By on August 25, 2012

Hyundai doesn’t get every bit of a car perfect before introducing it. No auto maker does. But Hyundai does pay attention to feedback from reviewers and owners, and often upgrades its cars in response to criticism. Only in its fourth model year, the Genesis Coupe already has had its interior upgraded twice.

My least favorite part of the 2012 Accent SE was the cheap, sloppy feel of its manual shifter. In the past, Hyundai included B&M-supplied short throw shifters in driver-oriented versions of both the Accent and the Elantra Touring. Why not with the current cars? Well, towards the end of 2012 a B&M shifter will become optional in the Accent. Later one will also be offered in the Veloster. No plans have been announced to also offer a short-throw shifter in the new Elantra GT, but one seems a natural fit for an upcoming more powerful engine option.

Michael Karesh operates TrueDelta, an online source of automotive pricing and reliability data.

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44 Comments on “B&M Shifters On The Way For Hyundai Accent, Veloster...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    How bout the Sonata? I always thought the base model would be an interesting proposition if it had the right shifter.

    • 0 avatar
      musicalmcs8706

      Sadly for 2013 they’ve gotten rid of the manual in the GLS…

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Well reduce the list of manual transmission equipted family cars by one…

        (Yes I know that likely a silly small # of copies were sold and they were ONLY available on the LOWEST possible trim levels but dang I’m always in favor of choice.)

    • 0 avatar
      Japanese Buick

      Hey, first time I’ve noticed you’re moniker change. Congratulations Dan! Now go buy that used LS400 that you know you want and befits your new boss status!

    • 0 avatar

      I just came back from CAR&DRIVER’S test drive event for the Veloster Turbo and the Sonata 2.0 T.

      They had a manual Veloster and the Automatic, but the Sonata doesn’t offer an Automatic for the 2.0T.

      The Sonata has instant pickup and go, but the Veloster lags on the low end because it has about 73 less horses. I didn’t take a close look at the Veloster manual’s shifter, but everyone there wanted to drive it. Originally C&D had the Veloster manual INSIDE the Marriott hotel in the ballroom so they had to get it out for everyone to drive it. I’m surprised they didn’t consider having a manual and an automatic available important.

      If you want to see the video I made of the event, you can look at my Youtube page. It’s the newest video up.

      • 0 avatar
        Syke

        I find that odd, seeing that C&D has been running that “Save the Manuals” campaign/promotion for the past couple of years.

      • 0 avatar

        The manuals can’t be saved. They host driver’s ed in most places with automatics. Manuals are the past. The mere fact there is a save the manual movement in the first place implies it is an endangered species.

        Even on the luxury end, manuals are being knocked out of the lineup by transmissions that shift faster than a human possibly could.

      • 0 avatar
        Ion

        Wait, I’ve never seen a 2.0T Sonata without an automatic.

        Also I may own a car with a manual transmission but Im a firm beleiver that where tere not liscense restrictions in other countries automatics would be more prominent around the world. Its like darwinism for cars. auto is the prominant gearbox for us ‘mercans not case we’re lazy or we lack the skill but because people have the freedom to drive any car they chose at anytime.

    • 0 avatar
      ravenchris

      I had the dealership install the B&M shifter in my new 2007 2.4 Sonata, also changed the transaxle fluid to Redline MTL. All with good results.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      I had a current-gen Sonata GLS as a rental in early July and was pretty unimpressed. Decent ride but vague handling thanks to electric power steering that provides 0 feedback. An Altima drives much better, even with the mandatory CVT.

  • avatar
    Polar Bear

    A driver-oriented Accent. I had to read that twice.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    Have they given the Accent and Sonata RWD yet?

    If they want to respond to criticism, that would be best suggestion! (^_^)..

    ———-

  • avatar
    dwford

    These reports are amusing. I have a hard enough time getting the color a customer wants on their Hyundai, let alone one that has a specific standalone option. Good luck finding these cars..

