Most Economical Car

Economical car data by country & car type

Economic Car Review: Hyundai Getz

Since its launch in 2002 the Hyundai Getz has proven to be a very popular economic car. The combination of budget motoring, reliability and good looks has been a winning formula for Hyundai who are now only outsold by Toyota in this category of car.

The economical Hyundai Getz has recently had a facelift but really very little has changed apart from some minor cosmetics. Hyundai are obviously believers of the saying 'if it ain't broken, don't fix it'. Its competitors in the small car market are coming up with more and more futuristic designs but Hyundai has chosen to stick with the conservative but neat styling of the Getz. It is a pretty little car.

Sales of the small economic car have been helped by an overall rise in quality of Hyundai over the last 5 years. The company is slowly reversing its previous image of cheap, unreliable, poor quality cars to one of reliability, good build quality yet still inexpensive cars. The Yaris is the only competitor in the small economic car market that sells in greater numbers but the Getz is gaining even on the mighty Toyota.

Is this car for you? Well it is just about the ultimate car in budget motoring. If you want the most bang for your buck it can't be beaten. Its cheap, fuel efficient, practical, relatively roomy for a car of its type and drives well. On the downside, this really is no-frills motoring. The features are very basic especially on the base model.

Lets take a look at the two models available in more detail. Both come in 3 and 5 door variants. The base model of the Hyundai Getz is the 'S'. It is powered by a 1.4 litre petrol engine delivering 70kW of power. The premium model of this economic car is the 'SX' which has a 1.6 litre 78 kW engine. Both cars are available with either a 5 speed manual or a 4 speed automatic gearbox. The 1.4 litre engine is ok around town but it does start to struggle a little on freeways especially if you're carrying any sort of load. The manual gearbox gets the best out of this engine. The 1.6 litre is a lot more eager even though on paper it only has 8kW more power.

The Hyundai Getz S with manual transmission returns a fuel efficiency of 6.1 litres/100km and the auto has a fuel economy of 6.9 litres/100km. The larger engine in the SX is hardly any less economical, returning 6.2 litres/100km for the manual and 7.0 litres/100km for the auto. This economic car will cost you very little in gas because the above figures are very achievable in normal day to day driving.

Safety is not the Getz's strongest point. The 'S' model only has 2 front airbags with extra airbags not even available as an option. Furthermore you only get rear drum brakes and no anti lock brakes as standard. The 'SX' is a bit better equipped with rear disc brakes and anti-lock braking as standard, but side airbags are an option. You still only get two airbags as standard. Hyundai really should address this because many of its competitors are offering 6 airbags on comparable cars. With the extra airbags fitted the SX is a 4 star NCAP car while some of its competitors have a 5 star safety rating.

The list of features on this economic car is a bit spartan - you get air conditioning, a CD player with auxiliary inputs, an alarm and remote central locking. There aren't even many extras you can buy. Inside the car theres pretty generous rear legroom for a car of this size and boot space is very good. The front seats feel a little cramped though. The car drives pretty well and the steering is fine but the suspension is a little rough.

Overall the Hyundai Getz is still a major force as a small economic car. Its incredible value for money and has a proven track record of reliability. Go for the 'SX' model over the 'S' as this has a better engine but is still almost as economical, and is a safer car.