Sonata, Elantra driving down Hyundai quality scores

February 26, 2014 at 10:53 pm

Filed under: , , , ,

2011 Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai was the butt of many jokes in the auto industry when it first entered the US market, but since then, it has forged ahead and built cars that stand with the best in their respective segments. The 2011 Sonata and 2011 Elantra were seen as the apotheosis of the brand’s forward progress when they were introduced, but falling J.D. Power and Associates Dependability Study results may actually cause them to hurt the company’s hard-earned reputation.

J.D Power’s study examines three-year-old vehicles for problems per 100 vehicles. Since the 2011 study for 2008 model year cars, Hyundai has fallen from 10th overall with 132 problems to 27th in the 2014 survey of 2011 model year vehicles with 169 problems. It was also Hyundai’s second consecutive year of an increase in reported problems. According to Automotive News, many of these problems are due to faults with the Sonata and Elantra, but J.D. Power didn’t identify specifically what issues caused Hyundai’s dependability to tumble so far down the list. However, the study found that, on average, reliability fell throughout the industry for the first time since 1998.

Getting the Sonata and Elantra right are vital to Hyundai. In 2013, they were the company’s best-selling cars. “We’ll be closely going through the data to see where improvements need to be made. Hyundai’s goal is nothing short of quality leadership, and the report shows we have work to do,” Hyundai spokesperson Jim Trainor said in an email to Autoblog.

It took years and huge amounts of capital to build Hyundai’s reputation as a dependable brand, and sustained problems could jeopardize that. “We’ll learn from this study and are confident our dependability scores will be better in the future,” said Trainor. Hopefully, rehiring engineers who left over quality issues does not point the way forward.

Sonata, Elantra driving down Hyundai quality scores originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Feb 2014 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

2014 Hyundai Veloster Re:Flex brings the bling

February 8, 2014 at 2:39 am

Filed under: , , ,

2014 Hyundai Veloster Re:Flex

Despite launching in late 2011, Hyundai has managed to keep its funky Veloster hatchback relatively fresh in our minds, with the Turbo and R-Spec, several special edition models and even a cloth-roofed concept. Here at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, we’re seeing the next iteration of Veloster creativity, the limited-edition Re:Flex.

The Veloster Re:Flex isn’t a hugely different car from the standard hatchback, and the theme of this car is chrome, chrome, chrome. Hyundai has added 18-inch chrome-finished wheels, chrome door handles and chrome hood accents (yep). There’s also the usual Re:Flex badging on the actual hatch itself. Inside, the Re:Flex gets full leather seating, in either black or red, and the car can be purchased in a new Ice Pearl color, in addition to Century White, Vitamin C (orange), Ultra Black and Boston Red.

Hyundai is only offering the Re:Flex edition on the base Veloster, powered by a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine. All Re:Flex models are fitted with the company’s six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (sorry, manual fans).

Pricing has not been announced as of this writing, but the new Re:Flex model arrives in Hyundai showrooms this spring, with the full production run limited to 3,000 units. For more information, feel free to peruse Hyundai’s press blast, below.

Continue reading 2014 Hyundai Veloster Re:Flex brings the bling

2014 Hyundai Veloster Re:Flex brings the bling originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 07 Feb 2014 17:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

IIHS tests 11 minicars, finds them wanting in small-overlap crash test

February 7, 2014 at 6:42 am

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

IIHS minicar small-overlap crash tests

IIHS minicar small-overlap testingThe Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and its challenging small-overlap crash test have passed judgment. In testing of nearly a dozen minicars, only one vehicle scored an acceptable rating on the ultra-tough test, which was instituted in August 2012.

The Chevrolet Spark was the only car out of 11 to net an “Acceptable” rating in the small-overlap test and the only one to be named a 2014 Top Safety Pick. The IIHS has four rating levels – Poor, Marginal, Acceptable and Good.

The Mazda2, Kia Rio, Toyota Yaris and 2014 Ford Fiesta all netted “Marginal” scores on the small-overlap test, while the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage, Nissan Versa, Toyota Prius C, Hyundai Accent, Fiat 500 and Honda Fit all netted “Poor” ratings. We’ve posted the full score result sheet to the right.

“Small, lightweight vehicles have an inherent safety disadvantage. That’s why it’s even more important to choose one with the best occupant protection,” said Joe Nolan, IIHS’ senior VP for vehicle research. “Unfortunately, as a group, minicars aren’t performing as well as other vehicle categories in the small overlap crash.”

