As seen on:

SMH Logo News Logo

Call 1300 303 181

Korean cars

2019 Hyundai i30 N Fastback: Car Review.

This Car Review Is About: Hyundai’s foray into the hot hatch arena. It’s not quite a hatch though, with its five door liftback/coupe styling, a body shared with Kia’s Cerato range. It’s the N badge that sets it apart from its lesser brethren.How Much Does It Cost?: Hyundai’s list price is $41500 plus on roads. The website lists it as $46,133 to $49,781 drive-away, depending on seeing the Luxury Pack (as tested) inside or not.

Under The Bonnet Is: A potent 2.0L petrol fed and turbocharged four cylinder, mated to a super slick six speed manual. In N spec it’s good for 202kW and a hefty 353 torques. There is an overboost facility that provides 378Nm. “Normal” torque is available from 1,450rpm to 4,700rpm. Overboost is 1,750rpm to 4,200rpm. They’re delivered in a very linear fashion, rather than a lightning bolt kapow. It makes for an extremely flexible drivetrain.Economy around town reflects the performance aspect though, with urban assaults seeing numbers north of 10.6/100km. That’s pretty much on the money for our drive. Hyundai quotes 8.0L/100km for the combined cycle. Our lowest figure was on the highway, not unsurprisingly, and clocked 7.5L/100km. That’s still above the 6.4L/100km from Hyundai’s official figures. Final overall was 9.4L/100km. Tank size is 50L and recommended fuel is 95RON.

On The Outside It’s: A somewhat subdued look. There are red painted brake calipers with the N logo clearly visible. A small rear spoiler sits above a curvaceous rump and lights that evoke Mercedes-Benz coupe and fastbacks. The front has a discreet N in the gloss black grille which sits between a pair of swept back headlights. Underneath is a chin spoiler that is perhaps too low. Every care was taken entering and reversing from the drive and it still scraped.Wheels are 19 inches in diameter and have a distinctive spoke design. Rubber is from Pirelli, they’re P-Zero and 235/35 are in size.

Paint is metallic red and highlights the longer than the i30 hatch body. The hatch is 4,335mm with the fastback getting 4,455mm. Maximum height is 1,419mm and that’s lower than the hatch. This means a slipperier, more aerodynamic profile.On The Inside It’s: An opportunity missed to stamp the N as a sports oriented vehicle. The air vents have red piping to the surrounds and that’s largely it in comparison to the largely otherwise unremarkable interior. The steering wheel has red stitching, and there is subtle red stitching in the seats. The look is subdued and dare we say, generic with unremarkable plastics, the standard looking touchscreen interface bar the N tab, and analogue dials where a full width LCD screen would have been better optioned.

The Luxury Pack is comprehensive. Push button Start/Stop, synthetic suede and leather seats (which are bloody comfortable and supportive) that feature a subtly embossed N logo, with both the front pews and steering wheel getting heating. There is a two position memory function for the driver’s seat plus 12 way power adjustment. Both front seats have extendable squabs for extra support available as an option. A wireless charge pad for compatible smartphones is also standard. Front sensors for parking and puddle lamps are part of the package too, as is privacy glass for the rear seats. The wing mirrors are powered and auto-dip for reversing.There is no tab for the central locking. This precludes anyone outside opening the door whilst the engine is running, meaning it has to be powered off to allow someone to get in. It’s a small but noticeable niggle. However Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, as is DAB audio. Curiously, the audio lacked bass, even with the equaliser moved up to full for that part of the sound stage. Mid-range and treble are clear and overtake the bass in in presence.The tiller has the drive mode switches; one for Sport/Normal/Eco, and one for the N performance package. The Sport engages the throaty rumble mode for the exhaust whereas the N selection firms up the steering and suspension, and offers a preset or customisable set of settings for exhaust, steering, engine and more via the touchscreen. Standard look is showing power, torque, turbo boost, and g-force readings, plus lap timings for track days.Inside the 436L cargo area is a brace bar to provide extra torsional rigidity. The cargo section itself opens up to 1,337L with the rear seats folded. A cargo net is standard, as is a space saver spare. A glass roof is an optionable extra. Shoulder and leg room, is fine and even rear seat leg room is good enough.On The Road It’s: A sleeper. Left in Eco and Normal mode it’s…normal. There’s a typical feel to the whole package in acceleration, noise, handling. The clutch is curiously heavier than expected and resulted in more than a few stalls. Hit the Sport mode and there’s a change of attitude. The exhaust suddenly gets more snarl, there’s an extra sense of weight to the steering, and sharper handling.

N mode lights the candle. There’s an extra depth to the anger of the exhaust and especially on up and downshifts. There’s a crackle, a sharp and hard edged note that’s evident on even light throttle. Go hard and the length and volume of the growl becomes longer thanks to some electronic assistance. Launch Control is standard and that’s activated via the disabling of the traction control system. Hold that button down, wait until a couple of lights flash to say things are happening, and then push down the clutch. Floor the throttle and somewhere around six seconds later it’s freeways speeds.There is torque steer but the electronic or “e-diff” makes a great fist of smoothing that out. Although hydralic in nature, the electron brains behind the scenes distrubute torque as per where the sensors say it should. It makes for a pretty much arrow straight line on a hard launch, and keeps both front wheels in contact with the ground. Steering is super precise and is just two turns lock to lock. This means input results in instant response. Rev-matching works on getting the engine to be in a rev range suitable for the cog selected on downshifts.

It’s slick and smooth, and gets the rumble and snarl from the rear happening. The selector itself is light, with Hyundai saying the actual feel was built in for “enthusiastic drivers”. For us, it felt accurate in throw, perhaps a little long, but also disconnected and remote from the driving experience. Braking is the complete opposite, with one of the best sensory experiences available. Think about where the pedal needed to be and it was, with instant response from the lightest of touches.