    • 0 avatar

      Not a problem in this case. The B&M shifter will also be available as a dealer-installed option.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      dwford, if you’re in California, I understand your pain!

      At the Hyundai dealerships formerly owned by my brothers each truck load of Hyundai cars is met by a gaggle of people. Most of them are disappointed since the cars arriving are already pre-sold. Once in a while a pre-sold becomes available when credit falls through after the fact for an unexpected reason or emergency.

      Never mind color or trim level. A customer either gets what the dealer’s got available or orders one and stands in line waiting their turn for the arrival of the truck with their Hyundai on it.

      • 0 avatar
        otaku

        Just wanted to comment about how silly this sounds to me. Not that I don’t believe what you’re saying or anything, but for Christ’s sake, we’re talking about freakin Hyundais. Just the idea of people standing around excitedly waiting for them to be delivered anywhere simply does not compute. From the horror stories I’ve heard, I had already suspected people out on the left coast possessed very little self respect, but I had no idea things had gotten this bad.

      • 0 avatar
        Ion

        Its far from that on the east coast. About 3 years ago you were lucky if the hyundai dealer you bought your car from stayed open for the next 6 months of your 10 year warranty. Now I see a lot of Sonatas, a few Elantra, and a handful of Genesis coupes and
        velosters. A Genesis sedan is a rare sight and most of the Suvs are past gens.

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        @otaku:

        Maybe your ‘horror stories’ date from the 1990s, but Hyundais have some of the highest inventory turns in the industry. Elantras only sit on the lot an average of 3 days or so, and Sonatas are limited in availability because Hyundai can’t make them fast enough.

        By the way, more Hyundai-Kias are sold in the US than Nissans.

        Hyundai has moved into the profitable vanilla market, then added style and sportiness. Buying a “freakin’ Hyundai” is a very respectable choice these days.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        otaku, in some parts of the country the Hyundai and Kia line of vehicles are very popular. If Hyundai and Kia could make more, they’d sell more.

        I believe it is a new trend in “disposable cars”. Cars that are basically used for cheap transportation for the daily commute or as grocery-getters.

        I helped buy my grand daughter a 2011 Elantra for her High School graduation last year and now she uses it to commute to college 4 days a week, at ~150-mile a day round trip, and has three other girls riding with her.

        She will hit the magic 100,000-mile warranty coverage limit long before the 5-years are up, and when she does, we’ll trade it for a new one with a warranty. If it breaks down after that, let it be someone else’s worry.

        That said, her Elantra, now with quite a few miles on it, has been totally trouble-free and has never been back to the dealership for anything.

        All I did to it has been to change the oil and filters and fill it with gasoline. And I don’t use cheap gas either. I use 91-octane pure-gas (no ethanol). The same gas I use for all my vehicles and electric emergency generators.

        I will replace the factory Korean-tires with some decent Yokohamas or Michelins when the time comes. I believe that even Pirellis would wear better than what’s on there now.

        I think Hyundai put quiet tires on the Elantra but they wear pretty fast, even at 36psi (cold) which is where I keep them for highway driving.

        Things may be different where you live, but the Sonata, Elantra, Accent, Santa Fe and Tucson were hot sellers when my brothers were retailing them. It appears they still are today.

        The Hyundai and Kia vehicles pack a lot of content and value for the money when compared to other vehicles in the same class. They’re not for everyone, but a lot of people want them.

      • 0 avatar
        otaku

        @gslippy: I live in Massachusetts and spent all of my life in New England. A few years back, a friend of mine that I grew up with moved out to California for his career and we still keep in touch from time to time. So by ‘horror stories’ I was basically referring to some of the stuff he tells me about the people he deals with on a daily basis out on the West Coast and his perceived overall culture clash compared to the general mindset of everybody he remembers from Boston. From what he tells me, it’s like a different planet out there. No insult intended against Hyundai/Kia as a company or whatever (even though personally I find their current styling trends over the top/bordering on ugly). I think Hyundai these days is probably just about on par with the likes of Honda and Toyota, which is to say, they sell a bunch of fuel-efficient, dependable, appliance-like vehicles.

