TRUCK TEST

impresses with qual­ity and han­dling

New Zealand LCV - - CONTENTS -

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.

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