The N mode makes, as mentioned, for harder suspension. It’s noticeably different in quality and brings forth a benefit. That’s every corner, as firm as they become, being able to provide to the driver a picture of every ripple, every dent and ridge on a 20c coin without a feeling of being overly tight and taut. It’s a superbly tuned package and one honed by 500 laps of The Nurburgring. The torque spread makes for easy freeway driving, and overtaking is as simple as either squeeze and go, or drop a cog or two. There are shift lights and a shift indicator notification in the LCD screen in the driver’s binnacle.What About Safety?: There is no stinting here. The full Hyundai SafetySense package is available, with Forward Collision Avoidance, Driver Attention Warning, and Lane Keep Assist. The DAW in the liftback was overly enthusiastic, saying a break should be taken after just a few minutes worth of travel time. Quad sensors front and rear provide accurate parking measurements as does the clear view from the reverse camera which includes guideline assist. On the passive safety front there are seven airbags including the driver’s kneebag. Hill Start Assist was welcomed due to the vagaries of the clutch point.What About Warranty And Service?: Hyundai have done track day drivers a huge service here. Under most warranty guidelines, issues found to be as a result of track days aren’t covered. Hyundai disagree with that and do offer that coverage. Also, cars delivered by December 31, 2019, will have seven years warranty, instead of five. Service costs are capped (check with your Hyundai dealer) and items such as satnav updates can be done when a car is booked in for a service.

At The End Of The Drive. We must thank Hyundai Australia for the opportunity to drive the liftback version of the i30 N. It timed out well in one respect, one not made mention of This is your link for more information.until now. the car had well over twelve thousand kilometres on the clock when picked up, and there’s no doubt many of those would have been hard driven ones. No rattles, no squeaks, no unnecessary noises at all, indicating a very high level of build quality in the tolerances.

It’s an excellent all-rounder, family and enthusiast friendly, and bar the downmarket look and surprising lack of low end in the sound system, provides a wonderful environment in which to spend time in. Outside the liftback looked resplendent in red but didn’t visually yell it was an N spec. A matter of personal taste, one would suggest. This is your source for more info.

 

Car Review: 2020 Kia Stinger 200S

This Car Review Is About: The now entry level model to a realigned in 2019 Stinger range. There is the 200S, the same 2.0L engine in GT-Line spec, them two mainstream 3.3L V6 models called 330S and GT, and a limited edition. The 200S features a mildly restyled interior and exterior to differentiate it from the others.

How Much Does It Cost?: Kia’s Website lists the Stinger 200S four location as a not inconsiderable $50,490 driveaway. However that is around $1,250 under the list price plus charges.Under The Bonnet Is: Kia’s well sorted 2.0L turbo petrol four cylinder engine that powers the rear wheels via an eight speed auto. Peak power is 182kW at 6,200rpm, with peak torque of 353Nm available between 1,400rpm and 4,000rpm. There is Launch Control fitted to the smooth eight speeder too. Consumption for the urban cycle is rated as a whopping 12.7L/100km, a big bugbear in the Kia engine range. Combined is rated as a more reasonable 8.8L, and on the highway consumption drops by nearly half to see 6.5L/100km from the 60.0L tank. Our final figure was 9.3L/100km.On The Outside It’s: Subtly restyled in one key area. Kia’s cleverly used the same shape of the headlight cluster and has a main, circular, light to the outside and this dips downwards to where the LED indicators are in the GT-Line versions. The shape of the bumper is subtly restyled as is the shape of the air intake. The wheels are of a lower-spec but have a still nice to look at…look. Size is 225/45/18 and rubber is Continental ContiSportContact.

The body is otherwise identical with quad exhausts, the pair of faux bonnet vents, the Maserati-esque LED tail lights. Kia’s design team really got the exterior right when the car was first released two years ago. Paint was Silky Silver and is listed as a standard colour.On The Inside: The main difference here is the introduction of a smaller touchscreen on the upper dash. It’s a 7.0inch screen, down one inch from the screen available in the rest of the range. Satnav is standard, as is DAB audio through a six speaker, not 15 speaker, audio system. Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth streaming are also standard in the 200S. A pair of 12V and USB ports are standard.

The driver faces a simple 3.5 inch monochrome display (same in the 330S), not the better looking 7.0 inch found in the GTs. It’s not un-userfriendly, it just looks…dull. But there is leather pews, electric adjustment, paddle shifters, a drive mode selector in the console, and a pack of driver information options in the touchscreen menus. Drive itself is a shift-by-wire rocker selector.On the Road It’s: Noticeably affected by the 1,700kg dry weight. Although peak torque comes on stream at low revs and is available through a broad rev range, that weight holds back performance and clearly contributes to that pretty average urban consumption. It takes a heavier right foot to get the 200S up to speed, but when on the highway it shows its other side. The Stinger is a superb tourer, and in our previous reviews has shown that the long distances between towns suits the Stinger’s character perfectly.Handling and ride in the 200S are just as good too, with nothing found wanting in these two departments. The steering weight is a tick on the heavy side, with a slight numbness on centre, but these are minor quibbles in an otherwise well sorted and well proven package. Even with the 1,800kgs plus it packs, it’s nimble, rapid in response, and lacks initial feedback only in braking too.
What About Safety?: The only thing the 200S (and 300S) misses out on of note is front parking sensors. A 360 degree camera view isn’t provided but that’s not a biggie. In the exterior stakes Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are also deleted. Otherwise it’s on spec with AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking) with FCWS (Forward Collision Warning System) and Lane Keep Assist, plus pedestrian oriented Active Hood Lift Assist on board.What Is The Warranty And Service?: Warranty is 7 years, and unlimited kilometres. For servicing Kia says: we’ve capped the maximum price you will pay for the first seven scheduled services (fourteen for T-GDI petrol turbo models) for up to 7 years or 105,000kms (excluding Kia Stinger and MY 19 and onwards petrol turbo models) and for Kia Stinger and MY 19 and onwards petrol turbo models for up to 7 years or 70,000kms, whichever comes first.At The End Of The Drive: There’s a faint sense of disquiet in driving the turbo four powered Stinger. But it’s the only game in Kia-town now that the underrated Optima has been dropped from the range when it comes to a largish sedan body. That disquiet is knowing the Stinger is aimed at the performance oriented driver yet a fuel consumption of over 12.0L per 100 kilometres in its normal environment will hurt, and that’s due to its bulk. Kia should either find a weight reduction regime of bump the 2.0L up in capacity. Would the increase in size tradeoff work though in providing more performance?

More on the Stinger 200S is here.

