We recently completed the 4 year anniversary of getting the Hyundai Getz GLS as of March 25th. It has covered around 20 thousand kilometers till now. The mileage has been low since it is my father that drives it during the week and I drive it during the weekends. Took me some time to write up this review – it is a long long one so I apologize in advance. Plus I can say you have been warned.
Why & how we chose the car: In 2005 we were looking for a replacement to the 9 year old Maruti 800 and we wanted a bigger car. At that point we had the Ford Ikon as well so we didnt need another sedan. The 800 was used for all errands and trips to places with bad parking while the Ikon was used only when going out to places with good parking and to Church etc. The primary driver was to be my Father so the primary requirement was something easy to drive and easy to park.
Features available was also a criteria. Having been spoilt with the Ikon I wanted power windows, central & remote locking. With the Ikon’s rear glass fogging up frequently I was adamant about wanting the rear wash/wipe and defogger. We started the process late February 2005. The decision was made for a hatchback and the budget initially set at around 4.3 L. A quick look around showed the choices with the features we wanted as the Santro and the Wagon-R. I was not planning on even trying the Indica, the Corsa Sail or the Palio which were also available at the time for various reasons.
Wagon-R blues: We went to Maruti and wanted to see the Wagon-R. The dealership we first visited didn’t have a demo car at their dealership when we went in so had to wait for them to bring one to us. One silver one was brought home and I test drove it and found to my horror that its speedometer was disconnected. Decided then and there that I am not buying from that dealership at all.
Santro Greens,Reds and Whites: Same day a Hyundai sales guy from HMP shows up with a Santro. I took a test drive and liked it (its engine response was better than the Wagon-R). Also its odometer was working and the car had a huge “Demo Car” sticker on the side. I was sold on the interior of the Santro XLS but liked the exterior of the Wagon-R. I was very confused.
T-BHP wasnt helping me in my decision since people came up with a million points in favour and against both the Santro and Wagon-R. I kept pushing the salesguy for a good deal on the Santro but wasnt convinced the car was right for us. The main sticking point was that the colors available in 2005 were the most boring list of colors ever possible.
We had a Silver Ikon and were moving away from a dark blue 800. We didnt want Scarlet Sage or Real Earth or a weird bright parrot green or light hospital type green that they had. Black was ruled out as well. White was the only remaiing option but I didnt want white. I annoyed the salesman as much as I could with my confusion and my requirements and multiple calls.
The middle of March was rapidly approaching. The 800 had been sold by then and we needed the car soon. On a Saturday afternoon we go in to the showroom to finalize on the Santro – I dont remember which color we decided upon – still half heartedly.
The Getz Gets Me: The salesguy by then realized I was a car nut and wouldn’t be really happy with the Santro. He knew I drove the Ikon 1.6 daily to work and back and everything else seemed pathetic compared to it. He finally got frustrated and told me that I should either buy an Accent or test drive the Getz. He said he would get me a great deal.
I would have to stretch my budget a bit but he begged me to take a test drive and assured me it would be worth it. With zero expectations I agreed to the test drive. The moment I took the test drive I noticed that the car was much smoother than the Santro to drive. Clutch was lighter and gearbox was buttery smooth and slotted in well. Seating position was also good. I was having leg pain from driving the Ikon through traffic but I was pleasantly surprised at the ease with which the Getz could be moved around in peak traffic.
Seating position was good and space was more than enough for myself and my dad to sit at the back.I was sold on the 60-40 split rear seat and the luggage space. It seemed to be the only vehicle in its price with the split folding rear seats. Also the rear seat angle could be adjusted – something not found on any other car. Dashboard and instrument panel was also much better than the Santro.
The seats, door panelling and miscellaneous interiors were much much better made and looked ages ahead of the Santro. Car also had a clutch lock and a foot rest to the left of the clutch. We took a day to decide (spent the evening reading Getz reviews on the net) and sealed the deal the very next day…after taking almost 2-3 weeks between the Wagon-r and the Santro.The sales guy was so relieved he even came into the dealership on a Sunday a holiday for them to take my booking. Registration done withing a few days since the car was on the lot.
Delivery Day & first Drives: The car was ready at the time we were promised. We declined a full Pooja but allowed the staff to put on a ribbon. The paperwork was also ready and in order so all the process part of it was fine. I wasn’t aware of the PDI checklist on T-BHP back then but I had a mental note ready of things to check. These were covered to my satisfaction. Only thing awry was that the left side rear door seemed to have a problem of not closing fully. The salesguy managed to get a mechanic to look at it and within a minute it was fixed.
