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The Mercury Cars Guide : December 12th 2009
4--- Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, December 12, 2009 Taking a punt on a new coupe STYLISH: The Koup is in line with Kia's plans to diversify. VALUE: The Kia Koup comes with a great standard kit. firstname.lastname@example.org with KEITH DIDHAM New car fashion is often fickle. Take coupe models for example --- they have been in and out of favour just like the length of hemlines, the width of ties or height of heels. Keith Didham reports COUPES were in, then out and now they are coming back, thanks to an unlikely ally. The demise of the coupe market in recent years saw the loss of some players which came big in soul --- like Toyota's Celica, Mitsubishi's Lancer, Hyundai's Tiburon and Honda's two- door Civic. But there are always companies willing to take a punt on fashion. Korea's Kia, which is reinventing itself with a more youthful look, has spotted the gaps in the market and, confident its market research is right, has boldly filled the gap. Enter the Koup, the coupe with a K, which was launched in September and has already notched up a modest 150 sales across the country. That's small bickies in the scheme of things, but those sales are nevertheless im- portant for the Korean brand as it diversifies its model range with niche models like the funky Soul. With the Cerato-based Koup, Kia has kept to its winning formula of offering a stylish model, extensively packaged and sharply priced and all protected with one of the best war- ranty programs in the business. So the message here is the Koup comes big on value. The Koup is the brand's first two- door; pricing has been set at $23,690 (plus on-road costs) and what you get as standard kit for the money embar- rasses plenty of better-known brands. The only options are a four-speed automatic transmission for $2000 and metallic paint ($400). For now it comes standard with a five-speed manual; a six-speed isn't far away. The two-litre petrol four-cylinder is the same motor in the Cerato. With variable valve timing, the motor is good for 115kW and 194Nm of torque. But peak performance comes high on the tacho. Maximum power isn't achieved until 6200 revs, while top of the torque curve is at 4300rpm. Standard equipment includes rear parking sensors, 17-inch alloy wheels, power windows and mirrors, climate- controlled air conditioning, fog lamps, alloy pedals, leather-bound steering wheel with audio controls, a half decent audio system with MP3 input and USB port, tinted glass and cruise control. On the safety front, the Koup has six airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control and active head rests to reduce whiplash injuries. on the road While Koup's muscular styling, which was penned in California, is stunning, especially in its bright Racing Red paintwork, the driving experience doesn't quite match. At low to mid-rev range the Koup is perky enough to satisfy most buyers --- providing they are not expecting real sportscar performance. But the engine needs to be revved to give of its best and the test car suffered from an overly light clutch so driving smoothly was a challenge. Kia claims a zero to 100km/h sprint time of 9.3s which is modest. On most roads the Koup surprises with its sharp steering, balance and grip plus a comfortable ride but that falls away once out on country roads with lumpy surfaces which shows up the weaknesses in the McPherson strut/torsion beam axle suspension. We couldn't get close to Kia's claimed combined fuel consumption of 7.8l/100km of regular unleaded, returning a thirsty 11 to 12 litres/ 100km for mainly city driving. No problems however about the distinctly European styling, nor the spacious cabin. Even access to the rear seats, which can be a tight squeeze in coupes, is not a problem. The Koup will never be a big seller but it has the sporty image the Koreans desperately need. Conditions: All cars must be ordered and delivered between 1st October and 31st December 2009. Offer valid at participating dealers on existing dealer stock while stocks last. Offers exclude fleet, rental and govt. buyers and vehicles used for commercial purposes. Hyundai reserves the right to change, supersede or extend these offers. The 5 Year/ unlimited kilometre warranty is only applicable to vehicles used for private and domestic use and is not applicable for vehicles used for certain high mileage commercial purposes i.e. courier, security and rental cars. 1. 2008 & 2009 Australia s Best Mid Size Car under $30,000 awarded by Australia s Best Cars to i30 SX . 2. Most Economical Small Car to Own and Run 2009 awarded by RACT to i30 petrol. 3. 2009 RACT Operating Cost Survey for Getz 1.4 S. 4. 2009 RACT Operating Cost Survey for Tucson City. iPod is a registered trademark of Apple Computer Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Bluetooth is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc ^ADR 81/02 fuel consumption will vary depending on a combination of driving habits, road conditions and condition of vehicle. *2009 YTD. Source VFACTs. Current as at 1 October 2009. A) Campaign price for i30 SX hatch petrol manual. B) Campaign price for Getz 1.4, 3 door manual. C) Campaign price for Tucson City SX manual. HMCA901/HPC/HM NEW HERE NOW www.ToughR.com.au hyundai.com.au or call 1800 186 306 MOTORS PT Y LTD HOBART CNR COLLINS AND BARRACK ST HOBART 6230 7220 TUCSON FROM $22,990C DRIVE AWAY 2009 MOST ECONOMICAL COMPACT SUV TO OWN AND RUN4 >> 8.0L / 100km^ >> ESP Stability Control >> Traction Control >> Bluetooth >> Full size spare >> 16" alloys 990 C VE AWAY GETZ FROM $12,990B DRIVE AWAY 2009 MOST ECONOMICAL LIGHT CAR TO OWN AND RUN3 >> 6.1L / 100km^ >> Bluetooth >> Immobiliser and alarm >> Remote keyless entry >> Full size spare >> Air Con with pollen filter AUSTRALIA S FAVOURITE LIGHT CAR!* T 2008 & 2009 AUSTRALIA S BEST MID SIZE CAR1 2009 MOST ECONOMICAL SMALL CAR TO OWN AND RUN2 >> 7.2L / 100km^ >> ESP Stability Control with Traction Control >> ABS with EBD >> Glovebox drinks cooler >> iPod and USB connectivity >> Full size spare FROM $19,990a DRIVE AWAY $ 19 990 a LOW OPERATING COSTS AWARDS UNLIMITED 5 YEAR WARRANTY ESP STABILITY CONTROL JATO COMPARISON
December 5th 2009
January 9th 2010