FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Dec. 3, 2015 - Green Car Journal has named Hyundai's all-new 2016 Tucson a finalist for the 2016 Green SUV of the Year™ award. Each year, five finalists are considered for the award, an honor that recognizes the most fuel-efficient SUV/crossover vehicles and the environmental leadership they bring to the auto industry. The 2016 Green SUV of the Year™ winner will be announced at next year's Washington Auto Show on January 21, 2016.

Green Car Journal's vetting process considers a wide range of SUVs and crossovers to determine their environmental advantages and breakthroughs, and then narrows the field to five finalists. The overarching goal is to identify nominees that move personal transportation in a more environmentally positive direction without sacrificing the joy of driving or the functionality expected of an SUV or crossover. Fuel efficiency, weight reduction, advanced drivetrain technologies, use of alternative or clean fuels and more are considered during the process. Finalists must be available for sale by January 1st of the award year.

"The Hyundai Tucson shows that new-generation crossovers can offer desired performance and loads of versatility while still delivering impressive fuel economy," said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and "Crossover drivers tend to want it all - style, functionality, advanced features, and efficiency - and there's no lack of that in the new Tucson."

The all-new Tucson comes with a choice of two engine and powertrain options. Base models offer Hyundai's 2.0-liter, direct-injected four-cylinder engine with 164 horsepower and 151 lb.-ft. of torque, coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission. Eco, Sport and Limited models offer Hyundai's new 1.6-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This new powertrain is mated to a first-in-segment seven-speed EcoShift® dual-clutch transmission (DCT), which offers quick, efficient shifts and even better fuel economy. The Tucson is offered in both FWD and AWD variants.

"Being a finalist for Green SUV of the Year™ is acknowledgment of Hyundai's dedication to delivering fuel efficiency without sacrifice," said Mike O'Brien, vice president, Corporate and Product Planning, Hyundai Motor America. "In a segment typically filled with relatively thirsty vehicles, we are proud to offer consumers a choice that delivers on size, functionality and fuel economy in equal parts."


Technology Innovation Seminars Aimed at School's Master's and Ph.D. Level Students on the Future of Transportation

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Dec. 2, 2015 - Hyundai Motor America and the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Irvine, have developed a new seminar series on advancements in transportation. Master's and Ph.D. students at the university will hear from innovation leaders at Hyundai and share insights from the school's forward-thinking transportation research.

"This new relationship allows Hyundai to both share its industry knowledge and help inspire the future leaders of the transportation industry," said Mircea Gradu, Ph.D., director, Engineering and Quality, Hyundai Motor America. "UC Irvine is right in Hyundai's backyard and presents a great opportunity for us to connect with students while leading thought-provoking discussions on a range of important transportation topics."

Hyundai executives will lead talks on a variety of subjects, including alternative energy vehicle infrastructure, advanced diagnostic tools, active vehicle safety systems, dealer stock management, delivery logistics and forecasting technologies. The series is scheduled to begin Thursday, Dec. 3 and will continue with two lectures planned for each quarter.

"We are delighted to partner with Hyundai in this new initiative," said Professor Stephen Ritchie, Director of UC Irvine's Institute of Transportation Studies. "Learning more about cutting-edge industry innovations will be invaluable for our graduate students, who represent the next generation of transportation leaders. Exciting new insights and synergies will result, for the benefit of all."
The first talk will be on fuel cell refueling stations and PHEV/EV charging stations. This is an important area of focus for Hyundai, as its Tucson Fuel Cell is the first mass-produced fuel cell vehicle available for consumers today, and the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid leads its class with 27 miles of all-electric range.

