The marketing executives at Hyundai Motor America would likely prefer you forget about their first offering on these shores, the extraordinarily low-priced Excel. Introduced around the same time as the underwhelming Yugo GV née Fiat 127, contemporary news reports inextricably linked the two bargain hatchbacks, and thus the poor reputation of the Yugo stuck to the good-by-comparison Hyundai.
Frustrated by the acceptable-but-cheap label created by its early models, Hyundai progressively improved both the design of its cars and the overall quality. No longer the butt of jokes, Hyundai’s offerings are rightfully comparable to the leading models in whatever class they compete. So, when I was handed the keys to this 2018 Hyundai Accent SE, I was curious to see how the lineup’s bargain model improved over the decades, and whether the essence of the cheerful econobox was retained.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles won’t comment on a report claiming Hyundai Motor Group plans to launch a bid for the automaker, but that’s what sources with knowledge of the matter tell the Asia Times.
The sources claim HMG CEO Chung Mong-koo is biding his time, waiting for FCA’s stock to fall before moving forward on the potential takeover. Reportedly, Hyundai could launch the bid within months.
Today’s Buy/Drive/Burn trio of unfortunate crossovers was concocted by commenter JohnTaurus. From a time early in the development of the midsize three-row crossover, none of today’s competitors really worked from a sales perspective.
Three unfortunate entries from three different marques. Which one goes home with you?
If sales stats tell us anything, it’s that Hyundai’s latest refresh of the Sonata sedan didn’t seem to resonate with buyers. Despite the addition of a large and aggressive new grille for the 2018 model year, complimented by a sharper rear deck and nicely canted taillights, Sonata sales — like that of so many other traditional passenger cars — continued a downward path. So much for fixing the styling issues of the previous refresh.
After hitting a high water mark of 230,605 vehicles sold in 2012, Sonata volume sunk to 131,803 units in 2017. Sales over the first five months of 2018 fell 33.8 percent.
Given the sales trajectory, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see Hyundai drop the model after the current generation runs its course, but the automaker seems intent on generating as many sales as it can across the segment spectrum. Thanks to these spy shots from Las Vegas, it looks like there’s a new Sonata in our future.
Almost all models occasionally burst into flames for one reason or another, but there’s too many older Kia and Hyundai models catching fire to write it off as a statistical inevitability, the Center for Auto Safety says.
In a letter sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Monday, the nonprofit advocacy group used owner-submitted questionnaires from the NHTSA’s own website as proof that something’s amiss with certain 2011-2014 Kia and Hyundai models. 120 reported vehicle fires and 229 cases of melted wires in the engine compartment, smoke, or burning odors should be enough to spark an investigation, CAS said.
Corporate partnerships and integrated purchasing solutions are all the rage right now in the auto industry. While it’s easy to miss the appeal, as credit cards are pretty easy to use when cash isn’t an option and most modern phones have similar applications, car-based transitions are on the rise. Now, Hyundai’s joining Xevo to provide its own branded in-car purchasing platform.
Like similar services, Hyundai owners will be able to sync their credit card with the vehicle and use it to locate and buy food, fuel, and parking (from participating companies). Also under development is the Hyundai Digital Wallet, “which stores a customer’s payment information and facilitates secure processing, for a seamless checkout experience to enable in-car commerce.”
Hyundai hasn’t established an official launch date — or nailed down the final design — but it insists the system is coming. Initial partners include Chevron and Texaco-branded gas stations, Applebee’s To Go and ParkWhiz. Out of the three, the parking solution seems the most useful by far. But if you absolutely refuse to get out of your seat to procure a bundle of mozzarella sticks, Hyundai (like GM) will eventually have you covered.
If you’re following the Busan International Motor Show as close as we are, and we know you are, you no doubt saw the unveiling of Hyundai’s newest and largest concept vehicle, the HDC-2 Grandmaster. Sounding like an air-dropped fission weapon or perhaps an experimental jet prototype of the 1940s, Hyundai’s big, honkin’ SUV concept showcases where the company’s going with its design language.
It’s also possible you’ve seen the Grandmaster’s shape before, perhaps churning up the snow on a wintery test course in a set of spy photos.
Those Europeans seem like a scared lot. Always trying to appease their domineering rulers’ demands for greener cars, all thanks to strict mandates handed down from the central powers in Belgium.
