Category Archives: 2007

Long-Term Test: 2007 Hyundai Azera

Long-Term Test: 2007 Hyundai Azera

Inside Line spent 12 months and 18,000 miles with the 2007 Hyundai Azera Limited. This is the most luxurious car from Korea yet, a front-wheel-drive sedan equipped with the kind of luxury amenities that used to be the exclusive signature of Lexus. The Azera looks the part, thanks to voluptuous sheet metal that makes you forget all about Hyundai’s cheap-and-cheerful image. And yet the story of the Azera is all about value, just like every other Hyundai. Our long-term test taught us that there are both good and bad things about value.

Why We Bought It
Hyundai first introduced the 2006 Hyundai Azera as a replacement for the XG, the Korean company’s previous luxury sedan. Based on the platform of the Hyundai Sonata, the Azera represented a kind of breakthrough in prestige for Hyundai. And when the 2007 Hyundai Azera arrived with a number of minor updates, we took the opportunity to add an example to our long-term fleet.

Our full test of the Azera made it clear that this sedan is the best bang for the buck in its segment. Of course, we’ve become accustomed to Hyundai’s ability to deliver more for less in almost every vehicle category. The important question here for us would be to evaluate whether this strategy could be effective in a luxury vehicle. Could the Azera provide everything we expected of a luxury car, from features to ride quality? Reliability and durability are also part of the luxury-car equation, as the success of Lexus has demonstrated.

Would the 2007 Hyundai Azera lose its edge over the competition after its affordable-luxury recipe had been tested daily for 12 months? We would find out.

We wasted little time putting our new Hyundai to the test. High altitudes, desert heat and cold-weather testing were added to the driving agenda alongside daily commuting.

Senior Consumer Advice Editor Phil Reed was first in line. He set off across the desert and mountains from Los Angeles to Denver in the Hyundai over the middle of December. Snow fell heavily as he ascended to an elevation of 11,000 feet in Dillon, Colorado. Reed reported on the long-term blog pages, “We were creeping along at 5 or 10 mph when a tractor-trailer in front of us lost traction and drifted across our lane. I had to goose the 3.8-liter V6 and get into loose snow on the roadside to dodge it. It was pretty scary.”

Reed made further notes in the logbook when he reached his destination. He wrote, “We spent a lot of time in the snow. The Michelin Energy MXV4 tires offered surprisingly good traction over the white stuff and felt unexpectedly poised on the ice. The Azera’s stability control was working overtime, but didn’t seem too intrusive. Ice built up in the wheelwells and made the tires rub noisily, but that’s my only complaint. The Hyundai proved to be a more adequate snow car than I ever imagined.”

Now that our Hyundai held its own in the cold and at high elevation, we sent it into the desert. Senior Editor Ed Hellwig was at the helm for this trip. He noted, “After an impressive first leg from Los Angeles to Phoenix, the Azera completed the return trip as smoothly. I didn’t go light on it, yet when I made it home there was still nearly a quarter tank of gas left after the 408-mile trip. According to the computer, the Azera could have gone another 80 miles. That’s some serious range.”

Chief Road Test Editor Chris Walton is one of our drivers who specializes in instrumented testing, so he spends much of his time pushing the limits of vehicles. He is also a well-documented enthusiast of sport sedans and believes in car design that makes performance a priority. Yet after a long-distance drive in the Azera, Walton noted: “After a night in the Azera, I couldn’t help but notice how my shoulders relaxed, my grip loosened (on the steering wheel) and my attitude changed within about five minutes. Maybe we’ve taken this sport sedan thing too far. Maybe I’m getting old. Maybe I should be quiet now.”

Luxury details are strewn about the cabin of our Azera. From the faux-wood accents to top-stitched leather upholstery, the Hyundai Azera clearly is out to make an impression. At the same time, none of the practical aspects of luxury travel are forgotten, so there’s a gigantic trunk and even a sunshade for the rear window.

There were hiccups in the presentation of the interior cabin, but the problems came as the result of our own lapse in judgment. Our decision to choose a beige interior was a mistake for a car that must endure daily abuse from a wide range of drivers, especially since the circumstances rarely encourage respectful treatment.

Significant wear on the floor mats and carpet was noticeable soon after the Azera arrived, and persisted throughout our term with the car. The interior was just too difficult to keep clean, and this went for the leather-upholstered seat as well. What began as a mysterious black smudge across the back of the driver seat (believed to be from someone’s belt) resisted three attempts at cleansing with leather care products.

