By on October 31, 2014

2012-hyundai-sonata-hybrid-badge-2

Though one can already purchase a hybrid from Hyundai — the Sonata Hybrid, to be exact — the South Korean automaker is now planning to follow in the footsteps of Toyota and Honda by building a hybrid that always was from the get-go.

Reuters reports the Korean Prius will add onto Hyundai’s green portfolio, which also includes the Tucson Fuel Cell FCV, as well as act as a hedge against ever-tightening fuel economy and emissions standards. CEO Kim Choong-ho explained as much during the launch of his company’s latest premium sedan, the Aslan:

We will take the lead in the future by raising the competitiveness of our environment-friendly cars like hybrid-only cars, plug-in hybrid cars and fuel cell hydrogen cars.

Hyundai won’t be alone in bringing a new dedicated hybrid to market; Ford plans to do the same on a compact platform by 2019. Kim did not offer a timetable or other details about Hyundai’s hybrid, however.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

78 Comments on “Hyundai Developing Dedicated Hybrid To Battle Toyota Prius...”


  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Hyundai is really quickly losing its competitive advantage vs the Japanese here – the value proposition that came tag teamed with their 10 year/100k mile warranty that saw their US market share explode from 2003 to 2010.

    Back in 2009, I remember seeing Sonata GLSs (equipped well in base trim) that rode as softly & quietly as Camrys, with better interior gauges, dash material and switchgear, too (the 2009 interior refresh was really nicely done), being sold for right around 16k with little haggling required.

    That represented a $5,000 savings at that time over a lesser equipped Camry or Accord, and came with a better warranty.

    Now, Camrys are being blown out for 18 grand, well equipped and much better Accords can be had for as little as 20k if pushed, and yet Hyundai Sonatas are more than either, and Kia Optimas are more still.

    I’d be very, very worried if I were a Hyundai/Kia dealer at present.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      Some of those Hyundai owners and dealers may think their product is just as good and sometimes better then Japanese brands. The lifetime warranty on battery could help the Koreans in sales especially if they can get mpg then the Toyota hybrids. But as of now Toyota is light years ahead of Korean branded hybrids. Competition is always good for any industry.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        The new Sonata sales are really disappointing, as are YoY Hyundai & Kia CUV sales (in what is a cyclically hot replacements cycle) and I do believe many of the factors I cited are in large part responsible.

        In price terms, Hyundai/Kia and Toyota have pretty much swapped places as of late compared to 2009, even though Hyundai is no closer than then in closing their reliability gal with Toyota based on the latest Consumer Reports metadata.

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          I think the main benefit of H/K’s existence is to have given a needed wake-up call to a recently torpid and overly decontenting Toyota and Honda.

          Nice try guys but it’s time to shower up. And please launder all uniform articles before before returning them.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I think Honda & Toyota got that message loud and clear, as the replacement Accord and Camry are better than their predecessors, as well as much more aggressively priced (with incentives and easier negotiation on price) to the point of being less expensive than their Korean competition in similar trim.

          • 0 avatar
            ccode81

            When Denso and Bosch has all the essential core parts offered on their catalog to sell it to anyone for money, assembling an average performance car is not that difficult these days even it is hybrid.
            It is an rather easy business model to obtain while the manufacture’s operating cost and expectation of profit per unit is small. seeing unfavorable trend of JPY/KRW currency rate, the same strategy won’t work forever.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Yep, apparently T&K are capable of avoiding the arrogance and laziness of a certain other corporation that loves square wheel wells.

            It’s a shame considering the brains, sweat and tears the Koreans have invested, but the American market just ain’t big enough for every truly deserving brand that comes along.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            You just hit on another key issue: currency valuations & volatility (though some of the effects of this have been mitigated by both Japanese & Korean manufactures move production of parts and assembly to the US – and now Mexico – increasingly over the last decade).

