With a $3000 price drop, revised specification and the option of a diesel engine Hyundai has just made its luxury orientated Grandeur and lot more appealing to drivers wanting a big car.
-by David Twomey
The 2009 model Grandeur, still based on the Sonata platform, has received minor revisions to the styling and trim both inside and out but the really significant changes are a below $40,000 base price for the V6 petrol engine car and the introduction of a new 2.2-litre CRDi turbo-diesel, first seen in the Hyundai Santa Fe SUV.
Hyundai is certainly hoping the price drop will help it shift the Grandeur at a better rate than has been the case to date.
Having opened sales in 2006 with 541 leaving dealers, by last year this figure was back to 267 and up to September this year just 90 Grandeurs had been sold.
The problem is that any large car is a hard prospect to shift in the current economic climate, and that’s even harder when you are a company that has made a name by selling small cars cheaply.
The Grandeur has always been a good value proposition but not one that has been sufficiently appealing to make a mark on Australian buyers.
Hyundai hopes the reposition of its price and simplifying the model to just one specification with a choice of engines will make it more appealing to buyers.
In addition to the 3.8-litre V6 petrol engine, which has been the standard fare in the Grandeur to date, the 2009 model will be offered with a 2.2-litre CRDi turbo-diesel engine. The diesel engine develops 114kW of power at 4000rpm and 343Nm of torque between 1800rpm and 2500rpm.
Both engines use a five-speed automatic gearbox with Selectronic manual shifting and claimed fuel consumption for the diesel is a reasonable, for a large car, 7.9 litres per 100km, while the petrol car claims 10.8 litres per 100km. There is no change in the performance specifications of the 3.8-litre V6 with 194kW of power at 6000rpm and 348Nm of torque at 4500rpm.
The petrol engined car has been reduced in price from $42,990 to $39,990, while the diesel powered Grandeur is priced at $41,990. The only option is metallic/mica paint at $375. Changes to the exterior include a new radiator grille, chrome inserts in the front and rear bumpers, indicators in the door mirrors and new style 17-inch alloy wheels.
On the inside there is an upgraded eight-speaker, including subwoofer, ‘JBL’ audio system that incorporates USB audio input with iPod® compatibility, USB memory stick, blue interior illumination and a supply of latex-free vinyl gloves is included with the CRDi model variant.
2009 Grandeur also incorporates Hyundai’s Active Locking Operation (HALO), which prevents unwanted entry. HALO features a speed sensing central locking system, which automatically locks all doors when the vehicle reaches 45 km/h. The doors automatically unlock upon key removal from the ignition. Front seat occupants can override the system to easily exit the car.
Standard safety equipment includes ESP Stability Control incorporating Traction Control System (TCS), Anti-skid Brake System (ABS) + Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), active head restraints for driver and front passenger, child seat anchor points with ISO Fix points and 8 airbags including dual front airbags, dual side airbags and curtain airbags.
Other luxury features include power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, IMS (Integrated Memory System for power driver’s seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors), electro chromatic interior mirror, rain-sensing wipers, auto dusk-sensing headlights, powered folding outside mirrors with three-mode auto-dipping in reverse. 2009 Grandeur offers a range of colours that are matched to either a new black or beige leather interior.
We had a relatively brief drive of the Grandeur through Sydney traffic and in freeway conditions, which while not challenging did indicate that the diesel powered car has adequate get-up-and-go for most drivers.
It’s no rocket ship but then the buyer of this car is not looking for a sporty drive. Handling and ride were also up to par and the Grandeur felt sure-footed and steady on the road.
One thing we were interested to note was the change in steering feel, as the previous Grandeur was somewhat vague in steering feel. The revised Grandeur seems to have had some attention paid to this area and the feel is much better with some ‘weight’ in the steering, it’s not the sharpest tack on the block but it is definitely an improvement.
Driving in traffic and on the freeway the car has quite adequate engine response and the five-speed auto provides a good spread of gears and the engine has enough response to make overtaking a confident manoeuvre.
As we said the driving experience was not extensive so our full impressions will have to wait until we can subject the 2009 Hyundai Grandeur to the full rigours of a CarAdvice extended road test.
- Grandeur 3.8 V6 petrol 5 speed auto $39,990 (RRP)
- Grandeur 2.2 CRDi turbo Diesel 5 speed auto $41,990 (RRP)
- Metallic Paint $375 (RRP)