A small car staple resurfaces in the South African market, the Hyundai Atos has made a compact hatchback comeback, and well at least its name badge has returned.
The Atos will be sold under its bigger brother, the Hyundai i10 Grand. I was quite happy to whisk around in the humble compact hatch, I very quickly adopted the small car syndrome, “get out my way, I am small but fearless”. This budget offering from Hyundai is currently manufactured and sold in India wearing a Santaro badge.
was relieved when I learned that it was a naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine, I have previously found in competitive turbo charged offerings that the turbo lag is mind numbing. The Atos was always ready to please and gives an enthusiastic thrust from pull off, right up until top gear. I have had some turbo lag moments in small cars whilst crossing a busy intersection which will leave your driver’s seat wet.
The Atos has all the essentials for modern motoring; an infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity, air conditioning, driver and front passenger airbags, and front electric windows. It definitely fits well among its competitors such as the Datsun Go and Renault Kwid, when it comes to affordable motoring.
It is a very solid and well put together ride, and despite the miniaturised outer appearance it has a very spacious cabin on the inside with a well laid out dashboard. The simplicity of the car makes you appreciate its capabilities as a reliable mode of transport, it is easy to manoeuvre in busy cityscape settings, and extremely light on fuel even when driven with a lead foot. Without a doubt this will be budget friendly in most motoring elements, from insurance, to services, and general running costs.
If I had to put my size queen needs aside, as well as my thirst for instant power, I could happily live with the nippy little smiley-faced bug.