Monday, October 31, 2016

Comparing the Elantra to the Elantra Sport

Much like the Santa Fe Sport is to the Santa Fe, the Elantra Sport will enhance the performance of the Elantra in new ways.
The basic Elantra is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with 147 hp, while the Sport is upgraded to a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder engine that hits over 200 horsepower and over 190 lb-ft of torque. However, both versions have the same transmission options: six-speed manual or seven-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT)–though the Elantra Sport’s DCT gets paddle shifters.

Moving to the back of the vehicle, the Elantra Sport gets independent multi-link rear suspension to give it a better driving experience than the basic Elantra.
Inside, the Elantra Sport does exude “performance,” as it’s outfitted with a pair of front sport seats, upholstery with red contrast stitching, and a flat-bottomed steering wheel. It will also come with many tech features that are only optional add-ons for the lower Elantra trim levels.
The Hyundai Elantra Sport is not yet offered to US customers through Hyundai’s website, but when it does, we’re curious to see how well this sport-ified version sells.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Hyundai’s new Azera seems to be inspired from BMW

Korean car-maker Hyundai showcased its new sedan called the Azera in its hometown. Called the Hyundai Grandeur in Korea, it is said to be a country-exclusive for now as the company hasn’t announced any plans for launching it abroad.
The new car makes a stand for the company’s fight in the sedan segment and comes with Hyundai’s new hexagonal grill which was seen on the new Elantra. It also comes with with a long hood as well as elongated double headlights with rounded edges which somehow looks a lot like the BMW 5 Series.
It is a more formal looking car with the sides featuring flowing character lines that add a bit of a muscular look. At the back, the Azera gets new full width taillights which look stunning.
Even on the inside there are some major changes. Instead of the downward flowing dash of the old model, the new version features an instrument panel with a dark top portion and lighter lower section. Between the two halves of the dash is a section that rises up at the center stack that has a large touch screen and an analog clock. With this launch, Hyundai has given us glimpse of how the next Sonata could look like.
Hyundai hasn’t yet revealed the engine or performance details. Neither has it disclosed any details on the launch.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Auto review: 2016 Hyundai Veloster still turns young eyes

For 2016 the Hyundai Veloster is a nicely done car, specifically for twentysomethings, although it may be more of an attitude thing than an age thing.
This is the Hyundai product that you have to love or hate. It is much like the Kia Soul in that regard, and is also aimed at the same age group as the Soul. Because they are made by the same company, they aren’t supposed to, and don’t, compete with each other. One cannot imagine a potential buyer for the Veloster to even glance sideways at the Soul, unless there was a pretty girl driving it.
The car I tested was a black-on-black 2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo. Its MSRP was $24,920.00 while the base Veloster starts at $18,835. There a fair old bit of fun in those prices.

It was designed to push at least some limits. It has three doors, for instance. My seven-year-old grandson was confused, and questioned the purpose and value of only having a back-seat door on one side. Nor that they would frequently transport seven-year-olds.
But it still raises the question of why would someone want a car that was a coupe on one side and a sedan on the other? My guess is very few buyers. Hyundai was simply intrigued by the designer’s idea and incorporated it into a car that was clearly designed to be “outside of the box.”
For 2016, all Veloster models offer a revised hood appearance without vent accents, a dark gray grille surround, 10-mm-wider tires fitted to all 18-in. wheels, and the non-turbo Veloster gets a new 17-in. wheels. The Turbo model gets new machined-finish wheels, a sportier seat design including black seats with yellow accents. The instrument panel have fancier electroluminescent gauges and black headliner. design.
It’s looks are also a change from the standard look for small Asian cars. It’s hunched rear shoulders and angular aggressive front end bring serious macho to the compact segment. This is something a bit different here in the North American market where compacts are supposed to be cute and non-threatening.
So far it seems to have found a niche in the market, and Hyundai is proud of its sales. While its looks are edgy, the mechanical part of the Veloster is fairly straightforward.
The engine is a 1.6-liter turbocharged direct gasoline-injection four-cylinder. It pushes 201 hp. and 195 lb.-ft. of peak torque to the front wheels, using regular fuel. The engine breathes freely and sounds good all the way up the power band. That’s thanks to the turbo Veloster’s Active Sound Design, improving the intake and exhaust powertrain sound character inside the cabin.

