Fleet News

Hyundai Coupe 2.0 SE - 2,733 miles



FOLLOWING about a week of hamfistedly switching the windscreen wipers on every time I wanted to indicate, I finally got used the stalk reversal on the Hyundai Coupe. True, for a motoring journalist this should probably be easier to adapt to than that, but there's no accounting for clumsiness.

But the Coupe is a solid runner despite my ineptitude. It certainly sounds the part through its burbling twin exhausts, although the 136bhp 2.0-litre engine is something of a let-down, because it is not nearly powerful enough for the sound it makes.

Handling is fine, if unexciting. The steering doesn't report huge amounts of information from the tyres, but it is not completely lifeless and there seems to be plenty of grip, although I am not the first at Fleet News to think grip is disproportionately worse in the wet.

Equipment levels are good, with leather seats, CD player, climate control, cruise control and plenty of other goodies.

I would like a bit more reach on the steering wheel though. As a tall driver, my arms are stretched that bit too far. Rear seat headroom is minimal. Yes, I know it's a coupe, but the other day I had to give fellow roadtesters Simon Harris and Julian Kirk a lift into work.

The sight of them crammed in to the back, heads jammed up right up against the rear windscreen was hilarious – for me if not for them, anyway.

I don't like the miniscule buttons on the stereo. They are so small, I have resorted to pushing them all until something happens as I want it. I can't tell what they do and I'm too stubborn to spend half an hour with the manual.

The Coupe has also had a problem with its fuel cap but the story goes to show how a negative can be turned into a positive with the right approach. Production editor Trevor Gelken was driving the car when it refused to unlock the cap. He rang the local Hyundai dealer, who told him to bring it in straight away - no booking in, no 'we can only do it next Thursday'.

He turned up at the dealership, who took the car round the back and a technician had it open and working again in minutes. Gelken came away suitably impressed with the no-fuss, personal attention of a small dealer. Company car tax bill 2002/03 (22% taxpayer): £66 per month

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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