Saturday, October 31, 2015

Korean Unveiling Of All-New Hyundai Equus Announced For December

Sources in South Korea have announced Hyundai’s plan to unveil the all-new Equus luxury sedan in December. It’s the second generation of this model and it comes with a new look, more tech and more efficient power plants.

At least one of the new engines is more frugal, the 3.3-liter turbo V6 which is said to be around 15 percent better on fuel. Its power rating has yet to be officially confirmed, but it could have 365 hp.

According to TheKoreanCarBlog, after the December reveal in Korea, so it’s not unreasonable to assume the US market version could debut at the New York Auto Show next April.

For the new Equus to succeed, it must first exude an overwhelming sense of being expensive, imposing, just like the best luxury rivals out there. It will try to go against the new tech-packed BMW 7-Series and Mercedes S-Class, and there’s also an all-new Lexus LS in the pipeline somewhere too, offering a better value for money.

The Lexus model may be previewed by a concept we’ll get to see very soon. This way, Lexus has the upper hand as will have time to study them, all while gauging public reaction to this new study that they’re teasing.


Friday, October 30, 2015

2016 Hyundai Tucson First Test Review

Hyundai's Tucson has long been a nice, middle-of-the-road small crossover. The last-generation car added some much-needed styling pizzazz, and this new one takes it a step further. It's longer, wider, lower, and more mature. It's got a new, more powerful engine, and it gets better fuel economy. It's loaded with more features. However, most of those improvements depend on how much money you're willing to spend.
We tested two Tucsons, a base SE with the naturally aspirated, 2.0-liter four-cylinder, six-speed automatic, and front-wheel drive, and a loaded Limited with the new 1.6-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder, new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and all-wheel drive. As you might expect, the differences were considerable.
Consider the numbers. The SE costs $24,320 as it sits. It weighs 3,296 pounds and makes 164 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. The Limited costs $32,320 as-tested, weighs 3,606 pounds, and makes 175 hp and 195 lb-ft.

Now consider how they perform. The SE needs 9.7 seconds to hit 60 mph from a stop and 17.2 seconds to cross the quarter-mile mark, at which point it's doing 81.1 mph. Stopping from 60 mph takes 123 feet, and it pulls 0.82 g average on the skidpad and posts a 27.9-second figure-eight lap at 0.60 g average. The Limited, on the other hand, needs only 8.3 seconds to hit 60 mph and 16.5 seconds to pass the quarter-mile at 84.5 mph. Stopping is slightly longer at 128 feet (it's more than 300 pounds heavier, after all), and it pulls 0.81 g average on the skidpad. Lapping the figure eight takes 27.6 seconds at 0.64 g average. For small crossovers, those numbers are about average for each model, if slightly slow.
The way each drives mirrors the way it performs. The SE is painfully slow in accelerating and passing, held back by a weak, coarse engine and somewhat slow-shifting automatic transmission. The Limited, with its all-wheel-drive grip and turbo power, is adequately quick in acceleration and passing thanks in part to its fast-shifting dual-clutch automatic. Both hesitate when you first step on the gas, as if they're mustering the strength to get going. It's more noticeable with the dual-clutch transmission, which seems to slip the clutch for a long time. This generates some concern as to how it would perform loaded with people and cargo, something we didn't have an opportunity to test.Both vehicles offer a somewhat stiff ride, but what you trade in ride quality you gain back in handling. They go around a corner well, taking a set and offering plenty of grip. Both feature adjustable steering modes, all of which are typically Hyundai numb but offer different weighting. Braking power is acceptable and the cars are stable under panic braking.
If you plan to take your crossover off-road or if you live in a wintery area, we strongly suggest you find the extra $1,400 required to upgrade to all-wheel drive, regardless of engine choice. On a light off-road test course, the SE's combination of front-wheel drive and tires optimized for fuel efficiency made it mostly useless on loose dirt. The all-wheel-drive model with its locking center differential performed considerably better.The same dichotomies play out inside the vehicles, as well. The Limited is nicely appointed with a laundry list of standard features. Its 8-inch BlueLink information and entertainment screen is intuitive and responsive with crisp graphics. The materials are good quality, and the vehicle feels worthy of its price tag. The SE, on the other hand, feels like the cheapest SUV option at the rental counter. All of the fancier safety features are options, just like the conveniences. The monotone coloring, cheap-feeling materials, and dearth of features were disappointments. The rough plastic steering wheel drew considerable rebuke. 
Functionally, though, the vehicles are similar. Both are quiet inside, comfortable, and easy to see out of. The rear seats are large enough to seat most adults comfortably and cargo space is good. The rear windowsills are rather high due to the styling, which may make it difficult for children to see out.The new Tucson offers a nice upgrade with more space and some of the best styling in the class from the outgoing model. Should you be willing to pay for it, you can add more features than most competitors while maintaining class-competitive fuel economy and performance. In terms of how it drives, we find the new Tucson to be average, but if that matters less to you than features and style, you'll find plenty to like—as long as you're willing to pay for it. 