We got a detailed demo of the features and we drove home from Ekkatuthangal in peak traffic on Mount Road around 7.30 PM. This was the first time we felt the AC cool so effectively. Only issue was the front windscreen started fogging up on the outside. I ended up reducing the AC , opening the windows and using the wipers. One annoyance for me was that I was used to the Ikon and its indicator stalk being on the left – the Getz like every other India made car had it on the right. It was a pain to remember and use the right one.
There was some issue with the VIN impression that was required with the registration papers and this delayed obtaining the registration and number plates. Car sat at home till this was fixed. It was great to finally get the plates and drive it around. We took a trip to church and said our prayers before going anywhere else.
- PU Seat covers in light grey and black from Hyundai
- Pioneer Music system & Boston Acoustics speakers
- Alloy wheels
- Sun control film
- Remote Keyless entry and security system from Cobra
- Front & Reverse parking sensors (6 sensor Xenos) with distance indicator in RVM (added in 2007).
- Smooth to drive and generally good in the city. The light clutch is a pleasure to use and the gears slot in nicely. However by the 3rd year the smooth feeling is beginning to loose the original feel. Its beginning to be a bit rough.
- Engine sounds strained when driven hard. Relaxed cruiser on good highways. Enough high end grunt but low end is a bit disappointing – say if you need to take off from a signal etc. It may just be my opinion since the car I drove prior to this was a Ikon 1.6 and my other car currently is a Swift. My Father who was very jittery to drive the 1.6 Ikon was very happy driving the Getz – he doesn’t drive very fast and is a very careful relaxed driver – this seemed to be the best car for him. Not too big not too small. Not too powerful not too underpowered. Easy to drive in the city.
- OEM tires (175/70 R13) were retained and just OEM alloys added. The tyres are not very grippy and I have felt them loose touch with the road under hard acceleration – again at a light. Once its moving it seems ok. My FIL has a Getz GVC which comes with the skinny 155/80/R13 tires which are just not adequate for this car. They make the car look very odd and are not safe at all for a car of this size. The contact with the ground is not enough. There is a marked difference when driving the 1.3 GVS with skinny tires and the 1.3 GLS with slightly wider tires.
- Brakes – never had to have any sudden stops in this car so for normal driving the brakes are adequate. Extended Warranty – I was pretty happy I paid the extra amount for the warranty extension for 2 more years from the manufacturer 2 years. It saved me a ton of money on the power steering parts & labour since it was covered close to 25K was told.
- Space is very appreciated by all at home. We have a family of 5 adults and one infant of 1 year. All of us fit in the car and have adequate space to sit comfortably. Of course we usually sit with the two gents and the baby in front with one of the gents driving and the baby with the front passenger. The three ladies sit at the back.
- Luggage space is very amazing for a hatchback. I have folded the rear seats down when I have needed to carry a lot of luggage when we moved house and the Getz was able to swallow a huge amount of luggage in the rear. The Ikon was able to carry just a quarter of it (not just the boot – we had even the interior of the Ikon loaded up).Another time when we had to drop my sister off to her hostel for the first time the Getz was used to take 3 adults and all the stuff required for one person to stay in a hostel for a full year – thanks to the split rear seat one person could sit at the back and we could still load up with luggage.
- The double folding rear seats of the Getz prove they are worth every penny since they also let you adjust the tilt of the seats. Rear passengers are comfortable as well as the front.
- I have a very loyal dedicated person come home to clean the cars interior and exterior almost every day (Sundays he is off). Because of his efforts the exterior is still looking good barring a few minor scratches from our dog and some bikers and cabbies. The interiors have also aged very well and the plastic parts still look like new after 4 years. The dash and plastic treatment done by Hyundai at every service seems to keep it in good shape.
A.S.S @ Dealership:
- Hyundai Motor Plaza is good at their work but there is a long time required to book a service and get it done
- Their customer handling process is a bit time consuming requiring you to wait up-to 45 minutes before you can drop off your car.
- They work only during the week and Saturday bookings very minimal.
- They do a pickup and drop service – but this is more effort than a regular one since you are not sure if the work will be done correctly
- Pricing is very fair and no extra charges done – estimates are usually very close to the mark. Unfortunately I haven’t kept track of the costs of the regular service. Dont remember them to be more than 2,500 each.
- Interior roof dome light has failed 2 times.
- Multiple issues of rats/house lizards getting stuck in/under the car engine bay and dying there (and of course the god awful smell of decay)- in a spot that requires the car to be sent to the dealership to be cleaned up. One mongoose got in from underneath but ran away when the bonnet was opened.
