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Hyundai comes full circle with the new Atos

Not too long ago young people’s first cars were often a second-hand car passed on in the family. This usually happened after their parents bought themselves a new car to replace the old one. Many car manufacturers saw this gap in the market and started producing smaller, cheaper cars that were ideal for first-time drivers and buyers. Whereas the usual hand-me-downs were often Fiat Unos, Volkswagen Citi Golfs, or Toyota Conquests – cars that tended to have a lot of kilometers on their engines – the early part of the 2000s saw the launch of newer models: Renault’s Kwid, Kia’s Picanto, Suzuki’s Swift, and the Datsun Go.

Another big name in the small car segment is Hyundai. The first entry in this segment was the Hyundai Atos. It was a small, light-weight car with a 1.1L engine, 4 cylinders, a top speed somewhere between 138km/h and 160km/h, very efficient fuel consumption, and not much else in the way of bells and whistles. Towards the end of the first decade of this century, the Atos was replaced by the newer Hyundai i10.

The i10 quickly became a market leader for Hyundai in the small car category and remains a popular small car in Namibia. Chances are good you know at least one or two people who own one. In a city environment, you are likely to spot a couple on any given stretch of road (provided they’re not obscured by the bigger SUVs the good people of Namibia tend to favour). Improvements over its predecessor include a more powerful, efficient engine, better fuel economy, and more space on the inside.

Eventually, the i10 also neared the end of its days. This was helped along with the introduction of the Grand i10. In addition to being a slightly bigger car, with a bit more power to boot, it also included the aforementioned missing bells and whistles. Up to now, the Grand i10 is undoubtedly the most luxurious iteration that started with the Atos.

Now, slightly less than 20 years after it was first announced, Hyundai has released a new version of the Atos. The car has been updated with the basic features expected in modern-day vehicles. It’s got an on-board computer, USB connectivity, phone interfacing, and a tricked out steering wheel. The interior is basic but comfortable with sufficient space for the driver and up to three average passengers. It still has the 1.1L, 4-cylinder engine with a 5-speed transmission and a fuel economy of roughly 5.7 liters per 100km. With a slightly larger body, the new Atos won’t be as easily obscured by other cars on the road and with its interesting array of color schemes, it will certainly catch the eye. That being said, it should come as little surprise that this is a car that is meant to be driven in urban areas. In a pinch it will deliver admirable service over long distances, but it’ll be a tiring experience for car and driver (and passengers).

A new, out of the box Atos will set you back approximately N$170 000. If that is still a bit steep for a first purchase you can still find previous models on the second-hand market. An older Atos, i10, Grand i10, or the newer i20 and i30, are available for between N$90 000 and N$200 000. There aren’t that many of them available though. This, in itself, should be a testament of the car’s value and reputation.

Published on 05.08.2020 by NamCars.net

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