Do You Know What To Do In An Auto Accident?

Hyundai Unveils 105PS 1.6L Engine For Upcoming Dedicated Hybrid, Plus New 8-Speed Auto

Hyundai has lifted the veils off its new hybrid dedicated GDI engine and front-wheel drive 8-speed automatic transmission in Korea.

Announced at the company’s annual International Powertrain Conference, the new 1.6-liter GDI engine will be used on future Hyundai hybrid models and will most likely debut in the Korean automaker’s Prius rival.

The new Kappa 1.6-liter GDI engine is designed to boost power, performance and fuel economy, while driving down production costs and CO2 emissions in the mid-class hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) segments.

Arriving in markets in early 2016, the new unit marks Hyundai’s first combination of the Atkinson cycle, cooled exhaust gas re-circulation (EGR) and a long stroke specification to maximize thermal efficiency. Thanks to these features, the new Kappa HEV engine alone delivers a 3 percent gain in fuel economy and achieves an increased engine thermal efficiency of 40 percent. The engine is rated at 105PS (104hp) and 147Nm (108lb-ft) of torque.

Hyundai has also presented its new front-wheel drive 8-speed automatic transmission, which delivers improved fuel economy by 7.3 percent when compared with the existing 6-speed automatic transmission unit.

Promising better drivability and smoothness, the new transmission will be offered for Hyundai’s Lambda, Theta turbo GDI, and R family engines, targeting the large and luxury car segments.

Based on a unique layout, the new transmission has an additional clutch compared to the 6-speed automatic transmission. By increasing the gear span with a more number of gears, the transmission offers improved acceleration performance at the low gear range, and enhanced fuel economy and NVH at the high gear range. The weight has also been reduced by 3.5 kg (7.7 lbs) from the 6-speed automatic transmission.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hyundai sales shoot up 13% in Q3

Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), the official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the country, reported a solid 13% quarter-on-quarter increase in the third quarter of this year.
Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, HARI president and CEO, said that unit sales jumped to 6,014 units from the 5,325 units sold in Q2 2015. Year-to-date sales though slowed to 16,703 units, 6 percent less than 17,693 units sold in 2014.
The Passenger Car (PC) category remarkably grew by 24 percent to 4,283 units in the third quarter  2015 versus the 3,458 units sold in the second quarter 2015, mainly due to the strong sales performance of the Eon and Accent.
But sales of Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) for the third quarter of 2015 dipped by 7 percent to 1,731 units from the 1,867 units in the second quarter of 2015.
Year-on-year sales show PC’s slight decline of 3 percent, while LCV group grew by 7 percent  in Q3 2015.
According to Agudo, the Philippines still remains as one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, next to China and Vietnam, primarily owing to improved fiscal expenditure amid external headwinds.
She noted that despite the sluggish export and muted agriculture, Q2 GDP growth reached 5.6 percent which is stronger than the revised Q1 GDP growth of 5.0 percent. This translated to an average of 5.3 percent for the first semester of the year.
Given that scenario, the Philippines will unlikely hit the government economic target of 7-8 percent  for 2015. This is further aggravated by the dry spell brought by El Nino which can persist until the first half of 2016 despite the expected boost from the election-related spending ahead of 2016.
Another growth driver is the continuing low inflation regime, Agudo said.
Inflation dropped to new low of 0.4 percent,  for the month of September, translating to 1.6 percent which is below the government’s target of 2-4 percent. Slowdown in commodity prices is generally attributed to downward pressures in food, energy and utility prices. Continuing effect of lower inflation further supports the auto industry as evident by the robust auto sales. This is also fueled by the growing auto loan which is buoyed by the attractive financing packages. This bodes well for the auto industry as it is projected to grow by double-digit year-end.
“With the holiday season fast approaching, Hyundai is emboldened to delight the Filipino market with unwavering customer service on top of a product line-up tailor fit to their changing lifestyle amid the heightened competition in the automotive arena,” Agudo said.

