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Hyundai Getz 1.3 Petrol

9th Dec 2009 8:00 am

On the face of it, we have a winner

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  • Make : Hyundai
  • Model : Getz

It’s no surprise that the Getz looks like something designed in Germany, Italy or France – it has been specifically styled to appeal to European tastes. Getz is a squat car, and the roofline tapers at the rear to give a sleek silhouette, and in the GLS version, there’s a near spoiler at the rear. The car’s height is a surprise, far mot than most C-segment cars and close to the tall-boy Santro.

The Getz’s design has just the right amount of originality, conservatism and strong detailing to please almost everyone. A design that uses bold lines and clean strokes, the cab-forward hatch with its rectangular lights and large, raked windscreen looks almost MPV-like in profile, given character by the pronounced wheel arches and stylish slash along the flanks.

The fit-looking rear is terrific, the play of surfaces and shapes making it appear particularly sporty. The chassis is boarding-stiff, high tensile steel making up for as much as 58 percent of the body of the car. It’s a fairly conventional design for the rest, a transverse-mounted engine driving the front wheels, and there are independent MacPherson struts in front, but the rear wheels use a non-independent torsion bar.

A highly space-efficient design, the Getz has massively spacious and airy interiors. The A-pillar sprouts from fairly low down on the bonnet, and this with the large wheelbase makes for better interiors space. Legroom is great, even for tall drivers, and the seats are supportive in the right places, more substantial than in most hatchbacks. Seat height is fixed, though you can adjust the height of the steering wheel to your tastes.

Legroom at the rear, even with the seats all the way back, is fantastic. You sit high, with decent back and thigh-support. The seat squab is low, but flopping your knees to the side makes you quite comfy.

There are plenty pf storage areas, a parcel shelf below the steering wheel, two cup and one bottle-holder, a slot for a mobile phone, a clever detachable ashtray and a curry-hook behind the passenger seat for plastic bags. The door pockets are of useful size, but look cheap with a plastic-net effect, and the glovebox is a bit small.

The dash-board is quite boring to look at with simple square lines, but the two large, chrome-ringed circular dials and very legible white-on-black numbers are very classy. The steering wheel and the control stalks have been carried over from the Accent though, an obvious attempt to cut costs.

 

The long wheelbase and wide track of the Getz mean that feet planted wide, suspension soaking up imperfections; the high-speed stability of the Getz belongs in another class. It is rock-steady and confident even above 120kph, the car tracking dead-straight over even rough patches, crests or dips.

It's not as agile as a lighter, smaller hatch, but the Getz makes for an enjoyable drive. It turns into corners with a fair amount of enthusiasm, and the grip of the tyres is good, with the Getz perfectly capable of cornering at high speeds. The steering, though not as light as other hatches in the city, is well-weighted and accurate, with good high-speed feel.

You need to place the Getz accurately and early in a corner, to counter the mild body roll and drive as smoothly as possible. The steering lacks feel off-centre and experienced drivers will find little feedback from the road. Poor roads don't deflect the Getz, but passengers are always aware of the condition of the tarmac. The stiffness evaporates at higher speeds, where the tall springs and stiff chassis take even larger craters and broken sections of the road with ease.

The Getz brakes strongly coming to a dead halt from 80kph in 2.66 seconds, covering 29.26 meters, but the brakes feel over-servoed. Braking smoothly takes some getting used to and regular lock-ups during panic stops mean you should try and stretch for the optional ABS.

Hyundai Getz 1.3 Petrol
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