The stained interior also drew our attention to some other cosmetic issues we had with the Azera.Beyond the questionable choice of leather, we noticed some flaws in the dashboard, and door panel misalignments were also apparent. Stereo buffs among us were further disappointed by the performance of our Infinity sound system. For all its luxury, the Azera apparently remains a value-driven vehicle. The selection of lesser, slightly more affordable interior materials no doubt is cost-effective, but our test showed that these choices compromised our expectations of quality. The 2007 Hyundai Azera was far from the Toyota Avalon-style car the Hyundai XG had been, yet it didn’t seem capable of being the Lexus from Korea that we had hoped for.

Yet however much we critiqued the quality of its presentation, the Azera never faltered mechanically. Prescribed maintenance called for service every 7,500 miles. We averaged a mere $65 per visit to our preferred dealer, Cormier Hyundai in Carson, California. Our only unscheduled visit followed the passenger side mirror falling off. To this day we don’t know the cause, though we spent more than $600 to replace it.

Total Body Repair Costs: $642.93
Total Routine Maintenance Costs (over 12 months): $130.27
Additional Maintenance Costs: None
Warranty Repairs: Door molding replaced under warranty
Non-Warranty Repairs: Broken passenger side mirror assembly replaced
Scheduled Dealer Visits: 2
Unscheduled Dealer Visits: 1
Days Out of Service: 1
Breakdowns Stranding Driver: None

Performance and Fuel Economy
The Hyundai Azera performed with consistency, recording nearly identical results from its first test at 1,000 miles and its final test with the odometer showing more than 18,000 miles. We recorded a stopping distance of 123 feet from 60 mph during its final test. This marked a 9-foot improvement from a year earlier and the only significant change across the gamut of performance evaluations.

All things considered, the Azera’s acceleration from a standing start was especially strong. We reached 60 mph in 6.8 seconds and the quarter-mile in 15.3 seconds at 93.8 mph. Chief Road Test Editor Chris Walton mentioned following the test, “It’s not difficult to spin the front tires on an aggressive launch. Upshifts are quick and even feel as if the throttle is momentarily closed between gears to smooth out the surge of power.”

As usual, dynamic tests consist of laps around the skid pad and a run through the slalom. On the skid pad, the Azera developed 0.78g of lateral force with significant understeer at its limit. This is a good number for the segment. Senior Road Test Editor Josh Jacquot tested the sedan during its final visit to the track. Upon recording 61 mph through the slalom, he proclaimed, “61 mph is slow. But man, the Azera isn’t about being fast. No, it’s about being smooth, like a fat man who can dance. I like this Korean Buick.”

We entered the test expecting 19 mpg around town and 28 mpg on the highway. After 18,000 miles our 20-mpg average was on the low end of that range. On multiple occasions we reached 32 mpg, which exceeded any claims on the window sticker and showed it was possible to drive the Azera efficiently. We just didn’t drive that way very often.

Best Fuel Economy: 32.4 mpg
Worst Fuel Economy: 12.4 mpg
Average Fuel Economy: 20.2 mpg

Retained Value
Edmunds’ TMV® calculator values the Azera at $21,838 after 18,530 miles. This equates to 27 percent depreciation from its original MSRP and ranks it just behind its competitors in resale worth.

Our Toyota Camry depreciated by a similar 26 percent margin at the conclusion of its long-term test, although it had an additional 3,000 miles on the odometer.

True Market Value at service end: $21,838
Depreciation: $7,932 or 27 percent of original MSRP
Final Odometer Reading: 18,530

Summing Up
A year with the Azera reminded us that there are two sides to value. The bright side offers features unexpected from a car in this class, like rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights and a rear window shade. On the dark side we find misaligned panels, material choices of questionable quality and poor stereo performance.

Nevertheless, the Azera’s noteworthy performance and high feature content ultimately outweighed the evidence we found of the car’s relatively inexpensive nature. It offers an affordable touch of luxury to the average four-door family sedan, not to mention a strong engine and comfortable ride. Twelve months of flawless mechanical performance also influenced our willingness to forgive its cosmetic flaws.

The 2007 Hyundai Azera made a positive impression on us, yet we’re still not willing to think of it as a premium car. It’s attractive and certainly as reliable as a Hyundai Sonata, but it doesn’t yet have a character to call its own.

