Hyundai Coupe SII 2.7-litre V6
Exterior changes to the 2007 Coupe SIII make the car look sportier and more aggressive
- Exterior styling is bound to turn heads
- Good levels of standard kit
- Fun to drive, with little understeer
- Relatively cheap to buy and with strong warranty, too
- Safety and security equipment could be more generous
- Awkward driving position: steering wheel adjusts for rake only, plus headroom is limited
- Hyundai's budget image could be a barrier for some buyers
- Front-drive layout can't match the more driver-focused offerings from more established players
Korean manufacturers Hyundai introduced the Coupe in 1996. Its 'love it or hate it' design has since drawn attention worldwide. Having received two facelifts already, in 2000 and again in 2005, this Coupe S III is the third incarnation.
While mechanical changes are minimal, the Coupe SIII has been re-designed outside and has received significant changes and enhancements inside. The exterior styling is more distinct and aggressive, with the new front end featuring elongated, wrap-around headlights, a deeper, more aggressive front grille and new fog lights.
Side air vents incorporate indicator repeater lights and there are new alloy wheels, while the rear has a more sculpted look with fully integrated twin exhaust and restyled light clusters.
Inside a noticeable change is the redesigned centre console layout, which has a cleaner look that encourages more instinctive usage. With a nod to Hyundai's Sante Fe, inside the SIII now has blue instrumentation illumination that is attractive, easy to read and yet not distracting in dark driving conditions.
Levels of equipment and trim are high across the range with leather seats, iPod compatible CD/radio stereo, air-conditioning, electric front windows, cruise control, heated front seats, automatic headlights, and automatic dimming rear view mirror all included as standard fitment on the range-topping 2.7-litre V6. Other engines offered in the Coupe SIII line-up are the 1.6 and 2.0-litre petrol units, and even the 1.6-litre model comes with half-leather trim.
Our verdict on the Hyundai Coupe SII 2.7-litre V6
The Hyundai Coupe SIII is a car with an exterior and interior design that will appeal to those motorists already considering purchasing a coupe but are drawn by the bold styling. While it is not an ideal long-distance cruiser it has a luxurious look and feel, and offers a fun and affordable driving experience.
The 2.7 petrol V6 Hyundai Coupe SIII comes at a decent purchase price, particularly when the generous levels of standard equipment are factored in. Hyundai's generous warranty and reputation for reliability means service costs shouldn't be too steep, while historically its residuals have been reasonable, too. However, potential purchasers should take particular note of its CO2 emissions and fuel economy figures which don't bode well for the environment or the owner in terms of insurance and running costs.
Space and practicality
Legroom is fairly good for driver and passenger, though headroom feels limited when the electric sunroof is closed. The boot itself is of a decent size (418 litres) compared to some of its competitors and the rear split seats can be folded to increase capacity. Various useful stowage spaces and cubbies can also be found in the cabin, including cup holders, mobile phone slot and a storage compartment in the front armrest.
Controls and display
The interior is highly appealing in terms of aesthetics and ergonomics. The Coupe SIII offers an array of features more befitting of a premium model, such as audio controls on the steering wheel, automatic climate control, heated front seats (except on 1.6-litre models), cruise control and a multifunction display with trip computer.
The Coupe's platform and suspension design offer reasonable levels of comfort and handling, making this more suited for relaxed motoring rather than sports performance, and unfortunately bumps are easily felt throughout the cabin. In addition, wind and road noise are noticeable at speed, and can make long-distance and higher-speed cruising less pleasant than they ought be.
Remote central locking with alarm, engine immobiliser and locking wheel nuts are standard across the range, while the V6's central locking system boasts a Thatcham category 1 alarm.
As well as structural reinforcements designed to minimise damage on impact, the Coupe SIII's range of standard safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes with EBD, power assisted steering, driver, passenger and side airbags, height-adjustable seatbelts in the front and two three-point seat belts in the rear. V6 models come with an additional electronic stability programme and a traction control system.
The 2.7-litre V6 engine is coupled with manual transmission as standard, which can be tricky to master due to the clutch's high biting point. While the V6 engine has a pleasant snarl to it, the top-spec automatic transmission model also includes an electronic system that learns the driving characteristics of the driver and adapts itself accordingly.
Family car appeal
Realistically the Coupe SIII is a strict two-seater with limited boot and storage space. As there is no room for baby or child booster seats with adults sat in the front, this cannot truly be characterised as a family car. However for those that can afford it, it would make an enviable second car.
First car appeal
Its initial price tag and insurance costs mean the Coupe SIII would be an unlikely first car for novice drivers - despite its appeal.
Quality and image
There is always a certain amount of kudos associated with driving a coupe, and the Coupe SIII looks and feels like it has a quality build and has been well put together inside, too. However, although potential purchasers should be assured by Hyundai's excellent five-year unlimited mileage warranty, some buyers may be put off by Hyundai's image as being somewhat a budget brand.
The low stance of the Coupe SIII means less agile passengers might struggle with access. Climbing into the seats is easier than exiting the vehicle. The driver's seat has electric height and lumbar adjustments, while the steering column can also be configured for rake to achieve positions to suit many, though the cabin does suffer from a shortage of headroom. The boot opens remotely using the electronic key as well as via the hatch release button inside the cabin, however the boot mechanism doesn't close as assuredly as it could.
Stereo and ICE (In car entertainment)
The Coupe SII comes with an iPod compatible CD/RDS radio stereo. The iPod port is found in the centre armrest, and is standard on all models in the range. Satellite navigation (offered by Smartnav TM) is optional, available at additional cost for all models.
Colours and trim
Exterior colours for the Coupe SIII include a solid red (standard colour) and metallic choices of sky blue, steel grey, silver and black - all available at extra cost. The steel grey and black variants come with red interior finish, while the other colours feature black interior trim. While trim and kit levels are dependent on engine size, even the entry-level 1.6-litre model has half-leather trim, including leather gear knob and steering wheel.
Parking the Coupe SIII is a relatively simple affair, with good all-round visibility afforded by the low and lean profile and the responsive power steering offering plenty of assistance.
A space saver spare wheel is fitted as standard under the boot floor.
Petrol engine options - 1.6-litre (103bhp), 2.0-litre (141bhp) and 2.7-litre V6 (165bhp). Transmission options: five-speed manual gearbox, six-speed manual transmission, optional four-speed H-matic automatic gearbox. Trim level is dependent on engine size.
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