First unveiled at the 2002 Geneva Motor Show, the Getz proved an instant hit with most who had the opportunity to view it up close. The styling is clean without being boring, devoid of the fussiness that mars many small cars. Designed to slot into Hyundai's range between the Amica citycar and the evergreen Accent, the Getz is probably the first Hyundai to really shift in serious volumes here in the UK.
Hyundai has done its homework, realising that around 80% of worldwide appetite for sophisticated superminis is accounted for by Europe. Derived from the Clix sports car concept, the chassis and suspension of the Getz has been designed from the outset to provide a fun drive. Another advantage of that wheel-at-each-corner design is that internal space is optimised. The high roofline and tapering waistline of the car give a pleasantly airy feel.
Both three and five door versions were available from launch in October 2002, with a range of trim levels that starts at GSi, moves up to Sport and tops out with the well-appointed CDX. Three petrol engines are offered and comprise a 62bhp 1.1-litre 12-valve, an 82bhp 1.3-litre 12-valve and a 105bhp 1.6-litre 16-valve. GSi trim is available with the 1.1 and 1.3-litre engines, CDX with all three powerplants and Sport solely with the fizzy 1.6-litre unit.
Reshaped wraparound headlamps are the defining feature on the facelifted Getz models that arrived in October 2005 although thicker bumper inserts also mark these cars out. The 1.3-litre petrol engine was replaced by a 96bhp 1.4-litre unit, and the 1.1-litre powerplant was carried over with a few tweaks to improve emissions. The three cylinder 1.5-litre CRTD unit was replaced by two four-pot units packing 87bhp and 109bhp respectively with both being capable of around 60mpg.