Tjin Edition Rounds Out Hyundai's SEMA Lineup With Extreme Genesis Coupe

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Oct. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Rounding out Hyundai's 2015 SEMA lineup, TJIN Edition RoadShow has revealed details on its convention-defying Genesis Coupe. For Neil Tjin's first official Hyundai vehicle built for SEMA, the builder turned to underground racing for inspiration to create this mad, 500 horsepower racer. The vehicle will be revealed at Hyundai's SEMA press conference on November 3 at 11:30 a.m. PT.
At the heart of TJIN's Genesis Coupe is Hyundai's 3.8-liter "Lambda" V6 engine, which has been boosted via a Vortech supercharger kit built by the power gurus from Bisimoto Engineering. With the addition of a free-flowing exhaust system, Vortech front mount intercooler and blow-off valve, the vehicle now produces more than 500 horsepower. With the addition of Rotiform 19-in. 3-piece HUR wheels, custom Baer x CBA Extreme Plus brake calipers and Falklen FK345 tires, the vehicle's stopping power is now on par with its go-fast performance. 
The vehicle now sits lower on KW coilovers to give a more aggressive stance. Unique Fabrication supplied a custom front lip, rear spoiler and custom trunk lid, and the exterior was finished in a custom Kylie Tjin Axalta green paint job.
"The Tjin Edition Hyundai Genesis is the perfect mix of speed and style," said Neil Tjin, president, TJIN Edition RoadShow. "The vehicle grabs your attention with its vibrant, Tjin green 'Axalta' paint job and custom Rotiform wheels, boasts impressive performance thanks to a Bisimoto Engineering supercharger system and Baer brake system, and the interior is finished in CT-inspired Alea leather."
Follow #HyundaiSEMA to keep up to speed on all of this year's SEMA activity.
  • Bisimoto Engineering Supercharger Kit with Vortech V3 Supercharger and Bisimoto Engineering Tune
  • Bisimoto Exhaust System 
  • Vortech Front Mount Intercooler 
  • Vortech Blow-Off Valve
  • Optima Battery 
  • KW Coilovers
  • Custom Baer x CBA Extreme Plus Calipers (front and rear)
  • Baer Performance Brake Pads 
  • Baer 14-in. Cross-Drilled Rotors 
  • Baer Steel Brake Lines  
  • Downstar Bolts and Lug Nuts  
  • Rotiform 19-in. 3-Piece HUR Wheels 
  • Falken AZENIS FK453 Tires 
  • Custom Kylie Tjin Axalta Green Paint Job 
  • Unique Fabrication Front Lip
  • Unique Fabrication Metal Trunk Lid
  • Unique Fabrication Rear Wing 
  • LightWurkz Headlights 
  • Safety 1st LED Lighting 
  • Unique Fabrication Roll Cage 
  • Custom Alea Leather Interior 
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 830 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.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Hyundai Motor chairman donates W20 billion for jobseekers

Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Mong-koo and executives donated a combined 20 billion won ($17.73 million) to a government-initiated fund to run programs for young jobseekers, the carmaker said Sunday.

The donation came three days after Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee donated the same amount to the youth employment fund. Leaders of Korea's major companies such as SK, LG and POSCO are expected to follow suit.

"The chairman agreed with the idea that concerted efforts are needed to tackle the worsening youth unemployment," Hyundai Motor said in a press release. "We hope our donation will give unemployed young people hope for the future and inspire them to make a creative challenge."

The Youth Hope Fund was created in September at the behest of President Park Geun-hye.

The fund, which has received roughly 4.3 billion won in less than a month since its launch, will be used mainly to cover the blind spots of the government's youth job policies.

