Friday, July 31, 2015

Hyundai Santa Cruz Named 2015 Concept Truck Of The Year

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., July 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- It kicked off 2015 with a buzz-generating surprise debut at the North American International Auto Show in January, and now the popular Hyundai Santa Cruz has earned the prestigious title of Concept Truck of the Year at the 14th annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year (NACVOTY) Awards at the Concours d'Elegance of America at St. John's.

The Santa Cruz was recognized as the Concept Truck of the Year for its design, style, materials, technology, market visibility and market responsiveness – besting the Kia Trail'Ster and Mitsubishi GC-PHEV. The award was presented by Mark Phelan, auto critic at the Detroit Free Press and NACVOTY juror.

"The compact-truck segment in the U.S. is tremendously competitive, and overall truck sales have skyrocketed to become one of the best-selling segments in today's market," said Mike O'Brien, vice president of corporate and product planning, Hyundai Motor America. "Hyundai's new Santa Cruz crossover truck concept is a modern take on the classic theme of one of America's most-loved segments – the pickup truck. Unlike some of the industry's past attempts to blend open bed utility with passenger car attributes, Santa Cruz delivers innovative functionality and flexibility in a compact, fun-to-drive package for a new breed of pickup truck buyers. We are proud that the Santa Cruz got the vote of approval as the Concept Truck of the Year from some of the auto industry's most esteemed critics."

The NACVOTY awards recognize those vehicles most likely to shape the future of the automobile industry. More than two dozen jurors participated in a selection process that involved a total of 30 vehicles, each introduced to North America during this season's auto shows in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Toronto and New York.

"The Santa Cruz is what the light-truck category needs - loads of style for people without big loads," said Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design and Production editor-in-chief and NACVOTY juror.

The innovative Hyundai Santa Cruz crossover truck concept reflects a completely new interpretation of truck utility for a new generation of buyers. The Santa Cruz concept meets the unspoken needs of a growing millennial lifestyle that Hyundai calls "urban adventurers." This new crossover provides urban adventurers the expandable utility they need throughout their active week – from work-life professionalism to social interests to a variety of outdoor pursuits –without the typical compromises they have come to expect from the industry's current product offerings. The Santa Cruz concept is purposely compact, and although it features four doors and seating for five, its overall footprint is similar to that of a small CUV. 


Founded in 2002, the North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards recognize those concept vehicles that have made the strongest impact in terms of automotive design, engineering and market responsiveness. Professional automotive journalists from throughout North America, representing dozens of outlets in virtually every media segment, serve as volunteer jurors to select the award winners. The awards are given to the best Production Preview Vehicle, Concept Car, Concept Truck and Most Significant Concept Vehicle of each auto show season. To be eligible for the awards, a concept vehicle must make its North American debut during the current model year's auto show season.


Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 820 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle limited warranty, Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance. Hyundai Blue Link Connected Care provides owners of Hyundai models equipped with the Blue Link telematics system with proactive safety and car care services complimentary for one year with enrollment. These services include Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Vehicle Diagnostic Alert, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and In-Vehicle Service Scheduling.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

2010 Hyundai Genesis: Used Car Review

The 2010 Hyundai Genesis is a bona fide luxury car in every way but its name. Built to challenge cars such as the Chrysler 300 and Lincoln MKS, most Genesis owners feel their car is every bit as good as a Lexus ES, Audi A6 or Mercedes-Benz E-Class. In fact, you might have to do a double take when looking at the Genesis because it does bear more than a passing resemblance to the Mercedes flagship sedan, the S-Class.

The Genesis delivers a smooth ride, a choice between a V6 or V8 engine and fairly decent handling. It has also held up well over the years, with a strong resale value and reliability ratings. Of course, there are some omissions in the Genesis lineup, namely the lack of an all-wheel-drive (AWD) or hybrid model. While its styling may not be wholly original, the Genesis' long list of standard and optional equipment makes it a serious player for those seeking premium luxury features without paying a premium price.