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          @ DeadWeight:

          Sonata sales, YTD:

          2013: 152702
          2014: 163411

          A 7% increase over last year doesn’t seem disappointing to me.

          Hyundai Tuscon sales, YTD:

          2013: 32891
          2014: 36958

          A 12% increase over last year doesn’t seem disappointing to me.

          Kia Sportage sales, YTD:

          2013: 23232
          2014: 32643

          A 41% increase over last year doesn’t seem disappointing to me.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Hyundai blew out 2014 model year Sonatas in order to get the 2015s on dealer lots (the 2014s were being sold for 17k and sales spiked in June through August).

            Break that number down further by 2014 MY vs 2015 MY Sonata sales or I will when I find chart when you’ll see what I’m referring to.

          • 0 avatar
            VW16v

            Most sedans are being blown off the lot right now. Camry $3000 to $6000 off, Accord $3000 to $5000 off, Altima $4000 to $6000 off. It’s the way to get rid of sedans these days. Even 2015 Camry’s are $2500 off now. H/K is no different from any other blah blah sedan manufacturer.

            It’s good to see competition to bring better products for a lower cost. H/K pushed Toyota to step up there game instead of just offering another toaster on wheels.

          • 0 avatar
            SC5door

            I was going to say, I haven’t seen any “disappointing” CUV sales numbers from H/K in terms of declining. I’ve read that the Soul is up again as well, and a new Sorento is on the horizon.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          It remains to be seen of new Sonata sales (significantly lower incentives than the Accord and esp. the Camry and the old Sonata had a higher ATP than the Camry).

          As for CUVs, don’t know what you are talking about.

          Santa Fe sales are up by 16k YTD and would be even higher if Hyundai had the build capacity.

          Tucson sales are up by 4k YTD despite being a model at the end of its life cycle since Hyundai has finally been able to send more to the US market.

          Hyundai and Kia could both use not only greater supply of their CUVs (won’t happen until the new Kia plant in Mexico goes online), but an expansion of their CUV lineups (Toyota and Nissan have far greater lineups) – both won’t happen for several years (Kia is working on a hybrid-only CUV).

          As for CR reliability reports – the differences btwn automakers is slimmer than ever before and Toyota has benefited greatly from not making any updates to their powertrains (the Corolla still uses a 4 spd AT) – so we’ll see how they fare once they start adding turbos, DCTs, etc.

          Deadweight seems to have a habit of repeating the same thing over and over again w/o having ever checked the facts.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Unfortunately, the Richmond, VA dealer hasn’t heard that line of reasoning yet. $1500.00 ADM on every Hyundai on the lot. Which is why I won’t even consider looking at the car. Damned if I’ll start negotiating from over sticker.

      Meanwhile, the Kia store up the block starts from sticker, deals normally, and has a service attitude that reminds me of a Lexus dealership.

      And I think the Kias are better looking, to boot.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Hyundai dealer with ADM?

        Smokin’ crack?

        Fitzmall is already discounting 2015s.

        • 0 avatar
          cdotson

          Yeah, I was at that Richmond area Hyundai dealer recently. I think he meant $1500 or more, since $3k seemed to be common. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the lot was jam-packed with new inventory. They had cars parked three deep in half the rows and three deep into the grass. Still had a considerable number of 2014 Sonatas etc sitting around.

          I still liked the Elantra GT though…wonder how that discussion is going to start.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Fitzmall always discounts and the current Camry was selling at pretty much invoice when it launched.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Unfortunately, the Richmond, VA dealer hasn’t heard that line of reasoning yet. $1500.00 ADM on every car on the lot. Which is why I won’t consider any of their product. I’ll be damned if I’m going to start the negotiating dance from ABOVE sticker.

      Meanwhile, the Kia store 1/4 mile east negotiates from sticker, is reasonable as a dealership goes, and has a service attitude copied from the local Lexus. And their cars are better looking.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    I don’t know what they could do to improve on the Prius other than making a hybrid with some decent sightlines. Given the market-leading egregious squashiness of Korean styling, I can’t see that happening.