Occupational training and mentors will be made available for job seekers, while the tentatively named Youth Hope Academy will analyze the demands of employers and match them with potential employees.

The Youth Hope Foundation will also coordinate with private institutes in finding young adults job opportunities overseas.

The nation's biggest carmaker plans to hire more than 36,000 people over the next three years. It recently unveiled a startup supporting plan, which the company believes will create 12,000 jobs for young people. Hyundai Motor's affiliates have joined the campaign, collecting independent funds for job creation or expanding employment.

Hyundai Motor has run various job creation programs since 2012, in collaboration with the Ministry of Employment and Labor and the Korea Social Enterprise Promotion Agency.

"Hyundai Motor will do everything it can to expand youth employment and help those seeking to startup businesses," a company spokesman said.

Korea's youth unemployment rate is at its highest level since 2000 ― an estimated 410,000 young adults were unemployed in the first half of this year, up from 330,000 in 2013.

Hyundai E&C ranks as top builder for three straight years

Hyundai Engineering and Construction (E&C) has ranked at the top of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) for three consecutive years, the company said Thursday.

The index, created 16 years ago, is a global investment index announced jointly by S&P Dow Jones, the world's leading financial information provider, and RobecoSAM, an international investment firm in Switzerland.

The result is based on the two organizations' annual evaluation of economic, environmental and social sustainability of some 2,500 global companies in 59 industries, including engineering and construction.

"This shows that the future value of Hyundai E&C is recognized as an indisputable global leader," the Seoul-based builder said. "Outstanding competitiveness of Hyundai E&C has been highly valued as a global construction company that faithfully fulfills social responsibility for the environment and sustainable business."

Only 342 companies were included on the DJSI World list this year, only 10 percent of the evaluated companies.

Hyundai said its track record reflects the company's reputation in the global market.

The firm said it has secured overseas orders of more than $10 billion for three consecutive years. It has executed projects in 58 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Europe and North America.

"The achievement has resulted in receiving the highest rating for economic performance, transparent management, global social contribution activities, and environment-friendly construction. It is expected that shareholders and investors will expand their investments in the company from learning about the ranking" a Hyundai E&C spokesman said.

"We will continue to fulfill our corporate social responsibility as the world's leading company in the construction field and furthermore strive to improve corporate brand value."

