Cars/ First-drive/ Hyundai Exter | Packs More Punch? | First Drive Review

Hyundai Exter | Packs More Punch? | First Drive Review

The Compact SUV segment is one that's seen a lot of growth, and the Exter aims to fight to become the new king of the hill.

For

Spacious interiors, responsive powertrain

Against

Lack of steering speed

Overview

Over the years, Hyundai has shifted its focus from sedans and hatchbacks to SUVs. In 2023 SUVs make up the majority of their sales figures, and to add to that flow of income, Hyundai has decided to step into the compact SUV game with the all-new Exter. But will this flashy new SUV be able to fight off its competition? Well, we found out about our time with the Exter in the pink city of Jaipur.

Why does the Exter exist?

SUVs are a growing trend; manufacturers are trying to make them as accessible to buyers as possible with various models and their variants. The compact SUV space is popular and has been an excellent substitute for hatchbacks since they’re compact enough to fit into tight parking but practical enough to tackle broken roads. The Exter is meant to serve as an entry point into the Hyundai brand and its line of SUVs. 

Who’s the competition?

The prime competition for the Exter will be the likes of the Tata Punch and Citroen C3. The Tata Punch is the bigger rival here as it currently dominates this segment, and the Exter has been designed to outdo not just in terms of pricing but also specifications and features. The Citroen C3, on the other hand, focuses more on an enthusiastic driving experience, and its choice of punchy engine options reflects that further. Both these vehicles get their little slice of the Indian automotive sales pie, and now Hyundai would like a piece too.

 

Verdict

The Exter is up against serious competition, but Hyundai has a great job at curating and picking design cues from its other products to jazz up and uplift the overall design. It’s got a comfortable interior, good motor and great practicality to boast. Most buyers in this segment are looking for something this versatile, and the fact that the Exter can do it all without breaking the bank is quite commendable. Sure, the interior could have been more unique, and certain things could have been better. Still, there is no denying that the Exter is better equipped and better packaged than all of its competitors, and for that reason, I believe that the Exter is a clear winner and will contribute to many future Hyundai sales. 



TopGear Magazine December 2023