February 22, 2020
Hyundai South Africa has decided to reintroduce its Atos model back to the entry-level hatchback market. The budget car market has become a critical segment in South Africa as motorists have had to tighten their belts when it comes to a car purchase. A few thousand Rands can be the difference regarding which budget car people may buy.
In recent years, the Renault Kwid and the Datsun Go have dominated this market pushing Hyundai out of the equation. This has sparked Hyundai to bring their entry-level budget Atos back into the market.
Between the period of 2005 and 2013, Hyundai sold 45 000 Atos units. 1 This helped Hyundai establish its reputation with its entry-level hatchback locally. Hyundai South Africa are hoping to gain this momentum again with the new Atos. 1
The Atos is built on a K1 platform, which will be a standard option for most affordable Hyundai and Kia sub-4-metre-long vehicles. This has been a popular platform because an engineering claim has proven that the K1 platform is 63% more rigid than Hyundai’s previous hatchback platform. With the new K1 structure it would help with crash safety, sharper steering and lower vibration-induced noise levels.
The mechanical specification is quite modest but adequate for the Atos’ affordability aspect. The Atos is powered by a 1.1-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine with a power output of 50kW and 99Nm torque. Currently, the Atos only has one model, that being the Atos 1.1 Motion. The claimed fuel economy from Hyundai on the Atos is 5.7 L/ 100km.
The Atos is geared with a 5-speed manual gearbox and is front-wheel drive. Weighing in only at 866kg, the Atos has front disc brakes and rear drum brakes, but most of the brake-force is generated to the front brakes. The suspension on the Atos consists of coil springs on all four corners with the front linkage system having a McPherson strut-type set-up. The rear axle has a torsion beam to keep it in place.
The Atos has a 4-channel ABS function with additional sensors to help with emergency brake-force distribution. Just like its many rivals, the Atos does not come standard with electronic stability control.
The interior of the Atos is well suited for this budget model, featuring an infotainment system which can connect/sync with your smartphone which will enable Bluetooth connectivity and to either play Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The infotainment system is also fitted with a 7-inch touchscreen.
The steering wheel is also fitted with audio and Bluetooth toggles which will enable you to answer your phone when receiving a call. The front windows are electric, and the rear windows are manual. The side mirrors are also manually adjustable. This helps keep the price of the Atos in its desired price range.
The steering wheel on the Atos is in a fixed position, so once you get used to it, you will have an enjoyable driving experience. The mechanical noise and vibration from the engine are well insulated, making it one of the best in its class.
The short wheelbase of the Atos and the 14-inch rims shod with a 165/70 tyre makes for a ride quality that unfortunately may not meet everyone’s satisfaction. When it comes to bumps and imperfections on the road, the Atos does not fair too well. However, the steel wheels on the Atos perform better over potholes than alloy rims.
The Hyundai only comes in one model, the 1.1 Motion, and is priced at R 159 900. The Atos comes with a 1-year/15 000km service plan and a 5-year/ 150 000km vehicle warranty and a 7-year/ 200 000km drivetrain warranty.
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