2019 Hyundai Elantra Sport: Private Fleet Car Review.

This Car Review Is About: The latest version of Hyundai’s long running Elantra, formerly Lantra, nameplate. It’s a small mid-sizer sedan and recently was given a mild facelift. It’s a sister car to the Kia Cerato and comes in a four tier, two engine, manual or DCT auto range. The range consists of Go, Active, Sport, and Sport Premium.Under The Bonnet Is: A 1.6L turbo in our test car, with a seven speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), with manual shift options driving the front wheels. There’s a fair bit of oomph available here, with 150kW @ 6,000rpm, and torque of 265Nm between 1,500rpm to 4,500rpm. It’s EURO V compliant and runs on standard E10 unleaded. Our overall average was 7.1L on a mainly urban cycle with Hyundai quoting 7.0L/100km for the combined, a far too high 9.9L/100km on the urban, and 5.8L/100km for the highway. On one highway run the fuel meter appeared to indicate just 4.9L/100km.

The other engine is a 112kW/192Nm 2.0L MPI and a six speed manual the other transmission. Fuel tank is 50.0L.How Much Does It Cost?: The Go kicks off the range at a very nice $20,990 driveaway for the manual, $2K more for the auto. Premium paint is $495. Add $5,000 for the Active before the Sport starting at $32,600 and the Sport Premium at $35,200.


On The Outside Is:
A familiar shape, with a refreshed front and rear. It’s the front that has received the most attention and it’s a personal taste thing. It’s not unpleasing, by any measure, but there are a couple of angular aspects that seem at odds with the otherwise curvaceous body. The front lamps have been refined to a sharp triangle with LED driving lights housed within. the Sport also has a full suite of LED main lights. The sharpest point on the triangle now goes inside the “Cascading Grille” which sits between “Z” shaped supports, which on the Sport house the indicator lamps.The bonnet runs back to a steeply raked windscreen before finishing in the familiar coupe-style rear windowline. The rear lights have also had the makeover wand waved, with these also slightly sharper and a leading edge further into the rear flanks and bootlid. A pair of side skirts and a pair of crease lines on each side add some extra visual appeal. The windows themselves are shallow yet from the inside still offer plenty of breadth for vision.

Our test car came supplied with truly stunning alloys, with a crossover two by ten spoke design in silver and black. Michelin supply the Pilot Sport 225/40/18 rubber and they’re superbly grippy and absorbent. Sheetmetal was in Pearl White. This colour perhaps highlights the lithe profile of the Elantra, masking its surprisingly long 4,650mm length. That’s helped by a diminutive 1,450mm height. There’s plenty of shoulder room (1,427mm/1,405mm) thanks to 1,800mm in width.On The Inside Is: An interior familiar to anyone with exposure to the Korean brands. However, in the Sport, Hyundai have gone for a bit of spice with red leather on the seats and door inserts (a $295 option), a flat bottomed leather clad steering wheel with red alignment stripe, and alloy pedals. The red looks and feels great, and breaks up an otherwise solidly black colour scheme. By the way, the seats are manually adjusted, not powered, nor are they vented or heated. The Sport is push button Start/Stop. When it comes to indicating, here there’s something that isn’t 100% safety conducive. The spec sheet says the indicators are a soft touch setup, with 3, 5, or 7 flashes. We fully support a setup that has no option than on or off, as far too many drivers don’t provide the required “satisfactory indication” in lane changing. This also applies to the headlight switch. Auto should be the minimum, with no Off option.The dash is as cleanly laid out as you can get, with space between tabs and buttons, white print on the black background, and an in-dash, not on-dash, eight inch touchscreen. the driver’s dials are analogue, bracketing the now standard info screen activated via steering wheel controls. The aircon controls have had their housing revamped and to use them is an exercise in simplicity. Underlying the screens and tastefully chrome trimmed air vents is a strip of carbon-fibre look material joining each side.Familiarity comes in the form of a pair of 12V sockets and a USB port directly below the aircon controls, a U-shaped surround for the gear selector and a button housed here for the drive modes. There are air vents but no USB ports for the rear passengers. They also have up to 906mm of rear leg room, with 947mm of head room. Cargo space is a minimum of 458L and the boot is operated via the key fob.The audio system is DAB compatible and the speakers are from Infinity. It’s an impressive setup and really showcases the clarity of DAB in full reception areas. Naturally Bluetooth streaming is standard, as are the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay apps. There is no smartphone charge pad (Premium has it) and no electric parking brake. That last one, personally, isn’t a deal breaker. What is a niggle is the boot lid release mechanism. Although the fob has a button, it’s also supposedly engineered to wireless release the lid by standing behind the car for a hands-free operation. This, though, has to be enabled via the Menu system in the car. A few tries and not one successful activation. The interior handle also failed to pop the lid. When opened though, the cargo floor can be lifted to reveal the space saver spare.On The Road It’s:Fluid in the way the engine and transmission work. The caveat here seems to apply to just about every DCT driven of late: it needs to warm up before it’s as smooth and slick as the technology promises. In this car, from a cold start, it was noticeably jerky and hesitant, and also exhibits the typical gap between engagements of Reverse to Drive or Park to Drive. Getting off the line also showcased the issue with DCTs, with minimal engagement seeing a slow pace before the clutches engage.

Once everything is working, it’s as it should be. And, again, the gears are better for changing by using the manual shift option. It’s a crisper, more reactive, change, and the computers even allow changes at lower rev points from the engine. That 265Nm doesn’t seem a lot, but considering a 2.0L turbo averages 350Nm, and the weight of the Elantra Sport starts at just under 1,400kg, it’s plenty to keep the performance percolating. It’s a free and willing spinner, the 1.6L, and well proven in other cars across the Hyundai and Kia range.

The three drive modes were largely ignored as Normal, the default, is far better than adequate. Eco would suit any long distance highway drive but Sport, ironically, is virtually redundant unless punting the Elantra Sport in a track day environment. The steering is fingertip perfect, with a weighting that is Goldilock’s porridge. The same applies to the suspension. As always, Hyundai’s engineers spend months sorting spring and shock combinations, and it shows. The MacPherson strut and multi-link rear are supple, compliant, reactive to body movement instantly meaning body roll is non existent, and the usual minor road imperfections are disappeared. It’s deft and adept, and offers sharp handling without compromising comfort.Rough roads have the short tyre-wall Michelins humming through noise, but on the newer and smooth blacktop, it’s quiet. The Sport lives up to its name with these tyres, with maximum grip in the tighter corners, and almost non-existent understeer at normal driving velocities. Go harder in legal situations and there’s no doubt at all that these tyres will be there and have your back. this same exuberant driving allows the free spinning engine to breathe and dump its spent gasses with a bit of rasp. It’s subtle but adds a bit of aural backup to the Sport nameplate.

