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Hyundai Getz

 

The pace of development and improvement in the Korean motor industry, led by Hyundai, is almost mind-blowingand is reminiscent of Japanese car makers in the 1970s.Hyundai is now the third biggest car importer into Europe and its new factory in the Czech Republic is targeted to double annual Euro sales a year to 600,000.

The Koreans reckon their presence will become stronger once European-made Hyundais are in showrooms within two years. Impressive strides are being made in quality, and Hyundai is also diversifying its range.

The marque has been gathering momentum in Sport Utility Vehicle 4WDs and increasing its strength in diesels.

The compact Getz hatchback, the brand’s top seller in many markets, was revised last year, with a modest sharpening of styling to better suit European tastes. Yet the car doesn’t look much different to when it was first introduced four years ago.

This October sees the arrival in New Zealand of the 1.5-litre Euro IV diesel-engined Getz hatchback.

The same motor also goes into the Accent and you can expect to see a 2.0-litre Euro IV VGT diesel option for the Sonata. Hyundai is putting real emphasis on to diesel power in the NZ market.

I’ve been evaluating two versions of the Getz in Britain – a GSI with the entry-level 1.1-litre petrol engine and the 1.5 CRTD with the same diesel engine soon to arrive in our market.

On paper, the four-cylinder, single overhead cam 1086cc petrol power unit offers worthwhile advantages over the 1.4-litre petrol Getz offered in New Zealand.

But is the local distributor right in not offering this baby engine option? Yes.
In the combined fuel cycle the smallest engined Hyundai is 26 percent more fuel efficient, but the official posted fuel figures aren’t always a good guide to real
world motoring.

I couldn’t match the fuel figures with either the petrol or diesel Getz – they were
invariably optimistic in the urban, highway and combined cycles.

Hyundai quotes 4.1 litres/100km (68.9mpg) for the diesel model in the highway test and 4.6 litres/100km (61.4mpg) in the combined cycle.

By contrast, my average of 5.1 litres/100 km (55.5mpg) fell well short of those figures.Nor did the 1.1-litre triple valve per cylinder petrol Getz approach the fuel test results. My average over an extended 4000km drive that was mainly on the open highway, was 5.6 litres/100km (50.2 mpg) – 10 percent inferior to the diesel car.

Whether you cover large distances each year will determine the choice between the petrol and diesel Getz.

In Britain, there’s a premium equivalent to $3500 for choosing the diesel and that takes some catching up.

The twin overhead cam 1493cc diesel has four valves per cylinder and is reasonably flexible, despite the long-legged gearing.

At 100km/h in fifth, the diesel is pulling a mere 2100rpm but, like the lower-geared 1.1 petrol, loses momentum once the car tackles a hill.

This is an impressively sophisticated common rail direct injection diesel with a
variable geometry turbo.

The diesel engine was designed and developed with major input from Hyundai’s European research and development centre in Russelsheim, Germany.
In Europe it’s available in either 65kW or 81kW forms, with torque of 215Nm
and 235Nm respectively.

Peak torque on the more powerful diesel kicks in between 1900 and 2750rpm; the little petrol unit makes do with a mere 99Nm at a higher 3200rpm.

Both cars are commendably quiet, with the whisper factor advantage to the petrol Getz. The lack of mechanical noise at open road speeds, and general all-round refinement of the petrol model is a real plus.

The diesel’s gearbox felt more precise than the petrol model’s which was occasionally reluctant to engage reverse.

Though the 1.1 petrol keeps up with the cut and thrust of city traffic, provided you work it hard, open road performance is subdued.Flat out from a standstill to 100km/h takes a leisurely 16.1 seconds – five seconds slower than the 1.4 petrol. At the same time, the diesel actually gets to 100km/h a whisker faster
than the 1.4 petrol.

Despite the sluggish mid-range performance, the 1.1 cruises well and its 167km/h is only 3km/h down on the 1.4 petrol’s. The best top speed of 180km/h is achieved by the diesel.

The diesel Getz weighs about 70kg more than equivalent petrol versions, and is the only version to have disc brakes at the rear.

The 1.1 petrol has 9.5-inch front ventilated discs and all the others have 10-inch front discs. Four channel ABS with electronic brake force distribution is standard across the range.

The real testament to the improvement in small car designs is their ability to cover lengthy distances in comfort. The Getz is no exception – and is, indeed, above the class average. We ran virtually non-stop from south of London to Edinburgh – the same distance as Auckland to Wellington – and the seats were commendably comfy, and induced nary a sign of backache or stiffness.

Many buyers, of course, will choose the clutchless option. Hyundai developed an intelligent four-speed automatic for Getz, with high top gear ratios to minimise fuel consumption at cruising speeds.

Sensors constantly monitor engine speeds and driver demands and adapt the transmission to suit individual driving styles.Driving dynamics still fall short of the class leaders. However, with overly light power steering and a torsion beam rear axle design that endows the Getz with fairly average handling and roadholding, there’s more emphasis on good ride comfort than precise handling.

Living with this little car is easy. Instrumentation is good, thanks to the use of LED colour graphics, and the rear headrests have been redesigned for easy adjustment and better rearward vision.

There are 20 storage points, including a new central console tray and larger
door pockets.
Height-adjustable steering is standard, and even though the driver’s seat is adjustable for height, the positioning is still too high for many drivers.

Usable load space is generous and the 60/40 split-folding seats provide the sort
of adaptability that’s expected today.

What’s more, the standard of fit and finish on the two test cars was excellent. More than half the steel used in the car is high tensile, and body rigidity is top-class. Over poorly surfaced roads, neither car had a squeak or rattle.
The Getz is a good all-rounder, well priced, with conservative styling and easy manners. This is a thoroughly acceptable car for our times, no less. 


Auto Trader New Zealand