While we’re hardly that different over here (minus that whole “union of member states” thing), Europe’s push for fuel efficiency generates technological ripples that reach this side of the Atlantic. Eventually, anyway. For the 2019 model year, European customers gain a 48-volt mild hybrid option for the refreshed Hyundai Tucson, heralding a similar setup that’s expected to land in American showrooms before too long.
Some car companies seem to listen to the gripes of us underpaid yet overfed journalist types more closely than others. Hyundai and corporate sibling Kia are particularly good at that – if there’s a consensus among cranky critics about a particular car’s failings, the next generation will almost certainly address the criticisms and improve upon them.
Hyundai’s Veloster has taken a lot of crap from us keyboard knights for being a sporty hatch that lacked in power, had a crashy suspension, and offered so-so handling. Oddly, the unusual three-door body style never seemed to be the biggest complaint (surely, some even like it).
Enter generation two. Hyundai’s made a lot of changes, and every one of them goes towards making the Veloster a better car. Most succeed in that endeavor.
Remember that Santa Cruz Concept pickup that miraculously appeared at the 2015 North American International Auto Show? Well, according to Hyundai, it’s still earmarked for future production, but the brand has really dragged its feet on its development.
Despite a warm welcome from the automotive media, the Santa Cruz hit a major speed bump when former CEO Dave Zuchowski left Hyundai Motor America. At the time, Zuchowski was pushing hard for more SUVs and especially the pickup truck, but sliding domestic deliveries forced home office to oust him from his position. Tragically, Hyundai’s preponderance of cars is probably the largest factor contributing to lackluster U.S. sales — something Dave seemed to understand.
Hyundai continued its pursuit of SUVs and crossovers without him, but the pickup was lost in the mix. Originally planned for a 2018 release, development of the Santa Cruz stagnated. Now, the automaker says it intends to get things back on track.
Really, what else could Hyundai do? Hybrids aren’t the sole domain of traditional sedans anymore, let alone cars in general, and with green competition on the rise, something needed to be done to sweeten the pot.
The 2018 Sonata Hybrid, arriving roughly a half year after the mid-2017 debut of the refreshed 2018 gas-only model, offers buyers an extra 2 mpg on the highway, but that isn’t enough to fend off competition from the likes of Toyota and Honda (among others). As sales of almost all midsize sedans roll downhill, it’s growing harder and harder to justify a large price premium for green technology. Sonata volume declined 27.7 percent in the U.S. over the first quarter of 2018.
Interested in the new Sonata Hybrid? Put some cash back in your wallet, and try not to think about the Honda Accord Hybrid.
During the early planning for Hyundai’s sales-boosting crossover push, the automaker announced the Santa Fe Sport would become brawnier, while its larger Santa Fe sibling would go bigger, adopting a name that buyers wouldn’t confuse for its little brother.
We’ve already seen much of this come to pass. First off, there’s now a subcompact Kona crossover to lure buyers into the brand. The Santa Fe Sport grows larger for the 2019 model year, ditching its name for “Santa Fe.” Meanwhile, the existing Santa Fe dons an “XL” to differentiate itself until a larger replacement arrives.
Is the name of that range-topping utility vehicle no longer a mystery?
Outside of my hometown of Chicago, New York City remains one of my favorite metropolises. I don’t know why – Manhattan is overstuffed with cars and people, garbage is put out on the sidewalks, hotel rooms are no oasis from street noise, and most goods and services are way too expensive.
Perhaps New York has a unique sort of charm that compensates for all its flaws, some sort of charisma that continues to exist despite the continuing transformation of Manhattan into a living Disney city for the wealthy.
I mean, in what other city would I be brazenly approached by a young man trying to sell me cocaine as I walked back to my hotel after some late-night pizza (partake, I did not. Drugs aren’t my thing. Pizza was good, though) while almost within sight of the most famous urban intersection in the world – one that was undoubtedly crowded to the gills even at that hour? In what other city would I have a surreal on-street argument with a fellow pedestrian over an innocent, touristy picture I took of a street sign? There’s this “only in New York” feeling, a sense that certain things happen to you that just wouldn’t elsewhere.
It’s the kind of place where you can swear bloody murder because the F train didn’t show, but find value in the 40-minute walk across lower Manhattan you undertake instead, all because you don’t feel like doing the logical thing and hailing a cab. SoHo, Little Italy, and Chinatown all look much better from on foot.