The car comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission or new-for-2016 optional seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic. Both of them were developed in-house by Hyundai. Mileage for the two transmission are 25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway for the manual and 27 mpg city and 33 mpg highway for the automatic.
It does take a bit of getting used to waiting for the turbo to spool up. The steering uses electric power steering, so the road feel is good. The steering does a good job of staying on-center, a sometimes difficult thing in a front-wheel drive car.
The suspension is decent, but not really sporty. It’s a McPherson strut front suspension with coil springs and gas shock absorbers. In back there is a light-weight V-torsion beam, with an integrated 24-mm stabilizer bar and monotube shock absorbers. Tuning is more “Euro” on the Turbo.
All Turbo models get torque vectoring, which adds to the driving assist provided by the electronic stability control and powertrain control systems You can drive this car fast in the twisty bits safely. It responds well, and consistently to input. On the model I tested the wheels and tires were a good combination. They gripped nicely but didn’t feel the need to transmit the road’s every bump and bounce into the cabin.
In addition to every Veloster getting a rearview camera there are plenty of standard safety features including vehicle stability management and smart anti-lock brakes.
While small, the Veloster’s cabin is more than enough room for comfort in the front seats, and even the rear seats were livable. There is, for instance, plenty of shoulder room, something that can be an issue in a compact car.
The instrument panel is easy to use and well laid out. I can’t say I liked the center console layout, although probably another week in the car would solve my ergonomic problems. Some things just seemed to be hard for me to find. I also wanted a bigger touchscreen. The standard 450-watt Dimension Premium Audio system uses eight speakers, including an eight-inch subwoofer, external amplifier and iPod/USB/auxiliary input jacks.
I do like the Veloster’s design. It’s difficult to remember it’s been on the market awhile. The interior is still edgy enough to fit the kind of buyer Hyundai is looking for. That buyer, by the way, is the aforementioned twentysomething who has a good enough job to already be thinking of buying a new car. One presumes they aren’t living in their mother’s basement, as well.
Hyundai wants to get these people into the “family” of Hyundai buyers so they will work their way up the model lineup as they age and increase in prosperity.
The brand now has a model for each stage of their life, and with the coming of the Genesis luxury brand (think Lexus/Toyota or Acura/Honda) Hyundai would be quite happy for that allegiance to last a lifetime.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra has managed to hold its own

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra has managed to hold its own, maintain its high standards in the heavily populated compact segment. Underneath the metal packaging lies a frisky little daredevil that makes an otherwise very humdrum commute, a trip to actually look forward to every single day.

The Korean automaker has stepped up its game as far as the sixth generation Elantra's looks in and out. The sedan's former swoopy, brash exterior has been kicked to the curb and now it is really evident, maturity has set in design-wise. A few strong character lines, dimples and contours from nose to tail with metal that appears to fit a little tighter, you can clearly see the Elantra looks heavier, more solid and is far less polarizing than before. A large hexagonal grille, narrow headlamps and sloping rear glass design that kind of flows into the decklid, adds a touch of fastback sportiness to a overhaul that gives the Elantra, a real touch of class.

Adding room to roam in a compact is a nice dimension that enhances anyone's driving experience.

Even fussy folks will find their happy place inside the Elantra and don't think, just because it's smaller, comfort will have to be sacrificed. Overall seating in the compact is well bolstered and provides good lateral support, a boon for staying comfortable on long trips. Space in the Elantra is very obliging to NBA hopefuls or the bootylicious set; rear seating is kind to long legs as well. The once whimsical dash is now driver-centric and appears more buttoned-down and straightforward with easy-to-read and use controls. The 8-inch touchscreen is wide enough for a split view. You'll appreciate the large dead pedal where you can rest your weary left foot. The tilt/telescopic steering wheel is always a welcomed feature. Speaking of steering wheels, the one in the compact however, covers the push button start and this can become a bit of an annoyance. But moving along.... Here is a real plus, the Elantra's cool coupe-like styling cues does not compromise all around visibility.

