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Used Hyundai Getz review: 2002-2011

Hindsight says Hyundai Getz saw the start of a new era for the South Korean marque in Australia. When launched here in 2002 Hyundai was already doing reasonably well downunder, but no-one foresaw that in 2014 Hyundai would be fighting for the number three spot overall in the Australian market, behind two local makers Toyota and Holden, and the current third placed Mazda.

Australian drivers have long shown a preference for European cars and the Getz was the first model from Hyundai designed specifically with the European market in mind.

The Getz has a tall, cab-forward look that lasted for close to 10 years and didn’t date throughout that period. There are large rubber protection strips on the doors and bumper corners to protect it from the rough and tumble life of being parked on the street in Euro cities - and Aussie ones too, for that matter. Getz is sold with three or five doors, with most buyers opting for the added convenience of back doors.

The extra height of Getz’s isn’t there just for style – it makes for more interior room as the occupants sit closer to upright. There’s space in the front seats for a pair of full-sized Aussie adults, with room in the rear for two or three pre-teen kids. Smart people in crowded suburban areas can easily use the Getz as a family car. The boot is reasonably large for such a small car. There's the usual split-folding rear-seat backrest to increase carrying capacity.

The Korean baby car arrived in Australia in September 2002. Sales were fairly slow to start with as the Getz was relatively expensive. It seems the bosses of the company at the time got carried away with the Euro image and felt they could charge almost European prices. It didn’t work…Early in 2003, the price of the Getz was trimmed and sales finally started to take off.

Some earlier imports of the Getz had air conditioning as an extra cost option to try and keep the price down. Hyundai soon realised this wasn’t acceptable to demanding Australian buyers and made it standard on all new models. Don’t assume that air is fitted, try it for yourself.

The first imports had a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine but from March 2003, Getz was offered with the option of a smaller 1.3-litre unit. To keep performance reasonable this engine was mated to a gearbox with lower ratios than the 1.5-litre. On the open road the 1.3-litre Getz can sound a bit busy in the engine department.

Hyundai uprated the engine range as part of an overall upgrade of the Getz in October 2005. This time both capacities were increased; to 1.4 and 1.6 litres. At the same time the car received a facelift and tail tuck to give a neater look, though some people miss the cheeky nature of the early models and prefer them on the used-car market.

Transmission options are five-speed manual and four-speed automatic throughout the range. The auto does cause a noticeable loss of performance, but we’ve felt worse. The automatic transmission also increases petrol consumption, so is probably better suited to owners stuck with the drudgery of heavy-duty commuting.

There are plenty of Hyundai dealers in Australia. Though they are chiefly in the major metro areas there's a fair representation in the bush due to them often being used as rental cars, which may see them being taken into country areas.

Spare parts prices are about average for this class, meaning they are usually reasonable. We don’t hear many complaints about parts being hard to get, though it can take a day or two for them to arrive if you live away from the beaten track.

The makeup of the Hyundai Getz is simple and a good home mechanic can do a lot of the routine work. It’s always best if safety related items are left to the professional. It’s wise to buy a workshop manual before attempting anything other than basic work.

Insurance charges are usually in the low-medium range and don’t seem to vary much between the major insurers. It still pays to shop around, though. As always, make sure you’re comparing apples with apples when getting prices.

Getz benefits from Hyundai’s long five-year, 130,000 kilometre warranty. That warranty should transfer to you when you buy a used one within that period. If in doubt, contact Hyundai directly for details.

Many of these little Hyundais began their lives as rental cars. There are pluses and minuses: servicing will usually have been done by professionals and on time. On the downside, some have thrashed and/or crashed. Look for a Getz with a lot of kilometres on the clock.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Uneven tyre wear, especially at the front, can indicate hard driving. Or it may be that the suspension is out of alignment, probably because a wheel has thumped a kerb.

Scrapes on the front wheel rims and the corners of the bumpers are a sign of misuse,.

Body damage, or repaired panels, could be a problem. Check by looking for paint that doesn’t quite match from panel to panel, for paint on bits that shouldn’t have it such as glass, badges or rubber seals. Sight along panels for signs of a ripply finish.

An engine that smokes when worked hard and/or is hard to start when cold could be due for an overhaul.

Gearboxes that crunch when you change down fast could likewise be due for major repairs. The frequently-used three-two downchange is usually the first to suffer.

Check for excessive wear and tear inside the Getz cabin. Don’t forget the boot in case it has been used to cart rough and/or bulky items.

CAR BUYING TIP

Scars on the top surface of rear bumpers is a sign of rough-and-ready boot loading; and perhaps rough-and-ready driving as well...

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2011 $3,850 $6,490
2010 $2,860 $5,280
2009 $2,640 $4,730
2008 $2,530 $4,620
2007 $2,420 $4,180
2006 $2,420 $4,070
2005 $2,310 $4,070
2004 $2,310 $4,070
2003 $2,090 $4,070
2002 $2,310 $4,070

View all Hyundai Getz pricing and specifications

Pricing Guides

$3,775
Based on 16 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$1,490
Highest Price
$5,499

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
FX 1.5L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $2,640 – 4,070 2002 Hyundai Getz 2002 FX Pricing and Specs
GL 1.5L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $1,490 – 4,999 2002 Hyundai Getz 2002 GL Pricing and Specs