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First Drive: 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

New entry poised to take on Toyota Prius.

by on Apr.18, 2017

The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is giving the Toyota Prius a serious challenger atop the hybrid mountain.

The automobile industry hybrid segment has been dominated by Toyota for many years and up until now other automakers have mounted what can be best described as half-hearted attempts to challenge the Japanese auto giant’s grip on the category.

However, with the introduction of the Ioniq, Hyundai, the ambitious South Korean automaker, is making a serious bid to gain share in the segment, which promises to grow in the future.

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The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid also can claim to be the most efficient vehicle on the road even as its new drivetrain also delivers ample power in an all new vehicle with a comfortable interior that also handles nicely, even in a heavy downpour. (more…)

Hyundai Goes Google

Korean maker adds Google Assistant link to its cars.

by on Apr.13, 2017

Hyundai's Manish Mehrotra with an Ioniq and the Google Assistant device.

With more and more of our lives being defined by our many digital devices, the challenge has become finding ways to link them all together. Hyundai is stepping into the fray by allowing cars equipped with its BlueLink telematics system to pair up with a wide range of other high-tech devices.

During a New York International Auto Show news conference on Thursday, the Korean carmaker announced that will now include Google Assistant, the tin can-sized device that already can be used to do anything from check weather to control a home’s lights and thermostats.

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By providing a single access point to “converge” all the various digital technologies in our lives, “we’ll make life easier and more seamless,” said Manish Mehrotra, the director of digital planning at Hyundai Motor America.

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Genesis Hints at Future with Hydrogen-Hybrid GV80 SUV

Is this powertrain part of its future?

by on Apr.12, 2017

The Genesis GV80 Concept made its Tuesday debut at the NY Auto Show.

The challenge for a new automotive brand is to try to decide what you stand for and then get that message out to the public. In the case of Genesis, the new luxury marque does have the benefit of having a deep-pocket parent with plenty of design and engineering talent.

And that all comes together in the form of the GV80 Concept vehicle which made its debut at the New York International Auto Show Wednesday afternoon. While it’s being billed as nothing more than a show car, officials with the luxury arm of Hyundai Motor Co. said key design elements – as well as some of the GV80’s technology – will make it into production.

What a Conceptt!

The marque’s first crossover-utility vehicle, liberally borrowing from the concept, will roll into Genesis showrooms “in about two years,” said brand boss Manfred Fitzgerald. And the GV80’s distinctive, quad-slit headlamps “will become a signature for the Genesis brand,” carrying over to all future models.

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Hyundai Rushes Revised Sonata to Market

“We wanted to deliver an exciting, expressive car."

by on Apr.12, 2017

The 2018 Sonata update is designed to give more energy to its design.

Hoping to regain some momentum for its midsize sedan in a market rapidly shifting to SUVs, Hyundai has rushed a refreshed version of its midsize Sonata to market, giving media and potential buyers a first look at the New York International Auto Show.

The Sonata has traditionally been one of the Korean carmaker’s most important models but after scoring with an edgy design theme for the previous sedan, Hyundai took hits by opting for a more conservative design with the current model. The 2018 update intends to put Sonata back on track as one of the midsize four-door segment’s most stylish offerings.

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“It’s about making an impact,” said Chris Chapman, lead designer at Hyundai’s U.S. design center. “We wanted to deliver an exciting, expressive car to…show the world how passionate Hyundai is about design and craftsmanship.”

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Hyundai, Kia Recall 1.4M Vehicles Due to Stalling Engines

Debris in the engine can restrict oil flow.

by on Apr.07, 2017

Hyundai and Kia are recalling more than 1.4 million vehicles, including 2013-2014 Santa Fe models.

Hyundai and Kia are recalling more than 1.4 million cars and SUVs in the U.S., Canada and South Korea because the engines in the vehicles may stall, creating a potentially dangerous situation for drivers.

The effort includes some of the automakers’ most popular models including 2013 and 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport SUVs and Sonata midsize cars. Also covered are 2011-2014 Kia Optima, Kia Sportage from 2011-2013 and Kia Sorento 2012-2014.