When it comes to safety, the active Lane Keep Assist is perhaps a little too willing to move the tiller. It’s not a gentle pull, it’s a toddler’s impatient tug on the trouser leg, and can catch lesser experienced drivers unaware. However it’s easily switched off via a tab near the driver’s right knee.

What About The Safety?: Along with the aforementioned Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Collision Warning is standard, as is Forward Collision Avoidance Assistance for city and urban drives. The spec sheet doesn’t state that Autonomous Emergency Braking or Smart Cruise Control are available.

Warranty And Service Are?: Five years as standard for the warranty however Hyundai are (at the time of writing) offering a seven year warranty. Hyundai also offer prepaid servicing which is factored into the purchase price. The Hyundai website has more information.At The End Of the Drive: It’s a great four seater and an excellent family car. There’s plenty of performance, grip, and the edgy good looks complement the drive, plus draw the eye. The DCT is a corker when warmed up and using the manual shift but still has the same DCT hiccups found anywhere these gearboxes exist. It’s well priced and with the added (at the time of writing) appeal of an extra two years warranty, should be on the shopping list for anyone looking for a very competent small to medium sedan.

Kia Goes Back To Black And Offer More Protection.

Kia Motors Australia has added a pair of distinctive Special Edition models to its showrooms, providing standout options to Sorento and Stinger buyers. The Sorento Black Edition offers outstanding value to buyers wanting to make a bold styling statement with their lifestyle-choice large SUV. Sitting on 19-inch gloss black alloy wheels the Sorento Black Edition also boasts a gloss black grille, gloss black roof racks, dark chrome door garnish and black side mirror covers. There are distinctive “Ice Cube” LED fog lights, black front and rear skid plates, panoramic sunroof and privacy glass to complete the street-wise look.

Available in both 2.2 diesel ($52,490 drive away) and 3.5-litre petrol ($48,990 drive away) the Black Editions are trimmed to sit between SLi and GT-Line. They are available in four colour options: Clear White, Silky Silver, Aurora Black and Snow White Pearl.

For Stinger, the Carbon Edition, based off the 3.3-litre bi-turbo GT, brings a deck of exclusive carbon fibre exterior trims to set the Special Edition model apart from its siblings. With carbon fibre door mirrors, grille surround, fender vents, rear skid plate and hood vent the Carbon Edition is easily identifiable as something special. For the interior there is a special Carbon Edition badge ahead of the gear lever and a sporty Alcantara steering wheel. At $67,990 (drive away) the Carbon Edition is available in the new Neon Orange, Micro Blue, Hichroma Red, Snow White Pearl and Aurora Black.

All models benefit from Kia’s industry-leading 7-Year Warranty, 7-Year Capped Price Service and 7-Year Roadside Assist program.

KIA is also leading the charge to improve the customer purchase experience with Australia’s first vehicle protection products sold as a genuine factory branded accessory. The KIA branded range will provide customers the opportunity to protect their new and pre-owned vehicles with the highest quality surface protection using ceramic coatings developed exclusively for KIA. KIA have partnered with MotorOne, Australia’s leading aftermarket supplier, to ensure their customers get the most technologically advanced protection formulas coupled with a comprehensive lifetime warranty.

The ceramic exterior surface coating is sourced from Korea, using state-of-the-art technology to protect the vehicle’s paintwork whilst maintaining the showroom shine without the need for waxing and polishing. Available only from dealerships, the treatment is professionally applied to new or used vehicles up to five years old. The treatment is especially important for car users that are plagued by the effects of bird and bat droppings when parking their car outside.

The complete interior surface protection formula uses an advanced polymer technology that maintains the condition of leather, vinyl, carpet and fabric surfaces. The treatment creates a dirt and liquid repellent coating, protecting the vehicle’s interior from stains and marks. KIA, in conjunction with the MotorOne product development team, has undertaken extensive product durability testing on all vehicles in the KIA range to ensure customers experience outstanding performance, durable protection and a vehicle that stays cleaner for longer.

Each KIA dealership is undertaking comprehensive training for the sales teams, covering education and treatment of paintwork and interior fabrics and, more importantly, extensive product application training for the technical team to ensure a premium delivery on every vehicle fitted with KIA Car Care products.

Veloster Gets New Suit for 2020.

Hyundai’s 3 door sports hatch, the Veloster, has been largely untouched since it was released. For 2020 the pert little machine has been given a new set of clothes inside and out. Safety has been upgraded and there are new engines to punt as well.A three model range is the situation here. There is the entry level, the Turbo, and Turbo Premium. The middle and top have the 1.6L engine, delivering 150kW/265Nm with the entry level a 2.0L Atkinson Cycle engine with 110kW/180Nm. That powers down via a 6 speed manual or auto, with the Turbos either 6 speed manuals or 7 speed dual clutch autos. Prices start from $29,490 plus on roads for the Veloster, $35,490 plus ORCs for the Turbo and $38,990 for the Premium. Metallic paint is a $595 option and two tone is $1,000.Standard kit is impressive. The range opens with 6 airbags, tyre pressure monitoring, Forward Collision Avoidance with City camera, Lane Keep Assist, Parking Distance Warning – Reverse, auto headlights, a 7 inch touchscreen with Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, 18 inch alloys and Michelin rubber. Sports gauges in a digital format are in the driver’s dash and there’s the usual drive mode options. The Turbo is fitted with Pedestrian Detection camera and radar, Blind Spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Warning, and Smart Cruise Control. LED lights feature front and rear, and there are a set of sports oriented body parts, and cloth/leather seats. Michelin features again on 18 inch black gloss alloys. The Premium has a Head Up Display, heated tiller, rain sensing wipers, full glass roof, and a wireless charge pad for compatible smartphones plus an eight speaker audio system from Infinity.
The bonnet has been lengthened and the roofline has been given a sharper angle, plus the wheel arches have been reprofiled. As usual, Australian imput has been used for the chassis tune to work with the extra body rigidity and refined independent multi-link suspension. The power steering system has a quicker-ratio and Torque Vectoring Control.

