But a cooler driving environment will also allow the Getz supermini to play a vital role in landing the South Korean firm a 2% share of UK new car registrations by the end of next year, believes Hyundai Motor UK fleet manager Ralph Cadman.
He said: ‘Two levels of diesel power and air conditioning are the key to the new business we’re seeking as part of our parent company’s ambitions to be one of the global top five car manufacturers by the end of the decade.
‘We are expecting great things from these cars, which now offer a choice of 87bhp or 109bhp turbodiesel motors and have standard-fitted air conditioning – an important feature for drivers who have to spend long periods behind the wheel.
‘This new line-up will open doors for us and I’m confident it will attract extra sales with driving schools and the public sector. It’s an exciting part of our plans for growth.’
As the revised supermini range was being previewed in Spain, Cadman told Fleet News: ‘The Getz has been a big success and already represents 40% of our overall sales volume.
‘Fleet sales account for 10% of our total registrations and they mostly come from the daily rental area. While this sector responded well to our petrol versions, it is clear that low power output and lack of air conditioning has prevented the current GSI diesel model from being a success.’
Cadman said Hyundai would follow other suppliers in working to reduce its daily rental involvement in future. He said: ‘It has given us a fast way into registrations, but it is expensive to support.
‘My aim is not a total withdrawal – I’d like our daily rental activity to be more controlled as we explore other avenues for sales.
‘The fact that the average rental car is used by 28 different drivers means the sector is giving our products good exposure and helping a people discover the brand. But I’m hoping we can win more business in other areas.’
Priced to cost about £500 more than models in the outgoing range, the new line-up starts at £7,495 for the 1.1-litre model. Though 1.3 and 1.6-litre petrol motors are replaced by a new 1.4-litre unit, the CRTD versions expand the range to a choice of 10 three and five-door hatchbacks in GSI and CDX trim levels.
Significantly, the turbodiesel CDX+ three-door is the sports variant, offering the snappiest acceleration and highest top speed.
Petrol versions are already on sale, but the diesel cars are being made available over the next few weeks. All are backed by Hyundai’s five-year warranty and models registered before the end of the year will come with three years’ servicing at no cost.
Behind the wheel
Value has always been a strong feature of the Getz, but with more equipment as standard across the range, latest versions are a better proposition all round.
Safety gets a boost with the availability of a stability programme to back up electronic brakeforce distribution, reinforced side impact protection and active front seat headrests that slide forward and upward to help minimise accident injuries.
Clear, wraparound headlamps dominate the front of the car in a redesign that has produced a neater overall appearance.
Upgraded trim and clearer instrumentation on a new dash panel help lift perceived quality and a leather-trimmed steering wheel now carries infotainment controls.
However, the silver metallic grain finish of the CDX+ centre console is at odds with the chrome detailing elsewhere on the interior.
Most salient feature of the facelifted range is the new CRTD engine, and in either state of tune, the Euro IV unit is a spirited performer well suited to the easy and predictable handling characteristics of a small car that offers adequate room for four adults and their luggage and an impressive 977 litres of cargo volume with the rear seats folded double.
Smooth and refined as it is, the 1.4-litre petrol unit loses out to the torque and relaxed cruising gait of the diesel in the latest Getz. But which is the best value CRTD?
Only 6mph slower all-out than the sporty 109bhp three-door version and taking just one second longer over the benchmark acceleration test, the 87bhp five door car seems the better bet – and it’s £850 cheaper into the bargain.
|Engine (cc):||1.1||1.4||1.5 CRDi||1.5 CRDi|
|Max power (bhp/rpm):||65/5,500||95/6,000||87/4,000||109/4,000|
|Max torque (lb.ft/rpm):||73/3,200||92/3,200||158/1,900||173/1,900|
|Max speed (mph):||93||106||106||112|
|Fuel cons (mpg):||51.4||47.1||62.8||61.4|
|CO2 emissions (g/kl):||130||141||118||122|
|Prices:||From £7,495 to £10,095|