    Just another runner-up to Toyota, probably for the same or more money.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      “I don’t know what they could do to improve on the Prius”

      0-60 in under 10 seconds. Less road noise. Non-video game steering. An interior that doesn’t brutally assault you with its cheapness.

      Wait, that describes the Ford C-Max, which is selling ~1/5 of the Prius.

      I don’t know, either.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        I don’t care about interior cheapness, the money’s in the drivetrain tech and body steels.

        I *do* very much care about the interior’s having swollen to close off nearly all view of the lethal outside world.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        Another eaten comment. Gettin’ way old.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        The name “Prius” in itself is a brand, and that has power. Going up against it is like going up against the BMW 3-series- without something absolutely incredible to fight it with you’re gonna lose.

        That said, this car exists, but with caveats. The Mazda3 i, the Ford Fiesta 1.0 & ST, the Chevy Volt, the Golf/Jetta TDI, etc. etc. When you do the math you realize financially there are diminishing returns to chasing super high fuel efficiency. Prius does 50 MPG. A Mazda 3 2.0 does an honest 35 MPG. For a typical driver (15,000 50/50 city/highway) at today’s gas prices (~$3/gal) you are talking a whopping ~$400 a year. Less than $40/month. You might see payback if you keep the Prius over 10 or so years but otherwise no.

        Hyundai would do better to keep investing in its regular engine tech. Maybe be the first manufacturer to debut the e-turbo.

        • 0 avatar
          TopJimmy5150

          Why does it need a payback? What’s the payback on a $900 sunroof? A V6 vs. an inline 4 cylinder engine? I just like using less fuel.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            Not everyone is willing to pay more for the privilege of worse performance/refinement just to say ‘i use less gas’. If hybrids are going to become a big force they have to become a meaningful value proposition

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            Correct. Other options do not pay consumers back, in fact, they often generate higher operating and maintenance costs. Hybrid equipment is unique in that complex engineering and high tech systems actually reduce negative cash flows. The manufacturers have been very slow to exploit the benefit of hybrids, probably because they are terrified of foiling hybrid equipment against their borderline-immoral optioning racket.

        • 0 avatar
          daver277

          The Hyundai’s hybrid system is a joke. Open the hood and look at it. The motor/generator hungs on the ICE motor like an A/C compressor and is powered via a rubber belt.

          • 0 avatar
            Pastor Glenn

            daver, you’re looking at only part of the system – the engine starter/generator. The main propulsion motor/generator takes the place of the torque convertor in the Hyundai developed six-speed automatic transaxle.

            I’ve owned a 2011 Sonata Hybrid and now have a 2013, after trading the earlier one in – and yes, they’ve improved the daylights out of it.

            I also have owned two Prius’s in the past, loved them for what they were. Efficient commuter cars.

            The Sonata Hybrid is a decided step-up, but I’m glad Hyundai are going to do a dedicated Hybrid.

            They’re 5th largest car company in the world and not the joke many Americans seem to think they are.

            My wife and I are on Sonata #5, still have #3, a 2009 as well as my ’13. Great cars.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          @sportyaccordy

          There is not much price difference in the real world between a Mazda3 and a Prius. The cheapest Prius is cheaper than the most expensive Mazda3. The Prius is much bigger inside too. And in the real world of not driving 100% highway, there is a much bigger difference in fuel economy – you will not get 35mpg around town in the Mazda, but you will get 50+ in the Prius. And gas prices probably will not stay this “cheap” for long. So if you care about fuel economy, I can’t see an economic reason for not buying the Prius.

          I personally would not get one because they suck to drive, but I wouldn’t buy a Mazda3 either.

      • 0 avatar
        colin42

        CUV hybrid?