        A few years back my brother got himself a 2007 Accent 3-door hatchback. It’s kind of a small, uncomfortable car with a small engine. Nothing else about it really stands out, except that it’s remarkably noisy on the highway, but he bought it to commute to work and it more or less gets the job done. My neighbor recently traded in her old Carolla for a brand new Elantra. She also helped her daughter buy one of the previous generation Elantras (2008, I think) a few years back when her Camry was totalled. Last year another one of my neighbors up the street bought an Elantra, as well. From the conversations I’ve had with them, they seem mostly satisfied with their cars, but the biggest factor in their decision was purchase price. They all admitted straight out that they would’ve chosen a comparable Honda/Toyota/Nissan if the asking price had been lower.

        My main point was that I guess people around here must have a different attitude when it comes to cars. Maybe we don’t buy into all the advertising or hype. We sure as heck don’t stand around at dealerships anxiously awaiting the delivery truck like schoolgirls at a Justin Beiber concert, just so we can be the first to lay eyes on a car we hope to buy the second it arrives. That just sounds rather silly (not to mention counterintuitive if you care about trying to negotiate a reasonable price with a salesperson).

        What can I say? I’ve been known to stop by the local Ford dealer now and then to get a closer look at some of the newer models (especially if they have something cool in the showroom like a Boss Mustang or Shelby GT500), but drooling over Hyundais? Seriously? Sorry, but they’re like a dime a dozen around these parts. If I were to ever consider buying one, I think I would instead play it cool and not just settle for whatever they felt like selling me at whatever price they suggested.

        If you don’t want to get taken advantage of in any negotiation, you have to demonstrate that you’re willing to walk away. When it comes to most Hyundai products, that wouldn’t be much of a issue for me. I know I could still find a reasonable deal by either trying a different brand or by visiting one of the several competing Hyundai/Kia dealers within the tri-county area.

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        Lines and waiting lists to buy Hyundais (and Kias, too, I suppose)? What a fascinating thing.

        Goes to show what an okay product (i.e., not terrible) and a good marketing firm can do for you. Just ask Volkswagen and Doyle, Dane, Bernbach.

        Of course, a poor economy and masses of people with tighter than normal budgets don’t hurt matters, either.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “I believe it is a new trend in “disposable cars”. Cars that are basically used for cheap transportation for the daily commute or as grocery-getters.”

        Good points as always HDC. I think you’ll see more and more disposable cars on the market. I’m looking at a Volvo wagon now which is the cleanest 20yo 180K+ car I have ever seen… almost no rust on a car which lived in Rhode Island before coming to Pgh, simply amazing what people can build when they try… and are allowed to design/build a quality product.

        Check out the Lightbulb Conspiracy on YT, talks about the history of planned obsolescence

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKVSJO4e7sI&playnext=1&list=PL9868CE9CEE3889AA&feature=results_video

  • avatar
    Disaster

    Sounds like the Kia dealership with their Souls. They are sold weeks ahead of the actual deliveries.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Next step: suspensions

  • avatar
    John

    They should consult with an expert on shifters – Linda Vaughan.

  • avatar
    amca

    When is Hyundai going to stop spending? Seriously – they’ve been dumping capital into their car biz like it (capital) is going out of style. Their returns can’t be all that good. Yes, it’s helping them build market share, but in the immortal words of Paul Samuelson: “What cannot go on forever, does not.” so how long do they keep spending like drunken sailors?

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      They’re not spending money on glamorous headquarters office towers, or sponsoring racing teams or other sports franchises. They are offering a product enhancement (that was likely mostly engineered by the supplier) as a dealer-installed option. A very small investment on their part that provides some additional profit for the dealer and eliminates a complaint from some enthusiast drivers. I don’t see the downside here.

