Hyundai Getz 1-5

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Keywords: Hyundai Getz 1-5

Description: Can the only diesel model in this test claim an advantage?

The Getz is approaching its fifth birthday, yet it’s still Hyundai’s best-selling car in the UK and mainland Europe. Last year, the supermini was given a facelift in order to keep it fresh, but the alterations were subtle, with minor changes to the bonnet, front and back bumpers and a repositioned rear foglight.

The car in our pictures is a three-door 1.1-litre GSi, hence the absence of a CRTD badge on the hatch, but in terms of equipment, it’s identical to the diesel we tested. The Getz’s styling is starting to look dated, and despite the revisions, the front end is bland, while the rear is not as neat as the Swift’s or Ka’s. Admittedly, the Midnight Grey paintwork of our test model doesn’t help its cause, but even in brighter shades, the Getz does little visually to grab your attention.

As with the Suzuki, the Hyundai has a high roofline, which means interior space is excellent. It has the best rear leg and headroom on test, there’s ample elbow room and the large back windows give an airy feel. The five-door body means that access to the rear is excellent, while the boot is also the biggest here.

Unfortunately, the uninspiring exterior is reflected inside, where acres of drab plastic and the utilitarian dashboard design have a low-rent feel. The poor-quality stereo (the unit in our test car only worked sporadically) and manually adjustable door mirrors (all the other contenders in this test boast electric adjustment) don’t help matters, and although the controls are well laid out, it’s obvious the cabin wasn’t a top priority for the designers. It’s not particularly comfortable, either – the seats lack support and adjustment, and the driving position is too high.

The biggest difference between the Hyundai and its three rivals here is the presence of a diesel engine. With 215Nm, it has more than double the torque of the Ford, and it proved quicker on the test track, too, managing the 0-60mph sprint in 11.8 seconds. But that is still nearly two seconds slower than the Swift and a second behind the Proton. Unsurprisingly, the Getz topped the in-gear charts, but a 30-70mph through-the-ratios time of 12.6 seconds is rather disappointing.

The most impressive thing about the diesel unit is its refinement. It’s a huge improvement on the noisy engine it replaced, and with peak torque arriving at only 1,900rpm, it’s ideal for town driving, with excellent low-rev response. It’s lively, too, and delivers nippy acceleration when needed. But while it’s better for motorway driving, it can’t match the Suzuki’s eagerness.

Although the Getz is agile at low speeds, the steering is too light and lacks feedback, while the Hyundai had the softest ride here. It feels vague when pushed hard and understeers easily, particularly in the wet, because the heavier diesel engine adds weight to the nose. It remains stable and relatively comfortable on the motorway, but a noise level of 73dB at 70mph was as loud as the Ka’s.

Unfortunately, Getz owners will feel a bit hard done by when they compare their car’s kit tally. There’s no remote central locking system, alarm, side airbags or driver’s seat height adjustment, plus it’s the only model here to have steel wheels and plastic trims instead of alloys. At £9,210 it’s not cheap, either, and although fuel economy is better than any of its rivals, it’s difficult to justify the price tag. The three-door CDX+ with the same engine includes all the above kit, but that variant is even more expensive at £10,060.

WHY: The Getz got a facelift and a new 1.5-litre diesel last year; we try the lower-output 87bhp version. print

Given that it’s powered by a diesel, it’s no surprise the Getz was the most frugal car here. But its 42.0mpg figure was only marginally better than the Suzuki’s.

The Getz can’t match the Swift, but it’s not bad, retaining 42.5 per cent, or £3,914, of its sticker price. However, the best model in the line-up is the 1.4 GSi five-door petrol.

Maintaining a Getz is costly – the first three services will set you back £616, and the car needs a check-up every 10,000 miles. However, it does have a five-year warranty.

Thanks to its diesel engine, the Hyundai is the cleanest car, and falls in the 15 per cent bracket. At £304 for standard-band drivers, it’s the cheapest company option.



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