High-speed exotica everywhere, all very expensive.
And there among them sat the SIII, looking pert, pretty and petite.
It’s an odd analogy, I know – probably due to a premature mid-life crisis and my preference in females – but I couldn’t help seeing the SIII as a young Audrey Hepburn in her little black dress in among the pneumatic and glitzy Jordans and Pamela Andersons of the car world.
All of them too wide to really be of any use on the narrow twisting lanes of my home patch and bulging with an utterly unusable excess of power, which is precisely what I complained the Coupe didn’t have in my first report – on paper, anyhow.
But the problem was partly a visual misconception – it’s a coupe, it looks fast and there’s a big V6 engine under the bonnet.
In fact, it’s more than fast enough not to disgrace itself – and to lose you your licence –capable as it is of travelling at almost twice the motorway speed limit.
It’s no Aston Martin or Porsche Cayman, but at a whisker under £20k who can complain?
Do I mind the absence of a premium badge on the bonnet? Not in the least. I’ve developed a huge respect for this real-world non-premium label 2+2 coupe.
I’m not a label ‘fashionista’ and I don’t need the security of a classy label to make me feel fulfilled.
Freed of any ‘image’ impingements, it is easy to enjoy the SIII for what it is – a nimble and agile two-plus-two.
But here’s the rub – it is a two-plus-two.
Those rear seats may look inviting but they’re non-starters in the real world and I’ve a hunch the small coupe will go the way of the dodo.
Statistics show each human generation to be getting taller than the preceding, so we’ll physically outgrow the genre.
My two kids – a 13-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter – prove the theory.
They’ve now relegated their mother to a lowly fourth position in the height stakes at home – thankfully, the family cat doesn’t yet pose an immediate threat to her ranking.
No prizes then for guessing how often I’ve been able to persuade either of my lanky offspring to post themselves into the rear.
I must admit to some real concern at the Coupe’s frameless door glass double seal’s ability to hold back the recent torrential rain, but full credit to Hyundai – the interior remained watertight, without even the tiniest tell-tale trickle of water inside the window.
It’s just a shame the seals have been less successful at dealing with the wind noise from around the passenger’s door window at speeds above 50mph.
Price: £19,597 (£19,972 as tested)
CO2 emissions (g/km): 236
Company car tax bill (2007) 22% tax-payer: £120 per month
Insurance group: 14
Combined mpg: 28.5
Test mpg: 27.1
CAP Monitor RV: £5,625/29%
Contract hire rate: £463
Expenditure to date: Nil
Figures based on three years/60,000 miles