Hyundai offer a five year unlimited kilometres warranty, 12 months roadside assistance, a free first service, and a 10 year service & satnav upgrade if servicing the vehicle through Hyundai dealerships. Head to the Hyundai website for details.

Hyundai Has A New Venue.

Hyundai’s bold new Venue SUV marks a fresh entry point to the Hyundai range. It’s available very soon and will have a starting price from $19,990 (Manufacturer’s list price). Venue will become the Hyundai SUV entry point to a broad small car range, offering the road presence and interior space of an SUV, combined with the parking ease, economy, and manoeuvrability of a light car.

A three-grade line-up provides a new Venue to suit every customer, each with a flexible and economical 90kW, 151Nm 1.6-litre engine, front-wheel drive, and a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions depending on the model grade. A two-stage variable intake system is fitted and designed to maximise low-end torque and drivability. The three grades are: Go, Active, and Elite.

The Venue Go auto starts from $21,990 plus costs. The Active starts from $21,490 for the manual, and the auto steps up at $23,490. Elite kicks off from $25,490, and metallic paint is a $495 option.

Hyundai’s SmartSense safety suite is standard in every Venue, and incorporates Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Driver Attention Warning, High Beam Assist and tyre-pressure monitoring. The range-opening Venue Go also features dusk-sensing headlights, hill-assist control system, cruise control and six airbags. Headlining an array of standard equipment in new Venue is an 8.0-inch touchscreen multimedia unit featuring Bluetooth streaming, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a reversing camera.

The Venue Active adds Rear Parking Distance Warning (PDW-R) system, LED daytime running lights, powered folding exterior mirrors with LED side repeaters, alloy wheels, and leather appointed steering wheel and gear knob. Stepping up to the Venue Elite, customers also get Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW) and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning (RCCW) systems, climate control, LED taillights, 17-inch alloy wheels, and a distinctive two-tone roof.

A Drive Mode system in Venue automatic variants allows customers to choose a powertrain setting that best suits their driving style. In addition, an all-new Traction Mode system offers unique traction control calibrations suited to snow, mud or sand driving. Venue benefits from a comprehensive Australian-specific chassis tune that delivers playful dynamics together with ride sophistication that is more commonly associated with larger vehicles. Exhaustive suspension testing and tuning by Australian engineers took place both at the Hyundai Namyang Research and Development Centre in Korea as well as a range of harsh and challenging Australian roads.

Venue applies Hyundai’s signature cascading grille and stacked headlight design to convey a bold road presence. Exaggerated wheel-arches build on the frontal styling to create a squat and athletic stance that is enhanced by strong character lines. An intuitive, practical and robust interior design complements Venue’s rugged exterior image. The cabin is headlined by a large tablet-style 8.0-inch multimedia display, and provides a sophisticated ambience through the use of black, grey and denim-coloured interior trim combinations. Venue provides the high level of practicality that SUV buyers demand, with an abundance of clever solutions that help maximise the use of interior space, and allow a generous 355-litre luggage space.

“The new Venue is ahead of the curve, offering customers a high level of value in a practical and well-equipped compact SUV. As our new range-entry model, the Venue combines the rugged looks and practical benefits of an SUV and a light car, with advanced safety technology at an attractive price point,”  said Hyundai Motor Company Australia Chief Executive Officer, JW Lee said.

Head to Hyundai’s website for more information.

 

 

Private Fleet Car Review: 2019 Kia Picanto GT

This Car Review Is About: The 2019 Kia Picanto GT. It’s the pert and perky little five door hatch, with minor and tastefully styled body add-ons, an energetic powerplant, and a fun factor that’s off the scale. It’s a screaming bargain at just $17,990 driveaway.Under The Bonnet Is: A zippy and free spinning three cylinder petrol engine with a real warble when it’s spinning up. There are 74kW available at 4,500rpm, and a very useful 172Nm from 1,500rpm to 4,000rpm. Power heads to the front wheels via a five speed manual. Boost and bang for the milk-bottle sized engine comes from a turbocharger that adds plenty of sizzle. The dry weight of the Picanto GT is just 1,007kg, which means that the power and torque, plus the five speed, don’t need to work hard to provide the spark.

Tank size is just 35L for the standard unleaded fuel. Economy, says Kia, is 4.8L per 100km for the combined. In the urban cycle, its far more likely home, it’s 6.2L/100km. Get it onto the freeways and that drops to 4.0L/100km. We finished on 6.4L/100km on our mainly urban test cycle.On The Outside It’s: The same little block of Picanto that’s been available for a few years but now with extra grin. There are colour highlights from inserts outside and in, new wheels, front bar additions with driving lights and extra air intakes, whilst the rear gets the cool “neon” light look at night plus a twin exhaust and a diffuser style add-on. Nexen supplies the 195/45 N Blue Plus rubber to wrap the 16 inch eight spoke alloys. The review car came clad in Aurora Black, with the GT also having Clear White, Signal Red, and Titanium Silver.

On The Inside It’s: Comfortable and familiar, yet carries a bit more cachet. There are red leather highlights on the front seats, alloy pedals with rubber strips for extra foot grip, and red backlighting for the switchgear. There’s some brightwork on the tiller and piano black for the console stack. Seats are manually adjusted but with the not-quite-as user friendly levers rather than the dials which are MUCH more user friendly. Luggage space is 255L with the rear seats up, 1,055L with seats down. It’s JUST enough, if packed correctly, to carry a decent weekly family shop but if it’s a really decent shop, then the space behind the front seats will need to be used.Space itself is more than adequate for a couple, but go more than three then the Picanto’s 3,595mm length and 2,400mm wheelbase come into play. Thankfully the front seat room is enough for all but basketball players so pulled forward the rear leg room becomes tenable. Shoulder room is a bit cosy thanks to the 1,595mm and headroom is fine even with a 1,485mm height.Storage comes in the form of two cup holders in the centre console, bottle holders for the front doors, a coat hook and net hooks in the cargo area. Sounds are from a non-DAB equipped audio system but Bluetooth streaming is standard. Sound quality isn’t as good as it could be either, with depth and punch not on the same level as other systems found in Kias. Apple and Android apps are standard as well. That’s a good thing for those that use them as satnav is not standard.What About Safety?: Covered. Sort of…AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking) with FCWS (Forward Collision Warning System) leads the party, backed up by a reverse camera and rear parking sensors. LED driving lights up front add visual safety and add to the visual presence and the headlights are Auto on. BUT, and it’s a big but, no Rear Cross Traffic Alert, no Blind Spot Alert, no Lane Keep Assist, no front sensors, hold back the Picanto GT in crucial areas.

