Hyundai Exter long term review, 2700km report

    Hyundai’s new mini-SUV joins our long-term fleet and our eager testers all give it a quick go.

    Published on Nov 15, 2023 08:00:00 AM


    Hyundai Exter
    Make : Hyundai
    Model : Exter

    The Hyundai Exter has joined our long-term fleet and many from our team immediately whisked its keys away. Having missed the media drive, Hormazd took it first for a few days, following which Rahul and I had it for a week each. The first thing I did was to take my brother-in-law and his family out in the Exter and they were all very impressed with it as soon as they sat inside.

    According to them, it didn’t look like much from the outside; so much for the SUV-esque styling. However, once inside, they were very surprised with the space and features on offer. Kind of like an expectation vs reality scenario. The legroom and headroom really impressed them as did the touchscreen, auto AC and the dashcam, which is also a two-way device that records both outside and inside the car.

    Hyundai Exter dashcam
    Factory-fit dashcam is handy to have and it records both outside and inside the car.

    I remember that in our media drive review, we were very impressed with the car, so I was not surprised by their reaction. However, after using it for a week around familiar territory, two negative details did emerge for me. For one, the ride over repeated bumps and potholes – Mumbai roads – is firm and jittery, and you feel all the rumbling beneath. It’s fine over a random bump and it even soaks up large ones quite well as we saw on our first drive of the Exter.

    Hyundai Exter touchscreen
    Infotainment system is intuitive and radio UI has a cool retro-looking nixie tube display.

    The other bit is the seats, which are firm; while filming, you are constantly getting in and out of the car, but after a long drive – a two-and-a-half-hour commute from my office to home – the seats felt hard, and you begin to move around seeking comfort.

    Hyundai Exter touchscreen
    Seats are broad and contoured, but cushioning is too firm and a pain on long drives.

    These two details aside though, the Exter is very much as I remember it. The engine is smooth and refined and the 83hp, 114Nm, 1.2-litre petrol engine has enough pep to deal with the short burst you need when overtaking in the city. The gearbox and clutch too are very light and won’t tax you at all; especially the gear lever, which seems to slot into place with barely a nudge. So far we have filled the car only once, so we don’t know what the efficiency is like as yet, although Hyundai claims an ARAI figure of 19.2kpl for the petrol manual. When it’s time to tank up, we’ll have our first figure recorded.  

    We are yet to use the dashcam as it needs a micro SD card to record footage, but the specs seem good with HD recording capability on offer. The fact that it is built-in is also a plus point and Rahul, our test driver, is quite keen to see how it performs. Rahul, just remember that it records what goes on on the inside too, so no more handbrake turns for you.

    Hyundai Exter digital instrument cluster
    Digital panel has no display options and you can only change the colour scheme.

    I do miss the Bose music system that you get in higher Hyundais, but you do get some features like the sounds of nature, for instance, which plays soothing sounds of rainfall and beach waves through the speakers. My wife finds this neat when she’s in the passenger seat, but I find it quite odd while I’m driving.

    Besides that, I like the stereo interface and UI, which is typical Hyundai – easy and straightforward to use with an intuitive menu hierarchy. There’s also a really cool retro display for the radio, which mimics a nixie tube display. The infotainment also has a SoundHound app built in, so in case you missed the RJ’s announcement, it will listen and identify the song playing over the radio once you press the icon. Pretty handy stuff. So for now, our military green Exter is doing a fine job and we’ll soon have some more data on its fuel efficiency and how it manages an out-of-town highway run. Stay tuned.

    Also see:

    Hyundai Exter vs Tata Punch comparison: Lightweight champs

    Hyundai Exter vs Tata Punch comparison video

    Fact FilePetrol
    Distance covered2712km
    Price when newRs 9.41 lakh (ex showroom, Delhi)
    Test economyNA
    Maintenance costsNone

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