What We Like

Powerful engine lineup; numerous standard features; strong value; attractive styling; roomy interior; Lexicon audio

What We Don't

No AWD or hybrid option; LED interior lighting lacks warmth; fixed rear seatback with small pass-through, which is the only way to increase trunk capacity

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The Hyundai Genesis derives its power from two sources. The standard engine is a 3.8-liter V6 producing 290 horsepower and 264 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed automatic with a manual shift mode is the only transmission choice. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that fuel economy for this engine is rated at 18 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

Optional is a 4.6-liter V8 making an impressive 375 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque. The same 6-speed transmission is attached to the V8 and helps to deliver an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy.

Both the V6 and V8 run on regular gas, but using a higher octane rating in the V8 gives a slight boost to hp and torque.

Standard Features & Options

The Genesis sedan was offered in two trims: 3.8 and 4.6. For 2010, cars equipped with the Technology package received adaptive cruise control and an electronic parking brake with hill hold. Navigation was optional on the 3.8, as was premium leather seating.

The Genesis 3.8 includes a V6 engine, full power accessories, proximity key entry and push-button starting, leather seating, power adjustable and heated front seats, a tilt-telescopic steering column, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated side mirrors, cruise control, 17-inch alloy wheels, jeweled projector-style automatic headlights, fog lights, Bluetooth, a 7-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with satellite radio capability and iPod/USB/auxiliary input jacks. Standard safety equipment includes electronic traction and stability control, front and outboard rear-seat side-mounted airbags, full-length side-curtain airbags and electronic active head restraints.

The Genesis 4.6 adds a power sunroof, 18-in alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, an auto windshield defogger, leather-wrapped dash and door panels, an 8-way power passenger seat, a 15-speaker Lexicon audio system, a power rear sunshade, a 7-in touchscreen navigation, memory for the power driver's seat and premium leather seating surfaces.

Optional on the V6 model was the Premium package that adds a leather-wrapped dash, ultrapremium leather seating, a power sunroof, a driver's-seat memory system, a power tilt-telescopic steering column, a power rear sunshade, Lexicon 15-speaker audio with a 6-disc CD changer and rain-sensing wipers with an auto-defogging windshield.

The Premium Navigation package (requires the Premium package) added a 7-in touchscreen navigation radio, a rear backup camera and 18-in alloy wheels.

Optional on both trims was the Technology package that added an upgraded Lexicon 17-speaker Logic 7 audio system with a 6-disc DVD changer, adaptive cruise control, an electronic parking brake with hill hold, an upgraded 8-in navigation screen with a console-mounted media-control knob, Bluetooth display, a rearview monitor, HID adaptive headlights with an auto leveling feature, front and rear parking sensors and a ventilated driver's seat.


The Hyundai Genesis holds slightly above-average resale figures, but given the 2010's age, you should be able to get a good price on a low-mileage, well-maintained model. To get a good idea of the Genesis' price range, we suggest searching the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are currently for sale in your area.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued the following recalls for the 2010 Hyundai Genesis sedan:

A recall was issued for a possible circuit failure that could cause the brake lights to fail.

A recall was issued for a possible defective stop-lamp switch that may result in the brake lights failing to illuminate and the cruise control not disengaging when applying the brake.

A recall was issued for some vehicles containing brake fluid that does not protect against corrosion of the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit module.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

As for safety, the Genesis performs very well in NHTSA's crash tests, scoring five out of five stars in every crash-test category. The Genesis also received top marks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which lists the Genesis as a Top Safety Pick.

The 2010 Genesis left the factory with a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile transferable powertrain warranty. The 10-year/100,000-mile original powertrain warranty is not transferable and applies only to the original owner or to cars sold under the Hyundai CPO program. CPO cars, which are sold through Hyundai dealers after undergoing a 150-point inspection, have their original 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty reinstated from the date the car first entered service, plus the remainder of the original bumper-to-bumper warranty.

2015 Hyundai Sonata: 5 Reasons to Buy

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata is completely new for this model year. The story of the Sonata is one of constant improvement, and this new seventh-generation model is already one of the best midsize sedans you can buy. That's a strong statement, but here are five good points to back it up.

Sophisticated Styling

If you ever thought the last Sonata was trying too hard to stand out, you weren't alone. This 2015 model avoids the clash and goes for class. All the lines, shapes and proportions work together for a design that seems to give the car more authority. The cabin has also been updated, with shapes and materials that wouldn't look out of place in an expensive German car.

