By on May 16, 2019

Image: Hyundai

Exactly a year ago, your suddenly fearful author found himself in the market for a new car. Hating the shopping experience, and with little free time, the choice soon boiled down to two scorching models: a base Chevy Cruze manual, or a similarly sparse Hyundai Elantra, also with a manual.

Twelve months later, neither vehicle exists in the United States. The Cruze is dead, and for the 2020 model year, Hyundai Motor America has decided to ditch the six-speed manual transmission, outfitting the recently updated sedan with a new continuously variable transmission. (Read More…)

By on January 14, 2019

When Hyundai announced an “N Line” trim level to complement its N performance sub-brand, we initially presumed it would akin to Chevrolet’s Redline vehicles or Volkswagen’s R-Line. If you’re unfamiliar with these vehicles, they can be summed up by the classic idiom “all show and no go,” and are only a small sample of a broader trend sweeping the industry.

Fortunately, it turns out Hyundai cares about more than just looking good. While we can’t speak for the upcoming wave of N Line products the Korean automaker has in store, we can discuss the Elantra GT N Line — the first of these mid-range performance models, revealed Monday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The N Line replaces the existing Elantra GT Sport as the sportiest variant of Hyundai’s compact hatch and introduces some assertive styling choices borrowed from the Veloster and Europe-only i30 N.  (Read More…)

By on October 31, 2018

The Korean car maker has long since shed its also-ran status, enjoying sales success and the ability to grab a steadily growing portion of the market share pie.

Unlike a few others who shall not be named, Hyundai believes there are still customers out there who want to buy a well-equipped compact sedan with a price tag under $18,000. It believes this so fervently, in fact, that it refurbished the Elantra for the 2019 model year.

(Read More…)

By on October 5, 2018

2015 Hyundai Elantra rear torsion beam suspension, Image: hyundaipartsdeal.com Sam writes:

I have a 2015 Hyundai Elantra SE. It has 25,000 miles and serves its purpose of a street parked commuter car that is comfortable enough for the occasional 600-mile round trip on weekends. The only real issue I have with the car is the cheap-car torsion beam rear suspension. Over large bumps on one side of the car the rear of the car feels like it oscillates extremely in each direction.

In a straight line it is controllable but I worry that in a off ramp taken a little too fast that a unseen bump could actually upset the car enough to lose control (or surprise a fiancé who is used to the handling of a 200S). The 2007 Honda Fit and 2015 Chevy Volt I drove I believe have similar setups but didn’t feel at all like this, and neither did the 2011 Crown Victoria I drove. I’ve read online that some aftermarket replacement shocks would help with this.

Is this really the case? Would a lighter set of wheels also help?

(Read More…)

By on August 22, 2018

Currently the seventh best-selling sedan in the United States, the Hyundai Elantra is an fairly important model for the Korean brand. Sound engineering and some inoffensive bodywork has also made it a serious contender in a rather vicious little segment. Still in its sixth generation, the Elantra has undergone a mid-cycle update to maintain its edge within the group.

We’d like to give Hyundai credit for having the balls required to conduct a meaningful refresh. The 2019 Elantra almost looks like an entirely new model, rather than something slapped together to entice shoppers. Serious thought was put into this and, while we’re not ready to commit to it hosting superior styling to the comparably reserved 2018 model year, it’s definitely an acute car. (Read More…)

By on July 20, 2018

Just a couple of weeks into my ECO 101 class, I knew that something was terribly wrong.

At the age of nineteen, I’d already worked for a few dealerships and I was on the way to opening up my own bike shop. Yet I knew at some level that I was profoundly ignorant of the levers that truly move the world. So I signed up for an economics class to learn about those levers.

I learned a lot of theories and concepts in that semester, most of them “proven” by long experience if not by experiment; much like climate science and astronomy, economics is one of those disciplines where much of the scientific method is rendered inaccessible for obvious reasons. Even as a kid, however, I could tell that pure economic theory, like pure Marxism, had no relation to the real world. I was shown a lot of charts where imaginary widget factories maximized output until they broke even on the last widget they made. I heard a lot about elastic and inelastic demand. Things were shown to be fungible, or perhaps not. But if there was a direct connection to the way business worked in my daily life, it must have been made of Larry Niven’s shadow-square wire.

Now, in my forties, I have come to the conclusion that ECO 101 should not be taught to anyone who has not already taken ECO 102, or perhaps owned a business, or maybe reached the age of retirement. ECO 101 contains information that is too dangerous to be used or acted upon in its purest form. The real world doesn’t play by the rules you learn in that class.

Want proof? Here’s some: apparently people won’t buy a brand-new $16,950 car if it’s listed for half price. (Read More…)

By on April 28, 2017

2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport - Image: © Timothy Cain

This is not the 2017 Hyundai Elantra GT3 Superleggera Stradale Competizione with an optional N Performance Package.

