Monthly Archives: March 2014

“Best Bet” Awards from Car Book

Another day, another Hyundai award being given!

The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and 2014 Sonata have both been named “BEST BETS” in the 34th edition of The Car Book,
America’s original consumer car buying guide. This year marks the
fourth consecutive year the Hyundai Sonata has earned this distinction.

“Hyundai continues to exceed customer expectations in terms of build quality and standard features,” said Jack Gillis, author, The Car Book.
“By offering vehicles that respond to the safety and performance needs
of today’s consumers, Hyundai continues to make a significant
contribution to improving the market choices for the American car

Now in its 34th consecutive year, The Car Book has
been the consumer’s best guide to smart and sensible car buying. The
publication’s “BEST BETS” distinctions are awarded to new vehicles each
year which cater to the needs of American consumers, and in turn, make a
significant contribution to the American automotive market. Vehicles
are rated in nine key Car Book categories: crash tests, safety
features, rollover, preventative maintenance, repair costs, warranty,
fuel economy, customer complaints and insurance costs.

Hyundai’s vehicles can be tailored to suit a customer’s lifestyle, there
are two aspects that should never be overlooked: safety and standard
features,” said Scott Margason, director, Product Planning, Hyundai
Motor America. “Hyundai is committed to catering to the changing needs
of our customers, and receiving the ‘BEST BETS’ accolade acknowledges
our ability to deliver high quality vehicles across our entire lineup.”

Sonata is one of Hyundai’s most-decorated vehicles. With its impressive
fuel economy, class-leading technologies such as Blue Link and 7-inch
Infotainment System, and its sumptuous, Fluidic Sculpture design, the
2014 Sonata maintains its competitive edge amongst premium rivals in the
mid-size sedan segment.

The 2014 Santa Fe Sport delivers
Hyundai’s recipe of bold design and high-output powertrains. With a host
of features to please drivers and passengers alike, functionality,
versatility and comfort are key areas in which the Santa Fe Sport
exceeds customer expectations.

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2015 Genesis to Feature AHA Radio

Aha Radio will be a part of the next-generation infotainment systems
also debuting in the 2015 Genesis. Hyundai Motor America has integrated
the Aha Radio service into Genesis to give its U.S. drivers the ability
to access over 100,000 music, entertainment and news stations as well as
location-based services in an intuitive manner using their connected

“We are delighted to have Aha Radio featured in the 2015
Hyundai Genesis as part of our new infotainment systems. These
next-generation systems are much more intuitive for our customers who
already use their smartphones to enhance various aspects of their
lives,” said Cason Grover, senior group manager of cross-carline product
planning at Hyundai Motor America. “The new infotainment systems in
Genesis represent Hyundai’s latest approach to in-vehicle technology and
Aha Radio further enhances the Hyundai ownership experience.”

Radio delivers Web-based entertainment and information in vehicles
using a radio-like format familiar to drivers. With Aha Radio, Hyundai
drivers can access their favorite podcasts, radio stations, news,
entertainment, audiobooks, music, Facebook and Twitter feeds. Aha also
includes personalized location-based services such as weather and fuel
prices, as well as searches for nearby restaurants, hotels, parks and
coffee shops. Aha Radio will seamlessly deliver content from around the
world to Genesis drivers.

“Our partnership with Hyundai reflects a
common goal to create innovative solutions for the connected car that
remain intuitive to use for drivers,” said David Slump, executive vice
president at HARMAN and president of its automotive services. “Aha Radio
will not only deliver on demand global audio entertainment in the car,
but will also enhance the overall user experience and dashboard
interface for the connected Hyundai driver.”

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2014 Elantra Limited Review

Hyundai is a company that has no problem messing with a good thing and that’s what it did with its hot-selling Elantra. Like the mid-size Sonata we reviewed here two weeks ago, the compact sedan gets several new design updates and features for 2014, but manages to keep pricing in line with the outgoing ride.

The version we tested was in top-spec’d Limited trim with the Technology package.

And unlike the base L, the GL, and the GLS models with the 1.8-litre MPI engines that are built in Montgomery, Alabama, my tester, equipped with the new 2.0-litre GDI engine, came from Ulsan, Korea (along with the Limited model below it).

Compared to the 1.8L which the 2.0L is based upon, the increase in torque is noticeable at low range and in particular at mid-range where there is a bit more oomph when making a quick highway pass manoeuvre or lane change.

On quick and pro-longed throttle stomps, the power feels nice and linear all the way up to its 7,000 rpm red line as it moves through the gears.

Similar to the 2014 Sonata, the Elantra also gets Hyundai’s Driver Selectable Steering Mode; the system allows the driver to adjust the Elantra’s steering response at any time, with a press of a button on the steering wheel, to suit road conditions or driver preference.

Comfort mode offers a greater ease of steering and is best suited, says Hyundai, for city driving and parking lot manoeuvres.

Sport mode, where I had it all the time, offers a more noticeable dynamic steering response for trips down those winding roads and for on-centre stability during higher-speed highway drives. Normal mode offers a bit of both worlds for all driving conditions.

Outside, the Elantra gets some noticeable updates which add to an already sporty profile (yes, I just called the Elantra sporty); those additions and changes included: at the rear, a slick-looking, two-tone difuser and LED tail lamps; up front, a more open lower grille with new fog lamps and projector headlights with LED accents.Our tester also featured chrome belt-line moulding, chrome door handles and newly-designed 17-inch alloy wheels with dark spoke inserts.

Inside, I preferred the toned-down look of the centre stack area with its darker finishes and its repositioned HVAC vents which are now high on the dash on either side of the 7.0-inch LCD touch-screen navigation screen.

Several of its controls have also been repositioned and simplified presenting a more refined look.I liked the update made to its centre armrest which has been slightly raised and improves comfort when not driving with both hands on the wheel (it slides forward, too).

I also noticed the crisper graphics and more user-friendly interfaces of its audio and navigation systems. My iPhone 5C sync’d up instantly in the Elantra and my music lists were easily accessible while Bluetooth worked with zero concerns.

Standard safety features on the 2014 Elantra include Hill-start Assist Control and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM). That VSM system manages its electronic stability control and the motor-driven power steering which helps the driver maintain control in slippery conditions or during fast cornering.

My top-trimmed tester, priced at $25,649, also included (take a breath): power windows and door locks; armrest storage bin; rear seat centre armrest with cup holders; trip computer; heated, power side-view mirrors; iPod, USB, auxillary connectivity; automatic headlamps; air conditioning; remote keyless entry with alarm system; cruise control; two-stage heated front seats and heated rear seats; steering wheel-mounted audio controls; tilt and telescoping steering column; rear-view camera; sun roof; deluxe door sill plates; hood insulator; six-way power-adjustable diver’s seat with lumbar support; sliding centre armrest; leather seating surfaces with leatherette door inserts; auto-dimming rear-view mirror with HomeLink; dual-zone climate control with CleanAir ionizer; integrated side-mirror turn signal repeaters; solar control glass; proximity keyless entry with push-button start; and a 360-watt AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 premium audio system with six speakers and an external amplifier.

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