Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hyundai's XG Series Puts You in Lap of Near-Luxury

Hyundai's XG Series Puts You in Lap of Near-Luxury

Used Car Profile

Hyundai took a seemingly huge gamble in the fall of 2000 when the South Korean automaker, primarily known for selling low-priced, entry-level models, introduced its version of a near-luxury vehicle. Known in the company's homeland as the Grandeur, the XG300 was equipped with a 192-horsepower V-6 plus plenty of standard bells and whistles.

For 2002, the designation changed to XG350 due to its larger and higher torque (by better than 20 percent) 200-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6. A five-speed automatic transmission was connected to both power plants. After five reasonably successful years, the XG was replaced the larger and more powerful Azera for 2006.

The Good Stuff

The XG's list of standard goodies was long and extensive and included a lot of equipment you would expect in an upscale automobile all at an initial purchase price that was pegged to compete with well-equipped versions of the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry and other midsize sedans. Items such as leather seats and a wide variety of power-operated accessories came standard.

The premium L model upped the luxury quotient with a power sunroof, climate control and fancier interior with heated seats. The XG's ride was on the plush side, which is to say that Hyundai placed much emphasis on comfort. The car was also roomy enough to easily seat five people and carry all of their personal effects in the spacious trunk.

Heads Up!

Although competent traversing the freeway or the boulevard, the XG was not quite as sharp as the rest of the midsize field while tackling twisty or uneven roads where its imprecise suspension came up short.

The car also seemed 300-400 pounds too heavy for its engine, meaning only fair-to-average acceleration. Also annoying was a tendency for the five-speed automatic transmission to shift often under light to moderate loads while it searched for the proper gear. If optimum performance is important, stick with the more powerful 2002-'05 XG350.

Prices at a Glance

The XG series tends to depreciate at a pretty good clip, making it look like a relative bargain. Note that for each year, the higher price is for the premium L sedan.

2001 $5,000-$5,500M

2002 $6,500-$7,000

2003 $8,500-$9,000

2004 $10,500-$11,000

2005 $13,000-$13,500


The XG is a decent, good-looking automobile that never really posed a threat to entry-luxury models from Acura, Infiniti and Lexus. But when you consider that many of these cars remain covered under the five-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranties, seeking out a depreciated XG seems like a good idea.

Friday, January 11, 2008

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