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

2016 Hyundai Accent Active Review

Buying your first car is an exciting experience, even more so if your first car is a new car. You are the first person to sit there, it’s your choice of colour, your choice of trim… It’s your car. You don’t need to spend a fortune these days either, as the revamped 2016 Hyundai Accent Active proves.
Ticking a lot of ‘good first car’ boxes, the entry-level Hyundai Accent Active automatic is currently priced at $15,990 driveaway.
Well-priced small hatches are how Hyundai made their mark in Australia. Wind the clock back 20 years and if, like me, you spent part of the 1990s on P-plates, you would surely have known someone (if not yourself) who owned a Hyundai Excel.
The cheery, curvy three-door hatch was the go-to first ‘new car’ for over 200,000 Australians between 1994 and 2000 – when it was, coincidently, replaced by the first-generation Accent. From just $15,690 (automatic, plus on-roads), the basic Excel Sprint was a near perfect first-car for the time. Bright colours, modern looks, reliable and economical – what more could you ask for?
Not a lot as it happened. The Excel was pretty basic. No airbags, no aircon, no ABS and Bluetooth audio wouldn’t make its way into cars until the turn of the millennium so you had to make do with the two-speaker stereo and a glovebox full of TDK mix-tapes.
Happier times? Maybe – but it shows just how far we have come, and how much ‘car’ you can get for similar money in 2015.
With a list price of $16,990, the Active might be the range’s entry model, but it comes loaded with plenty of goodies to keep fresh drivers safe and happy on the road.
With a five-star ANCAP safety rating, six airbags, traction and stability controls, power windows, keyless entry, Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity and even a full-size spare wheel (something of a rarity these days), the ‘base’ Accent really doesn’t miss out on much.
There are even seven colours (metallic and mica finishes are a $495 option) to brighten up your ride – our test car finished in standard Crystal White.
Not a brand-new car, the 2016 Hyundai Accent has some some notable changes to better position it as the revised entry point into the Hyundai line-up. With the smaller i20 being phased out of the Australian market, the Accent Active has had its list price cut by $2000 from the 2015 specification car in an effort to fill the gap.
To support the price drop, the Active swaps a 90kW/156Nm 1.6-litre petrol engine for a 74kW/133Nm 1.4-litre ‘Kappa’ powerplant. Mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), the pair combine to see the Accent claim 6.2 litres per 100km.
The new drivetrain isn’t a powerhouse and is actually closer in performance to the original 1990s Excel than the outgoing Accent.
Off the line the car feels quite ‘zippy’, but this plateaus before you’ve finished crossing the intersection and you get the feeling that the car appreciated the 1.6-litre’s extra 16kW of power and 23Nm of torque.
The engine can be quite raspy under load and we found the CVT slower to ‘relax’ in the morning too, when the car was cold. The cabin as a whole is a rather noisy place to be too, thanks to plenty of tyre noise (particularly at high speed). Our combined test loop also netted a significantly higher average fuel consumption figure of 8.6L/100km.
That said, the Accent is comfortable at both highway and urban speeds, with the ride only being slightly upset by sharp surface changes, such as expansion joints on the freeway.
Dashing about urban backstreets, which would likely form the majority of the Hyundai’s life, the 4.1-metre-long Accent deals as well with cobbles and speed humps as many larger cars.
It errs on the ‘softer’ side of things though, so there isn’t a great deal of directness and feedback through the wheel, but at 1140kg, it is light and requires little effort to motor about town.
At urban speeds, the CVT is predictable and the brakes intuitive enough to make driving smooth and relatively effortless.
The interior is also particularly pleasant – especially given the car’s position in the range. The standard five-inch touchscreen media unit does not support satellite navigation, but it does handle MP3s and even ‘actual’ CDs, as well as offering a cool ‘record’ feature that allows you to dictate notes to the car and record music to the car’s media memory.
Pairing a phone is quick and easy and the audio quality from the Bluetooth is also quite good. There’s a big glove box, good-sized door pockets and a handy ‘phone tray’ that conveniently includes a USB, mini-jack and 12-volt charge points as well.
The cloth seats are comfortable and the driver’s has height adjustment. The steering wheel also has height adjustment and audio controls, but is sadly without any cruise control function whatsoever or phone controls.
Materials are above expectation for a car in this price range, specifically the dash top which feels like it belongs in a more expensive car. Some elements do betray the ‘budget’ nature of the Accent though, most notably the air conditioning and climate switches, which feel very light and cheap. At least air-con is there though – right, Excel owners?
The back seat too is comfortable and decently sized. We had four adults in the Accent for a short trip and there were no fights or claims that someone was touching someone so much that we had to turn around and not stop for ice cream.
The Accent’s 370-litre boot is big enough for day-to-day use and expands to 600L when the back seats are dropped forward. The seats don’t fold completely flat though, so you might need to borrow Mum’s wagon for any IKEA trips.
While at the back of the car, it’s important to call out two notable omissions from the little South Korean: No parking sensors and, most critically, no reversing camera. Alright, you can live without parking sensors, but in this day and age, when a reversing camera is standard equipment on a Toyota Yaris, Honda Jazz and Volkswagen Polo, the latter is a borderline must – even on a car at this price point.
The 2016 Hyundai Accent is another great little first car from a company that made its name in Australia by selling great little first cars. With a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty and a lifetime capped-price service plan minimising any potential ownership dramas, the Accent Active is a safe, simple, comfortable and value-packed option well worth considering.
It’s not quite as new as the Mazda 2, as practical as a Honda Jazz, as ‘nice’ as a Volkswagen Polo nor as fun to drive as a Suzuki Swift, but it is good value. And if Hyundai can move even half of its i20 sales into the Accent camp, the brand could (again) claim the prize for best-selling light car in Australia.