The [s]radically[/s] mildly refreshed 2019 Hyundai Tucson, unveiled Wednesday at the New York International Auto Show, might not attract stares and selfies in the same way as the show’s more exotic sheetmetal, but it’ll sure draw buyers to the showroom.
Hyundai needs to collect those buyers. Amid a sales slump it hopes to remedy with an onslaught of crossovers, the compact Tucson crossover is one of the automaker’s largest meal tickets. Sales rose 31 percent, year over year, in the U.S. last month. And, while the Elantra and Santa Fe boast larger sales volumes, the Tucson has the best growth rate — sales are up 32.1 percent over the first two months of 2018.
To reward the buying public for their continued support, Hyundai has made changes to the 2019 model. Who wants a larger engine?
Last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said we’ll learn more about the company’s future Model Y electric crossover — its production date and build location — probably in another six months. Money might start flowing to that project late this year.
Well, by the fourth quarter of this year, electric Hyundai Kona crossovers will actually be arriving in California driveways, followed soon after by Northeastern states and other U.S. locales with zero emission vehicle mandates. This vehicle exists, in the flesh, right now. As the first mainstream crossover EV to land on our shores, the gas-free Kona’s estimated range tops that of the Chevrolet Bolt and (still unproduced) base model Tesla Model 3.
If you can see beyond the Jason Voorhees face, a bland yet revolutionary vehicle awaits.
The United States and South Korea reached a free trade agreement on Monday that spared the Asian country from punitive steel tariffs, assuming Seoul keeps an eye on just how much steel it sends to American buyers.
A quota on Korean steel exports means the country can only sell 70 percent of its recent average (2015-2017) to the U.S., though it is hardly Korea’s largest export market. The deal, reached “in principle” ahead of both countries’ meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jung UN, will also see South Korea raise the limit for U.S.-made vehicles that needn’t conform to local safety standards from 25,000 to 50,000.
It’s good news for the Trump administration, but not everyone’s thrilled. Hyundai’s union is hopping mad that a steep tariff on Korean-built pickups — which was set to expire in 2021 under the previous agreement — was just renewed for another 20 years.
It’s probably a little too on the nose for any automaker to launch a car in the city, state, or region it’s named after, but that didn’t stop Hyundai from bringing media to Hawaii to drive the newest entry into the subcompact crossover class.
Hyundai did so not just because of the “synergy” (ugh) between place and name, but because the company wanted to show us scribes how sporty and fun and well-suited to outdoorsy folk the Kona is. Never mind that most compact SUV buyers aren’t hauling long boards – they’re hauling little humans.
Every automaker does this — projecting their crossovers as the key to adventure. And I have no doubt that equipped with the correct accessories, the Kona can haul your bikes to the trailhead just fine. But most of these are going to be found in traffic on city streets, just like most of the crossovers buyers will cross-shop against the Kona.
The bigger question, then, is where does the Kona fit in a segment Hyundai calls the “Wild West?”
I’m not joking. The Supertramp song in the title did indeed start playing on SiriusXM’s Classic Rewind station as I pressed the start button after another long day at the office. I’m sure “Take The Long Way Home” and Foghat’s “Slow Ride” are the most often-played afternoon drive time songs for classic rock stations nationwide, but it seemed serendipitous.
I didn’t have to be home right after work. It was a dry, sunny, albeit brisk afternoon. And I had a willing partner – the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport – fitted with a proper six-speed manual gearbox. Instead of turning south at the roundabout toward home, I turned north, dropped a gear, and followed the meander of the river. Magically, I’d forgotten about the day I’d spent glued to spreadsheets.
Earlier this year, Hyundai mixed up the nomenclature of its largest crossover. The three-row Santa Fe XL takes the place of the old three-row Santa Fe, with that name migrating to the smaller machine (which is only available as a two-row unit unless you opt for the diesel, in which case it’s a three-row, but not an XL). Understand?
No, me either. What I do know is the littlest crossover in Hyundai dealerships is no longer the Tucson. Enter the Kona, a pint-sized ute ready to take on competitors like the CX-3 and HR-V. The Korean automaker usually runs long on features and short on price, so let’s find out what its newest nameplate offers in the sub-$20,000 range.
Yesterday, TTAC covered news of the launch of a second-generation K900 model in the United States at the upcoming New York International Auto Show and Mobility Conference. Upon considering the K900 and its potential for success, some questions arose about the three different badges on offer from the Hyundai-Kia conglomerate, and what we might do with them.
