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Archive for the ‘Hyundai’ Category

Funky Town Meets Funky Car: First Drive of the 2019 Hyundai Veloster

Slightly more practical, Korean entry is still an oddball.

by on May.21, 2018

The second-generation Hyundai Veloster gets a larger grille, bolder fenders and wheel arches and a number of powertrain updates.

In their nearly three-decade history here in the U.S., the Koreans have seldom shied away from introducing oddball offerings. And while it’s not quite as quirky as the Kia Soul, the Hyundai Veloster doesn’t readily fit into any neat category. Consider the fact that it has three doors – not including its hatch – one on the driver’s side, two on the passenger side.

While clearly not mainstream, the Veloster has a loyal following, enough to convince Hyundai to ignore current trends that have led most automakers to trim back on their passenger car line-ups – and Ford to all but drop out entirely.

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Fittingly, when it came time to launch an all-new, second-generation version of the Veloster, Korea’s largest automaker invited us down to Austin, Texas, a town locked in a battle with Portland, Oregon, for bragging rights as the country’s weirdest city. We won’t take sides on that debate, but after some time behind the wheel of several turbo versions of the 2019 Hyundai Veloster we can weigh in on its merits.

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Pedestrian Deaths Skyrocketing – Pot, SUVs and Smartphones Catching Blame

Tech distractions and possible tech solutions.

by on May.09, 2018

Despite recent efforts to improve safety, pedestrian deaths have risen for the past few years.

Highway deaths have been on the rise in recent years, reversing a long period of improved roadway safety. And one reason for the deadly turnaround has been the skyrocketing increase in pedestrian fatalities.

Since 2009, the number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle crashes has jumped by nearly 50%, and a number of factors are being blamed, including the use of mobile devices by both motorists and pedestrians. But a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety puts a chunk of the blame on the increasing number of SUVs on the road.

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Both the number SUVs and their design appear to be factors, according to David Harkey, the president of the insurance industry trade groups, who noted that, “SUVs have higher front ends, and often the design for the vehicle is much more vertical than passenger cars.” That can make for a more blunt impact and less likelihood that a pedestrian being struck by an SUV might be able to roll off the vehicle and reduce injuries.

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Production Version of Kia Niro EV Breaks Cover

Timing of U.S. launch unclear.

by on May.04, 2018

The long-range version of the Kia Niro EV will get 236 miles out of a 64 kWh battery pack.

We got a first look at the concept version of Kia’s all-electric Niro model during the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. The Korean carmaker has now pulled the wraps off the production model during the Fifth International Electric Vehicle Expo in Seoul.

A quick glance suggests the version that will be rolling into showrooms is a bit more conservative than the CES show car, with relatively conventional lights and bumpers. Perhaps the biggest difference between the Niro EV and earlier versions of the crossover can be seen in the textured, albeit solid, grille – which actually bears more than a passing likeness to the snout on the all-electric Hyundai Kona that debuted at the New York International Auto Show barely a month ago.

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Kia is being sparse when it comes to offering details about the Niro EV, though it did indicate the battery-electric vehicle will be offered with a choice of two different batteries – at least in some markets – the more powerful, 64 kWh pack will provide enough energy to travel an estimated 236 miles between charges, the 39.2 kWh pack reducing range to around 149 miles.

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NY Auto Show’s Dozen Best

Our favorites from an extensive assortment of cars, trucks, crossovers and concepts.

by on Apr.02, 2018

The turnstiles are spinning at the Javits Convention Center and for good reason. The 2018 New York International Auto Show is winning raves as the year’s most significant North American event, with dozens of significant debuts.

This year’s NAIAS covered plenty of ground: from long-range electric vehicles to high-powered performance cars – even some high-performance electric vehicles. Followers of automotive design will have plenty to talk about, too. The show underscores all the dramatic changes sweeping through the auto industry, even on the retail side, as more manufacturers announce new subscription programs.

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Whether you’re heading down to the show or simply trying to check out from a distance the most significant, intriguing and unusual cars, trucks, crossovers and concepts on display, here’s a handy guide to our dozen favorites.

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Genesis Evolving as a Luxury Brand With First-Ever Concept: Essentia

First effort turns heads in NYC.

by on Mar.29, 2018

Genesis continued its evolution as a luxury brand with its first-ever concept vehicle, the Essentia.

The evolution of Hyundai’s nascent luxury brand, Genesis, took another step forward in New York City with the introduction of its first-ever concept, the Genesis Essentia.

The battery-electric vehicle features a lightweight carbon-fiber monocoque, a robust, multi-motor electric powertrain and a custom-tailored interior. Essentia is “a true GT car and challenges the status quo as the ultimate manifestation of Genesis design and engineering,” according to Genesis.

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The new concept, including its tough to miss clear hood, hit the stage at the New York International Auto Show and is intended to cement the brand’s perception as a long-term player in the growing luxury segment. (more…)

Hyundai Continues Expansion of SUV Line-Up with New Santa Fe

Maker offering up two new versions of the ute.

by on Mar.29, 2018

Hyundai unveiled its new Santa Fe sport-utility at the New York International Auto Show.