On The Road It’s: An absolute bundle of fun. The engine is a cracker and the gearbox is well specced for cogs. The clutch is light and really could do with more feedback as to where the pedal is in travel and where the plates are in gripping. Once the driver has worked that out though, practice gets the pickup point and shifts to launch just right. However the spring loading for the gear selector is also light and a touch vague in where the lever goes. The gate is close so a slide from second to third feels like it’s in the same line, and there isn’t enough definition in the shifter’s movement to properly advise where the lever’s going.

ONCE everything is worked out, the little engine that could, does. It’s got a real warmth to the sound, yes, but the appeal is in how it pulls the Picanto GT , in how it allows tractability in gentle around town driving or getting serious on the freeway. It’s geared for easy going driving, but also some get up and go squirt as required. The turbo kicks in at just under 2,000 and on the freeway that gearing allows a push of the pedal to see the Picanto GT rocket forward. It’s accompanied by a thrum, a not unpleasant rumble from the three cylinder donk, which is muted when not being pressed.Off the line it’s easy to feel pressed back into the seat easily when driving in anger. There is some real urge in this tiny engine and it’s something a driver can exploit and enjoy. Bang the gear selector from first to second to third and the GT simply rolls on inexorably, seamless in its acceleration. Throw out the picks and the lightweight car slows quickly and confidently.And thanks to the slightly bigger footprint, and the grippier tyres, hard-arsed cornering can be exploited and enjoyed too. Under power the Picanto GT can be punted into turns that would see the speedo read 20, 30 km/h slower (depending on the corner’s radius and driving conditions) whilst taking advantage of the engine on boost.

Ride quality is good but not great. The rear end is prone to a little skipping around on the roads that have the expansion joints and the whole car will crash bang on missing road sections. It’s a suspension that is flat and taut but not supple enough to dial these out.

What About Warranty?:
There is Kia’s 7 years warranty as standard. That’s with unlimited kilometres. Roadside assist is for 12 months initially however if the Picanto GT is brought to Kia for servicing then that extends to 7 years coverage also. Servicing is capped price and for every 15,000 kilometres or annually, whichever occurs first.At The End Of The Drive. The Kia Picanto GT is an embodiment of the words “pocket rocket”. That 172Nm of torque is so useable in a small car, and somehow manages to stay engaging even when loaded with two adults, a ten year old, and shopping. It’s the gear selector and clutch that blunts the engine’s sharpness as these really could do with tightening up. Ride quality is also not quite en’ pointe as there’s a lack of the absorption needed in the upper end of the travel.

The lack of DAB isn’t crucial but FM sounded dull. If a GT designation is to indicate a top of the tree model, then add a top of the tree audio setup. Make up your own mind by going here.

 

CarReview: 2019 Genesis G70 2.0L Turbo

This Car Review Is About: The revamped and relaunched as a two car range, Genesis. No it’s not the Phil Collins version. It’s the rejig of the 3.8L V6 first seen a half decade ago, now called G80. And now there’s a BMW hunting smaller version, the G70. This comes in three trim levels and two engine choices, being 2.0T, 2.0T Sport, and 2.0T Ultimate or with the 3.3L V6 as found in the Stinger.How Much Will It Cost?: There’s a sticker price of $58K plus on roads for the entry level, $62K for the Sport, and a hefty $71K for the Ultimate in four cylinder guise. The Genesis website says $65,533 driveaway, or with sunroof $68,158. In Sport and Ultimate trim it’s $69,733/$72,760 and $76,978.

Under The Bonnet Is: The same potent turbo 2.0L as found elsewhere in the Hyundai and Kia families. It’s a 180kW/353Nm turbocharged 2.0L four cylinder. This is mounted “north-south” and drives the rear rubber via a slick eight speed auto. Otherwise there’s a 3.3L V6 effectively lifted from Kia’s underappreciated Stinger. Economy is rated as 9.0L per 100km for the combined cycle in the Sport, 8.7L in the standard 2.0L Our average around town barely moved from 8.7L/100km, and that was enjoying some of the fruits of the spirited engine.On The Inside It’s: Pretty nice in this entry level trim spec. Leather seats, heated, not vented (sigh) are comfortable, supportive underneath and around the abdomen and electrically powered for both sides. There isn’t memory seating though. The top level has a diamond quilted leather trim option for the seats. There’s a sunroof, of course ($2500 as an option), and mood lighting in the housing around the switches for the interior lights. If there’s an option to change the colour it wasn’t readily found. All models have a remote key for entry and exit, and it’s cleverly designed to fit in between the spring loaded supports inside the cup/bottle holders in the console.In the traditional styled centre console is a rocker gear selector, a drive mode dial, and a nook with wireless charging for smartphones, plus USB and 12V sockets. The charge pad is a tad fiddly and requires precise placement of the handset in order to initiate charging. The touchscreen is a 8.0 inch with a familiar look. As a result it’s super easy to use and to read. Satnav is standard and SUNA updates are included. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are embedded. Sound is via DAB and Bluetooth streaming. The 9 speaker output is beautifully balanced, crisp, and with plenty of balance in the bottom end.Paddle shifts are standard and work well with the smart transmission, which has rev matching technology when it comes to the cog swaps. There are five drive modes which are activated via a dial near the gear selector. Custom, Comfort, Eco, Sport, Smart, are the choices and each change the colour of backlight in the driver’s dash LCD screen. They also bring up a graphic on the main 8.0 inch centre screen which show a layout of the car and highlights areas with different colours. Embedded in the sub-menus here is the option to change the steering and transmission between Comfort and Sports.The rear seats are not excessively spacious in regards to leg room. Even with an average height driver the rear of the front seat is just a few inches from the squab of the rear seat, and they just don’t look as if there is real comfort for anyone of certain sizes. That’s due to a shortened wheelbase that, although it endows the G70 with great handling, then compromises for a proper 2+2 or 2+3. It also compromises boot space, with the BMW/M-B-esque end holding 330L. The spare is a space saver, not a full-sizer.What About Safety? There’s nothing left out in real terms. A console mounted tab for 360 degree camera was fitted in the review car, and the actual feature is standard in the Ultimate. Forward Collision Avoidance with pedestrian alert is standard, as is Lane Keep Assist with steering assist. The actual assist is aggressive and overly so in how it works to keep a car in between the lines. Rear Cross Traffic and Blind Spot Alert are also standard, as are a full suite of airbags including driver’s knee.On The Outside It’s: Low, slinky, full of sensual curves, and obvious who it’s looking to hunt down. It’s a long, long, bonnet on the 4,685mm G70, with lines and shapes that evoke BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and thanks to the badge, had a number of school yard car-spotters saying Aston Martin. It’s fair to say that the deep electric blue metallic paint is eye-catching, and on the school run had plenty of eyes on stalks swivelling to follow its progress. Even on the highway and residential roads the unfamiliar shape and badge had people stop or watching from inside their own car, eager to try and get a glimpse of the svelte lines. It’s a four coupe, almost, in profile, and the bootlid is a stubby, truncated affair with a built-in spoiler design. The grille on the Sport is a classy, black coated, diamond mesh design. On the front flanks is a chromed, boomerang shaped insert, and there is pressure relieving vents ahead and behind.The tail lights are LED and there’s even a hint of Mustang in the three vertical stripes when lit. There are puddle lamps in the wing mirrors that shine the Genesis logo, and the headlights and indicators are high intensity bi-LED and full LED respectively.Out On the Road It’s: Engaging. Wonderfully so. Dialing up any of the drive modes from another brings small but perceptible changes in the G70’s behaviour. In Sports mode for the steering it’s razor sharp, though process sharp in its reaction to steering wheel input, and adds a discernible heft to how it feels as it’s turned. Eco dulls the engine and transmission down to a smooth, slurry,easy going feel. Sport goes the other way, tightening up the responses for a crisper, sharper, experience.