New Gary Rome Hyundai designed to be energy-efficient

Official groundbreaking ceremony of the new Gary Rome Hyundai dealership at 150 Whiting Farms Rd, Holyoke, MA.
HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Gary Rome Hyundai held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday at their planned dealership on Whiting Farms Road in Holyoke.
The groundbreaking comes after months of negotiations with neighbors, and the approval of a zone change. The site was at one point considered as a potential location for a Walmart store, but those plans were later dropped.
Now that construction is underway, 22News wanted to know how Gary Rome plans to compete with other dealerships. He said that his new building will be unique due to its energy efficiency. They will only use reclaimed and recycled water, and electric car owners will be able to recharge their vehicles there for free. Rome told 22News these aspects will set him apart from the competition.
“We’re always concerned about competition, but we think with this new dealership, it’s going to be eco-friendly and state-of-the-art. I think it will really give us a good advantage,” Rome said.
He told 22News that the dealership will increase the city’s property tax revenues by thousands of dollars. They are also hiring 50 new full-time and 20 new part-time employees.
The new dealership is expected to open next August. Gary Rome Hyundai is currently located on Main Street in Holyoke.

Monday, October 26, 2015

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid First Test

Built to challenge the Toyota Camry Hybrid, the previous-generation Hyundai Sonata Hybrid didn't exactly set the world on fire. Lower than expected fuel economy, a catfish-like maw, and a rough powertrain made it clear the hybrid wasn't the most competitive entry in a growing segment. For 2016, a second-gen Sonata Hybrid comes armed with a new and improved powertrain, more space, and upscale appointments. A plug-in variant will also be offered for the first time.
The 2016 Sonata Hybrid's powertrain is an evolution of the one found in the previous generation, combining a new 154-hp, direct-injected, 2.0-liter inline-four with 140 lb-ft of torque and a 38-kW electric motor for a total system output of 193 hp. A six-speed automatic remains the only transmission available, and the lithium-ion battery is now a larger 1.62-kW-hr unit that sits under the trunk's floor. When it comes to fuel economy, the Sonata Hybrid succeeds, with our range-topping Limited trim test car rated at 39/43 mpg city/highway. The entry-level Sonata Hybrid SE is more efficient at 40/44 mpg thanks to lower-resistance tires and smaller 16-inch alloy wheels.
Around town, you can turn the 2.0-liter I-4 into a generator and use it in combination with regenerative braking to keep the battery charged. While cruising at highway speeds, the gas engine turns off when there's sufficient battery charge, enabling you to maximize EV-mode driving. If you need more power to merge or pass slower traffic, the gas engine restarts smoothly with little shaking or rumbling. The six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and is rarely caught in the wrong gear. You can shift the gearbox yourself, but it's best to leave it to its own devices; it's slow to respond in manual mode. 
Though the Sonata Hybrid performs well on twisty roads, it's more at home in the city and on the highway. The suspension soaks up potholes and rough roads, giving it a reasonably damped ride. However, on less-than-perfect surfaces, there's a noticeable amount of road and tire noise in the cabin. On decently maintained surfaces, the Sonata Hybrid's well-insulated interior remains quiet. The brake pedal, on the other hand, was squishy and didn't inspire much driver confidence. When you brake gradually, the car doesn't feel as if its losing momentum, making it hard to stop smoothly. Senior production editor Zach Gale noted that brake feel wasn't linear and felt unnatural, meaning drivers will need some time to get used to them.At the track, the Sonata Hybrid ran from zero to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds and finished the quarter mile in 16.3 seconds at 86.5 mph. It's slower than the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Honda Accord Hybrid -- both of which hit 60 mph in 7.1 seconds -- but slightly quicker than the Ford Fusion Hybrid. Braking from 60 mph to a complete stop, on the other hand, took 121 feet, longer than all three of its chief rivals. The car completed the figure eight in 28.1 seconds with an average of 0.62 g and generated 0.80 g of lateral acceleration, putting it on par with other hybrid midsize sedans. In terms of handling, the Sonata Hybrid holds its own, though the Fusion and the Accord are more engaging to drive, with better steering and chassis tuning. The drive mode selector gives you a choice between Normal, Sport, and Eco modes, changing the throttle response, transmission shift points, and steering weight. Eco mode maximizes fuel economy but doesn't dull the throttle too much, and Sport mode makes the car slightly more responsive. Whatever mode you're in, steering is light and communicates better than in previous Hyundais but lacks feel.A Near-Premium Interior ExperienceGetting into the Sonata Hybrid's cabin, you're greeted by a well-appointed interior, with plenty of soft-touch materials and sufficient padding. While the black and blue leather is unique, the interior could use some bright silver trim and lighter colors to brighten things up. One knock against the hybrid's interior is the available panoramic sunroof, which squeaks and rattles quite a bit, especially over bumpy roads.The front seats are well-bolstered and supportive with plenty of adjustability for the driver and front passenger. Four passengers will be comfortable in the Sonata Hybrid, even for long drives, while a fifth passenger can squeeze in. Heated and ventilated front seats and heated outboard rear seats are also available. A driver-only mode for the climate control is standard, which helps save energy when driving in EV mode. You'll find plenty of cubbies for your mobile devices inside the Sonata Hybrid, including a larger storage area in the center stack, a mobile phone holder, a big glove box, and a large center console bin.Unlike the gas-only Sonata, there's only 13.3 cubic feet of cargo space instead of 16.3 because the lithium-ion battery is under the trunk floor. In comparison, the Camry Hybrid has 13.1 cubic feet of trunk space and the Accord Hybrid has 12.7 cubic feet. Those two, however, don't come with split-folding rear seats like the Sonata Hybrid. The Fusion Hybrid, on the other hand, does feature split-folding rear seats, but its 12-cubic-feet trunk trails the Sonata's.The Sonata Hybrid's infotainment system is user-friendly and features an 8-inch touchscreen that responds quickly to your inputs. There are also some hybrid-specific features such as an energy-flow gauge and a meter that rates how efficiently you're driving. Response to voice commands, however, needs improvement; you can't tell the system to play specific artists or songs out of your flash drive, and it frequently has a hard time understanding you. The Infinity by Harman Kardon audio system, on the other hand, delivers crisp and clear sound. The Sonata Hybrid is available with advanced safety features, including blind-spot warning, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning.A More Complete CompositionWhen compared to its predecessor, it's clear that the new 2016 Sonata Hybrid is a step in the right direction. The smoothness of the powertrain shows that Hyundai took the time to make big improvements to its hybrid midsize sedan to make it a stronger entry in its segment. At $35,550, the 2016 Sonata Hybrid isn't cheap, but when you consider an array of features usually found on pricier cars, the price starts making sense. Except for minor fit and finish issues and non-linear brakes, the Sonata Hybrid is a solid proposition, offering value, fuel efficiency, a smooth powertrain, and a well-appointed interior. In fact, the hybrid delivers similar levels of performance as its gas-only siblings but with the bonus of stellar fuel economy.