  • avatar
    cdotson

    Doesn’t Ford have a dedicated compact-platform hybrid in the C-Max (at least in the NA market)?

    I mean, I’ve been shopping compact (but not too compact) hatches and the reason I haven’t wasted my time with the CMax is there’s no way to buy one with the cost associated with all the electrical crap.

    I’ll probably pull the trigger on the Elantra GT. Didn’t quite drive as nice as a Mazda3 iSport, but between more room for the kids & cargo and features I appreciate that would take a higher trim AND an options package to get on a Mazda, plus the warranty, makes it hard to ignore the Hyundai.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      C-Max is suh-weet! But it’s definitely in a wealthier neighborhood than volume Prius sales. More like the Prius V.

      The brilliance of Toyota is to make hybrids accessible to lower middle-class families. Magic combo.

    • 0 avatar
      minivanman

      That’s how we ended up with a 2013 Elantra GT GL last year. The Focus and Mazda 3 drove better, but the Elantra GT had many more features at a lower trim level, a roomier back seat for 3 kids, and larger rear doors and more legroom for when they grow into teenagers. I am still happy with my choice a year later. I only wish it were a bit peppier, but the engine was upgraded for 2014.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Good for Hyundai.

    IMHO, Hyundai is one of the manufacturers that actually follows through with their endeavors, and seem to do a damned fine job of it, too.

    As far as cars like the Prius, etc: I never understood the desire to drive one of them daily. 40 mpg, 50 mpg. I mean, that’s all fine and well. But why would I purchase a Prius when I can get equally great mileage (maybe a little less) with a diesel car? AND enjoy the highway cruising of a diesel-powered car?

    Don’t get me wrong, I can see the market for it, and that’s great. Maybe I’m not enough of a miser to see the beauty of those appliances. Seems like it could potentially be punishment driving one of those daily (sans maybe the electric GTI, GTE maybe? Can’t think of the name).

    But carry on, Hyundai, carry on.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      Yeah, the supposed attraction of 50 mpg from a car that can actually carry a small family mystifies me, too.

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        Pray tell, Sir Zeiss, of the excitement you experience driving a Prius.

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          I hate driving the Prius, too blind inside.

          But there are a couple in my family that perfectly do the job for which they are designed… safely getting members of small families from points A to B for minimal fuel expenditure.

          If you can trick Darwin long enough, you’ll find Life is more than uninterrupted masturbation.

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          If you can continue tricking Darwin, you may find that Life is more than uninterrupted masturbation.

          Excitement has nothing to do with what makes cars sell enough for companies to be the size of Toyota.

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            But why take a Prius over- say, a diesel Jetta or even a diesel Cruze? (Assuming you are keeping the car for four years or so.)

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Ypu’re speaking CarGuy while most American buyers speak English. In English, they say “Damn! 50 mpg? And a 4-door Toyota? Sign me up!”

            Because most American buyers have two priorities that dwarf everything else:

            1) Gettint To Work

            2) Getting The Kids To The Doctor

            Toyota has spent decades arduously earning the reputation of Most Reliable Device For Work And Doctor Visits on this planet. Combine that with 50 mpg for under 25K and that’s why Prius.

            Besides, everybody knows diesels are stinky, noisy and popular in Europe.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            OK, long reply, eaten again. Maybe it’ll show up later, meantime, screw this site.

          • 0 avatar
            WaftableTorque

            Yeah, the comment eating does get old. The next time I accidentally type TTAV dot com instead of TTAC, I think I’ll just stay there.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @ pete….Don’t leave! I had a couple of long comments eaten to. I can only say, my keyboarding skills get a better work out these days.

            You bring a lot to TTAC Dude. That, and theres not enough old guys here.

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            Don’t worry, Pete. It’ll show up sometime this afternoon!

            Lol

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            @Mikey

            Aw jeez, man, thanks…. guess I’ll just have to get over my hissy.

            And pay more attention to Lorenzo’s “Don’t Use ESS-EYE-DEE In Any Word” rule.

