cyl/cc/bhp) revs at 70mph (rpm) 30-70 through gears (sec) 30-70mph in 4th/5th gears (sec) fuel (mpg/CO2) brakes from 50mph (kg/m) maximum legroom - front (cm) typical leg/kneeroom - rear (cm) steering turns/circle (m) overall length (cm)
Hyundai Trajet 2.0 GSi 4/1997/133 3050 14.0 27.2/39.6 29/223 20/26 105 104/78+ 2.9/11.6 470
Ford Galaxy 2.3 16V 4/2295/145 3290 11.0 26.3/19.9 29/242 25/26 108 104/84 3.3/11.3 464
Honda Stream 1.7 SE 4/1668/123 3795 10.8 19.3/25.4 34/183 14/26 108 104/74+ 2.8/11.5 457
Kia Sedona 2.5 V6 6/2497/162 3010 11.5 23.7/35.0 25/265 22/26 109 103/77 3.6/12.9 489
Mitsubishi S' Wagon 2.4 GDi 4/2351/147 3000 11.7 19.1/28.6 30.5/222 14/25 107 102/80+ 3.3/11.5 460
Vauxhall Zafira 1.8i 4/1796/113 3630 11.3 16.3/22.4 32/204 14/27 103 102/75+ 3.2/11.0 432
  + seats fully back  * all seven-seaters

Most major controls, stalks and switches sensibly sited. Height-adjustable driver's seat and steering wheel ensure a comfortable driving position, with large, clear instruments and big mirrors. Handbrake feels springy, but works well.
Fine on the straight, but rolly when cornered briskly, accompanied by early front tyre squeal, but there's ample grip. Steering nicely weighted and sensibly geared. Reasonable turning circle, too. Impressive brakes.
Large, comfortable front seats and a supple, loose-limbed ride, but too 'nautical' for the queasy on undulating roads. Back seats 'cosier', but still more than adequate. Tyre/wind noise muted. Plenty of lamps, storage spaces, table-tops.

Turgid performance at low revs, and hill climbing can mean plenty of gearchanges (the shift is fine). Beyond 3000rpm, engine becomes a lot more willing and revvy. Cruises well. Occasional 'weak mixture' surging proves irritating.
  acceleration in seconds through gears~ 3rd gear 4th gear 5th gear
  20-40mph 4.2 8.5 13.9 20.5
  30-50mph 5.2 8.3 12.8 19.6
  40-60mph 6.8 8.6 12.9 19.1
  50-70mph 8.8 8.9 14.4 20.0
  30-70mp 14.0 17.2 27.2 39.6
  max speed in each gear (~ using 6000rpm for best acceleration)
     gear      1st~      2nd~      3rd~      4th      5th
     speed (mph)      29      51      81      113      111 (4850rpm)

Almost 30-to-the-gallon overall not bad going for a bigun, but seven-up will take its toll. Around 40mpg on the cards with a gentle right foot. No trip computer, even on V6. Easy-filling tank with a decent range between top-ups.
    AA test results (mpg)  
    worst (hard/urban) 19  
    best (gentle/rural) 40.5  
    overall mpg 29  
    realistic tank capacity 58litres  
    realistic tank range 370miles  
    official figures (mpg)
    urban 21.9
    extra urban 39.2
    combined 30.4
    CO2 emissions 223g/km
    car tax band E

Depowered front airbags as standard, but only V6 has side bags - and traction control. Front and outer mid-row seats have height-adjustable belts, but centre rear is lap-type only. Reinforced roll cage, deformable bumpers.
  from 50mph (with standard ABS/EBD)
This model has not yet been
tested by EURO NCAP
pedal load     stopping distance
unhurried 10kg     35.5m
sudden 20kg     26m best stop
+4kg ie 24kg     27m
fade resistance/consistency    
Euro NCAP = European New Car Assessment Programme: independent crash safety tests evaluating protection for occupants and pedestrians in an offset frontal collision, side impacts and pedestrian strike conditions
click here for more NCAP details/test results etc.

Genuine seven-seater with fair access to rear. Centre seats slide to apportion legroom; front seats rotate for lunch. Minimal boot space, seven-up, but all five (heavy) back seats removable, so cargo space is hugely variable. (parking rating would be 4 stars with head restraints removed)
  in centimetres (5-door MPV)
  length 470
  width - including mirrors 218
    - mirrors folded 191
  height (inc roof bars) 176
  load sill height (inside/outside) 0/60
  turns lock-to-lock 2.9
  turning circle (metres) 11.6
  easy to park/garage?
  front - legroom 93-105
    - headroom 99-103s
  middle - legroom 104a
    - kneeroom 78a
    - headroom 96a
    - hiproom 143a
  rear - typical legroom 92a
    - typical kneerooma 64a
    - headroom 91a
    - hiproom 125a
  load area
  load space(7/5 seats in use)
(litres/cu ft)
  load length(7seats/5/2) 38/112/200
  load length to facia 283
  load width 122-142
  load height
(to window line/to top of aperture)
65 104
a typical with mid row seats slid fully back  s without sunroof

Powerful, if bulky, central locking handset, but auto-locking and deadlocks absent; there's no roller-blind load cover, either. Alarm and immobiliser standard, though. 'See-you-home' headlamps are available as an option.
central locking  
remote control  
remote window closing  
alarm (perimeter + interior)  
self locking (static + drive off)   
two-stage unlocking   
attack-resistant glass   
load area cover   
AA load area security rating
=standard    =option    =not available
NCSR - "theft of"
NCSR - "theft from"
NCSR = New Car Security Ratings: a 1 to 5 star system which rates anti-theft protection, both of the car itself and the theft of valuables from within the car
Visit for more details
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