Kids put Hyundai to the test

Hyundai parked a car in a school playground and let kids have their way with it

Published: July 5, 2013, 11:00 AM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 3:08 PM

Kids put Hyundai to the test

Last year, Hyundai UK conducted what it called the "ultimate wear and tear challenge," by parking a car for 10 hours in a safari park, where it was besieged by dozens of the park’s primates.

The baboon invasion supposedly simulated the punishment to which a car is subjected by the children of a typical family: jumping up and down on seats, pushing and prodding buttons and opening and closing storage bins.

Responding to customers' feedback that their "little monkeys" would be much harder on a car than 40 baboons, Hyundai recently repeated the exercise using the real thing – kids instead of baboons.

Fifteen four- and five-year-olds, recruited from the Holmer Green Schools in Buckinghamshire, UK, put a Hyundai i30 (Elantra GT in Canada) through six hours of abuse – a.k.a. - kids being kids.

Hyundai says the i30 (Elantra GT) is especially-designed for families and their children, using extra strong materials, easy-wipe plastics, tough fittings and special high-quality steel for the bodywork.

The kids put that claim to the test. Hyundai parked the car in the school’s playground and then let them have their way with it.

They administered the typical car punishment that parents dread but sometimes have to deal with: jumping and bouncing up and down on seats (in muddy boots as it turned out), prodding buttons and opening storage compartments, repeatedly putting windows up and down, dropping chips, squashing bananas into fabrics and spilling orange juice on the seats.

They also inspected the car’s many gadgets making faces for their friends in the reversing camera and calling their teacher via its hands-free Bluetooth system.

On the outside, they put the paintwork to the test by smearing mud and other substances on the body panels. And they confirmed that the car really was "made of steel" by throwing magnets at it, using the hood as a slide and beating on the doors with drumsticks.

Six hours later, another group of ten ten-year-old students cleaned up the mess the junior students made.The tourer cleaned up as good as new and was driven out of the playground intact and virtually unscathed, the company said.

"At Hyundai we believe in ‘new thinking’ which is why we like to take a different approach when it comes to quality testing," said Mark Baxter, Hyundai UK’s Product Planning Manager.

"Kids are notoriously hard on cars and these days families need transport that will withstand sticky fingers, accidental spillages and energetic personalities... we thought that if (the car) can withstand the tests of (these) kids, we could be confident that it would be tough enough for family life," he added." The fact that the i30 survived with only a few scratches after such rigorous testing is testament to the way modern Hyundai vehicles are built."

As well as proving to be effective testers, the kids had a good time, too.

Tyreece Carey, a five year old reception pupil from Holmer Green First School said: "My favourite part was getting really messy with my muddy wellies. And I enjoyed making sandcastles in the boot. Mrs McClelland (his teacher) said I could only do this today and that I mustn’t do it in Mummy or Daddy’s car."

To thank Holmer Green and its pupils for all their help, Hyundai is funding new equipment for both of the schools.

Click here to see a short video of the kids' playtime in the Hyundai, or here to see a longer version.