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Hyundai capped price manufacturer service review

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Updated 8 Oct 2019Sam Cleveland
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Korean carmaker entered Australian in 1986 as a budget option, their tagline jingle “Say hi to Hyundai” ringing out as they pushed into a market dominated by Japanese and domestic brands.

They landed here with the first Excel and sold shiploads of the 1.5L small car at a remarkable $9,990 sticker price, but consistent niggles in the model gave Hyundai’s reputation a knock.

In the ‘90s, Hyundai rebounded on the back of a third-generation Excel, which was sold with free air conditioning (a big deal at the time!) and fast became Australia’s top-selling 4-cylinder car.

In 1997, Hyundai spent $47 million of its Excel loot on a new Aussie headquarters at Homebush Bay, ahead of the formal establishment of the Hyundai Motor Company Australia in 2003.

Hyundai’s Aussie reputation has grown over time as a succession of reliable, well-priced models debuted; today it’s the fastest-growing auto brand in the country.

The parent company’s history can be traced back to 1967, with its first production car a rebadged Ford Cortina.

The company then recruited a team of top British engineers to work on their own car – the Pony, a forerunner to the Excel.

By the late ‘90s, in tandem with their Australian success, the parent company refocused on quality and design in an effort to be recognised as a global brand.

Luring Thomas Bürkle (designer of the BMW 3 and 6 Series) to head their design unit in 2006 was just one of the marque’s bold moves.

Hyundai’s iCare Capped-Price Service

Hyundai’s reputation for big, bold retail offers continues with its iCare Capped-Price Service scheme, which opened in 2012 and was expanded two years later to include all Hyundais on the road – new and old.

Hyundai’s Lifetime Service Care scheme puts a fixed price for labour, parts and lubricants on scheduled services and is transferable to subsequent owners when you sell the car.

You’ve got to check hyundai.com.au for their definition of “lifetime” though, most family cars get 62 years of capped-price servicing, while some of the workhorses only get 14.

Consumables like brake fluid or tyres are not covered, nor are repairs, but it’s still a good offer and we can’t help wondering if other car makers will match it, just as capped-price servicing itself is now industry standard.

Add Hyundai’s five year / unlimited kilometre new passenger car warranty (Australia’s first) to the mix and we’re looking at an extremely competitive marque.

Getting your Hyundai serviced by an independent mechanic absolutely will not void your warranty, but it will cancel out the free roadside assistance they also offer on all new cars.

Each scheduled service conducted by Hyundai earns you another year of free roadside assistance, up to a maximum of 10 years.

In terms of pricing per service, Hyundai’s offering is competitive.

Their Accent averages $265 per service, just under the popular i30’s $279 per service mean.

Hyundai also has a pre-paid service plan available to owners of new vehicles – a plan redeemable at participating Hyundai dealers and which is transferrable should the vehicle be sold with services unused.

The one big caveat to Hyundai’s seemingly unbeatable offer – nowhere in their Lifetime Service Plan do they commit to holding their fixed prices down.

You can go online today and see how much it’ll cost to get your old Elantra serviced next week, but that number could go up in future.

All data gathered in January 2019.  

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Written BySam Cleveland

Sam Cleveland is a Queensland writer and media producer.

He was the foundation editor of the award-winning MBGC – the Mercedes-Benz Gold Coast magazine.

For Motorline BMW, he wrote and directed Continue to Drive with composer Timothy Fairless, a cinema ad that was added to the National Film & Sound Archive.

His association with luxury European manufacturers goes back to his first cars: a trio of (t)rusty 1970s Volvos.