Hyundai is moving to shore up model line with a brand-new version of the Santa Fe.

The 2019 Santa Fe made its official U.S. debut during the press days at the New York International Auto Show and will go on sale this coming summer.

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The all-new Santa Fe and Santa Fe Diesel – a first for Hyundai in the U.S. – are the third and fourth of eight new or re-engineered utility vehicles Hyundai plans to debut by 2020 as shifts its model line to keep up with consumer preferences. (more…)

Hyundai Plugs Into Mainstream with Long-Range Kona Electric

At 250 miles/charge, battery-ute tops Tesla Model 3,

by on Mar.28, 2018

Hyundai wasted no time in getting the battery-electric version of its new Kona compact ute in front of the people.

The race to bring out affordable, long-range battery-electric vehicles is shifting into high gear, Hyundai among an assortment of manufacturers revealing new products – or laying out plans – at this year’s New York International Auto Show.

And the Korean carmaker wasn’t pulling any punches as it pulled the wraps off the Kona Electric, the battery-powered version of its new Kona sport-utility vehicle. During a media preview, Hyundai Motor America CEO Brian Smith pointed out that is rated at 250 miles per charge, more 12 miles than the Chevrolet Volt EV and 30 more than the Tesla Model 3.

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Hyundai has, in fact, taken pains to tweak Tesla in recent weeks, warning the California carmaker it’s coming into the market with a billboard-sized banner that greeted visitors to the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month. In his Wednesday comments, meanwhile, Smith noted that Hyundai is “a company that meets its production deadlines,” a clear shot at Tesla’s ongoing production problems with the Model 3. (more…)

Hyundai Tucson Gets Facelift, New Tech for 2019 Model Year

Hyundai's hot seller should continue moving metal with refresh.

by on Mar.28, 2018

The new 2019 Hyundai Tucson gets refreshed for the model year and adds some new technology as well.

The Tucson has been one of the mainstays of the Hyundai line-up in recent years and for is getting a big facelift for the 2019 model year.

In the cosmetic department, Hyundai’s compact crossover vehicle gets a new grille and new headlights and a new front and rear fascias for 2019 in a bid to keep up with the intensifying competition in the utility vehicle segments that J.D Power & Associates indicates is beginning to put increased pressure on some models.

NYIAS News!

But the current edition of the Tucson has set a sales record in each of the past 12 months and the new version of Tucson, which following its debut at the New York International Auto Show this week is due in showrooms next fall, will also get a significant amount of new technology. (more…)

First Drive: 2018 Hyundai Kona

Putting a little crossover through its paces on the Big Island.

by on Mar.26, 2018

The Hyundai Kona is one of the smallest of the small CUVs - but only on the outside.

So much for palm trees swaying in a sunny, South Pacific breeze. The wind is blowing, all right, but the normally desert-like Kona Coast is anything but warm and dry as we head out for a day’s drive across the Big Island of Hawaii.

Actually, we’re just fine with that, as it gives us a chance to put the new 2019 Hyundai Kona through its paces as we explore one of the most ecologically diverse places on the planet. By the time we wrap up we’ll experience just about every sort of weather one can imagine short of snow – and at the top of Saddle Road, which cuts between the currently dormant Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, even a blizzard is possible.

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We’ve spent nearly 12 hours in the air flying to, yes, Kona, Hawaii to see just how well the new Kona crossover lives up our expectations. Hyundai was slow to recognize one of the most dramatic shifts in the automotive market, the rapid shift from sedans and coupes to SUVs and crossover-utility vehicles. As it rolls into dealer showrooms across the U.S. in the coming weeks, it becomes the Korean brand’s third utility vehicle, joining the compact Tucson and midsize Santa Fe – with an assortment of others, including the hydrogen-powered Nexo, to follow.

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Toyota Will “Pause” Testing of Autonomous Vehicles on Public Roads

Hyundai adding “caution” to its program; Boston mayor wants autonomous tests halted in city.

by on Mar.20, 2018

In light to Uber's autonomous vehicle killing a pedestrian, other companies are revisiting their testing plans and procedures.

Reaction has been quick in the wake of a fatal Phoenix crash involving a prototype autonomous vehicle operated by ride-sharing service Uber, at least one major automaker saying it will temporarily “pause” testing of its own self-driving vehicles on public roads.

Though police in the suburb of Tempe say preliminary evidence indicates the Uber-modified Volvo SUV was not at fault in the death of a pedestrian Sunday night, the incident has raised flags that could slow the race to put self-driving technology on the road.

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While Toyota issued a statement noting that it “cannot speculate on the cause of the incident or what it may mean to the automated driving industry going forward,” the automaker added in a statement that, “Because we feel the incident may have an emotional effect on our test drivers, we have decided to temporarily pause our Chauffeur mode testing on public roads.” (more…)