Where does Hyundai go from here?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a probe into two older-model Kia and Hyundai vehicles in the wake of six head-on collisions, hoping to discover why the vehicles’ airbags failed to deploy.
Included in the investigation is the 2011 Hyundai Sonata and Kia Fortes from the 2012 and 2013 model years. The collisions reported by the safety agency resulted in four deaths and six injuries.
Hyundai’s compact Tucson crossover is a perennial bright light in the brand’s troubled lineup, and it seems the Korean automaker wants to reward customers with a third engine choice.
Blessed with a pile of Theta II 2.4-liter engines looking for homes, Hyundai has apparently stuffed one in a mid-range Tucson and slapped on a “Sport” moniker, thus creating a slightly hotter model for buyers not impressed with the standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder — but not willing to shell out for the 1.6-liter turbo.
Hmm… are Hyundai buyers swayed by value?
Hamstrung by Chinese animosity towards South Korea and a crossover lineup that wasn’t sufficiently buffet-like, the Hyundai brand missed its global sales target by nearly 600,000 vehicles last year. It’s a well-reported slump, and we’ve told you about the automaker’s strategy to get its mojo back.
Crossovers, man. Lots and lots of crossovers.
While fleshing out its lineup of two- and three-row haulers seems like a perfectly reasonable plan in a world addicted to cargo volume, it looks like Hyundai’s not stopping there. Some buyers will surely want more power, and Hyundai’s prepared to deliver it.
There was a moment last week when a few TTAC minds nearly cracked while nailing down the changes coming to Hyundai’s lineup for the 2019 model year. The momentary confusion centered around the bold new Santa Fe, which replaces the Santa Fe Sport (but not the old Santa Fe, which becomes the Santa Fe XL, except in Canada, where it’s already called the Santa Fe XL).
It was touch and go there for a moment. With a wholly new two- and three-row crossover replacing the Santa Fe Sport for 2019, the existing three-row-always Santa Fe (soon to be Santa Fe XL) soldiers on unchanged, though not for long. The full-size crossover seen in these spy shots is nearly ready to step in and give Americans the really big Korean vehicle they’ve always wanted.
Now, who wants to place bets on the inevitable Southwestern name?
Range anxiety remains the primary reason why most people don’t want to purchase an electric car. However, the overall recipe for today’s battery electric vehicles feels counter to what consumers are demanding. In the United States, all the top-selling electrics are whatever sedan or hatchback has a superior range. But, excluding the pricy Model X, there isn’t a single SUV or crossover among them (the Soul EV doesn’t count). Odd, considering that’s the body style most people are clamoring for right now.
That’s what makes Hyundai’s decision not to send the all-electric Kona immediately to North America a bit perplexing. We understand the brand probably feels some trepidation over sending another green car to the U.S. After all, the Ioniq could have performed better in its rookie year — despite being a totally serviceable alternative to Toyota’s Prius (as a hybrid) or Nissan’s Leaf (as a battery electric).
But the Kona EV has the potential to take the niche EV market by storm. Not only would it be the only electrified crossover that doesn’t require a lofty financial investment, it would also have an enviable range. More than enough to best the Chevrolet Bolt on a lengthy road trip, in fact.
Mere hours after we published a story on the attractively priced but awful-to-lease Hyundai Kona yesterday, it seems Hyundai had a change of heart.
The initial advertised lease for the volume SEL trim lasted less than a week, after the automaker apparently decided it wasn’t a good thing to make the brand’s smallest crossover more expensive to lease than the larger Tucson and Santa Fe Sport.
Hyundai apparently deemed that a thorough restyle of its popular Santa Fe crossover wasn’t enough, so it went ahead and mixed up the model names. Debuting today in Seoul, the new Santa Fe and Santa Fe XL are the latest push by the Korean automaker to offer more product to a crossover-hungry marketplace.
Oh yeah, and they added a diesel option, too.
As we told you earlier this month, Hyundai’s newest offering, the B-segment Kona crossover, arrived with a base price below that of its subcompact competition. At $20,450 after delivery for a base, front-drive SE, the Kona slots below the entry MSRPs of the Honda HR-V, Toyota C-HR, Chevrolet Trax, and Mazda CX-3.
Value, the Kona trumpets, has arrived.
Well, not if you’re leasing the Kona’s volume trim: the SEL model.