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The South Korean recall includes Hyundai’s Grandeur and Sonata sedans and Kia’s K5, K7 and Sportage with engines produced from 2009-2013. (more…)

Hyundai Belatedly Plugging In

Korean maker planning array of plug-ins, EVs and FCVs for Hyundai, Kia, Genesis brands.

by on Mar.31, 2017

Hyundai will roll out its first EV, the Ioniq Electric, next month, but plans a wave of new EVs.

Slow to charge into the electric vehicle market, Hyundai Motor Co. is about to get charged up, with an assortment of electrified models set to debut for the Hyundai and Kia brands, as well as the new Genesis luxury marque.

The three brands will add a number of new battery-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Hyundai also plans to launch an all-new fuel-cell SUV model next year that, it claims, will offer greater range than any hydrogen car now on the market.

Charge Up!

Hyundai has been slow to enter the electric vehicle market and is now racing to catch up. Key to its new program will be an all-new platform specifically dedicated to battery-based vehicles, the automaker said this week.

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Hyundai Recalling Nearly 1m Cars for Faulty Seatbelts

Latest in a series of recalls involving unsafe safety systems.

by on Mar.16, 2017

The 2014 Sonata is part of a 1 million vehicle recall for seat belt problems related to the midsize sedan.

A seatbelt defect, linked to at least one known injury, is leading to the recall of nearly 1 million Sonata sedans sold in the U.S. by Hyundai Motor Co.

The recall covers versions of the conventional, gas-powered midsize model sold during the 2011 through 2014 model-years. The 2011 to 2015 model-year Sonata hybrid is also covered, according to a new report published on the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Safety News!

The Hyundai recall is the latest in a series of large recalls reported by automakers domestic and foreign. And it comes just days after federal regulators revealed that safety-related callbacks hit another all-time record in 2016 – for the third year in a row. A total of 53.2 million vehicles were involved. (more…)

Hyundai Looks to Save Sonata With Midcycle Update

More than a refresh, redesign aimed at bucking up flagging sales.

by on Mar.08, 2017

In order to give sales of the Sonata a boost, Hyundai gave it a midcycle redesign, which it debuted in South Korea.

When Hyundai Motor Co. introduced the Sonata in 2009, it hoped the new sedan would give it a substantive stake in the midsize car market. And it did … for a while.

However, sales of midsize sedans have been sliding during the last two years, and the Sonata’s totals even moreso. Sales of the Sonata fell 1.7% last year and have dropped 31% in the first two months of 2017 in the U.S.

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So to stem the tide, Hyundai rolled out a midcycle styling update hoping to light a fire under consumers, especially as competitors, particularly the Toyota Camry, are unveiling new-look models. (more…)

Hyundai Hops into Hot Hatch Hullabaloo with New GT

New Elantra GT provides improved performance.

by on Feb.09, 2017

Hyundai is jumping into the hot hatch segment with the new 2018 Elantra GT.

Like so many other makers, Hyundai’s recent new product focus has zeroed in on electric vehicles. However, industry observers all seem to agree that the South Korean maker needs to fill the truck gap in its line-up.

So, of course, if the company’s got a new vehicle in to unveil at the Chicago Auto Show, it’s only natural that it’s a … small, sporty car!

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The automaker is taking the wraps off the new 2018 Elantra GT. Described as “lower, wider and longer” the new model is more aggressive on the outside and roomier on the inside. The new hatchback is set to hit dealerships this summer, officials said. (more…)

Hyundai Quarterly Profits Take Another Hit

Maker blames discounts applied to small cars.

by on Jan.25, 2017

Hyundai is going to need to sell more Santa Fe models in the U.S. to improve its profits. The company plans to invest in its plants to make that happen.

Hyundai Motors continues to struggle as it reported its lowest quarterly profit in five years. The South Korean maker blamed the lower-than-expected numbers on discounts offered on its small cars.

The company reported a fourth-quarter net profit of $858.07 million, down 39% from a year ago and the lowest since the first quarter of 2012. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S expected a profit of about $1.2 billion.

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Higher U.S. incentive spending – which Autodata Corp said jumped 30% to $2,582 per vehicle in December from a year ago for Hyundai, above an average industry increase of 23% – helped to drive down the company’s results for the quarter, Reuters reported. (more…)