By on December 21, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 – Image: © The Truth About CarsOver the last year, the PR departments of 12 automobile manufacturers delivered 38 new vehicles to my driveway. Scheduling quirks and limited autumn availability saw that number slide from 2015, but week-long exposure to new vehicles was nevertheless extensive in 2016.

It’s a good gig. Sure, we work hard to maintain GoodCarBadCar.net — Mrs. Cain has even put in a fair number of hours since the October birth of our second baby boy — while I also contribute a couple of times per week to Autofocus.ca and work daily for The Truth About Cars. But in addition to our favored steed — the 2015 Honda Odyssey EX that we pay for with our own money — I get to drive (and fuel, and clean, and write two reviews about) a new automobile every week.

Those automobiles were collectively valued at $1.8 million in 2016, down from $2.2 million in 2015. The average price of the vehicles sent to GCBC Towers rose 4 percent to $46,671.

Every now and then, though less often than you’d think, I’d prefer a vehicle to hang around for an extra week. At least as often, I’d be content for vehicles to leave before their week was up. With the year now coming to a close, here are the best, the worst, the most surprising, the most disappointing, the most efficient, and the least economical vehicles I tested over the last year. (Read More…)

By on October 19, 2016

2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo white frontThe 2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo I’m driving this week is not a great car. Ride quality is abysmal. The dual-clutch transmission chronically delays the actual act of transmitting. Present are a number of negative symptoms with which we associate “sportiness,” but few and far between are the dividends we expect to be paid in exchange for those negative symptoms.

Yet more than five years into its run, the Hyundai Veloster continues to produce healthy volume for Hyundai USA while also providing the market with something it lacks: unique, interesting, “sporty” proposals for the small car buyer who doesn’t want a ho-hum everyday sedan.

Remember when other automakers used to do the same? The Mazda MX-3, Nissan NX, Geo Storm/Isuzu Impulse and Toyota Paseo, for example — cars with humble foundations that reached higher with unique bodywork. We need more of that. (Read More…)

By on May 3, 2016

Hyundai-Elantra-Sport

Hyundai just revealed its Korean-market Avante Sport, but it’s also a preview of what North American customers can expect in their Elantra lineup.

The Avante is what people in Seoul call an Elantra, and the new performance model puts the automaker in a better position to fend off competition from the likes of Honda, Volkswagen and Mazda.

The redesigned 2017 Elantra Limited we tested had improved styling and a better ride, but was lacking in power. The Sport model’s Korean specifications shows 204 horsepower from a turbocharged and direct-injected 1.6-liter four-cylinder, as well as a multi-link rear suspension. (Read More…)

By on November 29, 2012

Part Fiat 500C and part GMC Envoy XUV, the Volster C3 rolltop concept has a rolling canvas roof (like the Fiat) designed to help make it easy to carry tall objects (like the XUV). The roof can roll two ways, away from the cargo area to carry tall objects, or away from the passengers to help get some sunshine on their heads. Underneath, it’s all Veloster Turbo mechanicals.

By on June 27, 2012

 

“If you want a Veloster Turbo, you can buy one right now – it’s called the Genesis Coupe.”

That’s what Hyundai CEO John Krafcik told us at the launch of the Veloster last year, when asked about the possibility of a performance version of Hyundai’s distinctive-looking hatchback. Less than a year later, we have a boosted Veloster and a Genesis Coupe that’s better than ever.

(Read More…)

By on June 6, 2012

Finally, the real story on the Hyundai Veloster Turbo pricing is here. $22,725 (including the $775 destination fee). A 6-speed automatic is another $1,000.

(Read More…)

By on June 5, 2012

Yesterday, I learned a very valuable lesson in Journalism 101, having published erroneous information before having it confirmed.

(Read More…)

By on January 8, 2012

Despite constant denials during the press event attended by Ed and I (“If you want a Veloster Turbo,” Hyundai’s John Krafcik said, “go buy a Genesis Coupe,”) Hyundai will debut a turbocharged version of their Veloster coupe at the Detroit Auto Show.

(Read More…)

Recent Comments

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