Fleet News

Hyundai Amica



##hyuami.jpg --Right##BETWEEN 1995 and last year, volume in the supermini sector has quadrupled in the UK. The success of the Atoz has contributed to the birth of the Amica. The Atoz was launched in 1998 and 4,100 were sold in 12 months, giving Hyundai 4.5% of the segment, a notable achievement since the company's overall share is 1.3%.

The Amica will be sold alongside the Atoz and shares the mechanical and chassis components, but in a 'sporty, more rounded body shell', Hyundai says. The new five-door hatchback is available as Si or GSi, both powered by the Atoz's 1.0-litre 55bhp engine, and prices start from £6,799 on-the-road. All Amicas have a driver's airbag, dual side impact bars and seatbelt pretensioners, immobiliser, Clarion stereo and electric windows as standard, while the GSi comes with air conditioning, central locking, alloy wheels and power steering. There is an automatic transmission option.

In appearance the car, with its boxy two-up two-down appearance, takes some getting used to, but as the success of the Atoz and competitors like the Daewoo Matiz testify, such styles are finding their buyers, though perhaps not so much for their looks as their cheap price, low VED, insurance and running costs, together with ease of use in cramped city streets. If looks are less important than these factors then the Amica should be considered. But you get what you pay for and the car is designed for a specific market. The engine will not take any abuse and screams unpleasantly even if only the slightest bit pushed and the interior features hard plastic and uninspiring trim.

The transmission is very smooth, the steering light and there's a lot of headroom. Width-wise there are problems with knocking elbows with the front seat passenger. If you can become accustomed to the way the car looks and you're searching for a supermini that's not run-of-the-mill but is cheap and offers some of the thrills of a larger, more expensive car, then give the Amica a look.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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