Way back in 2004, Hyundai Motors India Limited launched their first big hatchback, the Hyundai Getz in India. Back then, people were averse to anything bigger than the Maruti Zen. The Getz did catch a lot of attention but then basically faded into oblivion once the Maruti Swift set its foot in India. To spice things up, the Korean got a pair of new engines and somewhat claimed new looks. Did it add to the appeal? Yes, somewhere down the line it did make some impact. People were impressed by the diesel variant which was claimed to be a pocket rocket. As of now, internationally, this car has been replaced by the Hyundai I20 but then as we know, in India, both sell alongside each other. Why, even the old Accent is available here with its replacement, the Hyundai Verna slatted above it. Why now, the company even doesn’t want to discuss the Getz anymore. Check out their official Indian website, http://www.hyundai.com/in/en/main/ and you would notice that there is no mention of the Hyundai Getz in the portfolio. Strange. But then on some checking out in the local show room revealed that the company isn’t interested in promoting this car anymore and want to get more sales for the I20. Anyways, they had three demo cars which they were glad to lend for the review. As it is, there aren’t many, infact about 1-2 in an entire month who want to test drive the Getz. So here I am with the Hyundai Getz in India review. No test drives, mind you.
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European for sure. I haven’t lost the fascination for the Hyundai Getz’s form. The car was mainly designed for the European public and has been brought down in the exact format in India. Infact, it can still be dubbed as confident amongst the slew of new hatches surrounding it. So much so that the Ford Figo looks dull in its comparison. It is more of a mature design which has aged gracefully. Oh yes! The cars have got a new moniker and they are now named as Hyundai Getz Prime. The petal shaped head lamps close to the hollow grille is something which you would notice only after the tall stance of the car. Yes, it is no tall boy but it does seem like a hatch on stilts. The Hyundai logo in that hollow sits pretty much smugly. There is a black strip of rubber running across the front bumper whereas the air dam looks like a closed affair. It has that cab forward stance which Honda uses to great effect on its cars.
Acctenuating its tall looks are the flared wheel arches with puny 155/80 R13 tyres. The Getz Prime CRDI on the other hand gets 14 inch tyres. The wing mirrors aren’t body colored and are in black plastic color. The side profile also displays the black rubber stripping found in the front. The door handles are also black in color. The rear part with its sloping roof line looks Euro chic. Well, that annoying black rubber strip finds its way at the rear too. The tail lamps are a small thing with the reverse lights placed in the same pod. No wiper is present at the rear. This car overall reminded me of the Fiat Palio when it was first launched. Timeless thing, it is.
If you are switching from a Swift to a Getz, albeit temporarily, you would be happy with the space inside. Yes, the Hyundai Getz in India boasts of a better space utilization than some of the more modern hatches. The steering wheel is one from the Hyundai Accent as is the stalk controls. The speedo console though looks better and infact is the same one which is now used on the Hyundai Verna. Compared to the exteriors, the interiors are a bit boring. The slightly tilted towards the driver central console is what the Europeans usually favor and so this car also has it. No, I am not complaining but the vast expanse of gray would make one bored looking at it. In the later versions this was rectified with some use of beige for the lower panels. There is an option of aluminium insert in place of wooden one for the central trim. But then I felt that the wooden one lacked feel and looked quite cheap. The use of materials is also not so good as modern hatches (read Germans). No complaints about seat adjustments or space in the front seats. They are fantastic and like I mentioned earlier, better than the Swift’s. No problem in ingress or egress either. Cubby holes. You name them and they are everywhere. Cup holders, door map pockets and glove box. All are present. Though the latter is a bit shallow and door map pockets aren’t present in the rear door. Speaking of the rear, here one sits a bit low. Even with the front seats on full travel, there is enough space for the rear passengers. The seats though a bit firm, show their usefulness on long journeys. Absent was the under thigh support which I as a 6 footer felt was absent. The boot space is okay for a small hatch and it stands at 216 liters and can hold a fair amount of luggage.
Handling and ride quality
The Hyundai Getz in India gets Independent, Macpherson strut type suspension in the front and a Coupled torsion beam axle at the rear. All this technical lingo translates to only one thing. And that is this car rides well. Be it at low or high speeds (okay sudden dips do affect its composure but not as much as others) this car does ride well. The cabin noise is also well insulated and it is only when I hopped onto the 1.5 liter diesel unit that I found the noise to be on a higher side post 120 kmph. But this is something which most of us wouldn’t attempt to do and that too on a puny hatch. The steering feel isn’t as good as the Maruti Swift’s but then it absent mindedly lets you know of what is going on the road surface. Try cornering at somewhat high speed and this car will show lots of understeer as well oversteer. The steering isn’t as light as I expected, atleast in the city but then on the highway, it is a big asset as it has a good weighted feeling. The handling on the other hand is a bit soggy and one that you wouldn’t mind on everyday basis. But then out on the twisties, this car doesn’t inspire that much confidence. Also the power from the engine seems a bit inadequate, save for the 1.5 liter CRDI engine. This is one engine wherein the weakness in the chassis is revealed.
