Sam says it’s a run-around
Hyundai has always had plenty to offer their entry-level consumers and they have followed through on this with the new Atos. The hatch is meant to become their entry-level offering while the Grand i10 has been upgraded to the next level. The Atos is very different from its ‘skinny’ and tall predecessor and has plenty of standard spec to entice buyers.
The best part of the new Atos is the price. It comes in as one of the most affordable of entry-level cars, at R159 900, and has that stability and confidence in its drive that is expected of Hyundai and that few other entry-level vehicles can match.
The Hyundai Atos is definitely a run-around car. This is because I spent my first few days with it doing short trips with plenty of stops and there was very little I would change. Then my run around trips became highway trips and I found something I would improve. It takes some work to reach 120km/h on the highway and if you should come across an incline, you need to be prepared to work to maintain or gain seeds.
If you plan on travelling with three to four people in the car often, this is when you will have the most difficulty. This, however, I do not believe will dissuade first-time buyers or those who do not spend large amounts of time on the road. Rather, it is something to be aware of and ready to handle.
The Atos has a 1.1 litre engine which is currently slightly higher than the lowest spec Grand i10. The
power output is set at 50 kW and has torque of 99 Nm. Claimed fuel efficiency is set at 5.7L/100km. it was possible to get very close to this and during the launch, I even bettered this with 5.2L/100 km.
As mentioned, the exterior of the vehicle is drastically different to the model of a few years ago. This is a good change, however, as the old design was not one that kept with changing times like some of its competitors from that time did.
The interior is basic but of good quality materials. In many ways this was welcome. Recently, some entry-level cars have been going out of the way to be different and ‘cool’ for the younger drivers they likely will attract. At times, these changes are there only for the sake of being different and were annoying and completely unnecessary. Getting into a car that was basic but perfect in functionality was very welcome.
The purchase of an economy car undoubtedly means sacrifices need to be made. Again, Hyundai was strategic in these sacrifices. Steering controls, electric windows in the front, Bluetooth and USB ports are all essentials for our team and they were all present. With regard to safety, there are two airbags, EBD and ABS.
There is also a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. I did not get the chance to test it myself, but the Bluetooth can read and compose replies to your Whatsapp messages. Studies say the safety of hands-free options can be debateable but for drivers who do look at their messages while driving, this can only be safer.
Something that was sacrificed, which may not have been a good idea was the rear windscreen wiper. Even the demister was not present. I happened to take my first drive in one of the heaviest storms we have seen this summer in Johannesburg and within minutes my rear view was completely obstructed and remained that way for the duration of the trip. I had no idea what the drivers behind me were doing and it made me feel rather vulnerable.
While, I did not expect an option to adjust the seat to your height in this segment, the height they did choose was not the most comfortable. I am not tall and I felt the seat was too high up, I would hate to think what a tall driver feels like.
The Hyundai Atos is a great option for buyers in this segment. You will get the confidence of a Hyundai drive, great standard specs and one of the best prices in the segment.
Good to know
The specs of the Hyundai Atos Motion
Engine: 1.1 litre, naturally-aspirated, 4-cylinder, petrol engine
Transmission: 5-Speed manual
Power: 50 kW
Torque: 99 Nm
Claimed fuel efficiency: 5.7L/100km
Price: R159 900
Warranties: standard with a 7-year/200 000 km warranty and a 1-year service plan, with services scheduled at 15 000 km intervals.
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