Expanded Interior

The Sonata is one of the most spacious midsize sedans out there. This new generation brings more hip and legroom for back-seat passengers and better under-thigh support for those in the front seats. This makes it a great car for longer trips. Even the trunk holds an above-average 16.3 cu ft.

Excellent Engines

That relentless quest for refinement extends to the engine bay. In the upper trims, Hyundai swaps out the V6 in favor of a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, giving a better balance of power and fuel economy. But it's not just what they do -- it's how they do it, and even the basic 2.4-liter delivers its 185 horsepower with smooth efficiency.

Smart Trunk

You know that situation where you walk up to the trunk with an armful of bags and wish there was someone who could open the lid for you? The new Sonata is happy to oblige. If you stand by the trunk for 3 seconds with the keys in your pocket or purse, the lid will pop up automatically.

Great Value

You can still get a base Sonata for $22,000 or so, with a well-equipped model running at about $24,000. Even the top-of-the-line Sport 2.0T model is appealing for around $30,000 out the door. Hyundai is famous for its value, and the new Sonata keeps with the program.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

To Continue Its Rise In The U.S., Hyundai Needs Trucks

DETROIT, MI – Hyundai Motor America has been on a steady rise in the U.S. since 1999, but its fight for market share here has only just begun.

Hyundai is faced with the same scenario as all companies selling vehicles in the U.S.: Americans want trucks. Their appetite for SUVs, crossovers and pickups has driven new vehicle sales to pre-recession heights this year.

But Hyundai's current product mix is 80 percent sedans. It has but two SUVs it's offering in the U.S. – the Sante Fe and the Tucson - and also continues to develop a pickup-like vehicle based on the popular Santa Cruz concept, unveiled in Detroit last January.

Company president and CEO Dave Zuchowski said the overall U.S. vehicle market is projected to be up about 3.2 percent this year, but the car segment will be down 3.9 percent, and the rise will be entirely on the back of the truck segment, which is projected to rise 10.7 percent.

Hyundai's sales have been steadily growing, but there is still a large price of the pie to be had.

"Our stagnation has been primarily from an inability to compete on the truck side," Zuchowski said Friday at a media event.

Hyundai is going after a bigger piece of that pie with the new 2016 Tucson, a sporty update to its compact SUV that goes on sale next month.

The company expects to sell 56,200 Tucsons this year, but with an increase in production of the new model Hyundai said it aims to sell 90,000 units in 2016.

Hyundai will not have a new subcompact SUV, or CUV, for the U.S. market for a couple years yet, Zuchowksi said, adding that the company wants to make sure it gets a unique styling for the booming segment that is focused on younger buyers.

Until then, the company sees its Tucson as a stepping stone into the CUV category.

The Tucson is loaded with the latest safety and convenience tech, such as lane departure warning, blind spot detection and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

Also standard is a hands-free lift gate, with which the driver can approach the rear of the car with the key fab, wait three seconds, and have the tailgate open automatically. It has an available panoramic sunroof, optional 19-inch alloy wheels, heated front and rear seats and ventilated front seats.

Under the hood, the new Tucson comes with a couple options: A base, 2.0L GDI that gets 164 horsepower, 151 lb.-ft. of torque and 23 miles per gallon city and 31 mpg highway; or a 1.6L Turbo GDI that gets 175 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque, while delivering 26/33 mpg on an Eco version and 25/30 mpg on a Sport & Limited trim.

The 2016 Hyundai Tucson starts at $22,700 for the base, front-wheel drive trim, and goes up to $34,050 for the fully-loaded, AWD Limited trim level.

It will compete with the likes of the Toyota RAV4, the Honda CR-V and the Ford Escape.

In general, Zuchowski noted that as a "challenger" company coming into the market, it needs third party validation. That's why it was incredibly important for the company to be named fourth overall in J.D. Power's 2015 U.S. Initial Quality Study, in which it took fourth place overall, ahead of names like BMW, Lexus and Infiniti.

Hyundai has been selling cars in the U.S. for 30 years, beginning with the 1986 Excel. It began by selling about 170,000 units back then. The Korean automaker later hit a low point in 1999, with sales dropping to about 100,000 units annually. It has steadily climbed since then, though, and sold 725,718 units in 2014.

