Hyundai's strong-selling Getz five-door hatchback gets styling changes, bigger engines and mechanical and equipment upgrades with the facelifted model launched in New Zealand this week.
Along with new 1.4 and 1.6-litre engines come four-wheel disc brakes as standard equipment, and EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution) is standard with the ABS anti-lock braking system. Dual front and side airbags are standard, as are front seatbelt pretensioners and load limiters.
Also new is an MP3 compatible Compact Disc player with six speakers and steering wheel mounted audio controls.
Hyundai says its German design studio had four key objectives in developing the new Getz. The first was to offer a choice of engines, an economy-oriented 16-valve DOHC 1.4-litre and a spirited 16-valve DOHC 1.6-litre. The engines had to be more efficient than their predecessors, and quieter. The 1.4 replaces the previous 1.3-litre engine, and the 1.6 the previous 1.5-litre motor.
The car had to attain the highest possible standards in safety and environmental preservation. It had to provide excellent ride performance, stability and safety, using a long wheelbase and wide track. And it had to combine a unique, contemporary exterior design with top level interior comfort and roominess.
Hyundai says the new engines in the Getz are particularly economical. In Australian government ADR79/01 tests, the 1.4 manual achieved 6.1 litres per 100 kilometres, the 1.4 auto records 7.0 litres/100km and the 1.6 auto 7.1 litres/100km.
The 1.6 has five-spoke 15-inch alloy wheels. It also has leather trim on the steering wheel and gearshift. A trip computer displays average fuel consumption and distance to empty. The 1.4s run on 14-inch steel wheels.
A brief drive, most of it on Auckland city streets, revealed the 1.6 to be a very good urban car, with light, user-friendly controls and good manoevrability. It cruised comfortably at 100km/h on the motorway. A very brief blast along a winding road revealed handling biaised quite strongly to understeer.
Engines and mechanical stuff
The new entry-level Getz's 1.4 litre 16-valve multi-point fuel-injected DOHC engine delivers 70kW of maximum power at 6000rpm. Peak torque of 125Nm is developed at 3200rpm.
The 1.4 is available with a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes. The 1.6 Getz, available only with an auto gearbox, has a 1.6-litre 16-valve multi-point fuel-injected DOHC engine, generating 78kW of power at 5800rpm and peak torque output of 144Nm at 3200rpm.
The five-speed manual transmission on the 1.4 jas been upgraded for smoother and quicker shifting. The optional automatic transmission is a four-speed. To enhance braking performance, the ABS braking system is augmented with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution).
The front suspension uses MacPherson struts, and at the rear is a coupled torsion beam axle set-up and gas filled shock absorbers.
To reduce noise intrusion into the cabin, Hyundai has fitted sound dampening and anti-vibration pads in the bonnet, firewall and floor panels. Thick insulators isolate the cabin from the engine bay, and foam injected into the centre and rear pillars suppresses engine and road noise.
The safety story
ABS braking with EBD is standard on all Getz models. Dual front and dual side airbags are standard from the base model up.
The height adjustable front seatbelts incorporate pretensioners, and load limiters then gradually release the seatbelt at a safe and constant rate to prevent excessive pressure on the wearer’s torso. All three rear seats in the Getz are fitted with three-point ELR type seatbelts and height-adjustable headrests.
The Getz body frame is made from high-tensile steel and is further reinforced with a one-piece side outer panel and door mounted side impact beams and bars. A high-strength child seat anchor holder and rear child safety door locks are also standard.
The Getz includes Hyundai New Zealand’s safety pack of fire extinguisher, safety vest and first aid kit.
Styling and interior
New, edgier lines for the 2006 Getz were developed in Hyundai’s German design studio. Flared wheelarches help provide a low, sporty profile, and the large headlights sweep downwards, emphasising the single-bar grille. The road antenna stands in the centre of the roof, and the windscreen is steeply raked.
The 1.6-litre gets a rear spoiler with an integrated high mounted stop light.
The long wheelbase and cowl-forward design provide good room for five passengers and luggage.
The dashboard has a clean, simple design, and the rear seats recline and double-fold.
In-cabin storage spaces include an area under the steering column where a small umbrella or other small items can be stowed. A hook on the back of the front passenger seat is perfect for hanging shopping bags.
A nice touch is the luggage net in the load space which ensures belongings stay safe and secure. The front cabin ashtray can be removed, freeing its mounting space for use as a cup holder.
The 60/40-split rear seat includes a three-step reclining function and height adjustable headrests.
Standard air conditioning incorporates an interior pollen filter.
Hyundai sees its new Getz as vital to the company's rise through the ranks of global car makers. It has sold more than 550,000 Getz hatchbacks internationally since the car's launch in 2002.
Hyundai NZ managing director Philip Eustace says the Getz has "forged an enviable reputation for holding its resale value with our dealers reporting good demand for second-hand models."
1.4-litre five-door manual $19,990
1.4-litre five-door automatic $20,990
1.6-litre five-door automatic $22,990