Every time I drive this car I keep wanting to sing: 'Postman Pat' the vehicle is red and looks so similar to the popular children's cartoon character red post office van.
This version of the Amica is actually called the Atoz, using the same engine and is simply a stretched (upwardly stretched that is) version of the Amica.
This is the Atoz plus so it has air conditioning and a few simple extras fitted. The car is a 5 door hatchback and was originally bought for my elderly mother. Now my 21 year old daughter drives it and it has proved pretty reliable, to date, mainly just the normal consumable items have gone on this 'T' registration vehicle. The exception being the alternator had to be replaced.
Generally as this is the Atoz version from Hyundai, it is higher off the ground than most cars and you almost do get a van like feel when driving the car. The label for this car has to be 'old' persons car and you can see why as its easy to get yourself in and out plus its easy to steer into tight parking spaces. Plus the boot though small will take all your shopping.
At higher speeds this car will struggle after all its just under 1,000cc but it does return a good mpg so important if you're on a budget and the overall package is a bright cheery and reliable one.
Don't buy one if you are image conscious though; its not a 'cool' car to be seen in - but it does all thats expected of such a vehicle - it gets you from A to Z quite nicely. Off I go then and singing: 'Early in the morning just as day is dawning Postman Pat, Postman Pat etc etc.....'
We bought a new Amica GSi Auto in May this year, as we took advantage of the generous £1500 discount that was on offer at the time, and thought it represented excellent value for money. We had purchased an S Reg Atoz about 6 weeks before as a city run around, and quite liked it, but the deals on offer by Hyundai for a New Amica tempted us back. I guess the old phrase that 'you get what you pay for' is as true now as it ever was, but I am not in the least bit disappointed by the Amica. It is 'cheap and cheerful' and as a result deserves to be ordered in a 'silly' colour. We chose Dafodil Yellow, as it it bright, fun, and totally in keeping with the cars 'cheeky character', I also think it is rude to be asked to pay for metallic paint in this day and age.... Believe it or not, it is a very practical, fun, city car. It is easy to manoever in town, thanks to power steering, quite nippy (for a small auto), and makes the driver and passers by smile. Ride and handling are generally good, with a firm-ish ride around town, that is well insulated against all but the worst pot holes, and it generally geels like a much more substantial car to drive. The Amica definetly rides/handles better than the Atoz. It just feels more 'grown up' and has more noise insulation. The only point worth checking is the tyre pressures, as if they are 'under' correct pressure, the ride and handling really deterioates. I wondered what hade gone wrong recently, and found a change in tyre pressures really made a difference, and returmed the cars handling to the 'smooth, predictable norm'. Now this is no sportscar, but for driving around town (and motorway driving) is fine. The Amica 4 speed auto means that you can easily cruise at 70-80 mph without the deafening engine noise of the 3 speed Atoz, and we have indeed been up and down the A1 numerous times. Build quality is actually very good, wit
h no squeeks or rattles, and everthing works well. The doors can 'clang' a bit when shut, but on the whole, the Amica is as well built as any Japanese city car I have seen. The interior colours are quite nice too, with acceptable fabrics and grey carpets being the general rule. The dash plastics are nasty and hard, but then no worse than those currently on offer from Citroen. The seats are 'split fold' and the boot big enough for a weekly shop. A centre lap belt vs the Agila and Wagon R's 3 tipped the balance in favour of the Amica in our opinion. All in all, a very practical city car, that is a pleasant place to be, and always makes you feel good driving it. Equipment levels in GSi form are excellent with Airconditioning, alloys, and a funky little body kit (on the Facelifted GSi). When compared to the likes of the Smart, this is extremely good value, dial in the fun factor, 3 year warranty (now 5 years from cars purchased from Sept 1st), ease of operation in Auto form, and there are few cars out there that really come close. Fuel comsumption in Auto from isn't brilliant averaging about 32 mpg. This I suspect is a combination of the car being very new (only 2500 miles so far) and my 'slightly heavy' right foot. Still it is acceptable and I'm sure will improve with time, and a few more miles. The only real oddity we have discovered, is annoying squeeks from the rear of the car. This had us scratching our heads a little, but it was eventually located and cured. It was the rather huge tail lights, rubbing on the body of the car, where they are screwed in. Removing them, smearing the underside in vaseline, and reattaching them have stopped the constant squeeking, although I suspect it may be an annual task. In summary then, this is a very practical, loveable, comfortable package, that is 'cheap and very cheerfull' but doesn't pretend to be anything else. It drives very well,
handles well for a car of this type, and looks sufficiently different in an ever inceasingly dul segment. It makes the likes of the Ford Ka, Seat Arosa, Smart, and VW Lupo seem overpriced. It is more practical than an Agila or Wagon R as it can seat 5 people. And it's a lot of fun.