- AC cooling which was very good suddenly started decreasing and suddenly stopped. We had to get it to the dealership for fixing. Covered under warranty. AC is now back to its old good self. Cant keep it at more than the 2nd position/
- Power Steering packed up at around 15000 KM and 3.5 years. One morning I was was planning to go out and started out just a few feet from where the car was parked at home, the car kept going straight when I turned the wheel to the right. The steering wheel was very tight and the tires were not turning. Managed to back the car into its spot. Hyundai managed to come home fix the issue temporarily then take it to the dealership for full repairs.
- After the power steering was fixed the steering wheel started squeaking. Some greasing was done at the last service but squeaks returned immediately.
- When the power steering was fixed they managed to screw up the indicator switch – now it doesn’t auto cancel the turn indication. Need to get this fixed.
- Radio Antenna has come loose (still needs to be fixed – currently managing with some strategically placed cello-tape).
- Wheels keep having a screeching noise – dust seems to get in the brake pads and after cleaning stops for sometime to resume again. This is there off and on right from the first year of ownership.
- A/C vents spewing packing foam which seems to have come loose and is disintegrating.
- Driver side door central locking mechanism broke and the car couldn’t be locked either with the key or the remote.
- The Cobra remote for the key less entry seems to have a major design flaw – it uses a rubber piece to connect the remote fob to the metal ring. That piece is prone to getting cut. We have probably changed the rubber piece at least once every year. Its very annoying to have it get cut and have to walk around with the keys separately and the remote separately.
First the list of what I don’t like in the car:
- Lots of space in the engine bay that allows small animals to get in from underneath and sit happily. Wish it was tightly packed as my previous/other cars.
- I still have not been able to get the outside mirrors to a position that I am happy with – I keep having the feeling they are not pointing where they should be and visibility isn’t all that great. I wish they were a little larger like the older Santro mirrors – it may be ugly but still functional.
- The dashboard reflections in the front windscreen are annoying.The dealership applies some dashboard shine liquid which causes a bad glare in full sunlight on the front windshield. Material of the dash shouldn’t be made so reflective.
- The power windows disable switch is very confusing – cant tell if it is enabled or not.
- Gearing – seems underpowered at lower gears but is a good highway cruiser.
- Mileage doesn’t seem to give more than 10km pl. Ever. Regardless of how you drive.
- Interior lamp is a tad dim – also positioned at an odd spot that is behind the drivers head – reaching it is a bit difficult.
- Steering wheel seems a bit plain – it has some grips at the 10 and 2 position but these could have been a bit thicker and also the wheel could have been smaller.
- Clock is built into the instrument panel – doesn’t keep time correctly and keeps running slow.
- Glove Box is almost uselessly small. Can just fit the stereo head unit cover there and the vehicle papers.
- Door storage could have been more.
- Tilt steering is there but not really useful
- Central locking doesn’t have a separate switch to lock all doors – one has to use the driver side door switch to do that manually.
- Unlocking the hatch involves unlocking all the doors as there is no separate hatch release.
- A pillars are a bit thick and till you get used to the car they are a bit unnerving to see bikers disappear and re-appear suddenly.
What I like:
- Comfortable seating for 5 people with adequate luggage room.
- Butter soft gear shift and light clutch
- High & comfortable seating position – I haven’t had leg pain while driving this car.
- Good and easy to read instrument panel both during the daytime and at night
- The rubber strips all round the car is pure genius from Hyundai and I like the version on my 2005 car and not the hideous larger version on the Getz Prime. These are just the right size and look good as well.
- The dashboard shape is flat and has a good space with a ridge to place items in the middle. The left most side doesn’t have anything to keep items from rolling/sliding off.
- Centrally placed DC plug
- Centrally placed bottle holder that can take even a 2 liter bottle comfortably. Also has 2 other cup holders.
- Headlamps are very good. I didn’t feel the need to upgrade the bulbs or use high beam even on roads without lighting.
- Usage of space over the rear tires with small storage locations is very good.
- Luggage space is very good for a hatchback.
- 60-40 split seats is really useful if you need to carry a lot of luggage and 3-4 passengers.
- Windscreen wipers are pretty decent in heavy rain. The car has made its way through flood water without any issue.
When/will I change this car ? I don’t have a reason to change this car yet. The reasons to keep it are more as of now. If I change it will be atleast 2-3 years from now if not more.
Wishlist for a new Getz: @Hyundai: Please provide all the features of the Getz GLS with ABS and Airbags, tilt steering and height adjustable seats with the brilliant CRDI engine you make and you can be sure this car will sell wellfor a long time. Please don’t make the mistake of not giving all the features with the Getz CRDI with the I20 Diesel when you finally wake up and decide to launch it . You wait too late and I and the rest of India may just go buy a Swift DDiS or D’zire DDiS or Indica Vista Quadrajet or Fiat Palio Multijet when its time to change this car.