2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Rally Edition Review

By Jake Holmes, posted October 9, 2015

In the four years since the Hyundai Veloster hit showrooms, the car hasn't managed to attract much of an enthusiast following. Even the optional punchy turbocharged engine couldn't draw our attention away from similarly priced cars like the Fiat 500 Abarth, Ford Fiesta ST, and Honda Civic Si. But when Hyundai recently dropped off a Veloster at the AUTOMOBILE office, we wondered if we might be ready to change our tune. The car wore matte blue paint, imitation carbon-fiber trim, and lightweight 18-inch Rays wheels, and it came equipped with an upgraded suspension. Perhaps the Hyundai Veloster Turbo has more performance hidden beneath its unusual bodywork than we thought.

This particular 2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo features the racy new Rally Edition package, which is limited to just 1,200 units. The car's springs and shock absorbers are retuned, its front anti-roll bar is 0.16 inch thicker, and its six-speed manual transmission has a short-throw linkage from B&M Racing. We headed in search of twisty roads to see if those ingredients make for a truly sporty car.

The 1.6-liter turbo-four engine immediately answers in the affirmative. Lag- and surge-free, the punchy mill hustles the 2,877-pound 2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo with enough verve that even we jaded speed-freaks crack a smile. The transmission's ultra-short throws and positive engagements bring to mind the gearboxes on cars like the Subaru WRX, although we wish the clutch take-up weren't so light and vague. We wouldn't try to beat, say, a Volkswagen Golf GTI away from a light, but the Veloster Turbo is quick in everyday driving.
Unfortunately, all-season tires limit the Veloster's sportiness. Just as the upgraded suspension digs in to a corner, the Kumho Solus TA31 tires squeal, squirm, and slide. The Veloster is plenty fun to drive on curving pavement, but it's no apex hunter.

Performance aside, the 2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo is a wholly useful and practical car. Its unusual three-door design means the car can keep its cool coupe-like looks on the driver's side, while still allowing passengers to access the back seat easily from the other side. Once seated in back, passengers have plenty of legroom (only 1.4 inches less than in Hyundai's Elantra sedan), although headroom is tight. The wide, deep trunk is more spacious than in the Elantra and easily accommodates a bicycle if you fold the 60/40 split rear seats. However, the extremely high liftover height means we'd be loath to move heavy objects in and out of the trunk on a regular basis.

If "late-apex" and "heel-toe" are in your vocabulary, you're probably better served by a car like the Ford Fiesta ST. For most people who want a practical daily-driver with a dollop of sportiness and style, the 2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo is a fun compact car that shouldn't be overlooked. Its unusual design stands out from the crowd and its energetic driving demeanor will keep drivers engaged behind the wheel, yet its affordability and practicality make it a car any buyer can live with.


2016 Hyundai Tucson and Sonata each get TSP+ rating by IIHS

Posted September 24, 2015, at 10:01 AM

Hyundai is no stranger to building vehicles that get Top Safety Pick+ honors from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but the company is getting two of the awards at once thanks to the latest results from the 2016 Tucson and Sonata. Both models feature a front crash prevention system that's rated highly by the safety agency.

The biggest advancement in this round comes for the new Tucson. In the small-overlap front crash, it now earns the IIHS' best score of Good, versus Poor - the lowest - for the previous generation. In the latest test, the crossover shows at most six inches of intrusion into the passenger compartment, compared to 16 inches last time. The airbags work to protect the head, and the sensors indicate a low risk of injury. The Tucson has Good ratings in all the other safety evaluations, too.

The 2015 Sonata already did quite well when checked last year, but Hyundai apparently wasn't happy with the sedan's Acceptable result in the small-overlap front crash. According to the IIHS, the automaker adjusted the driver's seatbelt and the front suspension in hopes of a better score. However, even with the tweaks, the 2016 Sonata kept the same result. It scored Good in the other safety categories. The company isn't giving up on acing things, though. "Modifications are planned to take Sonata to 'Good' in the small overlap test," Hyundai spokesperson Jim Trainor said to Autoblog.

The IIHS gave the crash prevention tech in both models its top Superior grade. The systems' automatic braking was able to avoid accidents from 12 and 25 miles per hour. The forward collision warning added the last bit needed to give them the maximum six points from the institute.