Engine, performance and fuel efficiency
The Hyundai Getz in India can be brought in 3 engine trims. Those are the 1.1 liter variant, 1.3 liter variant as also the 1.5 liter variant. All these engines are mated to a 5 speed transmission. Starting off with the 1.1 liter engine. This engine is the same Epsilon engine from the Hyundai Santro Xing. But then it has been tweaked in order to perform better in the Getz. So the 1.1 liter engine now produces 67 Bhp which is 4 Bhp more than the Santro. The car took a lesuirely 17.4 seconds for the 0-100 kmph dash and culminated at a top speed of 141 kmph. The engine was making all sorts of weird noises towards the top end and poke lower down is nothing to speak about. The Hyundai Getz 1.1 is porky and weighs close to a ton. I constantly had to shift gears in traffic to ensure that the engine is always on the boil. The gear lever has a good action if though a bit long. Next in line was the Hyundai Getz Prime 1.3. It had the same engine that the car had when it was launched a good 7 years earlier. The 1.3 liter engine boasts of a peak power output of 82.9 Bhp at 5500 rpm and 118 Nm of torque at 3200 rpm. This engine is very smooth as well as free revving. I especially liked the way that it handles the city as well as highway jaunts. Absolutely tension free. Performance isn’t earth shattering but can put most of the modern day hatches to shame. It goes from 0-100 kmph in only 14.1 seconds whereas the top speed that I could attain on it was 162 kmph. The third and most powerful engine is the 1.5 liter CRDI diesel engine. It produces 110 Bhp @ 4000 rpm whereas the peak torque of 235 Nm comes in at a lowly 1900 rpm. To be frank, I wasn’t expecting anything great out of this engine. But then the car really surprised me. If you understand what is neck snapping acceleration, then look in the way of the Hyundai Getz 1.5 CRDI. Words cannot describe the rush of acceleration in this car. It goes like a scalded cat. For the records, the 0-100 kmph dash was completed in a flat 12 seconds whereas the top speed was in excess of 170 kmph. The best part is that all the three variants are extremely composed and stable even at high speeds.
Having good speed for a car is easy but reigning all that speed when required maybe a bit hard. Not with the Hyundai Getz in India though. This car boasts of a humble discs in front and drums in the rear but then the brakes have been servoed just right. Panic stops at 80 kmph speed also don’t make this car to fish tail. The 1.1 variant that I first checked didn’t have ABS as an option but then it also behaved nicely. The ABS equipped variants then had more of the confident stopping power that one commands in tricky situations. Air bags were an option for the top end Hyundai Getz variants. Other than there was the collapsible steering column, side intrusion beams and also the 3 point seat belts.
Fuel efficiency was not a selling point (to be frank, the car wasn’t a best seller for Hyundai) for the 1.3 liter engine and hence the 1.1 liter engine was introduced later. During the review, the 1.3 liter engine returned 11.6 kmpl in city and 16.4 kmpl on the highway. The 1.1 liter engine equipped car gave 13.2 kmpl in city and 17.7 kmpl on the highway. As expected, the powerful 1.5 liter CRDI engine turned in 14.3 kmpl in city and 19.1 kmpl on the highway.
Sorry folks when returning the car, the sales person at the Hyundai show room had a remorseful look. He told me that this car has been discontinued by Hyundai and that this cars would now go back to the Hyundai facilities. So there shouldn’t be any verdict on this car. Sad. But then I have reviewed it and have every right to pass on my verdict on it. May be it would be useful for some used car buyers. This car is spacious and its successor, the Hyundai I20 only carries it to the next level. It has got peppy engines which do the job but then the diesel is on an altogether different level. A good ride quality is a bonus whereas the handling is strictly okay. Fuel efficiency is good only for the diesel. Safety is bare minimum as expected, for those days. Pricing was a major factor why this car lost out to the Maruti Suzuki Swift. This car was available in as many as 13 variants including both the petrol and diesel engines. They were the Hyundai Getz GL, Hyundai Getz GLE, Hyundai Getz GLS, Hyundai Getz GLS ABS, Hyundai Getz GLX, Hyundai Getz GVS, Hyundai Getz Prime 1.1 GLE, Hyundai Getz Prime 1.1 GVS, Hyundai Getz Prime 1.1 GVS (rear spoiler), Hyundai Getz Prime 1.3 GVS, Hyundai Getz Prime 1.3 GLS, Hyundai Getz Prime 1.3 GLX and Hyundai Getz Prime 1.5 CRDI GVS. The Hyundai Getz price in India started from Rs 4.35 lakhs and ended up all the way to Rs 6.02 lakhs. All these prices were Mumbai ex-show room prices. After this review, I am sure to go scouting in the market and better still check Indiandrives inventory to see if we have a 1.3 Hyundai Getz and then probably buy it. Loved the car.