28 May 2012

The Hyundai i20

I went for a test drive in Hyundai i20. The list price in NZ is substantially too much, approaching NZ$27,000. This one was on special for 22k drive away, which sounded close to where it should be anyway.

It had all the basic things you would expect. It was roomy and plenty of light came though the well sized windows. It also drives well enough but if you want sharp acceleration, it disappoints. When you fold the rear seats down, it leaves you with a two level cargo floor. To me that is a half hearted effort from the designers. It limits the usefulness of the area and makes it little better than a large boot in a saloon car.

The salesman came with us and he drove for five minutes, then I did likewise. We then came back to the yard. I'm not going to buy a car with a test drive that short. With a couple of questions from my wife from the specification sheet revealed there were gaps in his knowledge. He also had do idea how to fold the rear seats for use as a hatch. Then suddenly it was revealed there was in fact was only one car left for that price, the demonstrator we drove. If they were selling brand new cars for that price, then a demonstrator has to be less.

Two things that really put me off was the uneven floored cargo area and especially the last minute reveal that we were actually being offered a demo car with no concession for that fact. The i20 is a very ordinary car that has to be at a very competitive price to be worth considering.

They had our car for a trade in price to be established. Back at his desk, he seemed keen to make a sale but professionally, the experience came up short. Salesmen on this town seem to take you for granted a bit.

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