Scroll down for the official press release from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Continue reading IIHS tests 11 minicars, finds them wanting in small-overlap crash test

IIHS tests 11 minicars, finds them wanting in small-overlap crash test originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 22 Jan 2014 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

Hyundai bringing new Veloster model to Chicago

February 6, 2014 at 11:17 am

Filed under: , ,

Hyundai Veloster

The quirky Hyundai Veloster range is expanding, and we’ll see the next take of the Korean automaker’s hatchback at the Chicago Auto Show next week. Buried in a release about the company’s social media activities, which you can read below, is a line confirming the “reveal of the newest addition to the Veloster lineup.”

Mum’s the word on what to expect in the world of Veloster, but our best-guess is that it won’t be something Earth-shattering. Keep in mind, Hyundai just used the LA Auto Show as its venue to debut the Veloster Turbo R-Spec – a lower-cost, performance-minded version of its hot-ish hatch. Whether or not this new model builds upon the base car (pictured) or the more potent Turbo, remains to be seen.

We’ll have the full scoop next week, so stay tuned.

Continue reading Hyundai bringing new Veloster model to Chicago

Hyundai bringing new Veloster model to Chicago originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 30 Jan 2014 18:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo gets stripped-down, lower-cost R-Spec model

November 22, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Filed under: , , ,

2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec

2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-SpecWe Autoblog staffers have had our ups and downs with our long-term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo, but there’s no question that the cheeky three-door hatchback has got its proponents. Case in point: at the recent driving event for the fire-breathing SRT Viper TA, none other than Ralph Gilles sauntered over to have a closer look at the matte grey Veloster we’d driven out to the track that day. Gilles had lots of praise for the Veloster styling; not out of line with similar sentiments we’ve heard all year long.

We digress slightly, but the larger point is that there still seems to be a lot of interest in the Veloster, and Hyundai has plans to fully explore potential new marketplace niches for the car with this all-new, 2014 Veloster Turbo R-Spec.

Following on with the formula for R-Spec models to date, the new Veloster is not a higher-performance Turbo, but rather one that is more affordable. The theory goes that a de-contented Veloster Turbo hits the sweet spot for those who are interested in tuning the car for performance, a group that will probably not need the higher spec comfort and connectivity content that the standard Turbo ships with.

In addition to getting the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine (output unchanged at 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque), the Turbo R-Spec gets a host of racy visual updates. The red accents on the sides and front splitter of the car (seen here) are optional extras, while an exclusive interior treatment and R-Spec badges are part of the standard package. The car will be available with four paint options: Marathon Blue, Sprint Gray (exclusive to the R-Spec), Elite White and Ultra Black.

Functional upgrades include a B&M Racing sport shifter (which we’re excited to try out), higher front and rear spring rates, a stiffer transmission mount and revised steering tuning for a heavier feel.

Equipment has been deleted from the standard Turbo specification, too, to both lower cost and reduce weight for the R-Spec. Deletions include the push-button start and proximity key, leather and heated seats, the electroluminescent instrument cluster, side mirror turn signals, driver’s auto-up window and the glossy black interior accent pieces.

We’re still waiting for official pricing for the Veloster Turbo R-Spec, but a small amount of extrapolation from the Genesis Coupe to Genesis Coupe R-Spec would indicate a starting price in the neighborhood of $20,000.

2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo gets stripped-down, lower-cost R-Spec model originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Nov 2013 19:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo gets stripped-down, lower-cost R-Spec model

November 22, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Filed under: , , ,

2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec

2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-SpecWe Autoblog staffers have had our ups and downs with our long-term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo, but there’s no question that the cheeky three-door hatchback has got its proponents. Case in point: at the recent driving event for the fire-breathing SRT Viper TA, none other than Ralph Gilles sauntered over to have a closer look at the matte grey Veloster we’d driven out to the track that day. Gilles had lots of praise for the Veloster styling; not out of line with similar sentiments we’ve heard all year long.

We digress slightly, but the larger point is that there still seems to be a lot of interest in the Veloster, and Hyundai has plans to fully explore potential new marketplace niches for the car with this all-new, 2014 Veloster Turbo R-Spec.

Following on with the formula for R-Spec models to date, the new Veloster is not a higher-performance Turbo, but rather one that is more affordable. The theory goes that a de-contented Veloster Turbo hits the sweet spot for those who are interested in tuning the car for performance, a group that will probably not need the higher spec comfort and connectivity content that the standard Turbo ships with.

In addition to getting the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine (output unchanged at 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque), the Turbo R-Spec gets a host of racy visual updates. The red accents on the sides and front splitter of the car (seen here) are optional extras, while an exclusive interior treatment and R-Spec badges are part of the standard package. The car will be available with four paint options: Marathon Blue, Sprint Gray (exclusive to the R-Spec), Elite White and Ultra Black.

Functional upgrades include a B&M Racing sport shifter (which we’re excited to try out), higher front and rear spring rates, a stiffer transmission mount and revised steering tuning for a heavier feel.