Hold on a minute, you’re thinking — you’re pretty sure you’ve seen this vehicle before. Yes, you have, as the conventional gas-powered 2018 Hyundai Sonata went on sale last summer with a revamped face, tail, and assorted other goodies.
What didn’t launch alongside the refreshed midsize sedan was its hybrid and plug-in hybrid siblings, which soldiered on with a 2017 face until just now. At the Chicago Auto Show Thursday, Hyundai had the distinct pleasure of pulling the wraps off a body already familiar to the buying public, just with different internals. Don’t worry, though, there’s still something new to talk about.
There are few things sweeter in life than bragging to your friends and family about the good deal you just negotiated on a new car. They certainly won’t care, but the amount of self-satisfaction received from reminding yourself that you are a force to be reckoned with at the dealership is immeasurable.
Of course, the bargain in the driveway can turn into a money pit once you calculate all the costs associated with vehicle ownership. Fuel costs, financing, insurance, and depreciation can all add up — especially if you purchased the wrong model. So what’s a thrift-obsessed shopper to do, calculate the total cost of ownership on every model in every segment over a five-year period to determine which is the best value overall?
Don’t be ridiculous, someone has already done that.
BMW has M, Mercedes-Benz has AMG, Cadillac has V, Lexus has F, Volkswagen and Honda share R, and Hyundai now has ownership of the letter N for its performance sub-brand.
The second-generation Hyundai Veloster, bowing for the 2019 model year, gains a hot, 275-horsepower N variant later this year, but it won’t be the only Hyundai model with that letter affixed to its sheetmetal. While the automaker hopes to use the Veloster N’s athleticism to brawn up the lineup’s image, don’t expect any additional N models just yet.
Expect N Sport.
Late last month, Hyundai Motor America sent messages to dealers that announced the formation of an independent Genesis dealer network. The plan was to further separate the luxury brand from the rest of the company’s automotive fare by creating standalone dealerships.
While great for the brand’s image, the automaker’s strategy only calls for 100 initial locations. That’s a problem, because there are roughly 350 dealers that are currently eligible to sell both.
This hasn’t gone over well with Hyundai stores currently selling Genesis models right next to their more pedestrian inventory. Dealers have been offered compensation if they don’t make the cut, but plenty of them aren’t interested. They don’t want the money, they want the cars.
As part of its sales-stimulating crossover offensive, Hyundai’s upcoming Santa Fe will drop the safe styling act that’s carried the model since its inception. The first official images of the 2019 model are out, revealing a three-row vehicle that mimics Hyundai’s smallest crossover, the Kona.
Like that bottom-rung sibling, the 2019 Santa Fe, due for a full reveal ahead of March’s Geneva Motor Show, adopts the brand’s now signature “cascading grille” and a quartet of headlamps — narrow running lights above, driving lights below. Get used to the new face, as you’ll be seeing it on plenty of Hyundai rigs in the coming years.
We’ll have to wait until Nissan releases pricing for its weirdly named Kicks before we can declare the 2018 Hyundai Kona the least-expensive subcompact crossover in America, but that’s the way it is for now.
The Korean automaker released its pricing list for the Kona on Wednesday, revealing a vehicle that undercuts every one its American and Japanese rivals in entry cost. Starting price for a Kona? $20,450 after delivery for a front-wheel-drive SE model.
Hyundai’s Santa Fe has been a reliable performer for the automaker, topping up the company’s coffers over three generations and helping turn the crossover segment into the unstoppable juggernaut it is today.
The current generation, dating to 2013, is sufficiently long in the tooth to call for a top-down revamp, the results of which we can see in these official renderings. For 2019, Hyundai’s biggest grows bigger and bolder, but a few mysteries still remain.
Hyundai has dropped a few details about its next Santa Fe, including a dimly lit teaser photo. In a confusing bit of theatre, the company says the trucklet will make a world premiere at an unnamed location next month before debuting at the Geneva Motor Show in early March.
Hyundai refreshed its two largest crossovers just two model years ago. With consumer tastes running hot in that segment, the Korean automaker knows it needs to keep up with the Joneses (and the Toyotas and Nissans).
Reading about Hyundai’s new customer service program, it’s hard not to think of the M*A*S*H episode where a supply shortage forces the surgeons to donate their own blood to the patients they’re operating on.