I bought my Amica new in June 2000, at first I had steering vibration at 60 mph. My supply garage could not find any fault and at 9000 miles I had to replace both front tyres( worn on inside), at 17000 miles new brake caliper required, at 20000 mile service(not free) new bulbs + tyres+ wipers+discs+pads. Contacted Hyundai customer service TOTALLY DISINTERESTED "do not buy this car" buy a Daewoo where free warranty really means free warranty... The dealer charges are £200 for a basic service which must be done to ensure warranty,the same dealer (Forthway in Fife) charges £40 less for a more comprehensive service for non-warrany vehicles. The car could easily be so much better with better dealer support but unfortunately Hyundai UK do not seem concerned(still waiting on a reply). Take the advice I was given at the Hyundai service centre "buy a Nissan"
I've had my (nearly new) amica since January, and was really nervous about the small engine size (my last car was a 1.4, but the amica is a 1.0), but it is really nippy round town, it can give as good as it gets! The interior is more roomy than it appears, i've managed to get two large friends in the back without much of a struggle. The boot has coped with four peoples' tescos' shop, so it can't be as small as it looks. Parking is a dream, finially i don't look like a woman driver whilst parallel parking!!! HURRAY It can hold it's own on the motorway, but you do have to give it a bit more time to get up to speed than you would do in other cars, and if you have to go up hill, prepare to move over to a slower lane, because the speed can drop down really fast. The hyundai dealership i brought it from are unbelievable friendly, and really seem to want to help, and they don't make me feel like a stupid woman when i ask them questions. Also I am currently saving about £10 a week on petrol from what i used to spend on my old car, so i think that's worth it alone! It doesn't have a glove box, it's got trays under the seats instead, great idea for keeping things out of sight but you can't access the trays whilst driving (we'll I can't anyway)
I have had my Amica for almost one year now, and done over 10,000 miles in it. I am still as thrilled with this little car as I was the day I bought it. The reason I bought the Amica was because I had a number of requirements: 1. automatic; 2. small; 3. economical; 4. easy to manoeuvre and with power steering; 5. central locking; 6. electric windows; 7. air conditioning; 8. not too expensive. My requirements tend more towards comfort, so engine size was a secondary consideration on which I was prepared to compromise. A number of smaller models of car, including the Ka and the Matiz, were immediately excluded, because they did not offer an automatic option. Peugeot fell by the wayside because of its rip-off price for an automatic engine (£1,500 on top of basic price). The Micra was crossed off because the automatic version has a horrid transmission system which it shares with Fiats. My previous car had been a Fiat, and I had grown to hate the way that it was impossible to make the car move smoothly at low speeds. A test drive in the Micra confirmed that it was just as bad as I expected. I came close to buying a Daihatsu Sirion. An automatic engine was included at no extra cost, and the car had all the other features I wanted. However, I like to sit fairly upright when I drive, and the Sirion's seats did not want to go higher than what felt to me to be a semi-recline. After quite a long test drive, I reluctantly decided that I would never be happy in that driving position, and so I moved on to the Hyundai dealer. I had been aware of the Atoz, and knew it could fit my specifications. However, the Atoz design does offend my sense of the aesthetic. Fortunately, the Amica was launched in the very month that I started car hunting. It reworked the Atoz concept into something more rounded and really rather cute! It provided everything I was looking for, and the automatic version was only £650 more. The
finance deal was good, and I was offered the top possible trade in price on my Fiat, as well as three years free RAC membership. There was also an extremely pretty blue colour available, although typically it was the most expensive option going (mica paint). All in all, it was an offer I could not refuse. My first year has been absolutely trouble-free. I use the car for a mixture of daily city driving and fairly long motorway and cross-country journeys about once or twice a month. The petrol cost averages out at about 10-12p per mile, which is very acceptable for an automatic. As with any car, the Amica has both good and bad points. Good points: The Amica is extremely nippy for city driving. Up to about 40mph, acceleration is reasonable and I am usually the first away at the lights. Manoeuvrability is excellent, so I feel happy about weaving between lanes and squeezing through narrow spaces. It is small enough to fit into parking spaces that other cars have to ignore. The seats are fairly high, so it is possible to get in and out without risking arrest for indecent exposure. Also, the high position gives a better view while driving, especially for shorties like me. Although the actual boot is very small, the back seats fold down, either once over to provide a flat surface on top, or twice over so that they are folded vertically out of the way. With this second option, the Amica provides storage space equivalent to that of a small estate. I have been able to transport very bulky items that would not fit into most small cars. At city driving speeds, the engine is reasonably quiet, and the car moves smoothly. I have found that driving in traffic is far less stressful than it was in my previous car. I put on some music, and air conditioning or heating depending on the weather, and actually enjoy the journey to and from work. Bad points: The 999cc engine is not really happy with steep hills and speed drops drastically (although
I did take myself and three other people plus luggage to Scotland in the Amica, and lived to tell the tale). Acceleration above 40mph is painfully slow. This means that motorway driving has to be defensive, and any overtaking anticipated well in advance. Be prepared to be trapped at times behind slow lorries while a line of cars sweeps past you in the outside lane. Engine noise does become loud at speeds over 60mph. The seats are adequate, but not as ergonomic as I would like for a long journey. The Amica comes with a fairly bog standard cassette player. If you want to change this for something better, you need to be aware that a non-standard side fitting is required, so not all makes are appropriate. I did manage to find a 6CD changer by Kenwood which Halfords was able to fit. Overall, I am extremely happy with my Amica and also with the service I receive from my local Hyundai dealer. However, I would like to see the Amica available with a 1.2-1.4L engine, and would be first in line to trade up to such a model.