2010 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS SUV
Apr29

2010 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS SUV

Hyundai has been doing a lot of the right things lately to attract consumers and possible first time Hyundai buyers.  However, the Santa Fe appears to be absent of any special design or technology, like the Sonata.  This isn’t to say that the 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe isn’t solid, it’s just lacking in appeal in a competitive market.

The 2010 Santa Fe does the basics right, meaning it has plenty of room and is affordable.  However, those who have experience driving mid-size or larger SUVs are probably going to be left wanting in the power department.  The standard offering is a 4 cylinder, that has been described as sluggish, especially when approaching interstate speeds.  There is a V6 alternative, but even then it’s not setting any kind of horsepower records.

Older Hyundai Santa Fe’s always had a great shark skin feel to the exterior body lines.  They were large, swooping, and were unique amongst the sea of SUVs on the highway.  For 2010 it looks like Hyundai took a step backwards, the 2010 version looks plain jane.  There is a hint of the swooping fenders in the front, but now the ass-end looks just alike any other SUV on the market.

I’m willing to bet there will be plenty of happy 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe buyers out there, it just doesn’t have the same appeal as years past.  Perhaps they are waiting for a radical all new redesign for 2011 and the 2010 Santa Fe is only there to buy time.

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2011 Hyundai Sonata SE
Apr11

2011 Hyundai Sonata SE

Hyundai has started releasing a plethora of new advertising campaigns showcasing the new 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE .  From what I’ve seen it’s with good reason too, no wonder Jeff Bridges signed up to be the voice of Hyundai.  The new lines of the Sonata are what grabs your attention first, but wait till you hear what potential buyers have to look forward to.

First the options are what will up sell potential customers, like a touch-screen navigation system.  And my personal favorite a push button starter, which makes me feel like I’m starting a race car every time behind the wheel.  I know Hyundai isn’t the first, but it’s a nice touch to a sleek new model and looks right at home nestled in the dash.

Standard feature flare include iPod functionality and USB inputs.  This is standard attire for any Sonata SE buyer, so whether you are an avid Apple fan or just have a USB flash drive it’s easy to bring your tunes along for the ride.

The 2011 Sonata SE is going to be the most performance oriented Sonata of the 3 wearing the Sonata badge.  Although a lot of the description of ‘sport’ model relies on visual cues, fact is it’s only 2 horsepower more potent than the base GLS model.  Total power output for the 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE is 200 horsepower and 186 ft lb of torque.  It’s ample numbers to push the sedan up to speed and get your pass on when need be, but not likely to impress your Mustang friends.

To help with the Sonata’s shortcomings in power they have equipped it with a 6-speed transmission.  It’s an automatic, but also comes outfitted with paddle shifters to allow some interaction between the driver and machine.  Also, slamming through the paddles makes the Sonata SE feel a lot faster than it really is, just like any manual vehicle.  All in all, it’s looks will sell and options will get these cars moving off the lot.  I think Hyundai is doing a lot of things right, but with 300 horsepower engines making 30 miles per gallon with other manufacturers, perhaps it’s time to step up the power offerings.

You may remember the Sonata spy pics posted in May of last year, they did a great job of hiding the actual body lines.  Below are pictures of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE.

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What’s Selling Cars?
Jul03

What’s Selling Cars?

Hyundai Assurance Gas Lock

Hyundai Assurance Gas Lock

In this economy all manufacturers are struggling to sell new cars and all are trying some new angles to bring the customers in.  Recently we’ve seen such deals where a manufacturer will buy your car back if you lose your job or even another will make your payments for you if you lose your job.  The latest gimmick is from Hyundai and it might make you choose them over the other players in the field for your next new car purchase.

Hyundai has announced the Hyundai Assurance Gas Lock which will fix your gas price at just $1.49 per gallon for 12 months.  This assurance program is being offered to all new Hyundai buyers or the option of taking $1000 cash.  Estimates put the number of new Hyundai buyers at 1/3 that take the cash over the gas card.  But why?

Because most Hyundai vehicles get such good gas mileage it will be very difficult to save more than $1000 in gas savings.  Industry analysts believe gas will remain below $3.00 per gallon for the next year.  This means your savings per fill up will be less and less and most estimates put the figure around $580 in a year.  Well, the $1000 sounds a lot better than $580, which is average if you are driving around 12,000 miles per year.

Whichever incentive you choose it’s still thinking outside the box and if prices hit $5 per gallon you know you’ll be covered. 😉

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2009 Hyundai Genesis Pics
Jun16

2009 Hyundai Genesis Pics

The 2009 Hyundai Genesis is this manufacturers answer to the luxury market at an affordable price.  Further more, performance enthusiasts will approve of it’s engine options, including a V8 above an already potent v6 setup.  This coupled with a 6-Speed transmission and luxury accessories make it a real contender, no matter the market.

According to recent reviews, the most appealing aspects of the 09 Genesis is the strong motor, rear wheel drive, 17 speaker audio system, and it’s ability to be well priced.  Hell, most even European reviewers are claiming that Hyundai has a serious contender amongst big luxury manufacturers like Lexus and Mercedes.  But will consumers be able to justify a $40,000+ Hyundai?

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2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring
Jun12

2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring

I’m not sure what customer is interested in purchasing a squatty minivan, but apparently Hyundai has the market cornered.  The new 2009 Elantra Touring is exactly that, a squatty minivan, without the space, but slightly larger than a Ford Focus.  Those who have driven the new Elantra are comparing it to Mazda’s wagon, and those who haven’t driven it, are happy.

The only good thing about the 09 Elantra Touring is it’s ability to remain well equipped for around $20,000.  But let’s be honest, it’s going to have to be cheap to move off of the show room floor.  Furthermore, it may  need a little help to move, considering this 4 door accordion wagon is only equipped with a 2.0 liter 4 cylinder.

The extremely small engine makes me question the actual real world gas mileage of the vehicle as well.  Is the rated miles per gallon based on only a driver or fully loaded with 4 adults and some baggage?  Obviously anytime that little 4 cylinder is under strain the gas mileage will suffer.

At any rate, please view the pictures of the 09 Hyundai Elantra Touring below and you be the judge.  If all else fails, at least it comes with a 10 year 100,000 mile warranty, so Hyundai will be standing  behind it all the way.

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Hyundai Sonata Door Handle Recall

Hyundai announced today that they are recalling 91,000 Sonata’s made in 2002 and 2003.  The recall is a result of an interior door handle manufacturing problem.  Specifically Sonata models equipped with chrome interior door handles.

The recalled handles have a defect where after extended use will begin to crack, causing the chrome plating to separate.  After separation the handle becomes extremely sharp and poses a lasceration risk to the user.  So if you are driving a Sonata manufacturered in the affected years, get your vehicle into the nearest Hyundai dealership to have the handles replaced for free.

All affected Sonata owners will be contacted by certified letter with specific recall information.  Please discuss this recall in our automotive forums.

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