Since been introduced to the South African market, the Getz has been a favourite on the road. This compact little car is perfect as your first set of wheels. Light on fuel, easy to park with all the basic creature comforts a young driver would need including steering wheel radio control, dual airbags and NCAP Rating, capable air conditioning system and easy handling which makes it perfect for city driving.
The latest model has been given a facelift by changing the front and rear design and offering a new 1,4 litre engine to replace the 1,3. Changes to the design have been accepted with mixed reaction. The bigger engine is definitely an upgrade. An extra valve to each cylinder has made it more responsive and less sluggish.
The interior is acceptable for this class. Space in the front and back is reasonable with luggage space agreeable and a double-folding split rear seats allowing 952 dm3 of utility space. The facia is large, to cope with the space created by the big, sloping windscreen and a full-size spare wheel is mounted under the luggage floor.
The instrumentation has been altered from the old model; the temperature gauge has been replaced by two warning lights, one blue, the other red. These both illuminate for a few seconds after starting the engine, to inform you that there is no malfunction. A rev counter is now standard which was previously only fitted to the 1,6 litres. The interior has an upmarket feeling with ample dashboard, facia and trims. The steering has a solid feel and slightly more superior system of hydraulically powered system and added ABS brake discs in the rear.
Performance expectations naturally fall between the 1,3 and 1,6- litre models. Comparing results with those of our previous test of the 1,6 in April 2003, we note some interesting facts. The top speed of the 1,3 and 1,6 litre models are identical but acceleration to 100 km/h is slower by 1,18 seconds. The ride is perhaps not that smooth but the handling is direct and capable.
The Getz remains a very good buy while the 1,6-litre is definitely the top choice between the two models although as a first car it has all the safety features and fuel economy you need.