But even Sport doesn’t completely dial out the unexpected. There is turbo lag, that gap between hitting the pedal and the engine lighting the candle. Once fired up via the push Start/Drop button, the motor settles into a ready for action mode. It’s sometimes too eager, like an energetic puppy, pulling at the transmission in its willingness to move. Get to a stop sign, the engine spins down. Go pedal pressed and there’s a hesitation as the electronics engage and the turbo finds boost once 2000rpm is seen on the tacho as the G70 gets underway.

On song, the 2.0L turbo pulls nicely in all driving areas. Having the eight speeds to choose from, along with the rev matching tech, means it’s hardly ever found wanting for response in throttle applications. Feather it into a twisting mountain road and the tacho blips and flickers as the engine and gearbox work side by side in keeping the revs where they need to be. Cruise on the highway and it’s inaudible. Plant the hoof and there’s a sharp intake of breath before a cog or two is swapped and it launches forward. In Sports mode there is a rumble fed through the audio system to add to the experience.Ride quality is never anything less than very good. The taut rear end will skip around, the steering in Sports mode is razor sharp in its response time. The suspension is a delight. Its compliant to a fault, dealing with the usual lumps and bumps without issue, even dialling out the dreaded shopping centre speed reducers without qualm. Road noise on harsher tarmac from the 265/45/18 tyres was surprisingly intrusive. Smoother roads were much quieter. There are 18s on the entry level, black painted alloys on the Sports, and bespoke Ultimates in 19 inch diameters for the top level. the Sport has Michelin Pilot Sport 225/40/19s and stopping power comes from renowned brake company, Brembo. These are super effective, hauling up the G70 time after time with pin point precision thanks to one of the best calibrated brake pedals going.

And The Warranty Is: For five years. There is free servicing for those five years too, along with the Genesis ownership experience, and 24/7 roadside assist. There is also a free service for drop-off/pickup when booking the car in for service if the owner is inside a 70km circle of a Genesis Studio. In Sydney, currently there is only one and it’s in the city itself.

At The End Of the Drive.
There are a couple of things holding the Genesis up from making its mark in the Aussie automotive landscape. Chief amongst the list is the brand recognition. When Genesis launched with the 3.8L V6 version, it was seen with a small measure of respect, a larger measure of disdain, and quickly fell into the hands of hire-car companies. Only Hyundai can explain why. Right now, with a presence that’s still virtually invisible, the marketing team needs to get behind it and let people know it exists.The next hump is the bias that Australians have when it comes to cars from Korea. Inexplicably, there is still a stigma attached to both brands, even with the superb quality and outright clout the cars have. Hyundai’s N class, for example, showcases real-world ability against class leaders like the Golf GTi. The Stinger has shown that a V6 powered rear wheel drive sedan has punch. The i30, the Highlander, the Santa Fe are plentiful on road, but still have that upturned nose and sniff of derision to cope with. And that’s unfair as Korea makes the best selling Samsung and LG TVs, phones, home appliances…

For a Genesis rebirth, there’s work to be done. Find out more, here.

Playing Big In A Small SUV: Kia Seltos

It’s a big market that has small(ish) SUVs selling almost as quickly as they come off the production line and Kia has revealed details of the forthcoming Seltos. There will be four specification levels: S, Sport, Sport+ and GT-Line. Kicking off at around $26K the S will have 16 inch alloy wheels. Up front will be halogen driving lights, whilst inside will be cruise control, an 8.0 inch touchscreen that will have the Apple CarPlay/Android Auto apps, whilst safety in the entry level will have Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, rear camera and sensors.