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

Hyundai Motor America Records Ninth Consecutive Year-Over-Year Sales Increase

Hyundai Motor America Records Ninth Consecutive Year-Over-Year Sales Increase

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., 01/03/2008 Hyundai Motor America today announced its best-ever December with sales of 46,487 units and best ever annual sales of 467,009 for 2007. This marked the ninth year in a row of rising sales.

“We feel good closing the year with increased sales and market share over year-ago figures,” said Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai Motor America’s vice president of national sales. “Still, we enter the year with cautious optimism as the overall industry likely will retract to the 15.7 million range. But we are confident that the strongest product lineup in our history will bring further sales records in 2008, led by the all-new rear-wheel drive Genesis sedan being introduced at the Detroit Auto Show on January 13.”

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 780 dealerships nationwide.

All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by The Hyundai Advantage, America’s Best Warranty. Hyundai buyers are protected by a 10-year/100,000-mile power train warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 7-year/unlimited-mile anti-perforation warranty and 5-year/unlimited-mile roadside assistance protection.

CARLINE DEC 2006 DEC 2007 CY2006 CY2007
ACCENT 2,759 1,945 34,735 36,055
SONATA 10,149 24,872 149,513 145,568
ELANTRA 7,444 3,757 98,853 85,724
TIBURON 784 601 17,382 14,073
SANTA FE 8,282 9,102 63,931 92,421
XG350/AZERA 2,479 1,597 26,833 21,948
TUCSON 3,669 2,962 52,067 41,476
ENTOURAGE 1,799 429 12,206 17,155
VERACRUZ N/A 1,222 N/A 12,589
TOTAL 37,365 46,487 455,520 467,009

Three Hyundai Models Earn Top Safety Pick Awards

Three Hyundai Models Earn Top Safety Pick Awards

For the first time ever, three Hyundai models earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick award. The Hyundai Veracruz and Santa Fe received awards in the midsize SUV segment and the Hyundai Entourage in the minivan segment. All winning vehicles are recognized for their ability to protect people in front, side and rear crashes.

This marks the third year in a row the Entourage has received the highest honor – the IIHS Top Safety Pick award in the minivan category. All three vehicles also earned five-star crash test ratings, the highest government rating under NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program, for both frontal and side impact.

Top Safety Pick awards recognize vehicles that do the best job of protecting people in front, side and rear crashes based on ratings in the Institute’s tests. Each vehicle’s overall evaluation is based on a variety of measures including injuries to dummies, vehicle’s structural performance, restraint performance, etc. Winners are also required to be equipped with the latest crash prevention technology, electronic stability control (ESC) – which is standard on all three Hyundai Top Safety Pick vehicles and on 73% of all Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S.

Hyundai Veracruz Named "Best Value SUV" At The 14th Annual Sport Utility Vehicle Competition

Hyundai Veracruz Named “Best Value SUV” At The 14th Annual Sport Utility Vehicle Competition

ANGELES, Calif., 11/13/2007 The Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAPA) named Hyundai Veracruz the “Best Value SUV” of the 2007 14th annual Northwest Sport Utility Vehicle of the Year Competition at the Los Angeles International Auto Show today. The two-day test was held at Portland International Raceway. Twenty-six members of the NWAPA put 28 vehicles through the series of tests October 3-5 in Portland, Oregon. The tests included three main elements: pavement testing, which included a slalom, curve handling, and emergency braking maneuvers; off-road testing, which included hill-climbing and descent abilities, in addition to ride comfort and low-range handling; and testing of the performance, handling and braking of each competing SUV. The overall value for money, packaging and versatility were evaluated through a comprehensive scoring procedure.

The list of SUVs was diverse and ranged in price from under $25,000 to well over $45,000. The Hyundai Veracruz SE with a 3.8-liter V6 engine, equipped with Hyundai’s first 6-speed Shiftronic automatic transmission performed exceeding well, both on-road and off-road. With an “as-tested” MSRP of only $31,120, the Hyundai Veracruz impressed the panel of journalists with its refined and powerful performance and a long-list of standard features including six air bags, which include two-roof mounted side curtain air bags for all rows of seating, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), active head restraints and 18-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels. This combination of performance and value put the Hyundai Veracruz at the top of the list as the Best SUV Overall Value for 2007, beating competitors including the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-7, Nissan Xterra and the Toyota FJ Cruiser.