That’s very similar to how Hyundai Canada’s just-announced “Charge Here” service works. Unlike in the United States, where EV drivers stranded with a drained battery can pick up the phone (in some markets) and call AAA for a top-up, no such service exists in the Great White North. With its first electric model now plying the country’s roadways, the automaker figured the best way to help stranded Ioniq Electric drivers was with other Ioniq Electrics.
When I left the media center at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, I turned to Steph to say I might write a roundup piece this week, but I wasn’t sure what angle to take. It’s true this year’s show was truck-focused, and I wanted to go beyond the obvious theme (which Jack eventually took on here) and see if there was more to the show that was getting lost in the truck madness.
“Maybe I will find inspiration on the open road,” I joked.
Instead, the “open road” greeted me with snarled traffic near Detroit and whiteout conditions a couple hours later in Southwest Michigan/Northwest Indiana. So, as I tried to keep a Camry pointed forward and not sideways while surrounded by insane open-road truckers whose response to the weather was to drive even faster, I realized I wasn’t going to come up with some grand, sweeping theme for this year’s show.
Hyundai’s smallest utility vehicle arrives as the automaker tries to put a troubling year behind it. Sales fell significantly in both the U.S. and Canada in 2017, the first annual drop since the recession. The blame for the 13.4 percent U.S. drop and 6.1 percent Canadian decline lies in our growing aversion to small, fuel-efficient cars, of which Hyundai has many, and our insatiable lust for large utility vehicles, of which Hyundai does not have enough.
There’s nothing large about the Hyundai Kona, but it’s still an important player in the raft of new or revamped crossovers bound for Hyundai’s stable. And, just like in the small car segment it’s slowly replacing, economy matters in the small crossover segment. So, now that the Environmental Protection Agency has seen fit to test the Kona, how does its thirst stack up against its rivals?
It wasn’t a secret that Hyundai was set to launch its next Veloster in 2018. It also was fairly certain that there would be a turbo model available.
Yet Hyundai still managed to stuff a surprise up its sleeve – the high-performance N version will come to America.
Hyundai promises “up to” 275 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque from the 2.0-liter direct-injected turbocharged four-banger, and the sole transmission is a six-speed manual.
Ahead of next week’s North American International Auto Show, where TTAC will have a full complement of boots on the ground, Hyundai has released a few teaser shots of its next Veloster.
Spy shots have been floating around for a while now, supporting the thesis that the upcoming Hyundai hatch will retain its oddball door configuration. It may even have a performance model, dubbed the N, a letter so chosen by the Korean automaker because all the cool bits of the alphabet were already taken.
Despite the inherent challenges with using hydrogen as a fuel source, Hyundai is plowing ahead with a new generation of fuel cell vehicle as a follow up to the Tucson Fuel Cell it currently offers in limited markets.
Difference is, the current hydrogen-powered Tucson shares a lot of sheetmetal with the traditionally fuelled Tucson. The new, as yet unnamed, hydrogen crossover doesn’t look like anything in Hyundai’s portfolio … at least not yet.
In a year of great political transition, there was also much change afoot at The Truth About Cars and more than a few alterations made in the way my life intersects with the automotive industry.
2017 was crazy. Yet midst all of the external upheaval (Trump, TTAC, Apple skipping the iPhone 9, the launch of a new Honda Odyssey) and an array of internal disorder (GoodCarBadCar’s acquisition, a move to rural Prince Edward Island, Miata purchase, new job) there was at least one constant.
I drove a ton of cars. Many tons of cars, to be more accurate.
This Korean automaker has been known since the dawn of time as a purveyor of value-packed cars, making a name for itself by offering machines comparable in price to its competition but stuffed to the gunwales with features for which The Other Guy charged extra.
Hyundai introduced the Elantra nameplate about 20 years ago and has since taken it through more styling iterations than Mickey Rourke — frequently, and often dramatically, updating its looks. The current model went on sale a couple of model years ago and continues to pack ‘em in with valuable features at a cut-rate price.
If the multitude of spy shots circulating around the internet wasn’t enough of a clue, Hyundai’s making it clear. There will be another Veloster, but you’ll have to wait about six weeks to see it.
The Veloster, an oddball take on the traditional hatchback, debuted in 2011 for the 2012 model year and, despite the declining popularity of traditional passenger cars (and especially coupes), managed to rack up pretty consistent sales since its unveiling. Sporting three side doors of uneven length and two-piece rear glass, the Veloster only really ran into sales trouble this year.
