Hyundai S111 Coupe – Ferrari Looks with a Tesco’s Price Tag
C’mon, everyone who knows what a Ferrari’s looks like must have looked at Hyundai’s bargain basement coupe and said to them selves “that looks a bit like a 550 Maranello” and indeed it does.
In the years since the first Hyundai Coupe back in 1996, it’s always been the flagship for the Korean manufacturer and always been the Hyundai that you wouldn’t mind having and that’s odd, as for the main part, back then, we kind of didn’t fancy anything else in the Hyundai range.
We have supplied them over the years and indeed our customers have been happy with them, but we never actually had one to play with ourselves, but all that just changed as we spent the last two weeks trying to decide if the beautiful (yep it is) Hyundai coupe was as good to live with as it was to look at.
We like to say our cars are just to get us around and that’s all, but in fact in most cases that isn’t the truth. The car we drive tells people the kind of character we are, it sends them the message we want and it tells them if we are prudent, conservative and perhaps if we have enough strength of character to not be bothered by people who look down on us in traffic if our badge isn’t as posh as theirs. It hints at our wealth, our sense of style and kind of tells them if we’ve arrived or not.
So I guess if we could find a way of telling people who don’t us what we are like, our wheels are going to give some sort of clue.
This new Hyundai SIII Coupe is the third generation of the car and it’s the best one yet. Outside they’ve made changes which include a new front end with elongated headlights, more aggressive grille and front fogs. The back of the car has had similar treatment, with new light clusters and integrated twin exhaust tailpipes (2 litre & above). We particularly liked the air vents let into the front wings, which also house the indicator repeater lights. All this is topped off by a new range of colours which show the car off to its best; however it seems everyone I see on the road is in silver!
Inside, the new Coupe its not going to disappoint either, with even the basic 1.6 model getting half leather trim as standard. There is a choice of interior colours and basically that’s black or red, but it’s depending on the exterior colour which you can choose.
The cars instrumentation is nice and it looks like a sports coupe should look, although it took us a little while to get used to the quirky blue colour of the dials. Inside, the new car is cleaner, fresher and has a much more sporty feel due to the metal look finish on the console, the steering wheel and the air-vents which tie everything in nicely and it really looks like some effort has been made to get it right.
Audio wise, all Hyundai Coupes get an i-Pod compatible CD, Radio Stereo and it’s good with the i-Pod (or i-Phone) connection working really well, letting you scroll through your songs, artists, albums etc, all via the radio, or steering wheel mounted controls. We liked the fact our i-Pod or I-Phone was being charged at the same time also.
There’s always been loads of bits and nice toys on the Hyundai Coupe and the new car is no different, just looking at the basic 1.6, even that gets half leather, CR/Radio with I-Pod connection, air-conditioning, electric front windows, remote central locking, engine immobiliser, leather steering wheel, electric door mirrors, 16” alloy wheels, height adjustable seat belts, front, passenger and side airbags, to mention just a few of the nice things that come with the car. Go up to the 2litre and you get full leather trim and the air-con is dumped in favour of climate control. You get 17” alloys, twin exhausts, cruise control and heated seats, plus some funky metal trimmed pedals. All in all, the cars interior is a nice place to be, but it leaves you staring into shop windows you pass so you can see just how good you look in this cool looking car.
In terms of engines, there are 3 choices, the 1.6, 2.0 and a range topping 2.7 24v V6, but even that’s not a flying machine, taking a leisurely 8.6 seconds to 62mph and peaking at 135mph. Our car was the 2.0 version but was disappointingly fitted with the automatic box, which whilst it did everything the way it should, the car I am sure would be better with a standard stick-shift.
You sit low in the SIII Coupe, very much in the style of a racing driver but because of that, visibility to the rear side windows is absolutely awful as the cars design means the windows are pretty high and there are huge fat rear pillars. We found ourselves raising the driver’s seat height as far as we could to improve things, but it didn’t really, so it’s our advice you take it slowly when parking this car.
The Hyundai Coupe feels a heavy lump to throw around and initially, that reminded me of the classic Japanese sports coupes of the 80’s, but after living with it, you get to like it and begin to feel it’s the way all sports coupes should perhaps be. It isn’t nimble or agile like a sports car such as a the Mazda MX5, but then Harrison Ford isn’t nimble or agile in his latest incarnation of Indiana Jones, but just like the Hyundai, somehow it works.
So should you buy one?
Amazingly, the 1.6 lead-in car costs under £16,000 and more amazingly, this Ferrari look-a-like if fitted with the 1.6 engine falls into insurance group 8A, meaning that even young drivers can actually afford to insure this super cool coupe and to further support the argument to buy one, it comes with Hyundai’s 5 year unlimited mileage warranty, a 6 year anti-perforation warranty and 3 years Hyundai RAC Assistance.
If that wasn’t enough, the build quality is good and the car comes with a host of standard goodies and a silly cheap price tag and I guess if you’re not reading this anymore it’s because you’re already on you way to your Hyundai dealer.
We liked this car as it proves you don’t have to pay £70,000+ for something that looks a gorgeous as this coupe does.
OK, it’s not a Ferrari, and in any model in the range, its not a flying machine, but then you could buy 7 Hyundai Coupe’s for the price of most Ferrari’s and have a new Hyundai for every day of the week (now there’s an idea?) but the truth is, the really is one of the prettiest coupes around and a car that turns heads, which all adds to making you the driver, feel pretty good and when you think that you get all that for the price you would pay for a medium sized hatchback and that cant be bad.
For a quotation on the Hyundai SIII Coupe or any other Hyundai, please contact us.