Through the first half of this year, the company's sales are up 2 percent to 371,150 units. With the Tuscon arriving at dealerships next month, no doubt the company expects that rate to rise further before the end of the year.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Getting The Nod: 2015 Hyundai Genesis 3.8 Sedan Second-Quarter Update

Genesis receives our highest recommendation

Hyundai Genesis sales are up more than 20 percent over last year, and it’s easy to see why. The already-good engine-trans combination was snuck into a new chassis underneath a gorgeous new body. That’s among the reasons we picked it for a year-long review.

“No, it’s probably not the last word in high-speed dynamics, but it is extraordinarily comfortable, capable and just plain right for daily use,” said one editor.

“At 80 mph, it felt surefooted and solid,” said another.

That was the general consensus for our second quarter with the plush sedan. We put about 3,000 miles on it, a bit less than last quarter—we’ve had a lot of new sheetmetal passing through our fleet.

The HTRAC all-wheel-drive system and Nokian winter tires laughed in the face of one of the worst cold seasons we’ve seen, doing double duty as a commuter vehicle and a plow when a snow blower went down. The quick-heating seats and steering wheel were welcome.

One big thing with the Genesis (something we keep coming back to) is what a screaming value it is at about $40,000. Sure, we added about 10 grand in options, but for a legitimate luxury midsize competitor, it’s a steal.

Six months in, the Genesis feels like it just came off the lot. All the gaps are tight, and the damn thing still smells new. The doors close with a solid thunk, and the cabin is dead quiet unless you’re really into the throttle. Speaking of, the 311-hp V6 is perfectly matched to this car, and the eight-speed is still smooth. We don’t say, “This car doesn’t need any more power” very often, but we have with this sedan.

One concern is the plastic buttons and rotary knob on the center console—we’d like more-expensive and heavier-feeling metal instead; and the weather stripping is making noise after the spring thaw. We know we’re just picking nits now—this car is that good.

Recommendations don’t come easy around Autoweek HQ, but talk to an editor who has driven this car and they’d tell a friend to buy one. That feeling ranges from the young interns to the AARP crowd. That’s one of the highest honors we can give.

Hyundai Sees Redesigned Tucson Gaining Traction Among Small SUVs

Hyundai Motor Co. is counting on a redesigned Tucson compact sport-utility vehicle to get its growth back on track. A new version that is longer, wider and lower, goes on sale this month.

Through June, Tucson U.S. sales fell 7 percent to 22,634 as the brand’s deliveries rose 1.8 percent to 371,150, slower than the market, according to Autodata Corp. Hyundai sells 80 percent sedans and the market is 56 percent trucks and crossovers, said Dave Zuchowski, chief executive officer of Hyundai’s U.S. business.

“It’s been very difficult for us to maintain our growth curve when we’re swimming upstream,” he told reporters Friday in Superior Township, Michigan, where the automaker has a technical center. “Our stagnation has been primarily an inability to compete in the truck side.”

Hyundai needs this new Tucson. The brand has mostly missed out on a surge in profitable demand for pricey pickups and SUVs. The Seoul-based automaker and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. don’t sell a pickup. Hyundai’s only SUVs are the Tucson and the larger Santa Fe.

Hyundai and Kia don’t have the kind of product that the market is demanding right now,” said Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst at “In cars, they have several top-five sellers but they don’t have that dominant, front-of-the-pack position on their sport utilities. Redoing the Tucson is a step in that direction, but they really need a stronger presence in that segment.”

Consumer Attention

Relatively low gasoline prices and interest rates are helping sales of SUVs and pickups, which favor the Detroit Three automakers. The average vehicle sold for $33,340 last month, up 2.5 percent from a year earlier, according to automotive researcher Kelley Blue Book.

“It’s a tough crowd and they made their mark with cars but they have to get the consumer to think of them for sport utes too,” Krebs said, adding that Volkswagen is the only volume brand that sells a lower percentage of light trucks in the U.S.

Hyundai’s vehicles are well-received, said Kevin Tynan, an auto analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. The brand placed fourth last month in an influential survey of quality in the first 90 days of ownership. Porsche was the top brand in the J.D. Power & Associates annual survey, followed by Kia, Jaguar and Hyundai. The outgoing Tucson won the small SUV category.

“The good news is the reputation is good,” he said. “Now it’s just a matter of getting the right product in the showroom.”