Car Test   R0268
October 2002
First Drive Hyundai Getz
Printer Friendly Page Featured model: 1.3CDX 5 door
For the first time, Hyundai has added a supermini to its extensive line-up. Korea’s new baby – the Getz – is a three- and five-door that’s been developed with Europe very much in mind and features a ‘wheel at each corner’ design to maximise interior space.
   Certainly headroom and foot space for back seat passengers are good – as is kneeroom, but leg-stretching space is noticeably inferior to that of most rivals, notably the Fabia and Yaris. Comfortable, four-notch reclining backrests go a long way to making amends, however.
   Our opinions of the plasticky facia were divided, but there’s no denying that the fit and finish are commendable and the car’s specifications generous. Even the entry-level 1.1 GSi comes with power steering, anti-lock brakes (with EBD), a CD player, electric front windows and two front airbags. Side airbags, air conditioning, an electric sunroof and trip computer are added to CDX and Sport models.
   Only tall drivers will find legroom wanting. Otherwise, most will be comfortable at the height-adjustable wheel (if they don’t mind shortish cushions), thanks to dual-height seat adjusters, with lumbar adjustment on the CDX and Sport. Hi-fi and heater knobs apart, the switchgear and instruments are sensibly sized and sited, but the huge head restraints and wide rear roof pillars mar rearward vision. Fortunately the door mirrors are very good.
   Three familiar Hyundai engines are offered. Naturally, the 1.1 (derived from the company’s one-litre unit) offers good economy but leisurely acceleration, while the 1.6 gives swift performance and relaxed cruising. The best-seller is expected to be the 1.3. It’s lively but raucous when revved, yet very tractable in the upper gears and cruises without fuss at 70mph (about 3400rpm). Our very low-mileage example tended to flag on gradients, particularly below 3000rpm, but a nifty downshift on the quick, slick gear lever restored its spirit.
   The suspension doesn’t take too kindly to broken-topped or bumpy B roads, where there's a rather stiff-limbed response. It’s a good deal more supple on faster open roads. Indeed, the Getz feels neat and nimble, and can be cornered in quite a spirited fashion, thanks in part to the fluid and response steering. The ABS brakes, on the other hand, though reassuringly powerful, are a bit too ‘sudden’ at low speed for our liking.
   The boot appears to be quite small, but there’s room for a couple of soft bags under the floor panel. For serious cargo carrying, the 60/40 divided backrests and cushions fold to provide a large, uniform load area with a flat, carpeted floor. There’s a rear sill to cope with, though.
  considering size, price and rivals
  • facia-top shelf
  • good door sill protection
  • front seat and boot bag hooks
  • plastic rubbing inserts protect bumpers
  • occasional facia creaks
  • only centre rear headrest lowers flush with seatback
  • speedo calibrated 20, 40, 60 etc
  • centre rear seatbelt stows clumsily
It’s a formidable task to break into the supermini market with so much talent already on offer, but the Getz is a fine first effort. Quieter revving engines are the most pressing need, otherwise Hyundai has got a lot of things pretty near right first time. Shortcomings that exist tend to be offset by the Getz’s generous five-year warranty and value-for-money pricing, when all the equipment it offers is taken into account.

engine 1341cc, petrol, 81bhp/86 lb ft with single overhead camshaft, 12 valves
drive 5-speed manual (4-speed stepped automatic optional on 1.3 and 1.6)
suspension front: independent MacPherson coil spring/damper struts
rear: torsion beam axle, trailing arms, coil springs
wheels/tyres 5in alloy with 175/65R14T Kumo Power Star tyres
brakes ventilated discs front, drums rear with standard ABS and electronic brake force distribution
CO2 emissions 150g/km
0-62mph* 11.5sec
official mpg 45.6
* maker's figures

body 3- and 5-door supermini, mid-priced   trim levels GSi, CDX, Sport
engines petrol: 4cyl/1.1 litre/62bhp, 4/1.3/81, 4/1.6/104
diesel: 3/1.5/81 due summer 2003
  drive front-wheel drive, 5-speed manual, 4-speed stepped automatic optional on 1.3 and 1.6
notable features available ABS brakes (with EBD), CD player, side airbags, electric windows, air conditioning, trip computer, alloy wheels

length x width (folded mirrors) 381x192
- legroom 83-103
- headroom (no sunroof) 97
- typical legroom 92
- typical kneeroom 71
- headroom 93
- hiproom 125
load space (all seats in use)(litres/cu ft) 250/8.8
load length
(seats up/folded)
load width 99
load sill height (inside/outside) 21/68
boot/load aperture height 50/87
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