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First Drive: 2014 Hyundai Equus

A premium luxury sedan without the premium price tag.

by on Jul.16, 2013

Hyundai has made some modest but notable changes to the 2014 Equus sedan.

It’s a big year for premium luxury car buyers, what with some major new products hitting market in the months ahead – notably including an all-new version of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. But while Hyundai isn’t starting from the ground up with the 2014 Equus update, the big sedan is impressive any way you approach it.

The elegant sedan’s long, sleek silhouette conveys an enhanced sense of luxury, style and sophistication that is harder to ignore with the update for the 2014 model-year. Hyundai’s decision to update the Equus might, in fact, seem surprising since it was seemingly introduced only yesterday.

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In fact, the Hyundai Equus made its American debut in 2010, and a lot has happened in the luxury market since then, as the new S-Class underscores. So, Hyundai’s timing is on target, enhancing the visual appeal of the 2014 sedan, adding a mix of new features and tweaking the car’s performance and handling.


First Drive: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

No one-trick pony.

by on Sep.14, 2012

Hyundai remakes the Santa Fe crossover with its Fluidic Sculpture design language.

Hyundai has been on a roll of late. But like an eager new homeowner it is still looking to knock down some walls to enlarge a space that it believes holds additional promise — which is precisely where the new 2013 Santa Fe comes into the picture.

Small crossovers are hot in today’s fast-changing market and Hyundai executives believe they aren’t getting a fair share of what is one of the fastest-growing segments. Hence, the 2013 Santa Fe has been groomed and tailored to make it more appealing to buyers looking for a blend of practical utility and new technology while also delivering on some of the old school automotive fundamentals such as power and good handling.

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The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe line-up is not a one-trick pony – and that means the updated line-up could be a bit confusing. There are actually two versions of the crossover-utility vehicles for 2013. The five-door Santa Fe Sport is the direct replacement for the outgoing model while the Santa Fe name — full stop — now goes onto a 3-row, 7-passenger offering that replaces the largely ignored Hyundai Veracruz.


First Drive: 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT

A European spin on a popular Korean compact.

by on Aug.08, 2012

The 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT.

After scoring a hit with its latest compact sedan, the Elantra, Hyundai is aiming to broaden the nameplate’s appeal with two spin-offs, the Elantra Turbo and the even sportier Elantra GT.

The maker has good reason to want to expand the line-up, considering Elantra’s success in the U.S. market.  The base car won the coveted North American Car of the Year award, last January, and Hyundai has ever since been struggling to meet demand. If anything, the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT could put the model in even shorter supply.

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The GT is more than just a tarted-up version of the current Hyundai Elantra sedan. It features a distinctive hatchback body originally developed for Europe, where it is sold as the i30.  The version we’ll get here is largely the same motorists can buy in London or Berlin – though Hyundai has softened the suspension a bit for American tastes.


First Drive: 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

Upping the fun factor.

by on Jun.27, 2012

Hyundai pumps it up with the new Veloster Turbo.

The Hyundai Veloster has been turning heads ever since the South Korean automaker rolled it out last autumn.  If the quirky little hatchback had a downside it was an anemic powertrain that limited its fun factor.

To their credit, Hyundai officials listened to the critiques and responded with unexpected speed, a new Veloster Turbo ready to hit market for the 2013 model-year that is bound to win over even more fans looking for a car that’s both cool and now has ample power to back its ambitions.

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The restless folks at Hyunda Motor America have also tweaked the Veloster’s still fresh exterior design with the turbo version while adding more equipment.  The results should provide some serious competition for more established nameplates in this class such as the Volkswagen GTI, the Honda Civic Si and the Mini Clubman.


Hyundai Studying 450-hp, V-8 Genesis Coupe

Maker also confirms plans for turbo Veloster.

by on Nov.02, 2011

The Ark Performance Veloster, a concept version of the new turbo-hatchback Hyundai will unveil at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.

Horsepower, it seems, is quickly becoming as much a push at Hyundai  as fuel-economy.

The maker unleashed a half-dozen high-performance concept vehicles at this year’s big aftermarket event in Las Vegas, the annual SEMA Show, and at least two of them will influence future production products, including both a turbocharged Veloster and a possible V-8-powered version of the Genesis Coupe.

During a SEMA preview, Hyundai of America CEO John Krafcik confirmed plans to add the turbo to the well-reviewed, if somewhat anemic Veloster, revealing that it will make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January and hit showrooms soon afterwards.

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The production model will be influenced by the bold ARK Performance Veloster, a customized SEMA one-off that uses a twin-scroll turbo to squeeze 210 hp out of the hatchback.  Though Krafcik cautioned that the final numbers for the production Veloster Turbo haven’t been finalized, it should see somewhere in the range of a 50% bump over the 138-hp naturally aspirated version.


Hyundai to Add Turbo Veloster

Move will add a major pump in performance.

by on Nov.01, 2011

The ARK Veloster debuting at SEMA provides a hint of what Hyundai will deliver with the Turbo Veloster.

Hyundai will pump up the new Veloster, the quirky little hatchback it recently introduced, with a turbocharger that will bump up its horsepower by nearly 50%.

