February 14, 2019 By Paolo de Borja Photos by the author

First Drive: 2019 Hyundai Reina 1.4 GL

A different take on royalty

Affordable does not necessarily equate to a compromise in quality. At a starting price of PhP 598,000, the newly introduced Hyundai Reina looks to take the B segment by storm as it goes beyond what’s usually expected from a car at its price point.

Armed with 15 units of the Reina, Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI) invited the motoring media for a test drive that began from its dealership in Cainta to Pililia Wind Farms in Rizal. Under the hood of the Reina is a 1.4-liter engine that generates 94 bhp at 6,000 rpm and 132 lb-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. The powerplant is mated with either a 5-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic transmission. The engine sounded like it had to work extra hard in overtaking situations, but it’s able to get the job done especially considering we weren’t on flat roads. Now, we only had a short stint with the Reina but it was able to impress in the handling department as we traveled along the winding and sloping roads of Tanay. It exceeded our expectations from a car of its stature and felt planted on the road, making it a suited vehicle for road trips.

The Reina does not lack in exterior styling thanks to Hyundai’s signature fluidic design. A hexagonal grille and triangular headlights highlight an eye-catching front. With a wheelbase of 2,570 mm, the Reina is able to provide ample space inside. In fact, it didn’t feel like there was much of a difference to its bigger Accent sibling in terms of legroom. In line with this, space will be a strong selling point for the Reina since its trunk offers up to 475 liters of cargo space, enough to accommodate three medium suitcases. About safety features, both variants of the Reina are equipped with ABS and EBD, and come with airbags for both driver and passenger. Keep in mind that some variants of the Accent don’t even offer airbags.

It may be positioned lower than the Accent, but Hyundai didn’t sacrifice interior styling for the dashboard and door sidings. The dashboard showcases a contrast of black and dark grey, which are then matched with silver frames for the air-conditioning vents. Speaking of the vents, they felt durable and strongly built compared to some cars in its class. Interior features also include a 2.8” mono LCD cluster that’s simple and easy on the eyes of the focused driver. Entertainment-wise, the Reina comes standard with 1-DIN Radio and one USB port. The air-conditioning controls are pretty straightforward and positioned cleanly. Beneath it, however, are the power window controls. It’s an odd placement, but some may find it to be a unique touch and more accessible. By being positioned on the center console, the front passenger can also operate the rear windows. Controls for the front and rear windows are the first buttons on the left, while those for the rear are on the right. In between them is the power window lock.

The Reina is targeted for first-time car buyers and younger individuals. However, its versatility and refusal to compromise quality given its price make it a car worth checking out by anyone. Even if one opts for the GL that’s equipped with the automatic transmission, the PhP 648,000 pricetag remains to be a bargain for the overall package. We’ve yet to test the Reina for a longer period, but it figures to be a car well-adept for daily urban driving in Metro Manila, while also capable of longer drives for weekend getaways.

Stay tuned for a more in-depth review of the Hyundai Reina soon.



Engine Inline-4
Displacement 1368 cc
Cylinder Head dohc 16V
Fuel Injector Multipoint Injection, Kappa
Max Power (bhp @ rpm) 94 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm) 132 lb-ft. @ 4000 rpm
Transmission 4-speed AT


Top Speed 170 km/h
0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph 14.0 sec.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Fuel Milage (km/l) 13.9 km/l (combined)


Price as Tested (PHP) PhP 648,000
What's Great Excellent value, handling and drivability, sleek exterior design, effort put into designing the interior despite the price
What's Not So Rear looks plain, absence of height seat adjustment for the driver
C! Editors Rating 8.5/10
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