      We’ve seen what happens when a carmaker fails to invest capital into improving their product and fails to listen to its customers. It’s called GM.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Investing in the product: a winning strategy often ignored by American businesses for short-term gain.

      I’ve seen it happen over and over again…. :-(

      But not everyone does this. My new employer is an American fortune-500 company and has recently seen the light, and we all have high hopes for the product (and hence for our business). Much better than building a decent product, and then maintaining it while the world passes you by!

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Can those B&Ms please be elbow-shaped, about two feet long and have a T-handle?

  • avatar
    NotFast

    Every time I drive a Hyundai I get BM, so this seems appropriate.

  • avatar
    sideshowtom98

    Hyundai/Kia is now the fourth largest seller of automobiles in the world. If you think they are buying market share, its a public company, and their gross revenues, gross profit, net profit, and ETIBA are available online. They smash most car makers in terms of profitability.

    Quite to my surprise, I bought a KIA SUV last week. I began the search assuming I would buy a Honda or a Toyota, and had an open mind about Ford as well. I would never consider Government Motors.

    I ended up with a KIA Sorento, AWD, and have been very satisfied with the buying experience, price, and value. If you look with an open mind, KIA is going to be on your RADAR. The 5 year 60K Warranty is unmatched, as is the 10 year 100K Powertrain Warranty.

    • 0 avatar
      Volts On Fire

      Congrats on a fine purchase, and in particular for ripping a sale away from GM. We need more people to stand up against the tyranny of Government Motors.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      tom, if more people would take the time to check out what is available in the class of vehicles they are interested in buying, more of them would be pleasantly surprised.

      Last Hyundai product we bought was a 2011 Elantra for my grand daughter and it has been completely trouble-free. The Elantra blew away the offerings from all the other automakers in that class because of content and value for the money.

      Nothing else even came close!

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    As a ’12 Accent owner (with 6spd!), i’d be interested in a B&M. Especially with an old school round knob without the atrocious reverse-lockout.

    Keep us informed, i’d love to get one as an accessory.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      If you get a B&M shifter, just make sure you save your original. I’ve seen bad quality from them. I have a short-throw B&M shifter where the pin sheared off clean from the shaft. It looks like a combination of a bad weld and a bad design. Maybe crap materials as well.

      The B&M warranty is a joke. B&M told me they’d like to replace it, but they no longer stocked the part so they wouldn’t honor the warranty. I had no trouble finding the part at one of their distributors, but they wouldn’t buy it back from them. I ended up buying the part myself.

      Part of the problem may be related to the fact that they farm out the production to smaller suppliers. The one that mine came from may not have the same quality standards as the others.

      So go ahead and get the B&M shifter, but don’t expect it to be as reliable as the OEM and don’t expect the warranty to be honored. Definitely save your original. On the Hyundai, they’ll provide the warranty support and will have an OEM model around if/when the B&M fails, so there’s less risk there.

      • 0 avatar
        acuraandy

        @mcs:

        Thanks for the input, and nice to know. My only bitch with the OEM shifter is the reverse-lockout; I intended to replace it upon purchase with a round shift knob, but was unable to because of said reverse-lockout.

        The OEM shifter is not bad (especially for an OEM in a base model), but a B&M would be ideal to me. However, if they won’t back up their product, I may pass unless Hyundai will back it up as well.

        Again, thanks

  • avatar
    darex

    I’m a bit puzzled by this. When I test-drove my Veloster (even beforehand), I said to myself, “If Hyundai STILL hasn’t managed to make a decent manual transmission; if it’s vague and rubbery like they always had been, I’m ‘out’”. To my pleasant surprise, it was a precise, snappy affair, nearly as good as my MINI Cooper’s Getrag unit, and it felt great in the hand. It is completely satisfactory to me.

    So, why should this announcement get me excited? I have no complaints about the current Veloster shifter. Hyundai finally got it right.


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