Just as we were all soaking up the success of the Hyundai Sonata, in comes its big brother, the Hyundai Grandeur Limited.
When the car was backed out of the garage at the Melbourne based Hyundai press depot, I couldn’t believe just how good it looked. My ride was featured in Ebony Black and looked very sleek and easy on the eyes. As I said with the Hyundai Sonata I drove late last year, if you were to throw me into the car and remove all the badges, I would be left guessing as to who manufactured the vehicle.
The standard feature list includes: dual zone climate control, cruise control, heated door mirrors, heated seats, automatic day/night rear vision mirror, electronic rear sunshade, high intensity Xenon headlamps with washers, 10-way power driver seat and an 8 speaker sound system with sub woofer.
Safety features are also a big selling point of the Grandeur, you can expect to see: ESP (Electronic Stability Program), driver and passenger airbags, front and rear side airbags, front and rear curtain airbags, active hear restraints for driver and passenger and ABS brakes with EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution).
During the test route I had a chance to test Hyundai’s ESP (Electronic Stability Program) system. Once it was active it did a fantastic job of keeping the car straight but, it kicked in far too late for my liking, meaning that it could potentially interrupt a drivers correction of error and cause more mayhem than good.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. This cliché is also true with the Grandeur. Once you hit unsealed roads – or any road with imperfections for that matter – you will know about it. The car is far too floaty and feels like a barge when you throw it around bends. It has a heap of body roll and hesitates to keep its line without deviation when you push it past its comfort zone around bends. But, weighing in at around 1750Kg with driver, this is to be expected.
A few things I didn’t like about the interior included the rather dopey looking steering wheel, it looked droopy and somewhat lifeless. The radio fascia could also look a bit more attractive. Although the colours are nice; the radio fascia just blends in with the dashboard too much and doesn’t look like it belongs there.
I was subtly surprised to see a set of self levelling Xenon HID headlights. They emit a blue-ish tinge and soak the surface of the road with light, they do a fantastic job. The high beam lights were very disappointing though, in fact, I would go as far as saying that they were useless. They simply threw more white light into the spectrum that the Xenon headlights already covered.
At the end of the day, the Hyundai Grandeur is a luxury car on a budget. So, I could forgive the very average handling, I could also forgive the lack lustre design elements of the interior. But, the price may be pushing it just a bit. That price range also offers vehicles such as the Nissan Maxima, Mitsubishi 380LX and Chrysler 300C.
As much as I enjoyed driving the Grandeur, I would hold off with regards to buying one. Hyundai have only just entered into this budget luxury market, it would be worth waiting to see how it pans out before rushing in to buy the Grandeur.
CarAdvice rating (out of 5):
- by Paul Maric