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WELCOME TO HYUNDAI’S HAPPINESS MACHINE
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Interior

What is it like on the inside?

There’s not really much ‘inside’ to discuss. As a car born in Norfolk in the late Eighties, the tech levels are best described as ‘barren’ while the materials are a long way from tip-top. Not that it’s all Lotus in here; due to GM keeping its mitts tightly on some parts, there’s a huge, ungainly steering wheel that's new (and not so welcome) in the Kia. As for how it feels now, there are plenty of trim creaks, but it’s the design and material quality that have really advanced in the 25 years since.

Nevertheless, it’s far from a cheerless place to spend time. Quite the opposite, in fact. As a left-hand-drive car on a British road, it already feels like a slice of quirky exotic cool. Then there’s the whirr of headlights popping up and two triangular prisms perched at each corner of the bonnet (you’ll find it hard to resist using them even in searingly bright sunshine).

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And above all that, quite literally, is the fresh air that pours onto the top of your head when you’ve manhandled the roof open. The fabrics are naff, the plastics shiny and the immobiliser an infuriating product that could only have been birthed in a decade rife with car crime. But with Vitamin D levels popping as you open up this little roadster, each will seem a charming slice of character rather than a blood-boiling flaw.

Then there’s the odd drunkenness that comes from a car so well-known so obviously wearing the ‘wrong’ badges. It’s a woozy feeling not unlike bumping into a neighbour in the middle of a far-flung holiday, a sense of both familiarity and ‘what the hell are you doing here?’ all at once. That the car drives pleasantly to top it all off is a mere bonus, really.

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