You won't win any NASCAR races in the Elantra but once you get behind the wheel, the fun factor gets ramped up. The snap-to-maneuver compact is responsive, nimble especially around turns and very well controlled on ruts and bumpy roadways; it truly has the makings of a great urban tool. The vehicle's interior also nicely quells wind and road noise at highway speeds. Powering two of the Elantra's trims, the SE and Limited, is a 2.0 liter four cylinder engine that cranks out 147 horses and 132 lb-ft of torque. The Eco trim comes in a turbocharged inline 4 cylinder rated at 128 horses and 156 lb-ft of torque. EPA estimates for the Elantra are impressive averaging around 33 combined for the SE and Limited and 35 for the Eco. Safety features on the four-door sedan--airbags, traction and stability control. Options on the Elantra include auto emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure, blind-spot detection, lane departure warning with lane keep assist and smart cruise control. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has rated the Elantra a "Top Safety Pick+."

The 2017 Elantra with its newfound conservatism is a no-brainer choice for especially young families for its styling, roominess, pep, fuel economy and overall high quality fit and finish. The compact has a lot going for it and can pretty much stand head and shoulders above the crowd in its market.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hyundai sales surge 50%

Sales of Hyundai vehicles in the country surged by 50 percent to 25,021 units in the first nine months of the year, driven by the stellar performance of both the passenger car and light commercial vehicle segments during the period.

The sustained growth momentum allowed Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (Hari), the official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the country, to remain one of the best performers in terms of sales in the Philippine automotive industry.

Data from Hari showed that the company sold a total of 17,744 passenger cars in the first three quarters, up 56 percent from the 11,394 units recorded in the same period last year.

Sales of light commercial vehicles similarly rose by 37 percent to 7,277 units from the 5,309 units sold from January to September last year.

For the third quarter alone, the company posted a 44-percent increase in vehicle sales to 8,659 units, from the 6,014 units sold a year ago, Hari data showed.

“Nearing the close of 2016, a more favorable outlook is seen for the remainder of the year as Hyundai is likely to maintain its growth momentum, mirroring the vitality of the country’s economy and its fast-growing automotive industry.  With an endless potential, the company will continue to relentlessly satisfy its customers with its line-up of modern premium products and services,” said Hari president and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo in a statement.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Hyundai prepares with Gurnade Veloster SEMA concept

Hyundai is preparing a full-scale onslaught for SEMA 2016, having taken the covers off a Veloster to join the set of 4x4s it revealed last week. The Gurnade Concept takes the fundamental Hyundai Veloster, and operates in a wide-bodykit and some choice engine adjustments.
The significant modifications to the Veloster concentrate on its outside. Up front, a set of customized headlamps and foglamps sit below a new carbon fiber hood, working with a carbon front bar to include a little bit of drama to the formula.
On the other hand, moving along the side of the automobile reveals a new set of side bars and bolt-on fender flares. Down back, there’s a huge wing connected to the carbon fiber hatch. It’s all rounded off in an unique shade of PPG Magic Magenta, covered in an unique paint protection film.

Under the hood, modifications to the Veloster aren’t quite as remarkable as the ones fitted to the Santa Fast. 845 Motorsports has supplied a brand-new intercooler, down pipe and cold-air consumption for a bit more power, and a fresh ECU tune should likewise give the engine a boost.
The motorsports focus advances the interior, where Cobra Nogaro bucket seats and Takata racing harnesses hold the motorist tightly. A full rollcage is another racing touch, however the huge subwoofer and audio system are at chances with the rest of the stripped-back cabin.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

BMW, Hyundai walk away winners in inaugural J.D. Power tech study

J.D. Power has always integrated in-car tech experience into its Initial Quality Study. Now, it's splitting tech off into its own category with the first-ever J.D. Power US Tech Experience Index Study.
The study looks at the first 90 days of ownership. It covers a number of categories, from smartphone mirroring to entertainment and collision protection. It's not just whether or not these systems exist, but rather, how well the technologies mesh with the human behind the wheel. 17,864 owners and lessees were polled for this study.

BMW and Hyundai walked away with two model-level awards each -- BMW for the 2 Series (small premium) and 4 Series (compact premium), and Hyundai for the Tucson (small) and Genesis (midsize premium). The other winners are the Kia Forte (compact), Chevrolet Camaro (midsize) and Nissan Maxima (large).
According to J.D. Power's study, the systems with the highest satisfaction and highest usage are all of the collision-avoidance type. On the other end of the spectrum, owners are least satisfied with navigation systems, with many even bringing in outside devices to use in lieu of built-in navigation. I'm guilty of this myself -- nothing beats Google Maps' directions, in my opinion.
The study also highlights the role of the dealer in the tech experience. Owners who received dealership assistance in learning about new tech reported much higher satisfaction figures.
It's good to see J.D. Power giving tech its own study. When it was only lumped into the Initial Quality Study, it was interesting to see how negative opinions of something like a navigation system could send a car's overall quality score downward, when the car itself may be one of the finest built. Now, those systems can be isolated and compared in a vacuum, which should give the public a much better idea of a vehicle's tech experience.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Gary Rome Hyundai commitment to Holyoke praised at grand opening

