The executive model we have here slots in just below the top of the range, the elite, with the executive lacking the likes of a panoramic sunroof and the bigger alloy wheels. Not that the wheels on this model are small by any means. It’s a 17inch wheel with 225 55 17inch Hankook HT tires. While the tires are predominantly road biased, they actually handle the dirt extremely well.
The interior features dual zone climate control, multi function steering that controls the media unit which also has the regular things like Bluetooth Telephone and USB support. The leather seats are electronically adjustable with the driver seat having some extra lumbar adjustment also. The steering wheel is adjustable for height and reach.
While the interior is distinctively Hyundai, it seems like there are some items that we have seen before from previous models . Hyundai has kept their interiors congruent with their current line up and quality, especially in the newer cars are right up there with the more expensive German rivals.
There are some hard plastics as well as a few soft touch panels here and there. It’s clear that the cabin has been made with function and practicality in mind and having the extra bit of durability, especially when you use it off the black stuff , is a plus.
The 1.6 GDI engine is turbocharged and makes a very healthy 130kw and 265nm of torque. There seems to be a bit of lag if you get your gear changes wrong but overall makes for a very hot hatch sort of drive. I can tell you the last cross-over that had room and gave me a real smile was the Forester XT and this feels very similar in its power delivery. 1st and 2nd gear are very nippy and a lot of fun.
The ride quality actually impressed me. We had a lot of rain when the car was on test so it was only natural for me to take it to the gravel roads and see how it handled the potholes. I can tell you that it aced it in every single way. I really did not expect it to handle it as well as it did. Even being a front wheel drive only model, road holding was very good and it never really felt unsettled on the rough patches. It just took everything in its stride and asked for more. There is also traction and stability control that will nanny you along and keep you safely on the road.
I wasn’t expecting much in terms of fuel consumption, especially that it was turbocharged and let’s face it, it’s not a small vehicle. Our overall figures pointed to about 9l/100km, which was impressive considering the amount of different terrain we drove.
The Hyundai as tested is R419 000 and offers a decent amount of value when it comes to cabin space and versatility.