the same time the two Korean car makers launched their
supermini. We have already reported about Hyundai Getz, which still
the European rivals in interior quality and refinement. What about
Kalos? we didn’t have too much expectation on it, blame to the
of Daewoo during the last 2 years. But in the end it surprises us by
the Hyundai arch-rival.
differences between any superminis. Predictably, Kalos is shaped like a
monospace, having long wheelbase, tall roof and short overhangs to
interior space. Both exterior and interior dimensions are close to
Getz thus matches the biggest European and Japanese superminis.
will find plenty of headroom and reasonable amount of legroom at the
quite pretty, although I don’t find it any more attractive than Getz or
Honda Fit (Jazz). If I were picky, I could have criticized that
(or maybe his boys) copied the rear styling of the baby Honda, because
they are nearly identical even down to the tailgate, bumper, rear
and even rear quarter windows. By the way, it is no longer a secret
Italdesign has lost its magic long ago. In contrast, the front end
is original, and this seems strengthening my thought because the grille
is both characterless and unattractive.
is where Kalos beats Getz. You won’t name it as the best-built or
interior, but the plastics is decent while every piece of them is
built in place. Quality is high enough to shame most French superminis.
This must thanks to new parent company GM which sets higher quality
for the Korean maker. Roomy aside, the cabin is rich of storage spaces,
cup-holders, fold-tables etc. Seating plan is conventional rather than
to Getz. It is easy to drive, with smooth and accurate steering, fine
control and plenty of grip. The downside is the ride gets bouncy on
There are a 1.4-litre 8V, 1.4-litre 16V and 1.6-litre 16V on
depending on market. However, all are based on the rather outdated GME
design thus revvability and refinement suffer. They get coarse and
at high rev, while pulling power isn’t strong. Worse still, the engines
are mated with a bad manual gearbox which is heavy and obstructive to
is a little better than Getz, but it lacks the completeness and
of Japanese and European competitors.