I recently needed a new car after my old one started to break down. I needed something inexpensive but didn't want to drive a noisy penalty box if I could help it. I cross shopped the Fit, Focus, Sonic, Rio, Forte, and Cube. When all the factors were considered, MPG, features, warranty, reliability, material quality, ride, noise, this car was the clear winner. For $18,755 after $2000 of incentives I couldn't ask for a better car. It's fun to drive and has all the gadgets I wanted in a car.
The controls are mostly within easy reach, with the radio up high. Steering wheels controls for the radio, bluetooth phone connection, cruise control and adjustable steering effort help. All buttons are labeled clearly the styling is nice without being over done. The aux and usb inputs are in the lower portion of the dash just above two storage bins which is convenient. The black interior is offset with faux aluminum trim.
The engine is an average performer and competitive with other cars in the class such as the Ford Focus or Chevy Sonic. While no barn burner it will merge on the highway with ease. Keep the revs above 3000rpm to hit the motor's torque band when accelerating. The engine is quiet at idle and I've had to check the tachometer several times to be sure it was running.
In mixed but somewhat city biased driving I have been getting 30+mpg. I haven't done any extensive highway driving at this time.
This is a solid chassis for the class and price point. It handles small bumps and small potholes well isolating vibration and noise. It handles well in turns and is begging for a more powerful engine to push it further. Slap some decent summer tires on it and this car could embarrass cars costing twice as much in the slalom.
Safety & braking
IIHS rates this model high. The brakes aren't too grabby when first engaged but stop the vehicle well with no fading.
For such a short wheelbase this car rides very well even on rough roads. I have a street near my home under a 2 year construction project and the GT rides much better than my old Volvo. It handles small bumps well but does bounce a little over larges ones. Some is this is due to the relatively light weight of the car.
Materials & workmanship
Nice quiet ride with a little wind noise coming from the base of the windshield. This is a well insulated and solid car when cruising on the highway.
Materials and Workmanship.
The materials look and feel good for the price point of the car. Panel gaps in the dash pieces and body panels is small and consistent as well. Soft touch dash and buttons that have a 'satin' plastic feel on the radio are a plus. The leather steering wheel is very soft with no blemishes in the material.
Front seat support & comfort
Coming from a Volvo the seats are firm in comparison. They aren't the hard pans Honda seems to favor though with good side bolsters, quality cloth that should wear well and decent lumbar support(not adjustable in base). Headrests are adjustable for vertical movement but not forward or back.
Driving & Visibility
Few put the features in cars like Hyundai does for the price. Mine is a base model with the Touch & Go package. I still got a better bluetooth phone system than Honda. With automatic contact syncing and voice recognition. Proximity key and push button start, Cruise control, fog lights, 6 speaker stereo with aux/usb mp3 ports, and bluetooth media streaming. The radio indexes my iPod touch quick and easily lets me find the song I want. I also got the auto-dimming mirror w/compass, bluelink and homelink. Many features are customizable such as door lock behavior and speed sensitive volume.
If you never considered Hyundai before(like me) give them a shot. I think they will surprise you.