Kyle Fortune
08/07/2009 06:08 | By Kyle Fortune, contributor, MSN Cars

Hyundai Getz 1.1 review (2002-2006)



On test:Hyundai Getz

Overview:

Bodystyle: 5-door hatchback
Engine: 1.1-litre
Fuel type: Petrol
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Date of test: 2002

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What is it?

The Getz is Hyundai's first proper attempt at the supermini market. Introduced late 2002, it is available in three and five-door body styles with a range of engines ranging from 1.1-1.6-litres. In typical Hyundai fashion all come comprehensively equipped, while the smart styling inside and out underlines Hyundai's intentions to be taken more seriously as a big player in the motor industry.

Where does it fit?

Slotting into the supermini segment it faces stiff competition from firm favourites like the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and VW Polo. In Hyundai's range it sits above the Amica city car and below the Accent. It's easily better than both, in both quality feel and in its design. It's smart, well specified and comes with Hyundai's mega warranty too - a five year unlimited mileage package. If you're likely to rack up big mileage and you want the ultimate peace of mind then the Getz is a tempting proposition.

Is it for you?

Superminis are for everybody. It's one of the fastest growing market segments. They're getting bigger too, the result being poached sales from the segment above. The Getz is a competent and enjoyable supermini, which, despite Hyundai's budget origins feels substantial enough to take on the majority of the established competition. The design is neat, inside and out, the 1.1-litre engine is refined, and although not particularly quick on paper, it feels quite feisty on the road. If you're unconcerned by badge snobbery and want a mega warranty, good-value supermini then the Getz is an attractive choice.

What does it do well?

The Getz is a 'next generation' supermini that crams a surprising amount of space into its compact dimensions. It feels well built, comes well specified across the range and is surprisingly enjoyable to drive. The five-year unlimited mileage warranty, which it shares with the rest of the Hyundai range is the chief selling point though - no other manufacturer comes close to matching it.

What doesn't it do well?

The 1.1-litre engine is a little overwhelmed if there is more than just you and one passenger aboard. Limited legroom in the rear restricts the rear seat use for adults for all but the shortest journeys - they're fine for children though. The styling, though smart, is lacking flair, a complaint that can be levelled at the interior too.

What's it like to live with?

The Getz should be the perfect day-to-day tool for those who tend to spend the majority of their time in and around the city. The high standard specification means in any model you'll benefit from a CD player as standard - luxury manufacturers should take note. With ABS with EBD, power steering, electric front windows and driver and passenger airbags you get a lot of kit as standard across the range. The warranty means the first five years will be worry free too.

Would we buy it?

It's not the best supermini, and it isn't quite as cheap as you might expect from Hyundai, but it feels well built, looks neat inside and out and drives fairly well too. It's undoubtedly got more character than a Ford Fiesta and you simply cannot ignore that five-year unlimited mileage warranty. Hyundai, although a budget brand, has a degree of credibility that other cheap rivals cannot hope to muster, the Coupe and Santa Fe models helping raise awareness of the brand. If we could ignore the badge - and we can - we'd certainly put the Getz on our supermini shortlist.

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