Car safety is not the most glamorous of subjects, but it remains hugely important for obvious reasons. That’s arguably even more the case when it comes to choosing a used car rather than a new one, where crash performance and safety features might not necessarily be up to the latest standards.
Japan took the American car industry by storm when it started making and selling cars in the United States. During the 1960s and ’70s, Japanese carmakers Honda and Toyota developed a reputation for quality, reliability, and efficiency and forced the American Big Three to take note. Today, South Korean Hyundai and Kia are doing the same. Continue reading >>>
The Genesis car brand has grown up quickly.
Not long ago it was nothing more than a speck in the eye of its parent, Hyundai. Its early childhood was spent as the top model in the Hyundai range, then it grew into the new role of becoming its own brand while safely still living under its parents’ roof.
Now Genesis is already all grown up and desperate to leave the nest to try life on its own. Continue reading >>>
Spotting these two old friends in a parking lot over the weekend was a stark reminder of just how far Hyundai has come. On the left is a perfect example of what many of us picture when we picture a Hyundai. On the right is the truth of what Hyundai has become.
Now that the South Korean automaker is just about on par with the likes of Honda and Toyota in terms of design and price, it’s easy to forget about Hyundai’s humble beginnings and awkward growing pains.
Today’s Hyundai vehicles are sleek, stylish, reliable, and comfortable. They routinely turn heads and evoke comments of, “That’s a Hyundai?” Unfortunately, an aversion to the growing price tags are a less-desirable first response for some buyers who haven’t shopped the brand in a decade or two.
Hyundai is the seventh best selling automaker in America. Honda is number five. It’s pretty clear that, regardless of the slowly increasing price, Americans have embraced the once-lowly automaker and enabled it to blossom into a household name. Just how far has Hyundai come? Continue reading >>>
An automaker can’t survive without crossovers.
All the major car companies that operate in the United States have a wide assortment of crossovers and SUVs available to consumers. Some, like FCA, are even dropping slow-selling sedans in favor of increased SUV, truck, and crossover production. Others, such as General Motors, offer heavy incentives on sedans but make up for the discounts with profitable SUVs.
Of the 44 automakers doing business in the U.S., only eight don’t offer a crossover, and most of those are supercar makers. (Thanks Autoblog, for doing that research.)
Hyundai has an assortment of crossover SUVs available, but wasn’t prepared for the SUV boom that is currently engulfing the world’s automotive markets.
If there’s one piece of advice I find myself sanctimoniously preaching to prospective car shoppers, it’s this: There’s no such thing as a bad car anymore.
Long, long ago, in the early 1990s, Kia Motors expanded to the United States, bringing with it little economical runabouts like the Sephia sedan and the Sportage crossover. There was just one problem: These cars weren’t exactly what we’d describe as “good.” Sub-100-hp engines, crude transmissions, and interiors featuring more plastics than Mean Girls. The little Sephia couldn’t even deliver great fuel economy, barely eking out 27 mpg highway with its automatic transmission. A ‘94 Ford Escort could manage 5 mpg better with nearly identical power specs.
But oh, how times have changed. Despite a poor first impression, Kia has emerged as a shining example of the fact that there really are no more “bad” cars. Every year, J.D. Power conducts its Initial Quality Study, wherein car owners are surveyed to determine which vehicles deliver the best experience within the first 90 days. By placing first on J.D. Power’s 2016 U.S. Initial Quality Study, Kia earned the honor of being the first non-premium brand in 27 years to take home Gold.
There are some things we replace, and other things we repair. I have no qualms replacing a toothbrush every couple months, or buying a new pair of running shoes after a few hundred miles. When it comes to more expensive items, however, my point of view shifts dramatically. Companies like Patagonia have made a strong push against disposable merchandise, offering repair services for their products and encouraging shoppers to fix their gear rather than just throwing it away and buying replacements. It’s a commendable, environmentally friendly decision—and considering the price tags on Patagonia products, one that’s appreciated by shoppers, too.
Of course, when it comes to repairing vs. replacing, nothing trumps the auto industry. Drivers spend hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars per year keeping their cars on the road and, try as a I might, I just can’t visualize disposable cars showing up anytime soon. YourMechanic.com connects car owners with mechanics and in doing so has amassed an impressive data set breaking down the average cost of ownership by brand and specific model, including the maladies that most commonly afflict each brand.
News sources on April 1 are sort of a “read at your own risk” venture. That’s especially true in the auto industry, with plenty of blogs and automakers announcing far-fetched new products or “confirming” long-held rumors.
Yesterday, Volkswagen announced a supercar, Subaru confirmed just about every rumor about the BRZ, CarGurus announced that jaded teens will do your car shopping via text and Honda’s new vacuum now cuts hair, too. Good stuff!
So hearing about a Hyundai pickup, on the first of April, is something to be taken lightly. Except the news source is exceptionally credible, and now, it’s being reported on April 2, too. Yes, it seems a Hyundai truck has become a definite maybe.
And that’s not necessarily a good thing.
Remember when some cars, GM vehicles specifically, required two different keys? The little round one unlocked the doors and the little square one started the engine.
Then technology grew to combine those two keys into one, so drivers no longer had to fumble with separate keys to gain access to their vehicles. Soon key fobs were invented and the door unlock key became altogether unnecessary as a simple push of a button handled all locking and unlocking functions.
Of course, for modern civilized humans, the act of inserting the key into the ignition and twisting it required far too much effort so the push-to-start button was invented. That gave drivers the convenience of never needing to remove their keys from their pockets.
What’s next in the evolution of car keys? Probably their complete disappearance.
I don’t like letdowns.
When I have high expectations for something, whatever it is better live up to those expectations, or I won’t go back for a second chance.
My expectations for the Hyundai Veloster were stratospheric. Finally, I thought, an automaker is going to build a hot car that doesn’t cost much, looks straight out of a designer’s sketch pad and offers some genuine performance chops. The initial concept sketches looked great. The rumor mill churned about this car being some kind of modern Honda CRX that Honda refused to build.
What we got, of course, was a Veloster that looks like a squashed meatball and accelerates almost as quickly.
A turbo Veloster is coming next year, but will it be worth another chance?