When I was asked if I would like to drive a car from Hyundai (and write about it) – instead of just taking pot luck with a rental car – while travelling around Western Australia’s Margaret River region, I had no hesitation. My own car is a Hyundai, so I figured it would be like slipping into the driving seat of something familiar.
Well, no. My car’s one of the little i30 hatchbacks. I’ve had it less than a year, and fell in love with it almost instantly (in part because my previous car was – if not quite a lemon – something I’d never liked driving).
What I picked up in Perth was the very swish Hyundai Elantra Elite, a notch up from my own car. White and gleaming (note to self: i30 in desperate need of a wash).
Although both car models are marketed as “small” cars, I found the Elantra much roomier than my own car – easily seating five, which made me wish I had company for my days exploring Margaret River in it. It also has a sloping, sporty look, and this aerodynamic design also apparently reduces the wind resistance and results in lower fuel consumption (the average on the automatic I was driving is estimated at between 7.1 and 9.4 litres/100km, depending on the conditions).
Getting out of town, as I headed for Busselton on the coast for my first stop, was easy with the built-in 7-inch touch-screen SatNav (once I’d worked out how to use it). I also really loved the rear-view camera that allows you to see what’s behind the car while reversing. Every car should have one!
And the rain-sensing wipers! When I got caught in heavy rain as I drove from Margaret River to the lighthouse at Cape Leeuwin, the wipers did their thing without me having to turn them up a notch (or three).
The good people at Hyundai suggested I get some shots of the car near some of Margaret River’s popular locations – such as the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse (sorry, bucketing rain and howling gales), or the Busselton Jetty (too far from the carpark and the road).
One of the most amazing stretches of roads in the region, in my opinion, is the wonderful karri forests on Caves Road. But sadly, being alone, I wasn’t able to get a shot of the car driving through there either (although I did take some with other cars in them).
But I did pull over near one of the kangaroo warning signs and hopped out to get a shot. It’s such an Australian road-trip icon. And then I thanked my lucky stars that I didn’t see a single kangaroo that I had to avoid along the way.
And for those who care about such things, as well as “creamy” white, the Hyundai Elantra Elite also comes in “brilliant” red, “phantom” black, two shades of blue (dazzling and tropical sea), silver, and “satin amber” (a sort of beige).
A Glass Half Full drove a Hyundai Elantra Elite in Western Australia through an arrangement between Hyundai and Tourism Western Australia.