Test Hyundai Coupe, Fiat Coupe, Peugeot 406 Coupe


A machine, like a woman - if you have fallen in love, take her for who you are.

With all the advantages and disadvantages.


Each of us has at least once watched with an envious glance an elegant sports coupe creeping over the road or turned to look at the thoroughbred roar of his motor. It seems that it is embodied by the rapid power. But is content always consistent with form, and “looking” means “being”? And is it really so good, is that the “to be”?

Let's try to figure it out. Meet the most “charged” versions of three sports models: the Hyundai Coupe - four cylinders, 2 liters, an automatic transmission, 138 hp, and 22.5 thousand US dollars; FIAT-Coupe - five cylinders, turbocharged, 2 l, six-speed manual transmission, 220 hp and 29 thousand dollars; "Peugeot 406 Coupe" - six cylinders, 3 liters, five-speed gearbox, 194 hp and 43.3 thousand dollars


From the point of view of exterior and interior, the application of all three cars for sportiness is quite weighty, although there are some differences. The predatory, many-eyed face and the Hyundai profile, swollen in the area of ​​arches, look intimidating, but they do not fit well with modest wheels with an outer diameter slightly larger than the Zhiguli ones. The interior is also controversial - a soft, rounded pattern of sidewalls suddenly flows into the sharp, chopped edges of the dashboard. The thin, slippery steering wheel looks rustic and pushed too far into the cabin. A 180 cm tall driver uses almost the most “back” seat adjustment, and the sun visors are just at the level of his eyes. It is problematic to read the readings of instruments with wet asphalt dials without backlighting.

FIAT's design is somewhat controversial, but certainly stylish. The severity of the character is emphasized by red calipers, perforation on the front brake discs and the polished aluminum tank cover on display. Inside - dark red leather, body color inserts with the inscription "pininfarina", cramped and no architectural excesses. Magnificent thick leather steering wheel "bagel" with grooved inserts, and even with two (height and length of the column) adjustments. Instruments - like in an airplane, including a voltmeter and an oil pressure gauge, but the small speedometer is clearly overloaded with small digitization, which is difficult to disassemble in motion. The driver’s vanity is amused by the large aluminum engine start button - everything, like real racing cars. If you lift the huge hood that covers the entire front of the car, you will have a magnificent view of the tightly packed engine compartment: a bright red engine cover with the inscription "20V turbo", the same red spacer between the cups of the front suspension, the intricacy of the piping of the boost system and many other "delicious "stuff. In general, a foodie will enjoy it.

The aristocratic Peugeot is elegant with precise alignment of lines. Door windows without frames (like Hyundai) - also a plus in style - slightly fall down when the doors are opened. Black leather interior, like appearance, is strict and restrained - there is no hint of sportiness. The seats here, in any case, in the front, are larger than in another sedan. The driver is offered four electric, with huge ranges of seat adjustment and memory for three tuning options. The steering wheel is comfortable, but for some reason the fuel gauge occupies a central place on the dashboard, so it is impossible to grasp the tachometer and speedometer at a glance. By the way, the latter is marked with odd dozens - 30, 50.70, etc.

All three cars are united by wide comfortable seats that gently take the driver into their arms. For leisurely flaning along the boulevard - that’s what you need. If you turn a bend abruptly, as required by the status of a sports car, you will glide over smooth skin, like soap in a basin. Of course, everyone has air conditioning, "music" and lots of servos.

As for functionality in its traditional sense, that is, the possibility of transporting passengers and cargo, for a sports car - this is the tenth thing. Nevertheless, we note that it is problematic to elegantly land on the second-row seats in all three cases, and the Hyundai’s front seats are knocked down when folding. The comfort of the rear seat is beyond the competition of the “406th” - here, without prejudice, two far from slender men are accommodated. In the other two compartments behind, only shorties are freely behind - the low edge of the roof bends the head, knees hug the back of the front seat. The trunk is the most convenient for the "Korean" - it is close to the "Frenchman" in terms of volume and transformation capabilities, but it also boasts a large "hatchback" cover.


Well, now let rivals on the race track. The first circle is warming up, and then, as they say, with all the money …

"Hyundai Coupe" rides like a good one (even with some sports makings), but not the most expensive passenger car: good dynamics, a working engine without ambitions, a quite clear operation of the "automatic machine". Moderately stiff, not annoying with large vertical accelerations, the suspension softens its temper with increasing speed. We also note small rolls, a light steering wheel, effective brakes, moderate noise. At the same time, an aerodynamic whistle is heard at speeds of 30–80 km / h, the cabin creaks slightly, there is little reactive action on the steering wheel in the near-zero zone, and the ABS works roughly.

If you try to squeeze the maximum out of the car, it turns out that the automatic transmission, even in the “2” and “1” modes, is of little use for this. Due to the torque converter (even without shifting gears), the moment on the wheels after pressing the gas pedal comes with too much delay. For this reason, it is almost impossible to correct the trajectory of the traction. However, given the pronounced understeer and slow, smooth Hyundai reactions, there is almost no urgent need for this (and even more so in some kind of proactive actions). At the same time, low information content and a large gear ratio of the steering wheel are not so obvious - the car itself makes it clear to the driver that she simply cannot go faster. Moreover, it does this quite safely thanks to the excellent Michelin-Pilot SX tires, the capabilities of which significantly exceed the potential of the car.

