Even if you're one of the social misfits who dislike football (that includes me), you still couldn't have failed to notice 11 South Koreans giving some tough European rivals a licking in the World Cup (with the help of the ref from time to time admittedly.) Those chaps at Hyundai are hoping to emulate their national team as they take on the big names for the first time in the ultra-competitive supermini market with the Getz.
Designed with an eye toward Europe, the Getz fits neatly into the Hyundai range below the bigger Accent. It shares a strong family resemblance to those team-mates with the styling of its nose, though its high roofline gives off a modish whiff of mini MPV. In three- or five-door form, the Getz is is about as attractive as a shinpad. But probably as practical.
Once inside, the Getz confirms the impressive levels of space and headroom its lofty roofline suggests. It has a fairly high MPV-like driving position, but there's plenty of adjustability 'twixt seat and steering wheel to get comfy. The dash's styling and switchgear goes for modern and functional, but just misses the post due to an old-fashioned and fiddly after-market style stereo. Rear passengers will enjoy decent legroom with three-point belts and headrests for all three seats.
Those rear seats combine the 60/40 split formation with the ability to fold the entire rear seat bench forward to form a flat loadspace. Boot space with seats up is small, but the Getz does have a 'twin boot' shelf forming a false floor with storage space beneath.
First onto the pitch is the 70kW, 1.4-litre model which feels - and sounds - harsh under acceleration and lacks grunt for a car of this size. In-gear acceleration through the slick five-speed gearbox feels lively enough and motorway cruising is a doddle.
Although the Getz misses a Ronaldo-like ability to change direction, turn-in is positive and body roll well controlled. And on the mirror-smooth roads of the test route, ride quality passes the fitness test. The steering could do with more feedback, though, as it's too light when cornering and dead towards each end of the lock at parking speeds. Fitted with ABS and EBD as standard, the brakes offer good feel and stopping power.
And the full line-up in Australia? Well, the Getz will be available in S, SX and SXI Sport specs all coming with twin airbags, CD and electric front windows, with SX adding air-conditioning, alloy wheels, fog lights and side airbags, while the SXI adds 15-inch alloys and rear spoiler.
So as that fateful final whistle blows, can the Getz steal it from the European greats, Fiesta and Polo, and the Japanese Jazz? Well, it'll be cheaper to buy. As for competing, I'd say it's a good effort but no cup-winner.