Fleet News

Hyundai Coupe 2.7 V6 - 1,100 miles

Hyundai

Review

BADGE snobbery is one of the prime reasons why some fleet drivers would not choose a Hyundai Coupe V6 as their company car.

But I think they're missing a trick – and a bargain to boot. For an on-the-road price of £18,495 you can have a car like our newest long-termer, which although not an out-and-out sports car, looks great.

For the past two weeks I've driven this flagship model which boasts a 165bhp 2.7-litre petrol engine and I've thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Standard features on the car include cruise control, climate control, auto dim rear view mirror, leather seats and wider tyres (offering more grip than lesser models). For an extra £1,000 you can have an automatic gearbox.

The interior of the car is cramped and adult passengers probably wouldn't want to sit in the rear seats for long. I have a three-and-a-half year old daughter and she just about fits in with her car seat but it's still a little cramped even for her. But then this isn't a traditional family car. Once you have managed to prise your passengers into their seats, they will no doubt marvel at the wonderful sound of the engine as you roar off – it sounds powerful and provides speedy performance to match. Our press pack says 0-60mph is dismissed in just 8.2 seconds and the car will power on to a top speed of a 136mph.

Our car has only just completed 1,000 miles but the engine is getting better all the time. It comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard and in town you need to select gears carefully to avoid jerky progress. It can be quite difficult to drive smoothly at low speeds.

My biggest gripe about the car is its stereo system. Bearing in mind the interior is pretty much all-black I would have expected a stylish-looking system instead of one with bright colours, dancing graphics and an LED display that says 'hello' when you switch it on and 'goodbye' when you switch it off. Also, its buttons are so tiny you have no idea what you are pressing until the system actually does something. It doesn't produce a bad sound though.

At 250g/km the car's CO2 emissions are high. Drivers put off by this could opt for the 2.0-litre version that now has an improved engine over our previous Hyundai Coupe long termer, emitting CO2 at 193g/km, with variable valve timing and an extra 5bhp. Drivers of this car will pay benefit-in-kind tax at 34% of list price, while choosing the lower-powered car brings the figure down to 22%. That translates into a monthly cost for a 22% tax-payer of £115 for the V6 and just £73 for the 2.0-litre. Some may consider the loss of power worthwhile for the money saved – others may prefer to cough up and blast off.

Company car tax bill 2003/04 (22% taxpayer): £115 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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