The FIAT Coupe was molded from another test. In normal modes, this is a hard, uncomfortable bone shaker, causing a desire to slow down even before a match lying on the pavement. The ultra-sharp steering wheel requires constant monitoring. Firstly, the machine is very sensitive to longitudinal waves and, probably, due to a change in the running-in angle of the front drive wheels, the steering wheel twitches significantly under the thrust. Secondly, at high vertical accelerations it is difficult to keep the steering wheel stationary, and given that it has only 2.2 turns from lock to lock, it is easy to understand that unevenness is accompanied by tangible yaw. Yes, and the engine, despite the variable valve timing, does not want to drive at low speeds and tries to stall when starting.

The situation is changing exactly the opposite, as soon as the driver asks FIAT for maximum returns - all the flaws suddenly turn into advantages. Stiff precise suspension allows you to perfectly feel the road and filigree to prescribe the trajectory. The motor, spun above 3000 rpm, "shoots" like a cannon. Powerful brakes with an almost imperceptible ABS are able to effectively besiege the car at high speed. You don’t have to intercept the steering wheel even in the steepest turn, and if you take into account the crazy engine traction, then you “jumped” into the gear “down”, pulled the steering wheel a little inside the turn, put the car sideways, “opened” and write under the juicy pulsating roar of the motor arc, splashing adrenaline! Know do not forget to click on the transmission. By the way, a curious feature is that the clutch cannot be thrown abruptly here, most likely, it is damped to reduce peak loads on the transmission elements. It is precisely because of this that switching does not take 0.2–0.3 s, but 0.8–1.2 s.

And what about the Peugeot 406 Coupe? To some extent, his character can be called a compromise, and in the best sense of the word. In normal modes - it is a pleasant, powerful and comfortable car. Three-liter “six” pulls evenly from the bottom, not picky in choosing a gear. Moderately sharp steering does not bother at high speeds, allowing, however, to feel good car. Noise, vibration, shaking are minimal.

When driving dynamically, first of all, you notice a certain lack of effort on the controls - the car is already struggling with inertia, and the driver seems to be not participating in this. The steering axle behaves perfectly, allowing you to reduce the steering angle. In some extreme cases, a lack of power is felt - an excellent chassis asks for "add", and the temperament of the motor is not enough. Nevertheless, the machine demonstrates well-trained and well-predicted front-wheel drive reactions, and near-neutral steering and good engine traction make it easy to control the trajectory. When trying speed in a turn, the front wheels begin to slip a little earlier. This is immediately felt by the drop in effort on the steering wheel - you need to slightly drop the gas. Comments were caused only by the rough work of the ABS and excessive vertical buildup of the body at high speeds.

Now imagine yourself driving each of these cars, first rushing along the race track and then quietly going to work. And think about how often you have to do one and the other. Are you ready to pay daily for the opportunity to be a real athlete with your ribs in FIAT? Ready? Well done, aah! But this is the lot of fans - they buy such a shell, as they say, for love. And according to the calculation, they will rather choose the Hyundai - it looks aggressive, is known as an athlete, although it does not shake out the soul and is quite suitable for everyday driving. A third option is also possible - to fall in love, but according to the calculation, say, in a Peugeot: it looks beautiful and goes - God forbid everyone. However, it will be expensive - you have to take a long time and carefully.

The four-seater front-wheel drive Hyundai Coupe (Hyundai Tiburon in the USA) debuted in 1996, and was restyled last summer. It is positioned as a sports coupe, although formally - with a large third door - it refers to three-door hatchbacks. Available with 1.6 four-cylinder engines; 1.8; 2.0 l and a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic (except 1.6 l) gearboxes.

The two-door four-seater “FIAT Coupe”, created in the Pininfarina bodywork studio on the basis of the Tipo front-wheel drive, was released in 1993. Three years later, he received a new range of engines: a five-cylinder 2.0 liter in atmospheric and turbocharged versions or a four-cylinder 1.8 liter. Gearboxes are mechanical five-speed, and for the most powerful motor also six-speed.

The four-seater front-wheel drive "Peugeot 406 Coupe" designed by "Pininfarina", presented to the public at the 1996 Paris Salon. Carries an index of the 406th family, in fact being an independent model. Equipped with R4 2.0 or V6 2.9 L motors and a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.


The Hyundai Coupe, having the quietest idling engine, turned out to be the noisiest in motion. In some modes, when the engine brakes, the resonance of the exhaust system occurs (data in brackets). The pulsating sound of the five-cylinder engine "FIAT-Coupe", accompanied by a robbery whistle of the turbine, pleasantly tickles the driver’s ear, but significantly affects others. The combination of good aerodynamics and effective sound insulation "Peugeot 406 Coupe" significantly hides the feeling of speed.

Photo by Vladimir TRUSOV

Hyundai-Coupe - looks like an athlete, actually a practical sportsman.

FIAT-Coupe is an evil extreme player. It’s not easy to get along with him, but if you find a common language, it’s forever.