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport is not hardcore. It’s not SCCA-certified. It’s not extreme. It’s not uncompromising. And thankfully, it’s not obnoxious, ostentatious, outlandish, or overcooked.

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport is not a Ford Focus RS alternative; it’s not a replacement for your Subaru WRX STI; it won’t satisfy your Renault Sport 230 Renault F1 Team R26.R import cravings.

The $21,650 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport is, instead, a remarkably balanced junior sports sedan with classy styling and a terrific value quotient, priced $5,100 below the top-spec Elantra Limited.

It’s the best version of Hyundai’s best product. (Read More…)

By on November 15, 2016

2017 Fiat 124 Spider

Kirk writes:

Sajeev,

I asked Bark for advice a few months ago and this question is somewhat related: I’m now planning to get a Miata or maybe the Fiat 124. I live at 5,000 feet above sea level and from what I’ve read, it sounds like the average naturally aspirated engine loses 3 percent of its power for every 1,000 ft increase in elevation, which translates to a 15 percent power loss at 5,000 ft. However, it appears that turbo engines do not suffer as much, as they lose about 1.5 percent power per 1,000 ft on average due to the less dense air. (i.e. more dense with forced induction – SM)

If that is the case, than I expect it would be better for me to get a turbo engine — provided I’m okay with the Fiat. (Read More…)

By on August 30, 2016

hyundai N Division

Hyundai’s plans to diversify the Elantra lineup continues apace, with the automaker dropping teaser images of the next GT hatch and posting a video of a possible N-badged high-performance variant.

Expect more maturity and style from the hatchback Elantra, and, if the automaker is really serious about its N Division, a turbocharged stick-shift funmobile with room for camping equipment. (Read More…)

By on August 22, 2016

2012_Hyundai_Elantra_(MD)_Active_sedan_(2012-09-01). Photo courtesy wikipedia.org

If you’re concerned that the red glow in the night sky could be distant wildfires, don’t be alarmed — it might just be a bunch of three-year-old Hyundai Elantras.

After the automaker recalled over one million vehicles three years ago to fix defective brake lights switches, a different model has now developed a brake light affliction. (Read More…)

By on July 12, 2016

2017 Elantra Sport

Hyundai set out to make its Elantra hotter, and it’s happy to report that the sedan’s output now tops 200 horsepower in newly unveiled Sport form.

The 2017 Elantra Sport brings a third engine choice to the model lineup — a turbocharged 1.6-liter direct-injection four-cylinder making “more than” 200 horsepower and 190 pounds-feet of torque, according to the automaker. (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 April 12, 2016

2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited, Image: © 2016 Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars

Sometimes, circumstance hands you a perfect metaphor.

While driving Hyundai’s redesigned and all-around updated 2017 Elantra, a brand-spankin’-new Honda Civic bolted out from a side street, led me for a short while, then put the hammer down before it took off into the distance.

Up ’till that moment, the electric blue Elantra tester (in option-heavy Limited form) had proven itself a comfortable, roomy, good-handling compact by soaking up the worst potholes, frost heaves and patches that early spring could throw at it. But here, all of a sudden, was its main competitor — the award-winning Civic, the car to beat in the compact class — and I could almost feel the worry emerge from the Korean plastic and steel that encased me.

No car exists in a vacuum (thank you, capitalism!), so the Elantra’s mandate can’t simply be to improve on its own past — it must present a compelling argument against the Civic. Is it up to the task?

(Read More…)

By on November 23, 2015

2017 Hyundai Elantra at 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show (2015 LAAS)

Shortly after the debut of its Avante brother in South Korea, the Elantra was revealed for the first time in North America last week at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Going into its sixth generation, the Elantra looks offer even more in its class with the addition of new safety kit and technology that makes even class-above vehicles blush.

But, even though the new Elantra is much improved over the outgoing model in almost every conceivable way, it’s hard not to think it looks a bit, well, familiar.

(Read More…)

By on May 20, 2015

2016 Elantra

Hyundai USA reported record April sales last month, yet by only posting modest growth figures, Hyundai didn’t match the pace of the overall auto industry. As a result, Hyundai’s market share actually decreased in this record-setting month from 4.8% in April 2014 to 4.7% in April 2015.

Year-over-year, Hyundai volume increased 3% to 68,009 units in April 2015, a gain of 1,902 sales in a market which grew 5%, or 64,000 units. Compared with the prior month of March, during which Hyundai set an all-time sales record regardless of season, Hyundai’s market share slipped from 4.9%.

But in a market that’s increasingly favouring SUVs and crossovers and increasingly uninterested in passenger cars, Hyundai’s growth is notable because of the automaker’s reliance on passenger cars. (Read More…)

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