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Review: 2008 Hyundai Getz 1.4L S 3-Door

October 23rd, 2008
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In light of Hyundai celebrating 100,000 Australian sales of the Getz, a feat unmatched by any other light car nameplate currently on sale, we’ve decided to review and also take a look back at the six year old strong selling Getz. We’ve got our grubby hands on the least expensive variant in the range, the competitively priced 1.4L S 3-Door manual at $13,990.

2008 Hyundai Getz

The Hyundai Getz has been on sale in Australia since August 2002, and discounting the Toyota Yaris and its predecessor the Echo, in this time more Getz’s have been sold locally than any other light car.

When the Getz arrived on the scene it signaled a significant change for the fast growing South Korean brand, as it was the first Hyundai model to be designed in a European design studio.  The design change can be seen in the shape of the vehicle, gone are the long front and rear overhangs of the 90’s hit Hyundai Excel.  Actually, the Getz has aged remarkably well since its release six years ago, with a wheel pushed out to each corner of the vehicle; it’s a confidant design that’s still holding up well today.

2008 Hyundai Getz

The 1.4L S 3-Door manual variant tested wears the facelift that all Getz’s picked up three years ago.  The major changes were an updated new look to the front and rear fascia of the car and on the inside a slight refresh to the dash.

Walking up to the Getz a few things caught our eye.  Standard coloured coded door mirrors means your friends won’t spot that you’ve bought the cheapest Getz. The remote keyless entry is a big bonus when you’ve got your arms full of shopping bags. Likewise the central locking is a nice security tick, great features that might not come as standard on the base model.

2008 Hyundai Getz
Click the above image for the 360 Degree Interior View

Jumping into the Getz provided us with mainly positive feelings. It gets a tick for the now mandatory driver and passenger front airbags. However those looking for more than two airbags, i.e. think side or curtain airbags, will have to hand over more cash, as at this price two airbags is all you’ll get in Australia.  A further nod for the sound system with a single CD player with MP3 compatibility, six speakers (much better than brands that only offer cheap-skate four speakers) and volume controls on the steering wheel, it won’t be loud enough for head banging however suffice. Niceties such as power windows & mirrors and air-conditioning are now such standard ware items that we’re probably wasting your time mentioning them.

The carpet, if you can call it that as its so thin, is where you can see where the cents were saved but what do you expect when you’re paying $13,990?

2008 Hyundai Getz

The steering wheel is free of all things cow, however we’d prefer it to the cheap and shiny leather on some competing entry level cars.

Getting comfortable in the drivers seat was possible thanks to the comfy but definitely non sporty seats featuring height adjust.  Turning the key over, the little 1.4L is still competitive, producing 70kW and 126Nm. 

Our time with the Getz featured driving on a wide variety of roads and conditions.  Apart from hanging out in inner city Melbourne, where its compact size was a big plus with fitting into tight parking spots, we also got to drive the Getz in conditions that the average owner would never experience.  You see, in the same week as the Getz was in our garage, we also had a rather faster Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, and the Getz drew the short straw as the camera car to the Evo. In wet and dirty conditions our little silver Getz grew well above its compact dimensions, doing a great job of keeping up over a combination of narrow country B-roads and undulating dirt rally roads.

Actually, our whole team was very impressed with the Getz, with its lithe 1100kg kerb weight contributing to its agile handling.  To people who have only driven large real wheel drive cars you really don’t know what you’re missing out on.  Scooting along in a light front wheel drive (FWD) car on narrow roads can be lots of fun.

2008 Hyundai Getz

Whilst the S variant Getz has to make do with rear drum brakes, only the fronts are discs, we don’t have a strong safety issue with this when the car is this light.  Safety acronyms such as ABS, EDB, ESP and TCS are only available on more expensive variants which is a shame as its often young first drivers who are behind the wheels of entry level light cars.

On the bling-bling side of things the Getz S 1.4L has to bow its head.  The standard 14” steel wheels are an inch short in the size department to a number of its light segment competitors and the tail lights aren’t of the glitzy recent design trend.  But it’s for the latter reason that the Getz has aged well and will most likely
continue to do so.

2008 Hyundai Getz

Hyundai claims an average combined driving fuel consumption figure of 6.1 Litres per 100km which sounds about right to us.  Unfortunately, our time spent chasing far more expensive sports cars up and down mountains means we saw understandably higher fuel readings.

With an RRP of only $13,990 the entry level 1.4L S 3-Door may well be the pick of the current Getz range.  A quick bit of research and you’ll see that many competing cars in the light segment start at a significantly higher price.  Below is a table of competing light segment cars, listing the entry level model of their range. It’s only on the safety front where the S variant leaves us wanting; however at this price no-one can cover all the bases.

2008 Hyundai Getz

Move up to the more expensive 5-Door Getz with the bigger 1.6L engine and things get a lot more competitive. Newer models such as the soon to be released Ford Fiesta, the new Mazda 2, Honda Jazz, the top selling Toyota Yaris and even the four year old Suzuki Swift all now give the Getz a hard time.  But don’t worry Hyundai fans, as in early 2009, the all new i-20 will be launched to face off against strong competition.

In the meantime, at only $13,990, the Getz S 3dr 1.4L represents damn good value. 

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


 Toyota Yaris      1.3L YR 3-Door  $15,190  63kW  121Nm  1045kg
 Hyundai Getz  1.4L S 3-Door  $13,990      70kW  126Nm  1075kg
 Mazda 2            1.5L Neo 3-Door  $15,750  76kW  137Nm  1002kg
 Suzuki Swift     1.5L 5-Door  $15,990           74kW  133Nm  1000kg
 Kia Rio            1.4L LX 5-Door  $14,990    71kW  125Nm  1193kg
 Nissan Micra   1.4L 5-Door  $14,990   72kW  137Nm  965kg
 Holden Barina  1.6L 3-Door  $14,490          76kW  145Nm  1116kg
 Ford Fiesta       1.6L LX 3-Door  $15,990    74kW  146Nm  1029kg
 Mitsubishi Colt  1.5L ES 5-Door  $14,990  77kW  141Nm  1050kg
 Honda Jazz        1.3L GLi 5-Door  $15,990  73kW  127Nm  1065kg

* All prices and specification are sourced from the relevent brands website as of 15th October 2008. Visit the brands website for the latest and official information.

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