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Cars have evolved. Having experienced hundreds, I’m witnessing their incredible technological feats. We are not far from a fully autonomous vehicle; following that day, we’ll see cars launching into flying machines. This is not a thing of fiction.  


There is one problem - the inhibitive cost - amazing innovations do not come cheap, unfortunately.


That brings me to the review of a vehicle that is more classic in its innovation. A car that does all that you need and won’t break the bank. We need that…

I am talking about Hyundai’s Atos. This well-priced city commuter has returned to South Africa, after a hiatus. It’s now Hyundai’s entry-level vehicle, with the Grand i10 sitting a rung up the ladder from the Atos. 


Compact in stature, the Atos is designed to seat four adults in economic comfort. Essentials like power steering, air conditioning and electric front windows are thankfully standard. The mod-con halo feature, which is nestled in the centre of the dashboard, is a touchscreen infotainment system. This system is both Android Auto and Apple Carplay compatible - so you can access your playlists from all music streaming apps, chat hands-free on WhatsApp and explore your city using your favourite navigation app. It is easy to operate too.


As part of the first-time buyer’s club, the Atos is perfectly pitch at youngsters or the retired market. So, depending on which age bracket you fall into, you can appreciate the car’s decent sound system. Listening to Lady Gaga’s Chromatica album or the Best of Frank Sinatra at a moderate volume setting highlights the speaker’s ability to service nightclub attempted readiness. 


R162 900 gets you behind the wheel of the Atos that is driven by a 1.1-l

four-cylinder motor. There are 50 kW of power and 99 Nm of torque, both modest figures that will see you topping out at a maximum speed of 155 km/h. Again, perfect for reckless kids or carefree elders.


With enough oomph - you won’t need to open the door to help launch the Atos, albeit this little Hyundai is not a firecracker either. Its adequate performance is due to its lightweight body. Luckily, it has a light weight 5-speed manual gearbox. The real benefit is the low fuel consumption. I recorded a frugal figure of 5.7-l over my 400km test drive. 


Not forgetting safety, the Atos features front airbags and ABS brakes. 


Best of all the Atos comes with a 7-year warranty that maxes out at 200 000km and a bonus 1-year maintenance plan - basically the first service is on Hyundai.


In the 2020 Budget Car category of Car Magazine’s annual awards (under R185 000), the Hyundai Atos 1.1 Motion came out as the winner against the Kia Picanto 1.0 Start, the Suzuki Celerio 1.0 GA, Suzuki Swift 1.2 GA, Suzuki DZire 1.2 GA, and the Peugeot 108 1.0 Active.


The all you need A to Z car on a budget!


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