2003 Hyundai Getz CDX 1.1 petrol from UK and Ireland
Well equipped and supremely reliable, but the 1.1 litre seems rather underpowered
Front crossmember/subframe required welding (3 patches) due to rot - don't know if this is common, but for the keen DIY welder, I found this job pretty painless.
Alarm tends to go off for no reason if locked with the keyfob - Haven't yet worked this out, but locking the car with the key solves it for now!
Damp weather sputtering/poor idling when sat for a while - sorted with a squirt of GT85 spray and a plug-clean, and so far so good. Never fails to start even in the bleakest of weather.
Bought a set of retro/flat wiper blades 22" driver side, 13" passenger side; at motorway speeds the "regular" wiper blades seemed to lift off the screen and not wipe effectively.
It certainly won't win any fashion awards, but if you, like me, need reliable, dependable, economical and comfortable day to day commuting wheels, then you really could do much worse than grab yourself a Hyundai Getz...
Around town this car shines, with its high driving position and lots of head room up front, excellent braking and very easy and quick steering (ideal when squeezing into those tight spaces). It gets from A to B with no fuss, no real frills or indeed thrills, but at this price range we aren't looking at super cars! The Getz is a doddle to drive, and ABS and power steering as standard is reassuring, and the brakes themselves are very responsive. Everything about this car says "easy to use" and it really is a doddle to drive.
The CDX model is well equipped, with electric windows all round, electric mirrors, air conditioning, remote central locking (which can be temperamental and cause the alarm to go off without reason), and possibly the best heater I have experienced in a long time; much better than heater in my previous car, a Rover 25 diesel.
I have taken this car on a few long trips (100 miles +), although I mainly use it to commute around town to and from work, and it has proven very reliable, and surprisingly comfortable; but comes at a cost; the 62 BHP 1.1 engine is really rather underpowered for the weight of the car, and I found overtaking anything required I plan a week in advance! It seems to deliver its power mid range, and I find it performs at its best when driven almost diesel-like; it's not an engine that you'd want to thrash too often as it sounds almost pained at high revs, and motorway cruising at 70 mph, although manageable, I find the car seems much happier at 60 mph with much less road and wind noise. At 30 mph the car is superbly quiet, almost inaudible, and the 1.1 engine is very quiet at idle; in fact when I first bought the car, especially after the diesel Rover, I thought the engine had died when I sat at the traffic lights!
I'm a bit split on the economy front; I'm happy the car is cheap to insure and tax (UK £130 for the year), but I'm a little disappointed with the fuel economy, and reading numerous other reviews stating much the same, I find for the size of the engine, it is a little thirstier than other similarly sized cars, but not to the point it becomes wallet-busting. Parts seem very cheap, I've not had a problem sourcing basic parts for servicing, and under-the-access to the basics is good.
Overall the car has served me very well; it feels quite European, and the fit and finish is remarkably good for a Korean-built small "budget" car; the switches and buttons have a good, solid feel and you will get used to the indicator stalk being on the right! Only gripes really are that it is not the most engaging drive, and overtaking or hill-climbing is a bit daunting, but I feel the larger engine models would eliminate that doubt; it really is just the sluggishness of the 1.1 that lets this car down overall, but if town and city commuting is all you'll really use the car for, that shouldn't be too much of a worrying factor. If you need dependable wheels without the badge-snobbery, a good, smooth drive for such a small car and reasonable economy to boot, I urge you to give the Getz a try; it might surprise you!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 1st February, 2015
4th May 2015, 10:31
OWNER UPDATE: Just had the car MOT'd and it required a rear shock absorber, a bit of welding on the sills and again, another, this time tiny, patch on the front crossmember. Total cost of work for MOT: £24.99 for the shock absorber... yes, £24.99 for a new shocker on Ebay... baring in mind the one I replaced was the original from 2003, after 96,000 miles I'd say it lasted very well! It was a doddle to replace, literally one bolt at the bottom, and a lock-nut at the top. Done.
The welding I can do as mentioned in the above review, so it wasn't an issue and was very easy with my trusty MIG, some CO2, and some mild steel plate I keep for just these moments, so that saved a few quid. In fact I had both sides done in under 3 hours.
In a fleeting moment of stupidity I advertised it to sell it, but after a few of the usual chancers, tyre kickers and "experts", I slept on it and removed the ad two days after; it's just been too good to me to get rid of it! I've decided now to get a new cambelt fitted as the history shows it's due this year (cambelt kit is £35 on a well known car parts website, but I'll have it fitted at a garage), and I am sure it'll last me another few years!
Cheap to tax, cheap to run, cheap to insure. Go Getz yourself one!