Hyundai South Africa launched its small city car, called the Atos, into the local market in 2005. Since then over 45 000 units have been sold. This week the new Hyundai Atos was introduced onto the listings.

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Fresh looks…

The latest generation of the small hatchback is all-new and boasts a fresh new face. Its visage is dominated by a large air dam, which is more pronounced the lighter the paint colour of the bodywork. Headlamps, that link the Atos to the i10 in appearance, have been pushed out to the far corners of the bonnet. An interesting crease line on the fenders and doors, along with a shaped rear window line, add a bit of novelty to the profile.

Under the short bonnet lies a 1,1-litre engine that produces 50 kW of power and 99 N.m of torque. Hyundai SA offers just the one transmission option, a five-speed manual that is connected to the front wheels.

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… and good spec

Occupants will be met by a cabin that is increased in overall size – especially in terms of shoulder room – and features modern touches. A touch-activated centre screen boasts a USB port, Bluetooth connectivity and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay functionality. Standard specification includes air-conditioning, electrically activates front windows dual front airbags and anti-lock brakes.

On the road

At the local launch event, we got to drive the small new car from the Century City area around the Cape Peninsula and back. Its small dimensions and clear visibility out of the driver’s chair make it ideal to zip into and out of gaps traffic in the confines of the morning commuter migration into the CBD.

Along the roads that lead towards Cape Point, the ride in the new Hyundai Atos felt a tad choppy, but the surfaces in that area are in less than ideal condition and can be taxing for even the best suspension set up. On our return journey, we traversed the M5. We could maintain a decent speed to keep up with the flow of traffic, but when faced with a major uphill section or needed to overtake we found that we really had to row the gears and

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The new Hyundai Atos has been introduced at R159 900, making it one of the most price-friendly new cars in South Africa. Included in this price are a seven-year/200 000 km warranty and a one-year/15 000 km service plan ie you get one free service.

At this price point, the Hyundai’s newcomer has plenty of rivals, most notably the Renault Kwid and Datsun Go. Having experienced both of model in the last year, we can confidently say that the Atos feels the most resolved and complete package of the trio.