Judge for yourself: we were the first to conduct a comparative test with the participation of new items (ЗР, 2011, No. 4); “Solaris” were prizes at the Grand Prix (No. 5); the future editorial car was assembled at the Hyundai plant in St. Petersburg by the chief editor (No. 6).
For half a year, Solaris sold 50 thousand copies - an excellent result. And suddenly - readers' complaints about some features of the management, which our special test confirmed (No. 8). Then the car does not quite successfully perform in the hot test (No. 9), receives complaints in the 60-hour marathon (No. 10) … In general, Anton Chuikin did not have to look for reasons to talk with Denis Petrunin, managing director of Hyundai Motor CIS.
First, I would like to explain our attitude to the car. A number of criticisms are caused by … more than warm feelings for the new product. We liked her so much that involuntarily forced her to be strict. Attractive design, excellent powertrain, spacious and beautiful interior, good price. But to the suspension, its work on Russian roads there are serious comments. And to deal with this, let's first recall how the Hyundai Solaris adapted to Russia? I mean the stage of production preparation
- The first thing to say is the factor of harsh climate. As standard equipment, a rear window heater, a 4-liter windshield washer reservoir with a liquid level sensor, and a 60 Ah battery are installed on Solaris. At the beginning of this year, a group of experts traveled to Perm to check all engine settings and conduct tests - for cold start and others. As for the suspension, a number of features should be considered here. It is advisable to increase the ground clearance, ensure reliable operation and fulfillment of the five-year guarantee accepted by the company; take into account the very different quality of Russian roads, that is, choose the suspension option that will provide the most comfortable mode on all types of surfaces. The experts who worked with the machine are specialists from the Hyundai technical center and employees of the Russian division.
And the result of their joint work was …
- … the most harmonious version of the suspension, which suited the management of the company as a customer, technical specialists as performers, economists in terms of cost, etc.
On such a suspension, Solaris went into series and, in particular, ended up in the editorial office of ZR. And then there were dissatisfied letters from consumers, tests in automotive publications, unpleasant conclusions. What is your reaction?
- Very often, in conditions of mass production, cars are finalized - already taking into account the results of actual operation. The manufacturer, for example, is not able to test the car in all possible conditions of a country such as Russia. In any case, the car will be constantly developed, supplemented, improved during the production cycle, that is, six to seven years of life on the conveyor.
So, indeed, some of our customers expressed a desire to see the Solaris with a stiffer suspension. Perhaps because they operate the machine at higher speeds than the average potential audience. How do we see her? Solaris replaced the Getz and i20 in our lineup. We focused heavily on customers of this group, as well as on those who buy their first car. Based on such people, their suspension was chosen. But the audience turned out to be even wider, among consumers there are people with different driving experience, with different requirements for dynamics, handling, comfort - that is, you need to find some optimum.
Meeting the wishes of our customers, since August 15 we have been producing all Solaris cars with a stiffer rear suspension.
What exactly is changed?
- Only shock absorbers. We selected and install a model with different characteristics: the compressive and rebound resistance increased. Simply put, they have become tougher.
Imagine the situation: as a consumer, I am not happy with the manageability of Solaris, purchased, say, in May. What to do?
- If the client wants to change the suspension setting, this is possible. It will take some time, because the dealer must order new shock absorbers from the warehouse.
But is this a service at the expense of the client?
That is, the recall of previously released cars is not expected?
- Not. We believe that in this case the suspension does not bear any real danger, therefore it is more about the client’s wishes. I know that most owners are completely satisfied with the car, including the stiffness of the suspension. Yes, there are people among consumers who expected to have a stiffer suspension - but with such a wide target audience this is normal. And if there is a desire to change something, everyone has the right to do it. The company provides a similar opportunity.
It was such a suspension, being dissatisfied with the original version, we put on our car in front of the 60-hour “Driving” marathon. And according to its results, they concluded that the work would be worth continuing. We believe that shock absorbers are not enough, it would be nice to install stiffer springs for the sake of handling …
- The experience of the 60-hour test “Driving” is very valuable for us, and our experts carefully analyze the comments that you made. Nevertheless, I note: this test is essentially extreme. It is clear that this way you can evaluate the ultimate capabilities of the car; I attended the marathon, made several laps as a passenger and saw that in some places the speedometer shows 220 km / h. It is unlikely that the target audience of Solaris drives at such high speeds for several hours in a row. Therefore, our engineers must at least once again check how appropriate it is to change something - you must always find a solution that ensures the right balance between sales, production, reliability, quality. We respect the opinion of ZR and understand that you, for your part, want to offer some improvements that will help our customers get real pleasure from operating the car.
I would like to clarify the position of the magazine: we believe that the car should be reliably controlled in the entire range of available speeds. What about the fuel gauge? In fact, the second place of “Solaris” is due precisely to a failure in his work …
- I requested our warranty department - there was not a single complaint from our customers, but in fact more than 50 thousand “Solaris” were sold! Obviously, for such high speeds as in the 60-hour test, there are no precise sensor settings. The extremeness of the regime is clearly affected here. Nevertheless, all your comments on the car, even if, as in this case, specific, we take into account. The plant already knows everything, an inspection will certainly follow, and, since the product is in constant development, the next “upgrade” will probably take this into account. The remark is so small - it’s even nice to fix it!