Hyundai’s Getz has reclaimed the title of Australia’s Best Small Car – its second win in three years – in the annual Australia’s Best Cars awards, the car industry’s most rigorous and comprehensive rating regime run by all the state Royal Automobile Clubs and the NRMA.
In the Large (formerly Family) Car class, mostly the preserve of the locally built ‘big sixes’, the new Sonata V6 Elite almost claimed an upset win with a very close second placing.
The Getz 1.6 3-door manual topped the 15 models in the Small Car class, displacing Fiesta and outranking VW Polo, Suzuki Swift and Honda Jazz.
Even Accent, winner in 2000 and 2001 and in the final year of its current model life, came in sixth, ahead of the new Kia Rio, Mitsubishi Colt, Renault Clio, Mazda2 and Toyota Echo.
Getz rated consistently highly in almost all 19 criteria across the three broad areas of Value-for-Money, Design & Function, and On-Road Performance, scoring the top ‘well above average’ ranking for Pricing, Running & Repair Costs, Warranty and – thanks to its strong resale value – Depreciation, the biggest single real cost of car ownership.
Other Getz strengths rating ‘above average’ were Fuel Economy despite its bigger and more powerful 1.6 litre engine, Environment (ie its star rating in the federal government’s Green Vehicle Guide), Space, Ergonomics, Ride comfort and Refinement (smoothness & quietness).
It was noted that Getz 1.6 is the most affordable car on the market to offer as standard the potentially life-saving features of ABS with EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution), plus rear disc brakes, active front head restraints and non-distracting steering wheel audio controls.
Chief Judge of the Australia’s Best Car Awards, Ernest Litera said: “A commitment to small car affordability is Hyundai’s greatest strength and hands the Getz its award-winning edge for 2005.
“The company’s top-selling three-door Getz is a standout on stemming losses at resale time and for its feats in running and repair costs.
“Even though Getz now gets along with a bigger 1.6 litre engine, its gearbox has been changed to keep fuel economy at a penny-pinching 6.2 litres/100km in manual versions.
“In a category well known for its noise levels and buzzy engines, Getz is gifted at dismissing din while its cosseting ride is a rung above for bump absorption”, Mr Litera said.
The Getz win was Hyundai’s fourth Australia’s Best Small Car title in the six-year year history of the national Australia’s Best Car Awards, the Getz also having won in 2003 and Accent in 2000 and 2001.
The winning Getz model is the 1.6 three-door, priced from a recommended $14,490 while the Sonata V6 is just $29,990 and the V6 Elite $34,490.
The awards are judged by the road test experts in the nation’s most authoritative, consumer-focused automotive voice – all seven state and territory road service motoring clubs, the NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RACWA, RAASA, RACT and the AANT.
The clubs, which have a combined membership of over 6.3 million motorists – close to a third of Australia’s total population – assessed all new cars offered on sale in Australian showrooms during the 12 months from mid October 2004 to October 13, 2005, not just newcomers released in that time.