More sporting look for Korean veteran
8 April 2008

This is the Hyundai Coupé TSIII, a new limited-edition model designed to give the coupé a more sporting look as this generation of the car nears replacement.The TSIII gets sports suspension, smoked alloys, quad exhaust pipes and a large boot spoiler to boost its sporting credentials. But it doesn’t receive an upgrade in power; the 2.0-litre, 141bhp engine takes it from 0-62mph in 9.3sec.Even if the performance won’t see you smoking the quarter-mile the coupé is good value; its starting price of £19,595 is only £1575 over the SIII model it will replace, and it comes with plenty of interior comforts. Cruise control, climate control, heated leather seats and iPod connectivity all feature as standard, and you also get the Hyundai five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty thrown in.

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10 April 2008

I think Hyundai made a mistake with the 2002-current model range. I am on my second one so I do have a soft spot for them. But the ride quality is terrible (especially on Ireland's poor quality road surfaces). That would be more acceptable if the steering and overall handling was pin sharp akin to a Lotus Elise, but everything seems more tuned for a "grand tourer".

Hyundai should have either given the wheels more suspension travel and softer damping and aimed at a junior cut price Maserati territory. Or else they should have sharpened up the handling made it handle more like a modern day VW Corrado. I think Hyundai have missed an opportunity to make the most out of this market niche.

The engine range is also poor. I had a 1.6 and found it coarse and slow and in particular it lacked enough torque for a car of that weight. The 2.0 litre is much better and far more sophisticated an engine, but despite its variable valve timing, it's still no Honda VTEC unit. 143 BHP from a 2.0 litre is quite poor, particularly when the economy and emissions are nothing special either. Look at the specific outputs of the VW 1.4 litres with 170 BHP or even the GTi's 2.0 litre with 200BHP and still manages better economy and emissions and torque etc. Hyundai should have developed a small capacity 6 cylander and made it creamy smooth and combined with a more complaint ride they'd have created a lovely GT.

Given Hyundai's ambition of targeting their brand as a VW competitor and Kia as a more fun and sporty Seat competitor, this would have aligned them perfectly.

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