This year saw a much smaller group of large business vehicles being road tested, no doubt an indication of the current trend towards smaller vehicles. Of our large class competitors only two were diesel powered, whilst the others were all powered by six-cylinder petrol engines. Market and labour conditions have not yet forced executives out of their six-cylinder cars, but it is only a matter of time before this happens. Amongst the candidates for this award was the: Chrysler Grand Voyager, Chrysler 300C CRD, Ford Falcon G6E Turbo, Honda Accord V6 L, Holden Commodore SV6. Hyundai Grandeur 2.2 CRDi, Toyota Previa Grande, and Subaru Tribeca Luxury. The 2009 model year Grandeur CRDi is a comfortable long legged cruiser which we feel is a more economic option to the traditional six-cylinder product from Japan and Australia normally favoured by middle management executives. On the open road the inline four-cylinder turbo-diesel coupled with a five speed transmission really makes for a pleasant companion, while the suspension offers a comfortable ride without being too soft through challenging corners. It’s not European firm but it’s definitely a cut above previous large Korean cars which wallowed far too much. Two return trips from Auckland to Hamilton in the Grandeur 2.2 CRDi was enough to convince us that the large Hyundai stood out from the rest of the large saloons even though it had the smallest engine. The 2188cc in-line four-cylinder turbo diesel engine is well known to New Zealand buyers as it has been utilized in the popular Santa Fe SUV for a couple of years. The engine offers 144 kilowatts and 343 Newton metres of torque, which is easily transferred to the road by the front wheels through a silky smooth five-speed automatic transmission with a sequential manual shift option. On returning the Grandeur CRDi to Hyundai Motors HQ, the car had completed 812 kilometres at an average consumption of 7.3 litres. The distance to empty readout showed 217 kilometres which showed that our test car could have travelled 1029 kilometres before the 75 litre tank needed refuelling. In light of this we would certainly recommend that fleets should look very closely at the Grandeur CRDi as a replacement for their V8 and six-cylinder petrol vehicles, because in terms of rear leg room and boot space, the Hyundai is more than generous. We managed to fit five people and their luggage into the Grandeur for a quick hotel to airport transfer and nobody complained about being uncomfortable and nor did we have to worry too much about squashing their bags into the boot. Inside the Grandeur doesn’t lack for occupant amenities or safety features including electrically operated seats which are heated, as well as dual climate control, a trip computer, full MP3 capable CD stereo with AUX input, remote audio controls on the steering wheel, and a tilt and telescopic function too. Even the fake wood surround on the leather clad door trims and dash is so well made you could almost believe it’s a real wooden veneer, even though not a single tree was harmed in its manufacture. The Grandeur has grace, space, pace and brilliant economy that just cannot be ignored. Fleet buyers need to look more seriously at this vehicle as a replacement for their traditional big-six saloons.
Hyundai Grandeur 2.2 CRDI
Wednesday, 26 November 2008