Hyundai Creta Automatic Waiting Period Raises to 6 Months

Hyundai Motors India pulls the collar up with an increasing demand of the automatic variant of Creta. As the vehicle was first unveiled on 21st of July 2015, it got much appreciation and attention by the SUV lovers and car enthusiasts. The popularity can be seen in the fact that the car managed to garner about 10,000 bookings before its official launch. However, the automatic variant is gaining popularity over the manual one and is preferred by the masses.
With the launch of Hyundai Creta, many other car makers seem to offer heavy discounts on their products in the same segment to lure the buyers. Recently, Maruti offered the benefits of up to INR 1 lac and the same thing happened with Renault. Further, Creta by its mesmerizing looks influenced the buyers and attracted many getting them away from Scorpio and XUV500. The vehicle competes against the likes of Ford EcoSport, Renault Duster and Maruti S-Cross in the segment.
From the day it was introduced, the car has received an overwhelming response from the buyers. One of the many reasons that help the vehicle become so popular among the Indian masses are the reasonable price and a smart design with influential looks that drew the buyer’s attention.
Hyundai Creta is available between a price tag of INR 8.59 lac and INR 13.60 lac (Ex-Showroom Delhi). Seeing the increasing demand of the Creta, the Korean car maker has increased the production of the vehicle. The company now produces from 5000 units to 6500 units every month, that is achieved in a time period of just 2 months.
On the design part, Creta flaunts stunning outer body. It gets bold radiator grille with triple slat chrome finish on the front. Headlight cluster gets swept back design and it comes with bi-functional projector headlamps with LED lights. The bumper gets a muscular appeal and incorporates large air intake sections. Further, it receives vertically positioned fog lamps. At the rear end, it gets tail light cluster and rear bumper while the rear windscreen looks small. The license plate is done in chrome and is placed above the bumper. On the dimensional front, it features length of 4270 mm, width of 1780 mm, a height of 1630 mm and a wheelbase of 2590mm.
As per the interiors, the new Hyundai Creta is home to attractive and spacious cabin. It is decorated with dual tone color scheme that is black and beige. The steering wheel, seat covers, door armrests and gear shift knob are wrapped with leather. The dashboard gets the edgy design and looks very attractive while it also receives infotainment unit with high-resolution screen. Other important features in the Creta are air conditioning unit, height adjustable driver seat, MT shift indicator, keyless entry among others, that has made this a hearthrob in a short span of time.
Hyundai Creta has been introduced in a total of 6 variants; Base, S, S Plus, SX, SX Plus and SX. Mechanically, Hyundai Creta is offered with three different powertrains. The mid and base variant is powered by 1.4 litre CRDi engine that can deliver the power output of 88.7 bhp at 4000 rpm and a peak torque of 219.7 Nm between 1500-2750 rpm. Another one is a 1.6-litre engine that is capable of producing the power output of 126.3 bhp at 4000 rpm and a torque of 259.8 Nm max in the range of 1900-2750 rpm.
On the other hand, its petrol variant is powered by 1.6 litres VTVT mill that can churn out the power of 121.3 bhp at 6400 rpm and a torque of 154.9 Nm at 4850 rpm. All the mills come coupled with the 6-speed manual transmission with front wheel drive, while its top variant SX Plus gets 1.6-litre diesel motor that is mated to 6-speed automatic gearbox. ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 1.6 petrol is 15.29 kmpl, for 1.4-litre diesel it is 21.38 kmpl and for 1.6-litre diesel it is 19.67 kmpl for manual and 17.01 kmpl for automatic variant.
Looking at the ongoing upsurge, without an iota of doubt we can say this new offering from Hyundai has already conquered the segment.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Hyundai Built a Whole Town Full of Careless Crash Test Dummies for Quirky Tucson Ads: Don't try any of this at home.

Hyundai's latest commercials for its Tucson SUV are set in a town with a quiet, but incredibly accident-prone, community of inhabitants. That's because they're all crash test dummies.
The bizarre but likable ads from Innocean USA actually take place in a minimalist,white-walled warehouse decorated with street signs, lamp posts and plastic shrubbery. The spots show various dummies getting easily distracted in typical driving situations—they are dummies, after all—and the vehicle's features coming to the rescue. 
"The goal was to create a really memorable and smart series of spots that refreshingly deviate from the standard crash-test-dummy commercial," says Innocean creative director Bob Rayburn. "The trick is that even though our subjects were all dummies, we needed to draw viewers in by their human-inspired, character-driven actions."
 In the spot above, the SUV's emergency braking system averts disaster by sensing "absent-minded dummies in its path" (the mannequin driver stares into a tablet screen). In another, the Tucson's hands-free entry saves a tailgate party. (CTDs prefer bratwurst. Good to know.)
The wackiest spot, for the vehicle's lane-departure warning system, features a "hunky" surfer-dude simulacrum with flowing locks whose appearance almost causes a female dummy-driver to veer into oncoming traffic. (He's got a plastic personality, we hear.)
"One interesting element of the shoot was the fact that we had to fully execute all the safety features in each of the videos—meaning we couldn't edit around the feature working," Rayburn says. "Legally, we had to show it working. Everything had to be triggered naturally, and the car had to respond all on its own. It's human nature to worry when a car is headed for another car and we aren't allowed to hit the brakes. But the car came through, and the automatic emergency braking did its job."
All in all, working with flesh-and-blood actors is a breeze compared to coaxing usable performances from a troupe of dummies, Rayburn says.

"Having to position them exactly right to get across the notion that they aren't paying attention sounds easier than it actually was," he says. "It felt like we were adjusting some dummy part after every take to get them just right. The fact that we used a hybrid mannequin/crash test dummy helped because we were able to manipulate them physically and position them how we needed."
They're also less sensitive than flesh-and-blood actors. "We could yell at them without having to worry about their emotions," Rayburn says. "They absolutely nailed every take."
As a competing nameplate recently taught us: Sometimes the best innovations happen when you don't think of dummies as dummies.