The next Veloster looks to keep the original’s unique profile, but Hyundai’s flagging fortunes requires a hatch hot enough to buoy the brand.
Hyundai Motor Company has, once again, found itself at the mercy of an unhappy workforce. No stranger to labor disputes, the company hinted that it might scale back its at-home labor in South Korea — presumably aware that the possible response would be negative, which it was. But the timing couldn’t be worse.
The Kona crossover is believed to be the model that will turn things around for Hyundai in the United States, but a new labor strike has put the export vehicle’s production on hold only a week after it started.
You would think you’d be happy when a peer succeeds and goes on to greater things, but the reality is often a little grimier and less magnanimous. Genesis has been a sore subject around Hyundai Motor Company ever since the automaker spun it off into its own brand. However, this has less to do with its role as an elite nameplate and more about how to manage it as part of the greater whole.
Earlier this month, dealers expressed their dismay by walking out of a meeting with Hyundai Motor America’s executives — which included CEO Kenny Lee and COO Brian Smith. The incident didn’t last particularly long and the conference eventually got back on track, but it proves there’s unresolved issues as to how the Genesis brand should be handled.
Selling a car in the subcompact/compact classes is an exercise in balance.
For one thing, car buyers will no tolerate a penalty box, even at cheap price points (the Mitsubishi Mirage notwithstanding). There’s a baseline of expectations that’s higher than it once was. Case in point: A previous-generation Hyundai Accent rental nearly drove one of our writers to tears on a recent vacation.
Enter the redesigned 2018 Hyundai Accent. Content matters now in this class, and two of the three trims offer the features most buyers have come to expect these days.
Hyundai keeps it simple with the new Accent. There’s just three trims, one engine, and two transmissions. Options are grouped by trim level.
After being caught off guard by the American public’s thirst for high-riding, commodious, all-weather vehicles, Hyundai’s planning to make up for lost time.
As part of an effort we’ve known about for a year, Hyundai laid its “build more crossovers” strategy bare on Wednesday. Including the subcompact 2018 Kona, which lands on U.S. shores early next year, the automaker will “debut” eight new or redesigned CUVs over the next two years. Unfortunately, details are threadbare.
Going from Hyundai’s product timeline, the future lineup includes (among others) a new A-segment crossover, a diesel model, and an electric. Already burned, Hyundai’s now covering its bases.
Hyundai says it hasn’t made a decision one way or the other, but a South Korean publication claims company officials are considering a huge U.S. production push, all designed to reverse falling sales.
Reported by Seoul Economic Daily, the tentative plan (leaked by anonymous industry officials) is all about getting more utility vehicles into the hands of American buyers. It would see U.S.-market Tucson and Kona crossovers, currently built in Korea, move assembly to Montgomery, Alabama. A pickup truck would follow.
Snow has already touched Minneapolis pavement, meaning it’s time for automakers to hurry up and clear out 2017 models. Special offers, like the coming winter, are rolling in fast.
Not surprisingly, many of the end-of-year incentives target the increasingly unloved passenger car segment. If two or four doors and a trunk is your bag, you’re in luck, though crossover shoppers aren’t being ignored in the rush to unload old inventory. However, if you’re a fan of the Big H, and especially its sportier offerings, Christmas might have just arrived early.
[s]Desperate[/s] eager to fill holes in its product lineup and put some bounce in its sales step, Hyundai unveiled the subcompact Kona crossover earlier this year, with the model arriving on North American shores in the first quarter of 2018. The Kona is just one part of Hyundai’s revamp of its crossover lineup — and its culture.
More crossovers, bigger and smaller crossovers, EV crossovers, and faster crossovers make up Hyundai’s short-term goals. By “faster,” we’re referring to the development cycle, unless the brand has some hot “N” action waiting for one of its cargo-friendly models. Caught off guard by the utility vehicle craze, Hyundai wants to pare its product planning window down from three years to a year-and-a-half, allowing a quicker response to new market trends.
But the first step towards a more agile Hyundai Motor Company is the Kona. Small, cladded, and efficient, the 2018 Kona might arrive sooner than planned.
When it comes to the positively frosty relationship between China and South Korea, this is the part of the movie where the two countries bump into each other at the bookstore and realize they should work out their troubles instead of giving each other the silent treatment. You know, for the kids.