HOLYOKE -- They didn't show up just for the free Korean beef tacos or the cookies bearing the owner's initials, but to celebrate a Gary Rome Hyundai dealership because the business is helping the city, officials said Thursday.
Over 300 people attended the grand opening at 150 Whiting Farms Road. The dealership opened Aug. 29.
The $10 million facility employs nearly 80 people on a 19-acre site that includes a car wash, state motor vehicle inspection station and Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicle office to get license plates on site.

The event included music and food stations and a host of local and state officials, including:
Holyoke Councilor at Large James M. Leahy:
"Having Gary Rome expand in Holyoke is a fantastic thing. The demographics show people are coming to Holyoke daily to eat, shop and buy cars. Garry's expansion is another feather in Holyoke's cap."
Holyoke Mayor Alex B. Morse:
"Tonight was a great opportunity to celebrate Gary Rome and his new business. From the very beginning, this project had the support of the Holyoke community. I thank Gary and his team for their commitment to Holyoke, which has resulted in new jobs and new economic growth. I also want to thank all of the city departments and staff for their hard work to help make this project possible. This is just another example of private investment happening in our city, and we're not done yet."
State Rep. Aaron M. Vega, D-Holyoke:
"It's great to see Gary grow his business right here in Holyoke and to have him and his team as a community partner."

Holyoke City Council President Kevin A. Jourdain:
"It was a real pleasure to join Gary and his entire dealership family in celebrating the tremendous accomplishment of opening the largest Hyundai dealership in the country right here in Holyoke. I was proud to have voted to make this reality and I wish Gary Rome Hyundai continued success in Holyoke."
Holyoke Councilor at Large Rebecca Lisi, formerly chairwoman of the council's Ordinance Committee:
"The Ordinance Committee under my leadership and the Planning Board took a lot of time considering the public's comments on this project and it clearly paid off. I think that this is truly the best project that we would have found for the site."
Rome said the event drew over 300 people.
"It's been a really great turnout," Rome said.
Rome said that after the months of government hearings and permit-seeking from city boards, he wanted to hold the grand opening of the dealership to note the success of the business, which he said has increased at the new site.
"We're so excited with the result that I wanted to share the experience," Rome said.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Hyundai Sets September Sales Record; Kia Sales Slip A Bit

Hyundai, led by the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport, set a new sales mark in September. And, the Veloster also scored a notable sales win, as well.
Led by the sales of the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport, September sales for Hyundai hit a record 66,610 vehicles. Sales for the month were up a total of 4.1 percent. Meanwhile, sales on the other side of the building at Kia, Hyundai’s subsidiary, were off a bit. According to its monthly sales report, Kia was off 1.2 percent.
In a departure from much of the automotive world, a sedan was one of Hyundai’s sales leaders. For the first nine months of the year, crossover sales have held onto their torrid pace, even as overall sales have begun to slow a bit. Sales of the automaker’s subcompact Accent sedan were strong. They more than doubled to 7,495, said Automotive News.
Veloster Sales Strong
The Veloster compact crossover sports coupe also had a super September, gaining 50 percent Sales hit 3,168. Meantime, the Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport crossovers were up a total of 5.6 percent for the month to 11,350 vehicles.
The Genesis brand had a solid first sales month of 1,211 vehicles in the U.S. The brand, which was formerly part of the Hyundai lineup before the automaker announced it was splitting it out and establishing it as a separate luxury nameplate, consists of the G80 and G90. The luxury G70 was available in August, while the G90 went on sale in September.
Derrick Hatami, national sales vice present for Hyundai Motors of America, was enthusiastic about the automaker’s September performance. “Strong performances by our Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport, in addition to the subcompact Accent led the way to yet another record month.”
The Genesis brand is also stirring dealer excitement, Hatami noted. “Dealers are excited to hae our new Genesis G80 and G90 models arriving as we start the fourth quarter,” he said in a statement.
With its Sportage crossover and Forte small-car family leading the way, Kia had a minor slip in September. Overall sales were down just 1.2 percent as the September numbers dipped to 49,220 vehicles.
Kia Sales Leaders
Sportage and the Forte line were the stars of Kia’s sales universe in September. Sales of the crossover Sportage were up 57 percent, while sales of the Forte small-car family jumped 53 percent. And, sales of the Rio subcompact were up 45 percent to 2,141 vehicles. That two car families were solid sales achievers in the face of a market that has been dominated by red-hot crossover sales turned out to be a surprise.
For the year, Hyundai sales are up 1.6 percent while Kia is up 3.3 percent.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016


