Delusions of Hyundai Grandeur?

Delusions of Hyundai Grandeur?

Is the Hyundai Grandeur the most PetrolBloggy Hyundai money can buy? Sure, it would have to do battle with the Pony and the Stellar for the top spot, but a podium finish has to be on the cards?

Truth be told, PetrolBlog had completely forgotten about the Hyundai Grandeur, until it showed up on a list of the fastest depreciation cars in Britain. The top 20 list on MSN Cars reads like a who’s who of tedium and mediocrity. When we tell you that the Chevrolet Epica is about the most interesting car on the list, you’d begin to understand what we mean.

But there – shining like a beacon in a cloud of drizzle and misery – stood the Hyundai Grandeur. Seriously, how could such a thing of beauty slip from PetrolBlog’s radar? And more to the point, why is there not one parked outside PetrolBlog HQ as we speak? If the Sonata was a key part of the Old FARTs holy trinity, then the Hyundai Grandeur must be the lord of the entire universe. Or something like that.

Rear of 2008 Hyundai Grandeur

Of course, there a many good reasons why you may not have even heard of the Hyundai Grandeur. For a start, it was only available in the UK as a special order vehicle, with only a select few motoring journalists managing to secure a test drive. Honest John was one of the lucky few and – as can be seen in his 2008 review here – he seemed to find the entire experience rather pleasant.

Had PetrolBlog been around in those days, we’d have been second in line behind the man in the hat, waiting patiently for our test drive. That said, back in 2006, the Hyundai Grandeur would have been way off PetrolBlog’s radar. Quite frankly the styling is nothing to write to Korea about, but in the same manner as the aforementioned Old FARTs, out of blandness steps forward desire.

Fourth generation Hyundai Grandeur

And then there’s the price. And you may need to sit down for this bit. Back in 2006, the Hyundai Grandeur would have set you back over £27,000. Good lord – £27k for a big 4-door Hyundai. Not a value-driven, gadget-laden seven-seat SUV. A faux luxo-barge with a Hyundai Sonata hiding underneath. Let’s put that into perspective.

Back in 2006, the most expensive Hyundai for sale in Britain was the £19k Hyundai Tucson 2.7 V6 and the Sonata itself was an altogether more palatable – albeit depreciation-disaster-waiting-to-happen – £16,495. So the Hyundai Grandeur, with its fancy name and and special order credentials was a whole £11k more.

For a couple of grand more you could get behind the wheel of an entry-level Citroën C6, although nobody did. With a bit of a discount, you could live the American dream with a 3.6-litre V6 Cadillac CTS. But any sane person who simply had to have a big petrol-engined saloon car would surely have opted for something German, like the 3.2-litre Audi A4 quattro.

2008 Hyundai Grandeur

But PetrolBlog doesn’t do sane and right now, the Hyundai Grandeur is up there with the Citroën C6 as a ‘must buy’ for 2014. To find out why, we need to go right back to the start and re-visit the inspiration for this lust in the first place. And that inspiration is depreciation. And boy, does the Hyundai Grandeur suffer from it.

According to the figures, a grand total of two people spent £27,100 on a Hyundai Grandeur in 2008. And today, that same car is worth around £3,500. That’s Citroën C6 levels of depreciation. And it’s precisely why it’s so appealing to PetrolBlog.

We found this 2008 Hyundai Grandeur for sale on Auto Trader. It’s finished in all important ‘Sarkozy Black’, has just 69,000 miles on the clock and has enough gadgets to keep a branch of Tandy in business for weeks. Sat nav, five-stage heated leather seats, climate control, cruise control, electric everything, sunroof, CD player, MP3 connectivity, rear parking sensors and steering wheel controls, etc, etc. We suspect the list would go on. It’s barely out of its Hyundai five-year warranty, making the £3,484 asking price seem like a genuine snip.

You just know that it won’t be as dynamically sharp as its European rivals and the interior won’t live up the levels of quality offered by the Germans, but heck, this is a 237bhp 3.3-litre V6 luxury barge that will accelerate to 62mph in just 7.5 seconds. There’s loads of rear legroom, a useful 469 litres of boot space and – to our eyes at least – a rather pleasant and well-executed interior.

2008 Hyundai Grandeur interior

And there’s that word again – pleasant. If the CTS was brash and the C6 was flamboyant, then surely the Hyundai Grandeur was pleasant? And when you think of it, the Hyundai Pleasant sounds no less daft than the Hyundai Grandeur.

Ladies and gentleman, we give you the Hyundai Grandeur. The 13th fastest depreciating car in Britain. The thinking man’s Citroën C6. The poor man’s Lexus.

A proper PetrolBlog hero…

Not convinced? Then maybe this TV advertisement will help. Just look how good the Hyundai Grandeur looks with a bonnet mascot. Or should that be, ‘Granjaah’?!

Images © Motor Store Ltd.

Written by Gavin Braithwaite-Smith

The chief waffler and person responsible for getting PetrolBlog off the ground in February 2010. Has a deep fascination of cars from the '80s and '90s, especially if they originate from France. Also likes tea and Hobnobs.

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