In its steady march toward relevance in the car market, Hyundai unleashed a raft of new models. Their entrant to the luxury segment was called the Hyundai Grandeur, and it was the nicest car that the South Korean automaker had made to date. It had actually been sold in Hyundai’s home market since 1986, although it was merely a rebadged Mitsubishi Debonair.
This third generation Hyundai Grandeur was developed entirely in-house, but its 3.0 litre V6 was based on a Mitsubishi design. The rest was all Hyundai, right down to the pillow soft front drive suspension, and the wood grain interior. Its chief rivals are luxury-minded executive cars such as the Toyota Avalon, and luxury-spec’s Ford Falcons. To compete Hyundai filled the Grandeur with a host of nice features.
There is a luxurious leather interior in the top-spec Hyundai Grandeur XG, and all models have a manually shiftable 5-speed automatic to go with the torque-strong V6 (260Nm). The ‘Tiptronic’ shifter could be placed in a separate gate, allowing the driver to tip-it up and down to influence the gear selection which is not always immediate. This car is too softly sprung to be driven aggressively, but it is still an impressive car.
Even though the first export version of the Hyundai Grandeur left something to be desired, Hyundai decided to rework it to better reflect the desires of their customers. The TG Hyundai Grandeur was completely redesigned, and it has a much more sophisticated look than before. The fully independent suspension is tuned to European specs, so it handled the rugged roads quite well. It is also quite comfortable.
The Lambda 3.8L petrol V6 has a healthy 348Nm of torque, so it accelerates with more authority than the XG Grandeur. The interior is also much nicer, with more expensive feeling materials. The XG Grandeur is a nice car, but this redesigned model feels more like a premium sedan.
In 2009, a diesel version was introduced, and Hyundai finally had a full-range large car contender. Both the petrol and diesel versions benefit from a new ‘Selectronic’ (manually shiftable) 5-speed automatic, and both are also deceptively quick. These cars are not sporty, but they have the passing power of a larger car.
The 1999-2004 Hyundai Grandeur is powered by a smooth, quad-cam, 24 valve 3.0 litre V6. This motor is adapted from a Mitsubishi V6, but Hyundai did a good job of reengineering it. Power output is 141kW and 260Nm of torque. It’s not overly powerful, but there’s plenty of torque for overtaking. Fuel consumption is also a respectable 8.8L/100km.
The TG Hyundai Grandeur features a 3.8L version of Hyundai’s Lambda engine family. This dual overhead cam V6 has variable valve timing, and has 194kW and 348Nm of torque. Average fuel consumption is around 10.8L/100km.
The Hyundai Grandeur CRDi has a 2.2L turbo diesel, and it even has state-of-the-art common-rail injection, the diesel equivalent of petrol direct injection. Power is rated at 114kW at 4000 rpm and 343Nm is available from 1800-2500 rpm. Compared to the petrol engine, maximum torque is available lower in rev range, which makes power delivery in the diesel more immediate. Fuel consumption is approximately 7.9L/100km.
The base Hyundai Grandeur has comfortable cloth upholstery, an engine immobiliser, ABS, dual front airbags, power everything, alloy wheels, fog lights, and a 60/40 folding rear seat to increase space in the already generous boot. The top of the line Hyundai Grandeur XG has added leather, traction control, air vents for the rear passengers, and keyless entry with alarm.
The TG Hyundai Grandeur has even more standard kit than the previous car. On the safety front, there were 6 air bags, ABS, stability control, traction control, and brake force distribution. Luxuries include power everything, 17-inch alloys, and parking sensors. The flagship Hyundai Grandeur Limited has a sunroof, heated leather seats, and automatic Xenon headlights.
The XG Hyundai Grandeur competes against other large cars such as the Holden Commodore and Toyota Camry. It is a nice car, but it isn’t as refined as most large cars of the time. For that reason, the XG Hyundai Grandeur is well-priced on the used market.
The TG Hyundai Grandeur went up against large executive cars like the VE Holden Berlina, Toyota Avalon, and V6 Honda Accord. The Hyundai has plenty of pull-away power with either engine, it looks good, and the price is right. On the used market, this top-level Hyundai has held its value well, but it’s still priced low enough to be an affordable and luxurious family car choice.