Motoring Correspondent – David Berman 14 Nov 2019

Let’s face it, in any economic situation price speaks first. With Renault giving us their Kwid and Datsun the Go, Hyundai South Africa has just re-introduced its budget-friendly yet feature-packed new Atos.

We attended its Western Cape media launch rotation in order to find out if the new Atos is any good, and if its affordable price point comes at any cost.

What is it, what’s it made of, how does it drive?

The Atos sits below Hyundai’s compact i10 city slicking model. Available in an array of bold colours, and sporting some cute and funky style elements, the new Atos blends compact with fun. The new Atos is built on a K1 platform, a basis which will reportedly be prevalent throughout many of the Korean sub-4-metre compact cars.

Now stiffer and more rigid than previous compact models from the brand (claimed at 63% stiffer), the new Atos feels more agile and manoeuvrable on the road. All powered by a long-stroke 1.1-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine, which produces peak outputs of 50 kW and 99 Nm, you can’t ask for race starts, however, the small dimensions and low weight (866 kg) actually make this newcomer rather fun to drive.

Braking is sharp with 180 mm drum brakes to slow down the rear wheels, while most of the brake-force is generated by 241-mm solid discs upfront. The vehicle features an ABS system, but not an electronic stability control system, however, this is not expected at this price point.

A comfortable cloth interior is on offer which is basic, yet functional and practical. A real highlight can be found with its 7-inch factory-fitted multimedia system which even offers-up Apple CarPlay and Android Auto giving the car access to the full millennial suite of media choices. Steering wheel mounted audio and Bluetooth controls are on offer, which further assists with handsfree functionality.

The claimed average fuel consumption is 5.7 L/100 km. I was able to achieve 6.8 L/100 km during my launch day test route. With its small-capacity engine and 5-speed manual gearbox and short wheelbase with 165/70 tyres, I found the ride quality to be overall impressive with some slight limitations on those rougher patches of tarmac.

While seated up front in the cabin feels roomy, the rear is naturally tight for someone of my height (over six-feet tall), but that would be missing the point of a compact city slicking entrant like the Atos. The boot luggage load area measures in at 235-litres of capacity which is smaller than its rivals being a downside.

Launch Drive Conclusion & SA Pricing

The new Atos certainly puts together a good case for itself. Cute, bold styling combined with impressive standard fair and all priced at R159,900 conclude what is a vehicle that is certain to see big sales within our market. Finally, the package is finished off with Hyundai’s 1-year service plan and a 7-year warranty. This long warranty is perhaps the cherry on the top, which will make this the perfect budget-friendly compact option on our roads.

We look forward to showing you more of the new 2019 Atos in an upcoming video review feature.

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