Monday, 22 August 2011

Exploring more with Hyundai

We were very lucky on Saturday to be guests of Hyundai at Knowsley Safari Park and try out their i40 Tourer on the Safari Drive. Are they mad?

The children were very excited about a trip to the safari park as they seem to like zoos. We got there and found our way to the Hyundai centre, where I checked in whilst the children did some colouring. They gave me a time slot and even better, unlimited ride wristbands for all of us! We grabbed a quick coffee and did a scout around at the rides which were not yet open. We discovered the children were big enough for all of the rides - something that has never happened before.

Then, it was time for our drive. I was pretty nervous as I've never driven a car that size. The biggest car I've ever owned was an Audi A4. I got Monkey to choose which car - he chose the shiny black one with the chrome fittings which turned out to be top of the range model! The chap showed me around the car - and oh, my God! How different? My car is 7 years old and the most electronic thing is a digital odometer! This had no key, touchscreen controls for everything, and an electronic handbrake! I'm quite comfortable with new technology but this was a bit daunting. It even had a rear parking camera - for which thank God!



Once we got in and set off, I was concentrating really hard on driving the car without crashing or damaging it but it was very easy to handle. I did stall it a couple of times but that was more me not used to where the biting point on the clutch was.  We had a guide that played as we drove round - the device was integrated with GPS so it gave us information and some verry corny jokes about the animals as we reached each new section.

The safari drive was great although it was quite busy and lots of other cars were hogging lots of the best spots to look at the car. We saw lots of different animals - lions, tigers, wild dogs, lots of different antelopes,bison, camels, emus, deer, Being the bad blogger I am, and the fact I was focussing on driving the car really carefully, I didn't take any pics of the car and only took some photos close to the end. We weren't allowed into the monkey enclosure with the Hyundai but there was a car friendly route where you could park and look at their antics! I remember monkeys from a safari park visit when I was a kid but I don't think I've ever seen so many monkeys and baboons climbing all over the cars that braved going in. The children thought this was hilarious. They did struggle with the concept of the safari park a bit - they didn't understand where the cages were nor why we couldn't get out of the car. Monkey was worried the animals would get in, especially when we stopped next to this fella.

Once I got the car safely back, they did some filming to ask us what we thought of the car. We were then free to enjoy the park for the rest of the day, so we went on some rides,


took in the sealion show,


Missy got her face painted (just as it started to rain!),


went on some more rides,

and when we'd exhausted all of us, we went home! It was a brilliant day and a great experience. I would have loved to drive the car for longer just so that I had more time to get used to the car and relax but it did handle well. I loved the sunroof as it opened along the length of the car and kept the car nice and bright.  The children loved the car as they had loads more space than they are used to in my Focus. If we had the budget, I would definitely consider it for a new car but sadly, I don't think that will happen anytime soon. I was amazed to learn that their Blue Drive variation has an emissions level very similar to small city cars which makes it very economical to run. It's a good size and I know my husband was looking at the boot thinking he could get all the camping equipment in the boot in one go, instead of the two cars that get used at the moment!

Thanks very much to Hyundai for the opportunity and a fab family day. It's made me reassess my perception of their cars and even if I can't afford one of the i40s, I am now more likely to consider one of their cars when the time comes to buy a new one.
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