The winners were announced today at the Los Angeles Auto Show.


Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 750 dealerships nationwide.

Hyundai Reaches New Level

Hyundai reaches new level

In Veracruz, the Korean automaker has an upscale crossover worthy of notice

They came ashore in 1986, in danger of being swamped in the wakes of bigger, established imports that had been streaming across the Pacific for years.

But look at Hyundai today: it boasts annual sales around half a million, and its initial product – a dinghy called the Excel – has given way to a fleet of nine cars, including today’s test car, the 2007 Veracruz Limited AWD, which is perhaps Hyundai’s biggest upscale leap to date. $34,000 for a Hyundai, you ask? Shop it against competitors from Ford, Toyota, Honda, and General Motors before you decide that’s too much.

Hyundai, and its Korean cohort, Kia, have been among the leaders in making safety features standard, especially multiple airbags. Even the sub-$15,000 Accent has airbags front, side, and overhead. The Veracruz comes with six bags, including front-to-rear head protection back to the third row in this seven-seater. It also comes with standard ABS, electronic stability control, electronic brake force distribution, and active front seat head restraints that push forward and up to cradle the head in a crash.

In three trim levels, with base prices from around $26,000 to $34,000, the Veracruz also can be had with front- or all-wheel-drive.

The car’s interior, with faux-aluminum trim, wood accents, standard leather seating, and a complex center stack control system for audio and climate, feels richer and more elegant than its Asian competitors, Pilot and Highlander. Its roots stretch back to two other Hyundai models, the Santa Fe and the Azera sedan, Hyundai’s other recent leap into the higher-end market (though its top price is around $30,000).

The Veracruz gets its smooth, remarkably quiet, 260-horsepower V-6 engine from the Azera. It is linked to a six-speed automatic that allows manual shifting, a first for Hyundai. In either mode, its climb up and down the gears is free of lurches or back-tossing downshifts. Even at highway speeds, the automatic transmission hardly lets you know it is there, and with manual shifts, you know you’ve shifted but hear, rather than feel, the difference.

Straight down the road, it features a pliant ride that absorbs bumps and bridge expansion joints without clunking or bouncing. It pulls out to pass with little effort, running up to well over 6,000 rpms and nearing redline without whine or complaint.

Off the highway, that same power virtually eats up long climbs. A price is paid, however, for the pliant ride described earlier.

The fully independent suspension, obviously tuned to produce a soft and gentle ride, permits a bit more body roll in cornering and lane changes than I’ve seen in competitors.

Interior space is plentiful, though the third row is not for long trips for larger folks, even though it’s easily accessible through wide rear doors.

From the outside, the Veracruz tries to set a different course for crossover design, a tough task considering this is a tall-riding, low-slung, four-door box with a rear lift gate. But it’s nicely rounded where other cars might get sharp, and its headlamps and tail lamps wrap around the fender. I particularly like the rear spoiler integrated atop the standard power lift gate.

The lift gate is one item on a long list of standard gear (in addition to safety features). The list also includes a backup warning system, a power tilt-and-lift sunroof, steering wheel audio controls, an Infinity CD changer/audio system, multi-adjust front seats, a trip computer, front fog lights, roof rack side rails, and, of course, Hyundai’s vaunted and successful 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

The price of the test car rose to almost $38,000 with the addition of a $3,200 “ultimate package” that included an upgraded black leather interior, adjustable pedals, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, rear seat DVD with an eight-inch LCD screen and surround sound, rain sensing wipers, and lighted rocker panel surface protectors.

Hyundai’s on a roll, although its long-range goal of selling a million cars a year still seems a bit distant. Its cars should be shopped against any competitor’s vehicle in the same class.

By Royal Ford
Globe Staff / November 10, 2007
© Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company.

Hyundai Veracruz Named "Best Crossover SUV"

Hyundai Veracruz Named “Best Crossover SUV”

2007 Veracruz Listed As Best Consumer Deal In Kiplinger’s 2007 “Best List”

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., 11/06/2007 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance named Hyundai Veracruz the “Best Crossover SUV” in its 2007 “Best List” featured in the November issue.

The Kiplinger’s Personal Finance “Best List” features more than 50 favorites, from mutual funds, retirement-planning tools and credit cards to travel and consumer deals. The editors and analysts evaluated a dozen crossover SUV’s to name the Veracruz as the “Best” for consumers shopping in the crossover SUV market.

