New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

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Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

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Reader's test: Hyundai i20

2011-09-26 14:29

Neil Ronaldson, Boksburg

WINNING FORMULA: Reader Neil says his i20 feels solid and stable on the road.

I owned a Hyundai Getz, which was a fantastic car - HUGE bang for your buck.

The i20 is no different.

The Getz wasn’t a car to show off or race, it was a practical and sensible A-to-B vehicle. It made Hyundai what it is today and if the i20 was not an option as a replacement, I would have bought another Getz.

The Getz wasn’t perfect, though. I found it to be a bit high; you sat very upright and, as you can imagine, there was a lot of body roll when you threw it into corners. It handled quite well, nonetheless… Features-wise, it had everything I needed and nothing ever broke in the five years I had it.

The i20? Wow, wow, wow! The whole Hyundai range has been designed by an ex-BMW dude, so you can see the styling and features in the new range are mostly European.

The i20 is lower, wider and longer - and you feel it... The car sits beautifully on the road and feels very solid and stable. It is quieter than the Getz and has a big car feel to it.

The clever features that they have included – or shall I say, improved upon to increase fuel economy – have been the big driver with the i20.

It has an "electrical" aircon - not a compressor type - so it doesn't sap power from the engine. You can leave it on a pull up a hill without feeling like the car is going in reverse. (In a similar situation in the Getz, I would have had to turn the aircon off to get up to speed.)

There’s full-on iPod and auxiliary connectivity, controlled through the radio interface, with six speakers.

The Getz has a trip data computer, a huge glovebox that can be used as a cooler with the aircon turned on, and another clever feature, which I discovered by surprise since the salesman did not mention it, is a gear-change indicator in the odo.

The tractibility of this car’s engine surprised me quite a bit – it pulls strongly in any gear at more or less any speed, easily getting up to freeway speeds from 60km/h, for example, in fifth gear.


Fuel consumption is a guaranteed 5.9 litres/100km (there is a sticker on the windscreen advising this) and my best was 5.2 when I got 775km on a tank! And that wasn’t even on a long trip! The first four tankfuls have been more efficient then the Getz on a long trip, with my overall consumption being 5.7/100.

Overall, the Getz is a fantastic car. Again, there’s good bang for your buck, it’s very versatile with a bigger boot and a better way to drop the seats to create more space, excellent fuel consumption, fantastic ride quality and it’s packed with features at very competitive price tag. What more could one want?

The only feature that is not available (and I'm not even sure it’s optional) is Bluetooth connectivity to allow hand-free use of my phone.

I give the i20 a score of 10 out of 10. There is nothing bad for me to say about the new i20, I just wonder who is driving my Getz now... TVS 939 GP wherefore art thou?

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