        • 0 avatar
          raresleeper

          @Pete: Don’t get me wrong, the Prius is a mechanical wonder, which may very well be the ultimate commuter car.

          Me personally, again just my opinion which doesn’t mean sh*t from Shinola, I’d rather get flogged across my back with bamboo poles than to drive a Prius every day.

          Perhaps I’m still a “youngin\'” (in my almost 30 years of age) and lack discipline. Lol

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            I’m only defending the business case and timely engineering behind the Prius.

            To me, driving one is like wearing a hoodie backwards. Where ever your eyes travel, blockage. The entire interior is a DLO failure.

            I refuse to ever drive the two in my family unless a life is at stake. I have creepy-crawlies just remembering the one time I did drive one in Saturday mall traffic.

            For me, I HATE THE EFFING PRIUS. For the rest of the world, damn fine car.

        • 0 avatar
          bosozoku

          But why take a Prius over- say, a diesel Jetta or even a diesel Cruze?

          Easy availability, no price premium initially or at the pump, Toyota reliability… the list goes on.

    • 0 avatar
      TopJimmy5150

      To most, diesel means VW. VWs are not paragons of reliability. None of them can touch the MPG of the Prius. Sorry.

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        When VW can produce a DPF that can match the life expectancy of a Prius battery, as well as its replacement cost, diesel will be a competitive option.

      • 0 avatar
        ccode81

        My pipe dream is light weight diesel unit (like Mazda) plus hybrid unit for ultimate efficiency, Audi already has that in WEC race car. don’t understand why it always has to be a debate of hybrid vs diesel..
        Anyway if all the Prius on the road suddenly replaced by say a corolla, gas price will see a hike by stronger demand, and I’m not sure I can keep drive on something V8 supercharged returning 15mpg in town. thanks to all Prius owners!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    There’s nothing wrong with the efficiency, power, style, or price of the 2013 Optima Hybrid we recently bought. For $20k, we got a nice mid-size car that gets a legit 34 mpg city and up to 45 highway. What it could use is better driveability; I understand the Accord Hybrid has that going for it.

    What Hyundai is likely referring to is an Elantra-sized car built as hybrid-only. I think they could do a very good job with this, but Prius is so well-established that they’d struggle to steal sales away from it. As a H/K fan, I’d seriously consider one, though.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Kia is also working on a hybrid-only model that is supposedly in a compact CUV form.

      The new H/K hybrid system is reportedly much improved with a new new hybrid-specific transmission and based on the reviews of the Soul EV, seems like Kia has made quick gains when it comes to alternative powertrains.

      Kia is also working on a diesel-hybrid powertrain.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Where are our comments going? Grrr.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      Lorenzo caught the fact that the letter combo of s-EYE-d is causing the spam filter to freak. He thinks it may be some deliberate nuisance code from a disgruntled coder.

      So far, he seems to have nailed the problem.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    When I saw the headline I was excited, but after doing the math it looks like hybrid and diesel tech yield diminishing returns. A Mazda 3 gets 34 MPG combined vs the Prius’ 50. Sounds huge until you realize that amounts to ~$400 a year in extra gas. TrueDelta says a Prius comparably equipped to a Mazda3 costs an extra $8,000. Who wants to drive a Prius for 15-20 years? Not to mention the Mazda3 is seriously fun to drive, cheap to run, refined, yadda yadda.

    The Prius real strength is in its brand and image. It’s a really bad value proposition, especially for enthusiasts.

    If Hyundai wants to invest wisely they should bring their cars up to snuff fuel efficiency wise. No reason a huge company like Hyundai should be down on fuel efficiency to a little “I think I can” company like Mazda. Elantra should be doing 35-36 combined, not 32. Though supposedly a new one is coming.

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      This is an excellent post.

