Test Drive: Hyundai Custin 1.5L T-GDI Premium

    MobilityCarsTest Drive: Hyundai Custin 1.5L T-GDI Premium

    Over the last couple of years, there has been a shift in the cars most Filipinos want. There was a brief period when the kings of the road were MPVs and even a few minivans and vans. It was an era when Filipinos were looking for a car that would ferry the whole family. In recent years, the trend has shifted towards the sporty SUV and crossovers. The Hyundai Custin, launched late last year, is a bastion of the minivan, offering a people carrier with luxury features typically reserved for more premium vans.

    Design: 4.5/5

    In the looks department, the Hyundai Custin carries with it Hyundai’s design language of sensuous sportiness. The front has the same sporty look you’d find in other Hyundai cars like the Creta and Tucson. Its grille is really the identifying mark; one look and you can immediately see the similarities between the Custin and its brothers. 

    Going around the vehicle, you’ll see more hints of the sporty element. The sides have some creases and lines, though they are not that pronounced. What I think is the most eye-catching around the sides are the 18-inch alloy wheels. 

    Then, finally, at the back is the massive rear light. To be honest, I think the rear lights on the Hyundai Custin are among the best looking — the way it subtly wraps around the back is just gorgeous to look at at night and wouldn’t look out of place on an SUV or a sports sedan. 

    As for the sensuous part, one look at the interior, and you’ll find your answer. 

    Hyundai Custin

    The interior of the Hyundai Custin feels premium and luxurious. The seats are white leather, matching the lighter tone of the interior. 

    From the driver’s seat, you’ll be greeted with a massive windshield and a 10.4-inch infotainment display. The Hyundai Custin has a great driving view, thanks to the low dashboard and massive windshield. The dashboard has some light wood elements that blend well with the overall color of the interior. The whole cabin feels brighter because of the lighter color choice and, of course, the sunroof. 

    At the back, you have two captain chairs for the second row. These fully recline along with the ottoman, letting you fully enjoy the massive panoramic sunroof. Additionally, the seats are ventilated. 

    There are a lot more toys at the rear. There are pull-down tables with cup holders. There are a couple of USB ports for charging, a wireless charger pad, some more bottle holders, and a window shade. If you ask me, the second row is definitely the best seat in the house. 

    Finally, the third row of the Hyundai Custin is a three-seater bench that can be fully folded down (60-40 split) for more cargo space. They have their own air vent and controls. There are no charging ports at the rear, but there is storage space for your bottles or bags.

    Equipment: 4/5

    In terms of driving performance, the Hyundai Custin is powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged gasoline engine. It’s capable of 167hp and 253Nm of torque. The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. 

    The driver enjoys most of the driving toys the car has to offer. The instrument panel is an all-digital affair. The large infotainment display is angled slightly towards the driver and features both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay — although wired, not wireless. There’s a PA system within the infotainment system, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to test it.

    Gear switches are now buttons instead of the traditional shifter. Alongside this, you will find the electronic hand brake and the auto-hold buttons. 

    Hyundai Custin

    Speaking of driver-centric controls, there’s also driver control for the power doors found with the sunroof controls. The door control actually adds to the VIP feel of the car; you don’t need to lift a finger to open the door. Nice! 

    The Hyundai Custin has the complete suite of Hyundai’s SmartSense. This includes forward collision avoidance assist, lane keep assist, lane follow assist, blind spot collision avoidance assist, and rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist. There’s also a 360-degree camera, radar cruise control, and many more. 

    User Experience: 4.5/5

    If there’s a phrase to summarize the Hyundai Custin, it’s VIP Treatment. From the moment you open the door until you reach your destination, luxury envelopes you within the Hyundai Custin. 

    The powered doors are a welcome treat to passengers entering the vehicle, and of course, the reclining seats are a bonus. What definitely wowed me was the consideration for safety. While most vehicles allow doors to open when you’re in neutral, the Custin does not. Doors open only when you’re in Park mode, which honestly impressed me. The safe exit assist also prevents you from going out if the car sees coming traffic.

    Driving is smooth, especially along the highway, and NVH is kept at a minimum. Running through the Skyway, the car effortlessly glides when it hits its stride. The 8-speed automatic transmission does its job here pretty well. But returning to the underbelly of EDSA and Manila traffic, you’ll notice the car’s reliance on its turbocharger. The engine is not as perky as others, but you’ll definitely feel it. That said, this does offer a relaxing ride for the passengers. 

    Another note on the handling: while it is decent and performs great for a minivan. You’ll have to get used to the big turning radius. I’ve driven comparably-sized MPVs and SUVs, and the Custin’s turning radius is a bit wider. This is a consideration in case maneuvering space is tight. 

    The engine is also not the most fuel-efficient. During my time with the Custin, I managed to log  6.7km/L for mostly city driving and achieved 8km/L on the Skyway. 

    One thing I also found that needs some getting used to is the powered doors. The Hyundai Custin automatically opens the doors with just a pull on the handle. Unfortunately, most of my passengers tried to close the door the traditional way, which sometimes confused the car. A passenger who wanted to close the door but was holding the handle resulted in the door reopening. 

    If there is anything that I would change with the vehicle, these are the physical buttons for climate control, as well as wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. 

    Value: 4.5/5 

    Coming in at PHP2,080,000, the Hyundai Custin 1.5L T-GDI Premium offers great value for money. For those looking for a loaded minivan with all the bells and whistles without breaking the bank, the Custin is the perfect car for you. There’s also the base 1.5L T-GDI GLS variant for PHP1,770,000, which does tone down the premium features like the lack of sunroof and the powered seats, but retains most of the safety features found in the premium variant.

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