Superior Hyundai North named 2015 Edmunds Five Star Dealer Award Winner

Superior Hyundai North has been awarded by Edmunds as a 2015 Five Star Dealer.  This honor is received for being recognized by their consumers for providing a stellar car shopping experience.  Each 2015 winner has earned a minimum of twenty reviews averaging five stars on Edmunds in the past two years.  Congratulations to the entire Superior Hyundai North organization for receiving this award!

2015 Hyundai Genesis: Best Car To Buy Nominee

By  Bengt Halvorson
Nov 1, 2014

The 2015 Hyundai Genesis might still not be a luxury car by your definition, but it's a great luxury car as we see it-in that it looks and feels special, performs well, tops the safety charts, and perhaps most importantly, offers a lot of features (and a lot of car) for a sticker price that's a relative bargain.

That's what makes it a phenomenal value, one of the top-rated models here at The Car Connection, and a nominee for our 2015 Best Car To Buy award.

First, who are we to judge what makes a true luxury car worth all the money? To some it's in the cachet of a badge, even the exclusivity and raw envy surrounding it. Or it's intensely personal, in the pursuit of something that feels special-a treat and a reward for you or your family. Others might find luxury in the product itself, while others might see its true value in the services that come with it.

But eye that sticker price-just $41,450, in the case of the base V-6 Genesis-and a lot of your luxury qualifiers simply melt away. The Genesis takes an approach that's at first look, entirely rational. Then it stuns you, and really wins you over, with the finer points.
Hyundai seems to understand how to create an appealing luxury car in a way that it didn't six years ago, when the first-generation Genesis hit the market.

Without question, go for the base V-6, rear-wheel-drive model if you're considering the Genesis. It's this version that drives best; and it's really no surprise that this is the model best showcasing Lotus' input on the car (yes, that Lotus). It's without question the most accurate-steering, most refined-riding Hyundai we've ever driven.

In terms of cabin comfort, and the 'wow' factor, the base Genesis not only shows up Hyundai's own Azera, but it's a step above the bleak, institutional interiors you get in many German luxury cars before you start piling on options and extra-cost materials and trims. We also appreciate the simplicity of the Genesis' infotainment system, which is straightforward and generally lag-free. You can opt up to a good head-up display, or even Google Glass integration.

In safety, it's as close to a perfect 10 as they get, with five-star ratings both overall and in frontal and side impact from the federal government, Top Safety Pick Plus (TSP+) status from the insurance-funded IIHS, and its Lane Departure Warning System and Lane Keep Assist will actually keep you within lane boundaries, making mild steering corrections for you.

As we say in our full review, the Hyundai Genesis isn't any longer just a great luxury-car value; it's a legitimate alternative to the luxury heavyweights. And it's a car with a generous helping of the luster, finesse, fine details, and noteworthy workmanship and materials that will never feel chintzy for the price.

All that's lacking is the cachet of a luxury badge. And, actually, well, the introduction of the Genesis' own Bentley-like badge for the Genesis is its single clichéd detail-or a bit of sass, depending on how you see it.

Read our full review of the 2015 Hyundai Genesis. We'll name the Best Car To Buy winner on November 10; but in the meantime you can vote below on which model you think should win.


2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport AWD

It gets through the muck of a rain-soaked pasture

Posted on August 18, 2014 | By Michael Taylor

From the outside, they look pretty much the same - the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport front-wheel-drive (FWD) and the Santa Fe Sport with all-wheel-drive (AWD). But in the driving of the two, there is a difference.

I tested the front-wheel-drive version a while back, but this time I had the AWD edition and got to try it out recently on some back roads in Maine that had been pummeled by several recent rain storms. There were enough ruts and gouged-out tracks in one of these cow trails to make it seem as if AWD might be needed. It was somewhat reassuring, plunging into the muck - you knew that if the car bogged down in that particularly nasty rut it was going to keep going. Which it did. Would the FWD car have made it through? Probably. But it's nice to know you have four wheels driven, instead of a mere two.