      Great points here.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      A Mazda 3 most assuredly does not get 34 MPG in the urban traffic jam. Finding an $8000 difference is some serious cherry picking.

      Buying a Prius to drive in reasonable traffic didn’t make sense at $4 a gallon much less $3 but it has its place in the world.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Not at all. That’s the difference True Delta yielded on the 3 2.0 vs the Prius with maximum shared features. If you can find a more apt comparo with a smaller difference, be my guest. The diff between the Prius and the Corolla is still about $6K, at least according to True Delta. Maybe you know better though.

        And the average driver sees a healthy mix between urban and highway driving. Most folks on Fuelly are getting about what the EPA says mixed driving gets. I live in a typical US town with a typical commute and my mileage is dead on combined EPA ratings. So I’m not sure what your contentions are about.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          The base Prius II, which is by far the most commonly stocked trim among the 11,500 units on cars.com, lists $25,400. The base 5 door 3 lists $21,100.

          National incentives are hard to pin down but the notion that Mazda has to put $4,000 more on the hood of a fresh 3 than Toyota puts on a five years stale Prius in an oil glut isn’t credible. Truecar suggests a $3,400 difference in out the door price between the two.

          I ran the True Delta comparison and it showed your $8,000 difference. $3,800 of that was the Solar Roof package which it decided to add to the Prius.

          True Delta is a long way from prime time.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      But given the psychological weight of gas prices and their direct route to adrenaline production of the “Armageddon’s a-comin’ and we’re all going to be butt-raped by dark people! BIG dark people!” type, offering 50 mpg for 22K is pretty magical.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      “The Prius real strength is in its brand and image. It’s a really bad value proposition, especially for enthusiasts.”

      One, what kind of “value proposition” is there in a BMW 3-Series or Porsche 911, or any V-6 sedan? Or for that matter, in anything that isn’t a gently-used Toyota Yaris?

      Two, the Prius actually is a pretty nice car: it’s about as roomy as a midsize, rides well, seems to be bulletproof-reliable going back fifteen years now and gets better-than-subcompact mileage. It’s a pretty decent value proposition, actually, and it’s resale reflects this.

      • 0 avatar
        daver277

        The biggest problem in buying a used Prius is that they can’t be had for pocket change like most 6 year old cars.

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        Psar, you left out the word “enthusiasts”. The only thing a Prius can get one enthused about is the MPGs. So with the exception of the Yaris your argument fails.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          “Psar, you left out the word “enthusiasts”. The only thing a Prius can get one enthused about is the MPGs. So with the exception of the Yaris your argument fails.”

          We’re posting on a board the coined the term “Panther Love”. If you can have enthusiasts for that anemic, rolling anachronistic underachiever, then the Prius should be easy.

          “Enthusiasts” does not have to equal “speed-freak”. You can appreciate the Prius for it’s packaging (like you would a Saab) or it’s technology (like an S-Class) or it’s reliability (like the Panther).

        • 0 avatar
          bosozoku

          You speak for all enthusiast, I take it? I’m a “car guy”, but I satisfy my performance lust with motorcycles, so I like my cars extremely practical and efficient to counteract the bikes.

          The Prius is a nice car. It’s not a penalty box. It’s also not a sports car, but nobody really expects it to be. As basic, comfortable, reliable transportation though, it is really hard to beat. In my mind it represents a Toyota’s Toyota, and I’ve been satisfied every time I’ve driven one.

          Most of the jokes are the car’s expense seem to come from people who, as per their insights on them, don’t seem to have ever actually driven one.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        3 series, and to a greater degree the 911, offer a pretty much ideal compromise between driver engagement and practicality. Yes they cost more than a used Yaris, but they deliver a lot more. Arguably they are nearly worth their asking prices.

        A Prius trades a LOT for its fuel efficiency. Performance, refinement, content. A $30K car that gets 50 MPG is not that appealing to the avg person when it comes with the performance and refinement of a $15K Yaris.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      While Mazda has been doing some very good things with their powertrains, one of the reasons for their great fuel economy is the scrimping on sound deadening materials.

