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Rs. 4,20,000 (Ex-Showroom)

Hyundai Motors

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Hyundai Getz: Initial Impressions::The Rs. Factor!
Sep 21, 2004 03:24 PM 45417 Views
(Updated Oct 19, 2004 11:05 AM)

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Please note that this is just a review based on Initial impressions. I will modify once I get hand on this new kid in town.

Is it just me or the Hyundai Getz looks a little too optimistic in the Indian markets? To start, it is a hatch-back/wagon sort, premium or not & Indians are not very particular to spend close to 5 lac on road for a hatchback when they can get Ford Ikon 1.3 Flair after all discounts etc for the same price?

Launched with a big & hip advertising campaign, Hyundai is trying to project style & image sort of a Lifestyle vehicle for the small urban families. The product itself seems to be perfect on paper wrt what it supposed to do for the target buyers but aforementioned issue of Indian perception of conventional-sedan might affect sales of this perfectly capable vehicle. I might be missing something that Hyundai has thought or is aware of but I honestly think that the car in its current form will need to be discounted to make it a better value.

Walk Around The Car: When I first saw this vehicle in promotions it looked average to me but it looks better in real life. The clear-lens head & tail lamps lend an upscale look. The paint job is very well done & the car looks equally good in all the colors. I favor darker colors for hatchbacks personally (difficult to maintain though). Getz has slightly bigger wheelbase than Accent but due to shorter front & rear overhangs it appears much compact. The bumpers nicely integrate into the overall body & the character-line that runs across the car (through the door handles) & end at the tail lamp also gives the vehicle a nice look. This is a BMW pioneered touch on 3/5 series that Acura (Honda's Luxury dvision) employed on 3.2 TL recently. GLS also offers a rear spoiler that is not on GL.

The Engine for India is supposed to be 1.3 liter (1341 cc) with enough pep to carry 4 adults & their gear in relative comfort. The AC might drain some power out of this engine though. The same engine was initially employed in Accent 1.3. It produces 82 hp at 5500 rpm & it is more than the most 1.3 liters around except esteem(85). The Torque of 11.8 Kg-m is available at low 3200 rpm resulting is smooth power delivery. However, though these figures better than say Ford Ikon 1.3, Getz has more Weight to carry around & also Ikon's torque of 10.7Kg-m is available at much lower 2500 rpm, The diesel Getz will take 2 more years prob'ly as the Hyundai India's boss says that CRDI will need to be Indianised (costs) for use in Getz. If launched, the state of the art Diesel technology (CRDi) from Hyundai might be the USP for this vehicle. CRDi is already making long queues at the Hyundai dealers for Accent & Elantra (It has become highly difficult to sell Petrol Elantra/Octavia without incentives).

The Interior is again different than rest of the Hyundai lineup & has material quality closer to Elantra than Santro. The hatchback/tall design provides ample space inside & higher seating position makes both ingress & egress very easy. The higher from floor seating position also makes seating comfortable as you seat on the seats & not in them! :) Ditto with Santro.The seat covers are Semi-Fabric on GL & full fabric on GLS: surprising given the 4.50+ price-tag on GL.

Handling: One thing Hyundai still needs to sort out is the Suspension Geometry. Although comfortable, softly sprung Getz would offer a comfortable ride but a little winding road might unsettle it. Need to watch for this in your test drive. If you really love to drive you may want to take make sure you will be pleased with this setup. Anyways you can't expect such a tall/top heavy design to give you state of the art handling unless it is BMW X3 & you are paying your axx out. :-) Just understand what you are getting into & thats it. The power steering is again supposed to be similar to Santro & promises a smooth operation. I hope they dial-in some feedback to make matters a little sporty.

Tires Hyundai always ''under-tires'' their cars in India compared to other markets to take care of the fuel efficiency. The GL & GLS get the 13 inch tires & the GLS with ABS(if offered) will give 14 inch wheels. Given the weight & power of this car, I think this car should give 10 in the city & 13/14 on the highways. The diesel version supposedly much more fuel efficient but not yet known.

Equipment: Surprisingly you do not get tachometer on GL trim (is on GLS only). Similarly some of the things like Digital clock, Seat pockets, Fog lamps, Rear Defogger, Rear Wash/Wiper do not make it to the GL but do on GLS. The price difference seems to pay a lot of goodies which shows that the GL is not particularly a good value & seems Hyundai wants to sell more GLS than GL versions. I am not sure if they are offering the GLS version with ABS in India that comes with 14 inch alloy wheels. Need to check on this one.

The Color selection is petty good & overall job seems to be excellent as mentioned above. The car ''gets'' attention in the traffic by its presence & attractive rear-treatment. It looks better/distinctive while going than coming.

Price: The car is being sold in two trims a 450,000+ GL & 475,000 GLS depending on the equipment level. This takes it to the lower C segment where you can find 1.3 Ikon, Esteem, Petra etc cars to compete with this new kid in the town. Something of sort of 5 lac to 5.25 lac is bound to raise a few eyebrows than not.

Conclusion: Let us wait & watch whether Hyundai is able to spawn a segment on its own by higher priced hatchback or has to cut prices/offer discounts to meet the sales. It is going to be an interesting period of first few months. Would I buy one, Nop! But I would certainly advise a look before you commit yourself on the lower C segment cars or the expensive hatchbacks like Palio/Corsa Sail etc.

I just hope that consumers do not get confused as to what this car is supposed to & where it competes. Palio still suffers due to comparison with Santro/Alto/Wagon-R (cheaper hatches). It depends on whether the highly conservative Indian consumers accept this out of the mold (currently) product. It might do reasonably well given the Hyundai dealerships & after sales support. They do need to watch the prices though.

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