All that having been said, what's the rest of the car like? Hyundai is now in its third generation of Santa Fe crossovers and the car has evolved from a fairly pedestrian wagon into a pretty crisp and stylish people- and cargo carrier. The Santa Fe Sport is the shorter of the two Santa Fe offerings (185 inches for the Sport; 193 inches for the bigger car, which is simply called Santa Fe) and is limited to five passengers (the Santa Fe will carry up to seven.) The Sport sports (so to speak) two different engines - a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 190 horsepower and a 2-liter turbo four with 264 horses. We had the latter this time. Both engines come with a six-speed automatic.

Aside from AWD, there is a big difference in the two engines available in the Santa Fe Sport. In the earlier car, we had the 190-hp version; this time, it was the turbocharged car and, yes, a difference of 74 horses is palpable. There was very little - almost imperceptible -turbo lag and when you step on the gas pedal the turbocharger clearly made itself known. On the road, the Santa Fe Sport acquits itself well - there's little lean, not very much noise and the seats are comfortable and supportive.

Base price of the AWD turbo car we had was $32,400 and there was only one added option - a $1,750 navigation package that replaced the standard 4.3-inch screen with one nearly twice as big; a souped-up 12-speaker stereo and 19-inch alloy wheels instead of the standard 18-inch wheels. You can, of course, option this car to the hilt and the packages get pretty pricey. The tech package, at $4,350, adds not only the navigation, but also sunroof, heated steering wheel and rear seats, and memory seats and outside mirrors for the driver. By then, we are nearing $38,000. There is a less expensive option: you could opt for the base FWD Santa Fe Sport, at $24,950.

This time around, we found a few nits we hadn't noticed last time. It seems that nearly all manufacturers have adopted the nanny state attitude of saving us from ourselves. In this case, every time you switch on the car, you get a screen warning that says, "Drive safely and obey traffic rules. Watching this screen while the vehicle is in motion can lead to a serious accident. Make selections only while stopped. Some map data may be incorrect. Please read the safety instructions in the Navigation Manual." In most cars, this annoying message disappears after a bit. Not in the Santa Fe Sport. It stays there until you punch (which you may very well want to do) the "agree" symbol. No, I don't agree.

Another nit: in trying give some flair to the cabin décor, Hyundai has given us a two-tone dashboard - much of it is black, but some is tan. The tan portion reflects awkwardly in the windshield. Hi, Hyundai: make it black. No reflection with black.

Hyundai, as we know, has made huge advances in the U.S. since its brief foray in the mid-1970s with the execrable Excel. Now we have Hyundais that are giving the Germans fits (think Hyundai Genesis and Equus). To boot, there's Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile power train warranty.

You may also want to look at Toyota's RAV4 and Honda's CR-V, but the Santa Fe Sport easily holds its head up in this crowd and is definitely worth consideration.


The 2015 Sonata Shows That Hyundai Can Play With the Big Boys

JULY 24, 2014

Driving a ratty car through Greenwich, Conn., a wealthy suburb just outside of New York, just isn't to be done. But when Hyundai gave a group of journalists a chance to drive the all-new 2015 Sonata there on Wednesday, the automaker proved three things: The car drives very well, it looks good to journalists and rich people won't be offended by it.

Those who like to take surreptitious tours of huge mansion country on Sunday afternoons may want to take notes. This car is not likely to attract unwanted attention, either from fawning car aficionados or annoyed hedge-fund managers. But it will be a nice, comfortable way to make the trip.