For South Korea, China’s decision to warm up the relationship — which soured after the jittery country placed U.S.-supplied defensive missiles on its soil — is the best news its auto manufacturing sector has heard in ages. Perhaps soon it won’t be frowned upon to own a Hyundai or Kia in Beijing.
(An initial version of this story indicated that the first recall could result in a situation where “fixed” vehicles contained the same safety issue as unfixed vehicles. This is incorrect — Hyundai initiated the second recall after becoming concerned that mechanics working on a fixed vehicle *after* the recall could inadvertently cause a similar safety issue. The story has been updated to reflect this.)
Hyundai finds itself in the unusual position of recalling nearly half a million sedans after an earlier recall designed to prevent seatbelts from detaching from the floor led to concerns that the same thing might happen again.
In late February, Hyundai issued a recall for nearly 978,000 Sonata and Sonata Hybrids across several models years following two crashes where the front seat passenger’s seatbelt failed. Dealers were to inspect the connections between the seat belt linkages and the seat belt anchor pretensioners. However, the first recall didn’t remove all of the future risk.
Governments big and small can issue far-off bans on gasoline and diesel all they want, but in the here and now, no one’s stopping you from taking home a Ford F-350 crew cab for family hauling duties. There’s no shadowy apparatchik barring the front door at the local Dodge dealership, preventing you from signing on the dotted line for that 392 Scat Pack or Hellcat.
Choice, glorious choice, awaits us all. Enjoy it while you can. For now, only the number of coins in our pockets (and maybe our parking situation) can keep those automotive love affairs at bay.
So, is it any wonder few people buy an electric car? The future’s electric, CEOs tell us, but high prices, low ranges, and a fledgling recharging network means EV ownership was mainly — at least until the Chevrolet Bolt came along — the domain of those dropping big bucks on Mr. Musk’s long-range wondercars. Destitute, but still achingly green? A used Nissan Leaf can haul your butt across town for a price rapidly approaching $0.
Is there room in this lopsided landscape for a new Hyundai with no exhaust pipe, a price lower than the competition, and a body that doesn’t scream “status”? If there is, can you live with it?
Last month Volkswagen announced it had significantly upgraded its warranties and, not a week later, Hyundai gave word that it was making a big announcement on October 10th. As the brand with the most extensive factory coverage in the business (along with Kia and Mitsubishi), we expected them to respond assertively.
The gauntlet had been thrown down and it was time for Hyundai to remind VW who the world’s value leader was. What would the response be? One million miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage? Free hats? We were ready for anything and everything.
The announcement came and Hyundai is now promoting its new retail program, called Shopper Assurance, which allows you to schedule a test drive via the internet, browse dealer inventories online, and offers a three-day money-back guarantee. Needless to say, it’s slightly disappointing, but it isn’t all bad news.
Hyundai’s Genesis Motors offshoot intends to finalize its transition into an entirely separate U.S. dealer network within the next three years.
The process of building an undetermined number of distinct Genesis outlets has not yet begun, but it’s clear the brand is well aware of the limitations with which it’s currently operating.
“The reality is, many, many luxury customers tell us they love our products, they’re amazing, but I’m not going into a Hyundai store to buy it,” U.S. Genesis boss Erwin Raphael tells Automotive News.
With sales slipping, Hyundai has decided to trim some fat on the fifth-generation Accent. While a hatchback remains available for the rest of the world, the automaker has indicated the U.S. will receive no such option. This will probably put a few value-oriented motorists with a penchant for liftgates off. But, assuming they can stomach a crossover, Hyundai’s subcompact Kona is right around the corner — and there’s little reason to assume they wouldn’t go for it.
Recent history has proven that the average American will shun a ho-hum hatchback and happily spend more on its crossover equivalent. Pigeonholing the Accent as a sedan will keep it from getting in the Kona’s way. However, this also allows it to remain a traditional car and ignore all the trappings of being SUV-adjacent.
Unfortunately, the new Hyundai i30 N is, by all accounts, a terrific hot hatchback.
The i30, you’ll recall, is essentially the Hyundai Elantra GT that’s beginning to arrive in U.S. showrooms, a pleasantly tasty car in Sport trim.
But Hyundai’s new performance N sub-brand, headed up by former BMW dynamics sage Albert Biermann, is not yet America-bound. And while European critics broadly praise the i30 N — not just as “a pretty stunning first effort from Hyundai’s N division” but “up there with the best” competitors — and celebrate the availability of yet another viable performance car, the car will not make it across the pond.