Hyundai i20 Active: 'A great way of getting an up-to-date car at an attractive price'
In the ongoing search for a replacement car, Campbell Spray is impressed by a Hyundai but is put off by its wild colour
This column has been rather unashamed about its support for Hyundai cars in recent years - and the public has finally caught up with the sentiment, pushing the South Korean marque into the number-one spot for car sales so far this year.
It's a success that has probably come a year or two early for the brand, possibly because of the Volkswagen emissions scandal that, of course, has spread to other manufacturers - but if you're the first you tend to get most of the fallout.
Of course, Spray Towers put our money where our mouths are some years ago and we're now looking for a replacement for our second Hyundai i10. At the leaving party for one of my colleagues last weekend, the wife of a former Sindo man confessed she had finally made the jump from her beloved VWs to a Hyunda i20, which she loved.
She bought the Deluxe edition of the hatchback but was also rather impressed by the i20 Active, which has an attractive small SUV appearance due to some mouldings, bigger wheels, higher stance, skid plates, distinctive grills and lights, and roof rails.
My partner and I were also rather taken with the rugged-looking i20 Active, but the Tangerine Orange metallic colour it was offered in gave off a rather Renault/Dacia flavour that wouldn't sit too well with me just at the moment. Both the French marque and its Romanian offshoot still have a bit of work to do but there are growing numbers of people who are buying the bargain-basement Dacias. I'm sure there will be lot more colour options after Christmas. There had better be, anyway.
One of the most impressive things about the i20 Active is the incredibly peppy one-litre petrol engine. You can have an awful lot of fun with this turbo-charged delight, and the range in the gears is fantastic.
The price of the i20 Active starts at a latte under €21,000, but by the time delivery and extras - including a mobile phone docking device on top of the fascia - are taken into account you will be paying nearly €22,500. That is a long way from the €16k starting price of the basic i20.
The Active i20 faces competition from the Honda Jazz, Peugeot 2008, Renault Captur and Nissan Juke. Even cars such as the hybrid Toyota Yaris automatic in luxury trim with a lot of spec demand attention.
On my ambles around Phibsborough with our dog Sam, another motor showroom grabbed my attention on the North Circular Road in Dublin, across from where the Luas is scheduled to run next year.
The modern cars on offer seem incredibly cheap but that's until you understand they are all ex-hire cars and some have done massive mileage. Yet hire firm Hertz's motors have been well maintained to make the most of their busy lives.
Rory Byrne, a sales executive at Hertz Car Sales, said the team always matches the cheapest price on the market. At the moment there is a 2015 Kia Soul with 40,000 miles for €16,995, a 2015 Citroen C1 with 37,000 miles at €8,945, and a Hyundai i40 Estate at €19,995 with 44,207 miles.
Check out the website hertzcarsales.ie. It could be a great way of getting an up-to-date car at an attractive price, especially if you are not going to hugely add to the mileage. You get a five day test drive. It's worth a look, anyway