Equipment has been deleted from the standard Turbo specification, too, to both lower cost and reduce weight for the R-Spec. Deletions include the push-button start and proximity key, leather and heated seats, the electroluminescent instrument cluster, side mirror turn signals, driver’s auto-up window and the glossy black interior accent pieces.

We’re still waiting for official pricing for the Veloster Turbo R-Spec, but a small amount of extrapolation from the Genesis Coupe to Genesis Coupe R-Spec would indicate a starting price in the neighborhood of $20,000.

2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo gets stripped-down, lower-cost R-Spec model originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Nov 2013 19:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

2014 Hyundai Elantra gets new 2.0L engine, Sport model, tweaked styling

November 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Filed under: , , , , ,

2014 Hyundai Elantra

2014 Hyundai Elantra SportMost of the attention at Hyundai has recently been focused on the next-gen Sonata and Genesis, but before we see either of those sedans, the automaker is giving its small car lineup a significant overhaul.

Just last week, Hyundai unveiled the refreshed 2014 Accent, and today at the LA Auto Show it’s take the covers off of its updated 2014 Elantra. All three Elantra models – sedan, coupe and GT – will receive the same changes, but Hyundai has only released pictures for two of the sedan models: Limited (above) and Sport (inset).

The biggest news is that a new, more powerful 2.0-liter, direct-injected inline four-cylinder is now the standard engine in the GT and Coupe, as well as the Elantra sedan’s all-new Sport trim level. This engine produces 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque, and while the 2014 Elantra GT can still be equipped with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, the 2014 Elantra Coupe drops the option for a manual transmission; it also appears that the Elantra Sport sedan will come solely with the automatic. With the larger engine, fuel economy numbers do drop a little: all models powered by this engine receive EPA estimated ratings of 24 miles per gallon in the city. Highway estimates for this engine include 33 mpg for the GT with automatic, 34 mpg for the GT with manual and Coupe, and 35 for the Sport sedan. Sedan buyers looking for better fuel economy still have the carry over 1.8-liter engine with 145 hp, 130 lb-ft and EPA ratings of 28 mpg city/38 mpg highway.

All three variants of the 2014 Elantra get some styling changes, but the visual updates made to the GT and Coupe are minimal since these models have only been on the market for one year. The sedan gets your standard midcycle refresh that includes new wheel designs and tweaked front and rear fascias, while the Sport and Limited trim levels add stylish LED-trimmed headlights and LED taillights – these lights are standard on the GT and optional on the Coupe. The Elantra Sport sedan is easily distinguishable thanks to its two-tone 17-inch wheels, chrome exhaust tip and rear decklid spoiler. The new base model, formerly known as GLS, has been renamed the SE, and the top-trim Limited still offers a fully loaded experience.

Inside, the 2014 Elantra has received attention to improve the styling and comfort, as well as noise, vibration and harshness levels. All models get a slightly revised instrument panel, while the GT and Coupe models now have standard heated front seats. Even the technology has been upgraded to include a new touchscreen display, a “next-generation navigation” system and the availability of Pandora Internet radio.

Hyundai has not announced pricing for the 2014 Elantra lineup yet, but all three cars go on sale next month. Scroll down for press releases on the Sedan, Coupe and GT.

Continue reading 2014 Hyundai Elantra gets new 2.0L engine, Sport model, tweaked styling

2014 Hyundai Elantra gets new 2.0L engine, Sport model, tweaked styling originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Nov 2013 19:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

2014 Hyundai Elantra gets new 2.0L engine, Sport model, tweaked styling

November 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Filed under: , , , , ,

2014 Hyundai Elantra

2014 Hyundai Elantra SportMost of the attention at Hyundai has recently been focused on the next-gen Sonata and Genesis, but before we see either of those sedans, the automaker is giving its small car lineup a significant overhaul.

Just last week, Hyundai unveiled the refreshed 2014 Accent, and today at the LA Auto Show it’s take the covers off of its updated 2014 Elantra. All three Elantra models – sedan, coupe and GT – will receive the same changes, but Hyundai has only released pictures for two of the sedan models: Limited (above) and Sport (inset).

The biggest news is that a new, more powerful 2.0-liter, direct-injected inline four-cylinder is now the standard engine in the GT and Coupe, as well as the Elantra sedan’s all-new Sport trim level. This engine produces 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque, and while the 2014 Elantra GT can still be equipped with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, the 2014 Elantra Coupe drops the option for a manual transmission; it also appears that the Elantra Sport sedan will come solely with the automatic. With the larger engine, fuel economy numbers do drop a little: all models powered by this engine receive EPA estimated ratings of 24 miles per gallon in the city. Highway estimates for this engine include 33 mpg for the GT with automatic, 34 mpg for the GT with manual and Coupe, and 35 for the Sport sedan. Sedan buyers looking for better fuel economy still have the carry over 1.8-liter engine with 145 hp, 130 lb-ft and EPA ratings of 28 mpg city/38 mpg highway.

