Hyundai Getz

16 Jun, 2004 3:43pm

Hyundai's finest-ever car is also its best value. The cheeky Getz supermini was launched in October 2002 as an able, good-looking, fine-driving baby in its own right - with the added bonus of headline-grabbing prices and generous standard kit. All models get ABS, twin airbags, a CD player and electric windows, yet the Getz was on average a healthy £1,000 cheaper than rivals.

Hyundai's finest-ever car is also its best value. The cheeky Getz supermini was launched in October 2002 as an able, good-looking, fine-driving baby in its own right - with the added bonus of headline-grabbing prices and generous standard kit. All models get ABS, twin airbags, a CD player and electric windows, yet the Getz was on average a healthy £1,000 cheaper than rivals.
Another bonus came in the form of Hyundai's five-year, unlimited mileage warranty. Rivals have still to match this, and it's a clear indication of the firm's confidence in the Getz's reliability. It's transferable to subsequent buyers, too.
There are very few used models on sale privately, most remaining in Hyundai's dealer network. Fortunately, they're priced realistically, and the hatchback is so affordable new that used examples can't fail to offer a great deal.

Checklist
* Interior: Dash is stylish, but some plastics are cheap. It's worth trying out the Getz's driving position, as it won't suit all, while indicator stalk on right will irritate, too.
* Servicing: Five-year warranty is a big draw, but if you're considering a Getz, make sure the service record is kept up-to-date - otherwise, the guarantee will be invalidated.
* Gearbox: Prices and back-up make it a popular learner choice, so look for worn clutch, gearbox and steering. And watch for thrashed 1.1 GSI ex-courtesy cars, too.
* Bodywork: Panels are clad in chunky plastic, so parking damage is rare. But look for repairs on flared arches, which are prone to scrapes. The six-year anti-corrosion warranty won't cover bodged jobs.
* Tyres: Skinny tyres of low-spec models are cheap to replace, but check for damage on cars with alloys. Go for CDX trim, with side airbags, air-con and better security.
Driving Impressions
Soft suspension gives the Getz a great ride in town, at the expense of handling. It's neat and safe, but lacks the agility of Ford's Fiesta, while lesser models' 155-section tyres aren't the grippiest.
Easily the best engine is the 1.3-litre; 1.1s struggle and the 1.6 is raucous, although none is quiet. The gearchange is smooth, the clutch light and visibility excellent. The controls are simple, too, save for indicators on the right, while higher-spec cars boast a trip computer.
Glass's View
Hyundai dealers like the Getz as it's a decent supermini with a comprehensive warranty at a good price. It's a major draw to new buyers, but the standard five-year warranty means that used examples are hard to find - most are private buys, which tend to be kept for longer. Residual values aren't brilliant as many people still associate Hyundai with cheap and nasty Eighties cars, but look beyond this and you get a very competent and well built hatch for the money. Jeff Paterson, senior editor, Glass's Guide
Life with a Getz
I was attracted by the generous warranty, but I haven't needed it yet - unlike with the Vauxhall Corsa I owned before. The Getz is the perfect small hatch." Jackie Laidler, Northallerton, N Yorks
The Hyundai is competent, if not exciting. I bought it as it provided the best value for money in its class, and while nothing has gone wrong with the car, it's too boring for me to consider another. David Richmond, Leighton Buzzard, Beds

Verdict

Is the Getz the motoring equivalent of boxing's Prince Naseem? Compact, cocky and punching above its weight, the Hyundai could leave rivals cowering in their corners. With styling influenced by the Matrix mini-MPV, the Getz has superb leg and headroom, plus excellent quality and visibility. The dash is clear and simple, too. Corners have not been cut in creating this car. It mixes fun with practicality, and has a price that will send shivers through competitors.

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