The Hyundai brand is part of the South-Korean based Hyundai Kia Automotive conglomerate which is one of the top five auto manufacturers in the world. Hyundai has gained a reputation for building high-value vehicles. Hyundai's string of solid new products includes the Genesis luxury sedan, the midsize Sonata, and the Elantra compact.
The Accent is Hyundai's entry level model and is available as either a sedan or five-door wagon. The front-wheel-drive sedan is powered by a 138-bhp 4-cylinder engine offered with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The six-speed transmissions, direct injection and low rolling resistance tires help the Accent achieve an EPA rating of 28/37 (City / Hwy). When configured with an optional package, the Accent includes alloy wheels, air conditioning, power windows, power locks, and keyless entry for around $17,000 which makes the Accent one of the best values on the market. Ironically, Hyundai's comprehensive lineup of sedans also includes the larger Elantra which offers similar equipment and fuel economy for about $1000 more.
The Accent is Hyundai's entry level model and is available as either a sedan or five-door wagon. The front-wheel-drive Accent is powered by a 138-bhp 4-cylinder engine offered with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The six-speed transmissions, direct injection and low rolling resistance tires help the Accent achieve an EPA rating of 28/37 (City / Hwy). Accent five-door models include more standard equipment than the sedan. The SE model includes power equipment, alloy wheels, fog lights and an audio system for about $16,500. This compares favorably to competitive vehicles ranging from the Honda Fit to the Ford Fiesta and Chevy Sonic.
Hyundai may have one of the most comprehensive lineups of sedans on the market. The Azera complements the mid-sized Sonata with a larger vehicle in the same way that Toyota, Ford and Chevrolet market vehicles like the Avalon, Taurus and Impala. Redesigned for 2012, the Azera is a large front-wheel-drive sedan with standard V6 power and a high-level of standard equipment. All Azeras include power-adjustable, heated leather seats a 550 watt audio system and a touchscreen navigation system. An optional technology package adds larger tires/wheels, a panoramic sunroof, HID headlamps and a 12-speaker Logic7 audio system.
The Hyundai Veloster is a unique new compact coupe/hatchback that serves as a sportier alternative to the Elantra sedan. The distinctive styling of the Veloster features a high, nearly horizontal hatchback with a vertical rear window similar to the Honda CR-Z. Hyundai has taken a novel approach to the ingress/egress problems associated with coupes. The driver's side has a full-length single door; however, the passenger side actually has two forward hinged doors. In theory, this is a more workable solution than the half-sized access doors that have appeared on cars and trucks in the past. The Veloster is almost identical in size to its corporate relative the Kia Forte Koup. Inside are two rows of seats for five passengers. A 1.6l four cylinder engine rated at 138-bhp is standard, but the Veloster should feel quick due to its low curb weight. Hyundai offers only one trim level, but owners can upgrade their Veloster with one of two option packages. The Preferred package adds upgraded wheels/tires, a premium audio system and a panoramic sunroof. The Technology package adds a Navigation system and push button start.
The Hyundai Elantra has rapidly evolved in to one of the best offerings in the compact segment. The latest Elantra is roomy, stylish and fuel-efficient. With a wider track and longer wheelbase, the Elantra compares favorably with the top-selling Honda Civic in size. Models include the base SE, upscale Limted and more powerful Sport model. A 1.8l four-cylinder engine is standard on SE and Limited models, whereas the Sport equips a more powerful 2.0l engine. Most models equip a six-speed automatic, although a six-speed manual is available on SE and Sport models. Elantra's four cylinder is more powerful than other similar engines in the segment, yet turns in an estimated fuel economy rating of 28/38 (city/hwy). If you are shopping in this segment, the Elantra bears consideration.
Hyundai replaced its long-running Santa Fe SUV model with two new models for the 2013 model year. The "Santa Fe Sport" matches the proportions of the outgoing model and offers two rows of seating for five passengers. The longer wheelbase model "Santa Fe" adds about four inches of wheelbase and 8.5 inches of overall length to accommodate three rows of seating for up to seven passengers. With three rows of seats the Santa Fe is larger than the Kia Sorento and roughly the same size as the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot. The Santa Fe has more legroom than these models sacrificing a little bit of cargo volume. The standard 3.3l V6 engine has more power than these models but also has a higher fuel economy rating of 19/26 for the front-wheel-drive model. The Santa Fe is offered in two trim levels: GLS and Limited. The Limited model includes all features as standard equipment but only seats six replacing the second row bench seat with two captain's chairs.
Hyundai replaced its long-running Santa Fe SUV model with two new models for the 2013 model year. The "Santa Fe Sport" matches the proportions of the outgoing model and offers two rows of seating for five passengers. The longer wheelbase model "Santa Fe" adds about four inches of wheelbase and 8.5 inches of overall length to accommodate three rows of seating for up to seven passengers. Powertrain choices on the Santa Fe Sport include two fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines. The base engine is a 190-bhp 2.4l four cylinder engine. The more powerful 2-liter turbocharged engine found on 2.0T models produces 264 horsepower. As a dedicated five passenger vehicle, the Santa Fe Sport is very similar in size to the Ford Edge and the Nissan Murano. These models offer the interior room of a midsize sedan with a large usable hatch. With only four-cylinder engines, the Santa Fe Sport promises strong fuel economy ratings of up to 29 MPG Highway, depending on the model.