All three variants of the 2014 Elantra get some styling changes, but the visual updates made to the GT and Coupe are minimal since these models have only been on the market for one year. The sedan gets your standard midcycle refresh that includes new wheel designs and tweaked front and rear fascias, while the Sport and Limited trim levels add stylish LED-trimmed headlights and LED taillights – these lights are standard on the GT and optional on the Coupe. The Elantra Sport sedan is easily distinguishable thanks to its two-tone 17-inch wheels, chrome exhaust tip and rear decklid spoiler. The new base model, formerly known as GLS, has been renamed the SE, and the top-trim Limited still offers a fully loaded experience.

Inside, the 2014 Elantra has received attention to improve the styling and comfort, as well as noise, vibration and harshness levels. All models get a slightly revised instrument panel, while the GT and Coupe models now have standard heated front seats. Even the technology has been upgraded to include a new touchscreen display, a “next-generation navigation” system and the availability of Pandora Internet radio.

Hyundai has not announced pricing for the 2014 Elantra lineup yet, but all three cars go on sale next month. Scroll down for press releases on the Sedan, Coupe and GT.

Continue reading 2014 Hyundai Elantra gets new 2.0L engine, Sport model, tweaked styling

2014 Hyundai Elantra gets new 2.0L engine, Sport model, tweaked styling originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Nov 2013 19:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec loses creature comforts, gains sporting equipment [UPDATE]

November 21, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Filed under: , , , ,

2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec

Hyundai unveiled the Veloster Turbo R-Spec at the LA Auto Show yesterday, and it’s touted as a high-performance model without some of the standard features usually found on the Veloster Turbo, such as proximity-key entry with push-button start, premium gauge cluster, side-repeater mirrors, driver’s auto-up window, high-gloss interior trim and heated leather seats.

Like the other three R-Spec models Hyundai has released (Genesis Coupe 2.0T R-Spec, Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec and Genesis 5.0 R-Spec), the Veloster Turbo R-Spec skimps on interior appointments to keep the price down. But Hyundai thinks that people who buy it don’t want that equipment anyway, and would rather install aftermarket goodies. The car is priced at $22,110 (including the $810 destination fee), which makes it the least expensive Veloster Turbo model.

The pared-down hatchback’s special features include R-Spec-specific sport suspension, retuned steering and a B&M short-shifter for the six-speed manual transmission (the R-Spec isn’t offered with an automatic). That’s all great, but we can do without the red-accented side skirts and front splitter, which look just as tacky in person as they do in pictures.

For more information on the Veloster Turbo R-Spec, feel free to peruse the press release below.

UPDATE: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the Veloster Turbo R-Spec was $22,110 not including the destination fee. The text has been corrected.

Continue reading 2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec loses creature comforts, gains sporting equipment [UPDATE]

2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec loses creature comforts, gains sporting equipment [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Nov 2013 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink

2014 Hyundai Accent gets updated styling, added convenience features

November 16, 2013 at 4:46 am

Filed under: , , ,

2014 Hyundai Accent Sedan - blue - front three-quarter view

Integrated blind-spot mirrors are hardly a luxury item, but they’re one of the simplest yet most welcome equipment developments we’ve seen in some time, and we’re glad to see them beginning to spread throughout the industry’s offerings. The 2014 Hyundai Accent is the latest car to get them, along with a host of other new features.

Chief among the changes to Hyundai’s entry-level offering are new projector headlamps that combine LED accents with a welcome-light function, along with an available B&M Racing sport shifter on the five-door SE hatchback. Other small-but-useful standard-equipment updates include triple-flash turn signals and sliding sun visors, while uplevel SE models are treated to a tilt/telescope steering wheel, updated audio system with improved ergonomics and voice recognition, auto-up driver’s side window and the aforementioned upgraded projector headlamps.

Mechanically speaking, the Accent appears unchanged, with the sole engine offering consisting of Hyundai’s well-regarded 1.6-liter Gamma four-cylinder delivering 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque to go along with its fuel economy ratings of 27 miles per gallon city and 38 highway.

Through October of this year, Hyundai has shifted 48,717 Accents in the US, a respectable figure but well behind class leaders like the Ford Fiesta (61,955), Chevrolet Sonic (76,499) and Nissan Versa (100,161), let alone larger Hyundai models like the Sonata (172,574) and Elantra (209,469).

Continue reading 2014 Hyundai Accent gets updated styling, added convenience features

2014 Hyundai Accent gets updated styling, added convenience features originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 15 Nov 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink