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Hyundai Exter Review: The Underrated Compact SUV That Deserves Your Attention

The Hyundai Exter, launched in India in 2023, represents the first generation of this model. Designed specifically for the Indian market, the Exter comes in both petrol and CNG variants, with prices ranging from an ex-showroom cost of INR 6 lakh to 10.09 lakh for the top model.

The model under review is the high-end SX(O) Connect Smart Auto. It showcases Hyundai’s ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ design language and is tailored for India’s Gen MZ demographic, who favor wanderlust and exploration. Known internally as the AI3 CUV, the Exter is built on Hyundai-Kia’s K1 platform, which also underpins vehicles like the Casper, Santro, Grand i10 Nios, and Aura.

Hyundai offers a 3-year unlimited kilometers warranty on the Exter, extendable up to 7 years, along with 3 years of roadside assistance. This SUV is the smallest offering in Hyundai’s Indian lineup. The average annual maintenance cost over 5 years is approximately INR 2904, and it’s assembled in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu.

Designed by Yong-min Lee, the Exter features front and rear skid plates, automatic projector bi-function headlamps, a parametric design black radiator grille, and H-LED DRL positioning lamps. It includes electrically adjustable and folding outside mirrors with LED turn indicators, smart automatic transmission badging, and wheel arch cladding.

The vehicle measures 3.8 meters in length, 1.6 meters in height, and has a ground clearance of 185 mm. It comes with 15-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, with options for 14 and 15-inch steel wheels. The Exter is equipped with front disc and rear drum brakes, and all-around 175/65 R15 84H Ceat Securadrive tires.

The Exter in review is showcased in Ranger Khaki, with additional options in blue, red, white, and grey, and a dual-tone option with a black roof. It features a Monocoque chassis, McPherson strut front suspension, and a coupled torsion beam axle at the rear.

Safety features include 6 airbags, ABS, EBD, a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, Electronic Stability Control, Hill Start Assist Control, Vehicle Stability Management, rear parking sensors, a rear camera, and more. The Exter also offers Bluelink connected car technology for a range of remote functions and vehicle diagnostics.

Inside, the Exter boasts a 391-liter boot space, a 14-inch steel spare wheel, green fabric and semi-leatherette combination upholstery (with other options available), footwell lighting, 3D pattern interior garnish, a height-adjustable driver seat, tilt steering, sporty metal pedals, and a leatherette gear knob.

For infotainment, it features an 8-inch HD system supporting Bluelink, multiple languages, ambient sounds, over-the-air updates, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and more. Additionally, it includes a 2.3-inch full HD quality dashcam with dual camera capability.

The Exter is powered by a 1197 cc, inline 4-cylinder, Kappa II petrol engine, delivering 81 horsepower and 113 Nm of torque. The CNG variant offers 67 horsepower and 95 Nm torque. Fuel efficiency is rated at 19 kmpl for the manual and automatic petrol versions, and 27 km/kg for the CNG model, which also features a 60-liter CNG tank and a 37-liter petrol tank. The engine is E20 fuel ready.

The Exter CNG model comes in two variants, the S and the SX, with the top model featuring a 5-speed manual transmission.

In conclusion, the Hyundai Exter stands out as a compelling choice in the Indian SUV market, especially for the younger generation looking for a blend of style, functionality, and affordability. Its mix of modern design, advanced technology, and versatile fuel options cater to a wide range of preferences and needs.

The Exter’s comprehensive safety features, efficient performance, and the convenience of Hyundai’s Bluelink technology enhance its appeal. The reasonable maintenance cost and the extended warranty options are indicative of Hyundai’s confidence in their product and commitment to customer satisfaction.

Overall, the Hyundai Exter is more than just a vehicle; it’s a lifestyle choice that resonates with the spirit of exploration and adventure. Whether navigating city streets or embarking on weekend getaways, the Exter promises to be a reliable and stylish companion. With its competitive pricing and robust features, the Hyundai Exter is set to make a significant impact in its segment and is certainly worth considering for those in the market for a compact SUV.

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