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Car reviews - Hyundai - Getz - hatch range

Launch Story

Hyundai logo19 Oct 2005

By CHRIS HARRIS

HYUNDAI is standing firm on its quality drive with the Getz facelift, released last week.

Sporting larger engines, extra features, minor suspension reworking, more refinement and a subtle front and rear makeover, the 2006 Getz is being pitched as a cut-above its latest and greatest threat, Holden’s Daewoo-derived TK Barina.

Reflecting this is the base Getz 1.4 twin-cam model’s $13,490 pricing, which – as before with the old single-cam 8-valve 1.3 – sits $500 above the Barina and is not ‘drive-away’ – a dirty word at Hyundai these days.

But the Getz now gets more go than before. The 1.4 16-valve’s 70kW at 6000rpm and 126Nm at 3200rpm power and torque outputs are up 10kW and 9Nm respectively.

More telling is that Hyundai has now standardised anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and four-wheel disc brakes in the car that’s expected to make up 80 to 85 per cent of all Getz sales, the new 1.6.

However these safety features are not available in the 1.4.

And at $14,490 the 1.6 five-speed manual costs $500 more than the corresponding 1.5, and $527 extra (at $16,380) if it is the $1890 four-speed auto option that’s specified.

Yet adding two extra doors at $1000 is now $500 cheaper than before.

A bored-out version of the outgoing 74kW/133Nm, 1.5, twin-cam, 16-valve, four-cylinder Alpha engine, the 1.6 offers 78kW at 5800rpm and 144Nm from 3200rpm.

Plus it’s just as economical as the 1.5 in manual guise (6.2l/100km in the ADR81/01 combined total) and more frugal as an auto (7.1 vs. 7.7). The 1.6 is also just 0.1l/100km thirstier than the 1.4.

All models now offer anti-whiplash front-seat headrests as well as revised rear headrests that are designed not to impede vision.

These are on top of the existing collapsible on heavy-impact pedals and steering column, dual front airbags, anti-submarining front seats, lap-sash seatbelts for all five occupants and three child-restraint points.

But there is still no return-to-position memory for the driver’s front seat on three-door models.

Air-conditioning, power steering, keyless entry with alarm, power windows, electric door mirrors, split-fold rear seats and rear floor heating ducts are included in all models.

Increased refinement arrives in the form of revised dampers and springs for a more compliant ride.

Smaller changes include the addition of a glovebox light, more storage areas, an upgraded CD/MP3 audio with WMA compatibility and a dedicated sunglasses and umbrella holders.

Visually you can easily spot the larger headlights, redesigned grille, tail-lights and hub caps, larger black bumper strips around the car, new colour palette and 1.6 badging that replaces the old GL nomenclature. The XL name vanishes.

Hyundai says you can also feel the ‘nice new tactile touches’, with revised seat fabrics, door trim inserts and dash-top textures, and a leather-trimmed gear knob and steering wheel. The latter also features steering wheel-mounted audio controls.

"Getz has a more luxurious feel and trim than the new Barina", boasts a senior Hyundai executive.

The cheapest Hyundai is hunting for the upcoming Toyota Yaris, Suzuki’s successful new Swift, the Ford Fiesta, revamped Kia Rio, Honda Jazz and Mazda2 as well as the Barina.

Since the Getz’s September 2002 launch it has usurped the ageing Accent as the company’s biggest seller, vying with the Toyota Echo for the title of light-car sales king. Over 500,000 have been sold worldwide – with half going to Europe alone.

Over here Hyundai is aiming at younger/first-time 18-29 year-old new-car buyers, with a somewhat female skew, as well as the over-45s Empty Nesters.

Critically it also targets on-line buyers, setting up a dedicated Getz micro-site.

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