      Honda has been known for this as well (tho has done a better job recently with the Accord) – hence the complaints about road noise (the lighter-weight, however, makes for more tossable vehicles).

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        This is admittedly a huge pet peeve of mine. My 350Z sounds like I am riding with a hole in the trunk when it rains. The tire noise comes through loud and clear all through the frequency range. Compared to that I doubt a Mazda/Honda mainstreamer could be that bad.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Be smart, forget the prius. Its already becoming passe, build a better volt and an electric Genesis.

  • avatar
    gt

    Just checked out the new Aslan … very nice. I’m waiting to see the Tumnus before I decide though.

  • avatar
    Fenian

    Being that they buck the trend and use an automatic transmission in their Sonata hybrid, I wonder if they will stay with that or move to a CVT.

  • avatar
    Adamatari

    The “math” of hybrids has been gone over a thousand times. Yes, you can buy a stripper economy car for cheaper, but that’s not the point. And no, the Prius isn’t that bad, plus it’s larger (except for the Prius C). It’s not a stripper economy car.

    In times of low gas prices, it may seem pointless, but gas prices are volatile (as can be seen by the rejoicing over “cheap” $3 gas when gas was closer to $1 not all that long ago). A hybrid buys a car that has a smaller environmental footprint (don’t start on the batteries, like the steel and aluminum in normal cars doesn’t also have to be mined) that also is insurance against future price spikes. And it’s comfortable and easy to drive.

    I actually like the driving experience. It’s different from a gas car, but often that’s a good thing. It doesn’t lurch at all, which is great especially in cities. I didn’t realize I’d come to like it until I drove a Subaru Outback and found the behavior when I hit the gas weird. Both cars have comparable 0-60 times. Funny, that. The “video game” steering is not really an issue, either.

    It’s not fast, it doesn’t handle, it can’t crawl over rocks or haul dirt (unless you attach a trailer). That’s not the point. I’ve had some sporty cars – a Miata and a Prelude – and they did their thing very well. A Prius is not like that. But I can also fit four people and a ton of stuff, and get 50 mpg.

    Automakers need these cars as well, because the future is not set in stone. Another gas price spike and they will need them. I am sure there is at least one person at GM that realizes how stupid they were to get rid of the EV1, which could have put them ahead of every single other automaker on electric cars (they could have trumped Tesla and Nissan). These cars are normal now and will become much more attractive next time gas prices spike (which will happen, sooner or later). The ones who have put in the work will reap the rewards, as Toyota does with the Prius and Tesla with the Model S.

  • avatar
    STRATOS

    The Japanese auto makers do not fear German or American makes but they do fear Korean auto makers.They see real competition in their approach in making cars. They are not just” me too “type corporations.

    • 0 avatar
      bosozoku

      South Korean industry has been eating Japan’s lunch for a while now in some sectors. Smartphones, TVs, etc., pretty much anything Samsung and LG are dominating right now, were once the bread and butter of Japanese companies.

      It’s the stated goal of at least one of the Korean chaebols to beat their Japanese rivals at their own game; this may be purely business, but Japan’s brutal but influential past as Korea’s colonial overlord no doubt pushes that drive every bit as much as making money.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • BobinPgh: One question that was asked about the Chrysler bailout was: Besides build unreliable gas guzzlers, what has...
  • SqueakyVue: To piggyback off Dan the poverty spec Caviler’s passenger mirror was an “option” all...
  • Arthur Dailey: This is quite upsetting. I keep closing my eyes and trying to remember the interior of the Pucci Mark...
  • Arthur Dailey: Mathew, enjoyed the Tacks reference. There was a period of about 20 consecutive years where every...
  • DenverMike: It’s just a theory. Except suppose they go directly from entry level Fords to entry BMWs? Or entry...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber