impresses with quality and handling
Truck tester Hayden Woolston gets behind the wheel of Hyundai’s new light-duty truck, the Mighty.
HYUNDAI’S MIGHTY IS THE NEW ENTRANT IN THE New Zealand light-duty truck market, and is a major advance on the rather dowdy-looking Hd-series the brand sold here previously.
Hyundai previewed the truck at the 2016 Fieldays, and gave it its sales launch at the THE transport expo at Mystery Creek in March last year.
It’s a good-looking truck with clean lines and a thoroughly contemporary air.
The light-duty version of the Mighty is the EX6, and there’s also a medium-duty EX8 with a more powerful version of the EX6’S engine.
The EX6 has a five-speed manual gearbox and the EX8 runs a sixspeed manual; no automatic option is available for either.
EX6S are available with Standard Cabs in short-, medium-, and long-wheelbase variants. The longer Super Cab comes in mediumand long-wheelbase variants.
Suspension front and rear is by leaf-sprung solid axles, and the EX6 runs on 17.5-inch steel wheels.
The test EX6 was fitted with a factory-installed drop-side flat-deck body. It was a Super Cab that can seat three, and has a useful space behind the seats to stow items like kit bags and hard hats.
The only drawback of the Super Cab is that the rear pillar creates a minor blind spot because it’s in line with the back of the driver’s head.
The middle seatback can be folded forward and has a tray on the back for clipboard or document storage. And there’s a small lidded glovebox in the dash.
The dashboard is car-like and is high-mounted. Hyundai engineers have made a good job of the dash, which feature logical and tidy design. It’s fitted with large-diameter analogue instruments that are very easy to read at a glance.
Woolston rated the control layout highly, saying everything is easy to find and operate.
Getting in and out of the cab is helped by well-placed steps and grab handles. Efficient manual air-conditioning is standard, and the cup-holders are in a tray that pulls out from the dashboard.
The heated exterior mirrors are mounted at mid-point on a frame that extends out from the bodywork.
The 3.9-litre Euro 5-compliant inline four-cylinder turbodiesel motor develops maximum power of 140kw at 2500rpm, and peak torque of 392Nm arrives at 1400rpm.
The engine is not especially noisy, and Woolston liked its quietness; he also liked the suspension built into the driver’s seat.
Disc brakes are fitted front and rear, and are augmented by an exhaust brake.
Woolston said the power-assisted ball-and-nut steering has a good feel and is not over-light; the steering wheel included buttons for hands-free mobile phone operation.
Electronic stability control is standard, and the EX6 also has hill-start assist which makes starting easier on steep terrain.
On our test starts on hills, the EX6 pulled away from rest cleanly, with the clutch free of any grabbing. The gearbox shifts smoothly and reasonably quickly.
Woolston was impressed by the large and deep windscreen, and by deep front edges of the door windows which provide an excellent three-quarter view. The left-hand window also gives a good view of the offside kerb.
At 50km/h, the Mighty was running at just over 1500rpm in fourth gear.
Put to the test in a tight urban cul-de-sac, the truck revealed it has a very good turning circle. The mirrors were vibration-free and Woolston found the Mighty easy to reverse.
The cab tilts forward easily for daily maintenance, and is not especially heavy to move.
Overall, the Hyundai Mighty performed well and was easy to position on the road thanks to the deep windscreen and downward-sloping edges on the front of the door windows.
Noise levels were moderate, the exhaust brake was effective, and the controls were user-friendly.
The Mighty EX6 has the goods to be a competitive player in the light-duty segment.
Hyundai New Zealand sold 25 Mightys during 2017, a vast improvement over the sales performance of the Hd-series trucks.
The older model truck languished in dealers’ yards until Hyundai NZ dropped prices to fire sale levels to clear stock before the Mighty arrived.
Above: Hyundai Mighty is a handsome truck; large and deep windscreen and door windows provide excellent visibility from cab. Below: Hyundai proved to be very manoeuvrable with an excellent turning circle.
Above left: Dashboard design and layout is very clean with logically laid-out controls, clear instruments. Above right: 3.9-litre Euro 5 four-cylinder develops maximum power of 140kw and 392Nm. Right: Test EX6 was fitted with a Hyundai factory-built tipper body.