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South African car buyers are spoiled, say the carmakers. They demand all sorts of fancy features on even the cheapest hatchback, then they complain the cars are too expensive.
Even Hyundai, the Korean market leader that grew to No.6 in the world by offering remarkably well-specced cars at surprisingly affordable prices, has been caught in this rock-and-hard-place market trap.
Hence the introduction of a 1.2-litre entry-level derivative to its i20 range, alongside the three existing 1.4-litre variants.
It's called the i20 Motion and yes, it's a little 'plain jane', with 14” steel rims, and black door handles and mirror housings without fancy built-in indicator repeaters (they're on the front side-panels like an old Citi Golf) but the basics are there.
PLUS A FEW LUXURIES
You get a two-speaker RDS radio/CD/MP3 player, dual front airbags, anti-lock braking, power steering and straightforward manual aircon - plus a few luxuries such as two-tone fabric upholstery, electric front windows, a trip data computer and both mini-RCA and UPS ports.
It's powered by a 1.2-litre, 16-valve double overhead camshaft engine for which Hyundai quotes 64kW at 6000rpm and 120Nm at 4000, driving through a five-speed manual 'box.
Hyundai doesn't spell out fuel-consumption figures, but they should be pretty respectable, and we can see the i20 motion becoming a favourite of fleet and rental operators - especially at a sticker price of R144 900.