2009 Hyundai Grandeur CRDi Review & Road Test
Spacious, well optioned and frugal - an absolute bargain
- 2009 Hyundai TG Grandeur CRDi, 2.2-litre, four-cylinder, turbo diesel, five-speed automatic, sedan - $41,990 (RRP)
- Metallic Paint $375 (Fitted - Ebony Black)
Strong & economical diesel; generous feature list; spacious & quiet Numb steering; no Bluetooth connectivity; large turning circle
The Grandeur has always sat in a position that no one quite seems to understand. Is it a luxury saloon or a cheap Korean take off? What does it compete with, surely not my Statesman? Why is it so well priced, am I missing something?
To answer these questions, and perhaps a few more, I took the new CRDi version of Hyundai’s large car home for a week to see just where it’s meant to fit in the scheme of things, and I think I’ve found the answer.
From the outside, the Grandeur is rather pleasant to look at. Sure it’s not very exciting or ultra modern, but it has a contemporary elegance that doesn’t offend anyone – or particularly stand-out – and depending on your point of view that can be a good thing.
Ostentatious luxury cars have a habit of attracting all the wrong kinds of attention when you leave them parked somewhere, one thing from which the Grandeur did not suffer, and though using luxury car and Hyundai in the same sentence may seem a stretch for some, Grandeur is endowed with a lot of kit for the $41,990 price tag – so calling it a luxury car really isn’t that much of an exaggeration.
The feature list is pretty extensive, and everything works rather well. The steering column and front seats are electrically adjustable and offer two memory settings, the leather trim is reasonably supple - given the obvious price factor - and the magnesium framed fulmaflex heated front seats are generously proportioned, comfortable and quite supportive.
Dual zone climate control comes standard and is quiet, and reasonably effective, though 40-degree Melbourne days do tend to push the boundaries of what one might call ‘cold’ air. It’s easy to use though, and the buttons aren’t too poky or small, great for quick changes at a glance.
A JBL Infinity stereo with MP3 compatible six-CD changer and iPod connectivity takes care of your tunes and offers remote buttons on the leather steering wheel to further extend the ease of use. Although the sound isn’t what I’d call impressive, it is decent, and given Hyundai’s target demographic for the Grandeur is more than adequate.
The blue screen of the radio and climate command centre is however annoyingly bright at night, and even on the dimmest setting is an unwanted distraction in the dark. In stark contrast the crystal white instrumentation is an absolute delight - a shame some uniformity cannot be achieved here.
Steering wheel mounted cruise control, a full function trip computer, front fog lamps, alloy wheels, remote central locking with panic alarm, power windows and power folding mirrors, alarm, auto dimming rear view mirror, self dipping side mirrors (when reverse selected), rear parking sensors, speed activated door locks, auto headlamps and wipers plus a bucket load of space mean value for money is pretty impressive. Peculiarly though, Bluetooth connectivity is missing from the list.
So by now you might be thinking that you do get a lot for you money, and you’d be right, but as we all know the proof is in the drive and this is something Hyundai have worked very hard to get right, with mixed results.
Under the bonnet a 2.2-litre, common-rail, turbo diesel provides the Grandeur with its motivation. The engine is a little loud on idle but once up and moving is smooth and quiet.
Developing 114kW at 4000rpm it’s not what you’d call a powerhouse, though thanks to a healthy 343Nm of torque from just 1800-2500rpm, the delivery of motion is reasonably rapid after just the briefest moment of turbo lag managing the sprint to 100 in around 12 seconds.
What's even better is that try as I might, I could not manage to break out of the 8.0-litres per 100km fuel consumption bracket, in fact, I even achieved an average of 7.5L/100km by the time I handed it back and that's with me running the climate control all week.
The five-speed automatic transmission is smooth of shift and reasonably quick to respond. It remains flexible though doesn’t feel a need to hunt unnecessarily. I did find it can be confused on the odd occasion when re-acceleration was required after backing off, which did result in a little clunk and some time to think, but thankfully this only occurred twice.
Braking comes compliments of discs all round and is ABS and EBD equipped. Pedal feel is above average, but not what I’d call brilliant. A little effort is required to manage a hastier stop and given the weight of the car, this can be a little disconcerting at first. Regardless of this, the car does stop very well.
Riding in the Grandeur is quite smooth, but a little floaty. The car does manage to handle reasonably well if you’re brave enough, though the front-end push (understeer) is very evident should you carry to much pace in a corner. ESP will sort this one out for you.
The major failing I found in Grandeur overall is the steering. It is simply too light, too vague and too numb. There is no feel or feedback whatsoever and as a result any handling capabilities the car may have cannot be fully exploited without leaving ample room for error.
That said, I can’t imagine too many Grandeur owners finding this a bother, the bus-like 11.4 metre turning circle might be a different argument though.
Otherwise the car is actually very pleasant, offers a quiet cabin ambiance on highway runs, has a massive (and flat) 523-litre boot, comes with a long five year/unlimited kilometre warranty and offers a packet of safety gear.
ABS with EBD, ESP, Traction Control and eight airbags prove that despite many pre-conceptions of the brand, Hyundai is on par or better than the competition in many respects, and safety is no exception.
So if price is a factor and a big comfy ride sounds like it could be just your thing you could do far worse than to set yourself up in a Grandeur. It's cheap, economical and packed full of gadgets which in times where we'll all watching our bank balance comes as a very nice surprise.
CarAdvice Overall Rating: How does it Drive: How does it Look: How does it Go:
- Engine: 2188cc SOHC four-cylinder (16 valve)
- Power: 114kW @ 4000rpm
- Torque: 343Nm @ 1800-2500rpm
- Induction: Common Rail & Turbocharged
- Transmission: Five-speed automatic
- Driven Wheels: Front
- Brakes: Disc with ABS & EBD
- Top Speed: 202km/h
- 0-100km/h: 11.42 seconds
- 0-400m: Not Tested
- CO2 Emissions: 208g/km
- Fuel Consumption: 7.9 litres/100km (Combined)
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 75 litres
- Fuel Type: Diesel
- ANCAP Rating: N/A
- Airbags: Front, side & curtain (Full Length)
- Safety: ESP with Traction Control
- Spare Wheel: Full-size alloy
- Tow Capacity: 1100kg (Braked)
- Turning Circle: 11.4 metres
- Warranty: Five Year/Unlimited Kilometre
- Weight: 1752kg (Tare)
- Wheels: Alloy 17 x 7.0-inch
Road Test the Rivals:
- Hyundai Grandeur CRDi is currently without any direct rivals