The Veloster has become the latest in a string of strong products from the Korean brand, but if critics had any complaint about the unusual 3-door+1 design it was the Hyundai Voloster’s anemic little 1.6-liter gasoline engine, which currently makes just 138 horsepower.  (Click Here for’s review of the 2012 Hyundai Veloster.)

Hyundai is hoping this move will resolve that complaint.

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The twin-scroll turbo will increase the horsepower of the Veloster’s inline-four engine to 207 hp, John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, revealed during the annual SEMA Show, an aftermarket extravaganza in Las Vegas.  Hyundai is signaling the possibilities of a performance spin-off of the hatchback with the ARK Performance Veloster, a customized one-off that uses a twin-scroll turbo to squeeze 210 hp out of the hatchback.


Hyundai ARK Performance Veloster Coming to SEMA

Adding some extra muscle to the new 3-door.

by on Sep.30, 2011

ARK 's Veloster isn't your everyday entry-level coupe.

As regular readers of know, we recently gave a generally positive review to the new Hyundai Veloster, an affordable and distinctively styled coupe that replaces such past throw-away offerings as the Tiburon.  If one thing was missing, we noted, it was a bit more muscle.

(Click Here for the review.)

Well, if the Hyundai ARK Performance Veloster is any indication, perhaps the Korean carmaker has been listening.  The prototype, unveiled in these renderings prior to its official launch at the 2011 SEMA aftermarket show in Las Vegas, puts the new 3-door on steroids.

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The one-off pumps up the basic 1.6-liter inline-four engine from a mere 138 horsepower to 210 with the addition of a twin-scroll supercharger.  Other changes ensure that anyone in your path is likely to get out of the way.  The real question is not whether the ARK-tuned Veloster is fast but how fast we might see Hyundai actually put some of its technology into production – rumors persisting despite some denials by the Korean maker that a turbo version of the new Veloster is on its way.


First Drive: 2012 Hyundai Veloster

Endearingly asymmetric.

by on Sep.21, 2011

Hyundai's new Veloster goes up against the likes of the Scion tC and the Honda CR-Z

There’s something endearingly odd about the new Hyundai Veloster.  The Korean maker’s latest entry — which some are comparing to the old Honda CRX, others to the Mini Clubman – is an immediate eye-catcher.  But it takes a moment to realize something is just, well, different.

Start with the fact that the 2012 offering has just three doors – okay, four if you count the hatchback – one on the driver’s side and two on the passenger side.  This asymmetric design is meant to give especially easy access to the coupe-like Veloster’s back seat.

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No, it’s not the first three-door we’ve seen.  Saturn was there before, but the rear gangway was a “suicide door” design that also required you to open the front passenger door first.  No such complications for the 2012 Hyundai Veloster, which has a conventional and surprisingly large third door.  But that only underscores the functionality that has been blended with distinctive styling.  If this were an ice cream sundae, the cherry on top would be the Korean offering’s surprisingly affordable price tag, which starts at just $17,300 – plus another $760 in delivery charges.


Is this the New Hyundai Elantra Touring

Euro-spec i30 may have a place in Korean carmaker’s U.S. line-up.

by on Sep.07, 2011

The new Hyundai i30 may reappear in the U.S. as the next Hyundai Elantra Touring.

It’s not always easy maneuvering your way around the Frankfurt Motor Show.  Even if you speak fluent German it’s difficult to interpret some of nuanced news that comes out of the show.  Like whether the new i30 Hyundai plans to unveil next week will make its way to this side of the Atlantic and reappear as the new Elantra Touring model.

That does appear likely, however, as Hyundai officials have already hinted that a hatch/wagon model would follow to offer an alternative to the current Elantra sedan.  The challenge has been to come up with a 2-box variant that would maintain the 4-doors visual stopping power – as this advance image of the i30 suggests Hyundai designers have accomplished.

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“The new-generation i30 is recognizable thanks to the Hyundai family face with its signature hexagonal-shaped front grille and the jewel-like design of the headlamps, together with distinctive daytime running lights,” said Thomas Burkle, the maker’s chief European stylist. “These lights present an angular shape within a more softly-edged recess, adding a strong personality to the vehicle, as well as a sense of refinement and luxury.”


Hyundai Moves to Fix Steering Problems with 2011 Sonata

Campaign covers steering problem on midsize sedan.

by on Aug.16, 2011

Hyundai will address a problem with 2011 Sonatas, like this 2.0T, that have reportedly demonstrated a tendency to drift to the left.

Hyundai has announced a customer service campaign aimed at addressing steering problems with the 2011 Sonata sedan.

The maker describes the move as a “service action,” rather than a recall, because it addresses customer concerns raised by several groups, including Consumer Reports.  The influential magazine noted in a review of the Sonata 2.0T that it “drifts to the left on some roads.”  While the problem could “easily countered,” the magazine stressed, “it was an annoyance.”

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Automakers take great pains to satisfy Consumer Reports, in particular, but often take steps to resolve other reviewers’ criticism where it has the potential to influence sales or customer satisfaction.  But a service action is not directly regulated the way a recall is by the U.S. Department of Transportation.