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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For Inexpensive runabout, lots of kit (on the right model)

Against Engine struggles, poor drive, little passenger space

Verdict Decent, and reliable, city car for very little cash

Go for… GSi

Avoid… Si models

Hyundai Amica Hatchback
  • 1. The cabin is bland and uses cheap materials, but it's durable
  • 2. If the car starts to misfire, check the plug leads for deterioration
  • 3. On the rare occasion an Amica does go wrong, it usually costs little to fix
  • 4. There’s enough space for four adults, and it's easy for passengers to get in and out
  • 5. The 1.0-litre petrol engine has just 55bhp. It isn’t quick, but it’s adequate around town
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Hyundai Amica Hatchback full review with expert trade views

If you’re in the market for a cheap city car with low running costs, the Amica won’t disappoint.

This is a car that will never demand too much of your cash. It’s extremely inexpensive considering all the equipment you get (provided you choose the right model) and running costs are minimal.

Granted, it’s not great to drive, but it’s reasonable. The soft suspension soaks up the majority of bumps well, but bigger ones can be felt crashing into the cabin. The body does lean a lot in corners, but there’s enough grip to keep you safely on the black stuff, although the small but frugal engine means it performs best in town.

The cabin is bland and uses cheap materials, but it's certainly durable, and a clean version shouldn’t be hard to find. There’s space enough for four adults, and it's easy for passengers to get in and out.

Trade view

John Owen

Great warranty, what else can you say?

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

The Amica is from the like-it-or-lump-it school when it comes to engines, because there’s only one. The 1.0-litre petrol unit has just 55bhp and isn’t quick, but it’s adequate around town. On motorways, there’s just about enough power to keep up with traffic, but the noise levels let you know how hard it’s working.

There's a choice of Si or GSi trim. Si gives you electric front windows and a driver’s airbag, but not a lot else, so GSi is a much better bet. It comes with air-con, alloy wheels, central locking and power steering. Naturally, it’s a tiny bit more expensive, but still perfectly affordable.

This version of the Amica was discontinued in the UK in 2003, but it was resurrected in 2006 with a new engine and a new look. The 1.1-litre engine gives a handier 62bhp, and the specifications remained similar, but the GSi is now the entry-level model, with the range topper being the CDX.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Safe seller which needs at least Si ideally GSi spec to have more appeal

James Ruppert
Used car guru

In a word, no: running costs are low. Even late cars in range-topping GSi trim can be had for peanuts, and most will have low-mileages.

Running costs are very competitive, if not brilliant. You’ll get 44.8mpg from the 1.0-litre engine, and insurance groupings stand at 3 for the Si and 4 for the GSi.

If you’re considering the 2006 car, you’ll pay a lot more for it by virtue of the fact that it will be a lot newer. However, you’ll get better running costs, thanks to the more efficient 1.1-litre engine, which returns an average of 52.3mpg. Insurance groupings, again, are 3 or 4.

Like most Hyundais, though, the Amica doesn’t seem particularly cheap to service. Even this little city car will cost you more to maintain than the average supermini - surprising when you consider that this is the budget car from a budget brand.

Trade view

John Owen

Great warranty, what else can you say?

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

Hyundai always performs strongly in our reliability surveys, and it is normally only the usual Japanese manufacturers that can beat the Korean firm. Not only are Hyundai’s products terrifically reliable, but on the rare occasion they do go wrong, they usually cost little to fix.

Buyers are also very satisfied with Hyundai ownership, according to the JD Power survey. The Korean firm is usually guaranteed a top-10 finish.

Such is Hyundai’s confidence in the solidity of its products that it has offered a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty on all cars since September 2002. If you buy an Amica registered after this date, you’ll enjoy the extra peace of mind this cover provides.

There are precious few known problems. However, if the car starts to misfire, check the plug leads for deterioration. Also, be careful if your car has air-conditioning, because the heat exchanger at the front of the car can rust through, causing the system to leak.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Safe seller which needs at least Si ideally GSi spec to have more appeal

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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