Hyundai has just come up with the Ioniq which will spearhead its campaign in the burgeoning EV space. However, while the new Ioniq comes across as a decent packaged EV in the midsized segment, critics are divided if the car is exciting enough to warrant its £29,000 price tag, before government incentives factor in.

Power, Range, and Braking:
First off, the Ioniq with its 118bhp power and 218Ib ft of torque rating can do the 0 - 62 mph run in a shade below 10 seconds. That makes it quite a decent city performer. Power delivery is smooth and silent though the feel-good factor here gets nullified by road noise that makes it to the cabin. Wind noise too can be a concern with most of its pilfering into the interior.
Range cited is 174 miles though much like fuel efficiency, more here is always welcome. The Ioniq also features regenerative braking with the energy saved here further add to the range. That said, the regenerative aspect does need some getting used to given that it is nowhere near as linear as say the Nissan Leaf. For instance, higher settings that would allow for greater energy saving also leads to sudden braking and so on.
Also, while still on brakes, that's another area of concern if it can be so said. As Autocar reported, initial response might be sharp but might need to be pressed really hard to introduce appreciable deceleration.

First things first, the Ioniq has never been designed to thrill with its speed. Rather, it's largely a city commuter and is more suited to those who are more oriented towards achieving efficiency. Perhaps that also explains the use of what Autocar referred to as economy-biased tyres that might be well off during moderate driving but needs assistance on a wet surface.
If its familiar territory here then that's because the dashboard seems to have been taken directly from the Tuscon. An 8-inch touchscreen serves as the infotainment system while overall, the switches and gears seem well sorted out.
As a nice touch, the usual gear selector has been replaced with switches for the Park, Neutral, Drive/Reverse functionality. On the whole, it is roomy and cheery on the inside with enough storage spaces around.
The Ioniq is much like the Toyota Corolla which is not the most exciting car to drive but still appeals with is reliability and endurance. And this factor did ensure the Corolla has a sizeable fan following of its own. The Ioniq too can emerge to be the same though that would also depend on how Hyundai markets the car as well.
At £29,000, the Ioniq does not come cheap either. It is also not the best option in the price range with other petrol or diesel versions often offering more for the buck. That said, the Ioniq has its own positives, the primary being that its electric driven. As such, there are savings to be made on fuel and maintenance costs while damage done to the environment is nil.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Hyundai has Facebook users put their profile 'on the line' during NFL games

Dive Brief:

  • Hyundai is running two social media campaigns that more tightly integrate Facebook and Twitter with watching NFL games via interactive competition, according a release from the automaker.
  • The Facebook effort is called “Put your profile on the line” and involves users challenging friends over the results of NFL games with the loser having their Facebook profile picture defaced with graphics, and later on GIFs featuring the winning team.
  • The Twitter campaign requires users to tweet two hashtags — #BecauseFootball and #HyundaiSweepstakes — whenever an announcer says “drive.” Participants in both contests are entered into a chance to win tickets to Super Bowl LI.

Dive Insight:

Second screening by watching sports while remaining active on social media via a mobile device is a well-known activity and this social media effort from Hyundai is clearly designed to take advantage of that activity. By adding an element of competition to the engagement and unique ways to interact on social media, the brand is deepening the integration between channels. 
The Facebook campaign was created by INNOCEAN USA, Hyundai’s agency of record, and makes second screening something that users will more closely tie to the Hyundai brand.
"At Hyundai, we understand the NFL fans' loyalty to their team and with the Put Your Profile On The Line challenge we're tapping into that fan passion by providing fun ways for them to express it," said Paul Imhoff, director, Marketing Communications, Hyundai Motor America, in the release. "Friendly competition between rivals is an important part of NFL culture and this platform allows fans to showcase their passion and have a possibility to win tickets to Super Bowl LI."