The second level Sport is slated to be sub $30K also and will roll on 17 inch alloys, plus the spare is looking to be a full sizer. Aircon is climate control, and the touchscreen goes to a HD style 10.25 inch. Kia keeps baiting the hook with the Sport+. Seats will be wrapped in cloth and faux leather and front pews, plus the tiller, will be heated. The top of the ladder GT-Line will appeal even further with a sub $40K price tag. That brings LED driving lights and their now traditional ice cube fog lights. Factor in mood lighting, venting for the front seats, and a wireless charge pad for compatible smartphones, and there’s plenty to like. All cars will have LED headlights and tail lights.
Exterior design cues harken to the outgoing Soul with a hint of Volvo XC40 in the rear window line. The traditional “tiger nose” grille is here with a new, raised, diamond look. Depending on trim, tyres will be 205/60 R16, 215/55 R17 or 235/45 R18. Paintwork is taken up a level too, with a vibrant choice of colours. Cherry Black, Snow White Pearl, Steel Gray, Gravity Gray, Mars Orange, Neptune Blue, Dark Ocean Blue and Starbright Yellow will be available in various markets and this also covers a two tone offering. Buyers can select the roof in Cherry Black, Platinum Gold or Clear White to go with the various body colours.Sizewise the Seltos nudges at a medium SUV, with 4370mm in length and overhangs of 850mm. The wheelbase, of 2,630mm, provides plenty of human friendly space inside. It’s possibly the biggest for space in its segment and that includes the bootspace of 498 litres VDA or 752 litres SAE. Front seat passengers will enjoy up to 1051mm legroom, 1409mm shoulder space, and 1017mm headroom. Basic trim will be greys and blacks, however the materials will be soft touch, and the seats will have geometric motifs. Engines will be a 1.6L turbo four with 130kW and 265Nm, a naturally aspirated 2.0L with 110kW and 180Nm, and there will be the familiar drive modes of Eco, Sport, and Normal. The smaller turbo engine will power either the front or all wheels via a seven speed dual clutch auto, with the other running a new for the brand CTR, and again front or all wheel drive. Suspension tunes were finalised here in Australia and will be a mix of torsion beam rear and MacPherson strut fronts for the two wheel drive. Multilink rears will handle the AWD versions.Expected Australian sales will commence in the fourth quarter.

Private Fleet Car Review: 2019 Hyundai iLoad Crew Van Liftback.

This Car Review Is About: a vehicle that doubles nicely as a passenger and commercial transport vehicle. The Hyundai iLoad is the cargo transport version of the dedicated passenger van called iMax. It comes with or without the passenger configuration. Or, if you will, the iMax is the passenger version of the iLoad…What Does It Cost: At the time of writing, Hyundai were listing the iLoad Crew at just over $48K driveaway. That includes a five year warranty or 160,000 kilometres, free first service, and 12 months of roadside assist up front. There is a 15,000 kilometre/12 month service schedule.

Under The Bonnet Is: A 2.5L diesel and five speed auto for the iLoad Crew as tested. Peak torque is a whopping 441Nm however the PEAK figure is available through a very narrow rev band of 2,000 rpm through to 2,250rpm. There’s no lack of urge available under that 2,000rpm though. Economy is quoted as 8.8L per 100km for the combined cycle.On The Inside It’s: A comfortable place to be. The two rows of cloth covered seats are separated from the 2,215L of cargo space by a fairly rigid barrier but was still prone to a squeak or two. The front seats are a 2+1 configuration, with the centre section featuring a folding backrest that doubles as a tray and cup holder. The driver has a one touch powered window for Down only, and for up it needs to be held. The windows in the sliding doors for the rear passengers are fold out and not that far either.Instrumentation is basic but functional here. The driver has a fully analogue needle set of dials and a basic but again functional monochrome LCD screen in the centre. This shows trip, odometer, and expected range, but we didn’t see a litres per kilometre display though. Headlights have an Auto on switch, the tiller houses the basic audio and cruise controls, and the wiper controls on the left are just a fingertip away during the rainy season.The dash console itself has a split level storage on the passenger side, a small nook in the centre for USB and 3.5mm auxiliary, a small pull out drawer lower down and a 12V socket.

The centre dash touchscreen is the same in that it’s basic to look at, works exactly as designed, and offers little in the way of fripperies. Audio is “old school” AM and FM, lacks DAB, but does have app access for Android Auto and Apple Carplay.The cargo section came lined with protective sheeting and cargo tie-down hooks.On The Outside It’s: received a mild facelift at the front compared to the original, slightly goggle-eyed, front. The headlights top line blends sweetly into the bottom of teh bonnet/top of the blacked-out grille. The rear is largely unchanged and there are no rear parking sensors.

The front brings the iLoad more into line with Kia’s Carnival with a more traditional passenger car and bonneted look. Headlights are more horizontally aligned and squared off, and this particular vehicle came with a nudge bar and super bright LED light bar. A tow bar was fitted at the rear. The rear gate isn’t powered but is easy enough to lift.Wheels and rubber were steel (with the review car having black painted alloys actually, wrapped in Hankook tyres) and 215/70/16 in size for the standard set, plus the spare is a full sizer.

Out On The Road It’s: A very pleasant drive. 100kmh to 110kmh sees revs at just under 1800rpm to 2000rpm. The commercial vehicle style rubber didn’t cope excessively well with the damp and wet conditions experienced during the review period.
On a flat road they would break traction, and on an uphill oriented curve would spin rather easily and bring in the traction control. As a result, some of the driving had to be dialled down in one particular section of a mountainous and curvy road. Front end grip wasn’t confidence inspiring and the taut, cargo carrying, rear end would feel on the verge of breaking away.

The steering was responsive on the softer front end, with the merest twitch seeing the nose respond.

However, a quarter turn was needed to see any real broadening of the movement, and even at around 40kmh into a reasonably easy left or right hander, depending on direction of travel, would understeer and require a foot lift, a dab of the brakes, before hitting the go pedal.

Actual off the line response was wonderful, with virtually no discernable turbo lag from the torque 2.5L engine, meaning dry road hookup was swift and without fuss. There is manual shifting but the ‘box is good enough to not really need it. It’s also a little more sensitive than others in that the brake pedal had to be firmly held in order for the gear selector button to depress.
There was a real sense of refinement to the driveline too. A muted engine noise, super crisp changes in the five speed auto, and almost instant throttle response were dampened, at times, by the road noise from the tyres and body.

At The End Of The Drive.
Although it’s effectively a commercial vehicle that just happens to seat six, there’s just enough to make it a very enjoyable family car if the iMax is out of the budget range. Proper passenger tyres, usage of the smartphone apps, and perhaps some custom built container spaces for shopping in the rear, and there’s a people mover hiding in plain sight.

The engine and gearbox make for a great pairing, and it’s not thirsty by any measure. Check it out at the Hyundai website