2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
It doesn't always have to be a Porsche. Or an Audi TT. Those who want to be sporty on the road are now well served with a Hyundai Coupé. Especially after the current facelift.
By Jürgen Wolff
When Hyundai launched its first coupé in Germany 15 years ago, the baroque, curved two-seater earned only a sympathetic smile from most people: too plump, too cheap. Too Korean. A "secretary Ferrari". With sales of around 1,400 units per year, the Asian racer never became one of our Hyundai models. But while many competitors soon withdrew in frustration with similar experiences, the Koreans have bravely held out all these years. And that's good.
Now in the third generation at the latest, the ridiculous car has become a sports car that can easily keep up with the European competition. It is above all external cosmetics that Hyundai has given the coupé with the current facelift. The front and rear have been thoroughly revised, as have large parts of the interior and the safety features. The technical values remained unaffected: the two engines offered and the chassis.
The new front makes the Hyundai Coupé even more dynamic. At first glance, it looks crouched and ready to jump thanks to its 1.33 meters high, 4.40 meters long and 1.76 meters wide. The face is shaped by the modified bumper with its enlarged cooling air openings that now run across the entire width. Underneath the new clear-glass headlights, the side beads begin, which are more pronounced than on the predecessor and extend to the rear fenders.
Visually, the coupé appears even more elongated. The shark gills behind the front wheel arches have - unfortunately - disappeared and have been replaced by much smaller ventilation slots, which now run parallel to the side edge. In the rear, the taillights are now also packed under clear glass. The rear bumper, into which the two powerful tailpipes and the rear fog lamp fit, has also been redesigned.
Small but fine detail on the - right - edge: the filler neck is fixed with visible screws. You won't find an antenna: in order not to interrupt the flow of shapes, it was integrated into the rear window. 15 years ago nobody would have believed that: But this Hyundai is an eye-catcher.
Well contoured sports seats
Inside, the changes are hardly noticeable at first glance. Both doors open wide and allow easy access to the tightly padded and well-contoured sports seats. They can be folded forward if someone really wants to squeeze into the back seats.
And: They offer excellent lateral support even when cornering quickly. The setting options are sufficient. Drivers up to at least 1.86 in height should have no difficulty setting themselves up comfortably here - especially since the steering wheel can be adjusted in height and depth.
Reorganized center console
At second glance, you can see that the center console in particular has been reorganized - and more clearly laid out. All the displays and controls that the driver does not need to keep an eye on are conveniently and sensibly arranged around the new automatic air conditioning. The operation is intuitive, a long study of the manual is not absolutely necessary in the Hyundai Coupé. Instead of red as in the predecessor, the nighttime displays are now a more eye-friendly blue. In front of the driver, the speedometer and tachometer are easy to read, along with the other most important displays. Speaking of important: not really important, but a nice greeting to the 80s is the analog pointer for the current fuel consumption.
The Hyundai Coupé is sporty but by no means cramped. Safe: Here, too, the two rear seats serve more as an additional luggage compartment or toddler's room (Isofix brackets are standard). And the headroom for taller occupants also takes a bit of getting used to at the front - coupés are just like that. But otherwise there is enough air to breathe for two passengers. The luggage compartment, accessible through a tailgate that swings open, offers 312 liters, which can be increased to over 600 liters by folding down the rear seat backrests (50:50).
Sound worth hearing
The engines are the same as in the predecessor: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 105 kW / 143 hp and a V6 with 2.7 liter displacement and 121 kW / 165 hp. The V6 is certainly the better choice, although the small four-cylinder can be used to drive quickly and the six cylinders chase through almost ten liters of fuel per 100 km - almost two liters more than the four-cylinder. After all: Both are content with regular gasoline.
The Hyundai is clearly more fun with six pots. The very smooth-running and low-vibration unit reacts promptly and with high torque. On the mountain or when overtaking - the V6 does not disappoint. And even the sound is worth listening to.