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.


Spacious interiors, responsive powertrain


Lack of steering speed


The Exter is powered by a familiar motor found on the i10 and has an output similar to its competition, be it a little less than the punch. While 3-cylinders power all other vehicles in its segment, the Exter is powered by a 4-cylinder. We only drove the AMT version and look forward to driving the manual later. Right off the bat, I was impressed with the refinement of this motor. It’s quiet as long as you don’t floor it, but if and when you do, it’ll whine in protest, and it builds speed. The motor felt more engaging than that on the Tata Punch, and even the NVH levels seemed quite impressive. The AMT gearbox did a fantastic job and was surprisingly quick to respond each time I’d ask for a bit more acceleration. The upshifts can be a little jerky, but the downshifts are incredibly fast and responsive. It is also the only car in the segment to come with paddle shifters, making using this AMT more fun. The Exter loves to cruise, and the engine seems to have been tuned for city duty and highway commutes.

What’s the ride quality and handling like?

Well, in a nutshell, it’s surprisingly good. On-road and offroad, the Exter seemed relatively stable, with little to no undulations making their way into the cabin. The Exters handling is relatively neutral and less sharp or responsive than the Citroen C3. It may not be the sharpest handler in the segment, but it does a decent job striking a balance between ride and handling. The steering is a bit lazy, though, and taking U-turns can be a task because of it, but that’s a minor gripe I have. 

TopGear Magazine June 2024