A decade ago, I worked in a family-owned automotive repair shop that seemed always to have clients without much money for either repairs or maintenance. As such, we fielded the occasional wretched 10-year-old Hyundai, and my boss usually told these customers that it was time to buy a different beater. Hyundais, he said, were throwaway cars.
Those days are long gone. The Sonata is the final dollop of sparkly frosting on an ornate cake that has been decades in the making. The South Korean automaker has been making good cars, but this is the one that could finally change an American mentality that has made Toyota and Honda vehicles the kings of the quality mountain. Bolstered by Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 - Hyundai's current design language, which may be so pleasant because it seems to borrow successful styling elements from other manufacturers - and value-oriented pricing, Hyundai seems poised to pull off the sort of customer-siphoning coup Toyota did in the 1980s.

Climbing behind the wheel of even the most modestly equipped 2015 Sonata on Wednesday, it was immediately clear that Hyundai has paid a lot of attention to detail in making this car. Unlike some of its competitors, the interior lines in the Hyundai are clean and smooth, don't intrude into the passenger space and seem to be made from good-fitting, high-quality materials. The controls for the climate control and infotainment systems were well-placed and easy to use.

Time behind the wheel of the higher trim levels revealed fit and finish that rivaled much more expensive cars. The leather-wrapped steering wheel felt smooth and soothing to the touch, the leather seats were comfortable and smelled good (albeit not in an overpowering way, which I found to be the case recently in a new Audi RS 7). The bottom line is that the Sonata felt more expensive than a car that, even fully equipped in top-of-the-line trim, costs less than $35,000.

Hyundai is offering five versions of the new Sonata: the SE, the Sport, the Limited, the Sport 2.0T and the Eco. All but the 2.0T and the Eco get a 185-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and a dual-clutch 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0T is equipped with a 245-horsepower turbocharged engine mated to a single-clutch 6-speed automatic that can be controlled with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The Eco comes with a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine and a dual-clutch 7-speed automatic calibrated for maximum efficiency.

The infotainment center on the base SE has a small, two-color screen that leaves much to be desired, and the car also lacks the distinctive body crease that runs along both sides of more expensive Sonatas. But aside from a screen with 2001 flip-phone graphics and slabby sides that looked like they could slide right into a car service fleet, the SE was just as comfortable to drive as the other trim levels.

The Limited and Sport 2.0T models that I drove had the larger, full-color touch screen on the center stack, as well as the eye-pleasing body crease. Power seats, crash-avoidance features such as lane departure and collision warnings and adaptive cruise control were also add-ons that worked well to make the car feel like something that was delivering more for less.

The 2.4-liter engine in the SE, Sport and Limited was capable of smooth around-town driving, and it could bring the car up to merging speed on a fast-moving freeway. The 2.4-liter engine was certainly adequate. The electric steering in all models worked well enough so as to be unnoticeable.

The 2.0T was reasonably fun to drive. It's no racecar, but the extra horsepower from the turbo made passing maneuvers easier on the highway. The 2.0T is not a sports car, but it is sporty, and has black leather-trimmed seats to go with its more powerful engine and ever so slightly stiffer suspension.

John Shon, a product planning manager for Hyundai, said in news conference on Wednesday that there hasn't been any discussion about releasing a diesel-power model. He also said that, because of import regulations, Hyundai was limited as to how many of the Eco models it could sell in the United States. The 2-liter turbo and 2.4-liter engines, and the transmissions for both, are manufactured at Hyundai's plant in Alabama. The 1.6-liter engine and the 7-speed automatic, on the other hand, will be produced in South Korea.

Although Kia has a partnership with Microsoft, Mr. Shon said that Hyundai, Kia's parent company, doesn't have any immediate plans to use Microsoft technology in its infotainment systems. The 2015 Sonata is supposed to get Apple's Carplay system, though it will not be available when the car first goes on sale because Hyundai engineers have not finalized the integration of the Apple technology into the car's electronics. But the Sonata can be updated, so the new program can be uploaded into the car's system later, Mr. Shon said.
Stacked up against similar sedans like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima, the new Sonata looks like a formidable competitor. Naturally, it won't be the sort of car that measures up to similar-size offerings from Mercedes-Benz, BMW or Audi.


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