According to Kiplinger editors’, “Among crossover SUV’s, the Hyundai Veracruz can be accessorized to compare with much pricier luxury crossovers.” The all-new Veracruz combines a sleek exterior design and upscale interior amenities with 3.8-liter DOHC V6 engine performance and standard safety features including Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

Hyundai is honored to receive this recognition as it continues to elevate the brand by reinforcing Hyundai’s commitment to providing quality vehicles,” said John Krafcik, vice president of strategic planning and product development, Hyundai Motor America. “The Veracruz is the ultimate in affordable luxury offering consumers the sophistication they would expect of any premium crossover.”


Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 750 dealerships nationwide.


Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine provides down-to-earth advice on managing your money and achieving financial security. Readers get trustworthy information and practical guidance on saving, investing, planning for retirement, paying for college, buying an automobile, home and other major purchases.

Hyundai Azera And Santa Fe Receive Strategic Vision’s Best-In-Class 2007 Total Value Awards

Hyundai Azera And Santa Fe Receive Strategic Vision’s Best-In-Class 2007 Total Value Awards

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., 11/06/2007 Strategic Vision has awarded the Hyundai Azera and Santa Fe “Best-In-Class” in the 2007 Total Value Index™ (TVI) Report that evaluates vehicle owner satisfaction. The results placed the Hyundai Santa Fe a top the small SUV segment with a score of 781, beating competitors such as the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. The Azera topped the large car segment for the second year in a row with a score of 778, beating American rivals such as Dodge Charger, Mercury Montego and Ford 500.

According to Strategic Vision president, Alexander Edwards, “The Azera and Santa Fe both led their segments by providing products high in perceived quality, providing exceptional features, and being exceptionally priced – all supported with Hyundai’s warranty.”

The TVI research is based on the ratings of new vehicle owners. Calculations incorporate variables that make up ownership experience and owner comments in relation to expected reliability, expected fuel economy, price paid and expected resale value.

“The Strategic Vision TVI awards for the Azera and Santa Fe clearly signify the quality and excellence consumers feel when they purchase Hyundai vehicles,” said John Krafcik, vice president of Product Development and Strategic Planning. “Outstanding value equals great design, quality, safety and performance – all of which are elements of a Hyundai.”

About Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 750 dealerships nationwide.

About Strategic Vision

Since its incorporation in 1989, the research-based consultancy that was founded in 1972 has studied consumer and constituent decision-making. Its unique expertise is identifying consumers’ motivational hierarchies, including the values and emotions that drive perceptions and behavior.

Hyundai Well-Positioned to Make Its Mark at This Year’s SEMA Show

Hyundai Well-Positioned to Make Its Mark at This Year’s SEMA Show

Full Product Lineup Receives the Customized Touch

LAS VEGAS, Nev., 10/30/2007 Six distinct Hyundai vehicles made their world debut today at the 2007 Specialty Equipment Market Association’s (SEMA) show in Las Vegas, including the first-ever Elantra Touring “Beach Cruiser” Concept. In its seventh year at SEMA, Hyundai showed off vehicles spanning its entire product portfolio, proving that customization is not just for sport compacts anymore. Hyundai custom SEMA vehicles will be on display at booth #24385 at the Las Vegas Convention Center from Oct. 30 – Nov. 2, 2007.

Hyundai in-house customized vehicles include the INCUS “Innovative Customization” Elantra and Mobis “Parts Expo Vehicle” Tiburon. Project vehicles built by aftermarket tuning companies include:
– “High-Tech Urban Escape” Veracruz by Troy Lee Designs – the first-ever modified Veracruz crossover
– “VIP Luxury Tuner” Azera sedan from Street Concepts
– “Urban Assault” Accent sub-compact by Ernie Manansala
Elantra Touring “Beach Cruiser” Concept by K-Daddyz Kustomz

Hyundai loves the SEMA show, and we’re excited about launching six terrific Hyundais modified by some of the best tuner shops in the world, and by our sister companies INCUS and Mobis,” said John Krafcik, vice president, product development and strategic planning, Hyundai Motor America. “This year, SEMA is the U.S. launch pad for our all-new 2009 Elantra Touring, with a K-Daddyz Kustomz creation that builds on the fun and functional nature of this new compact five-door.”

K-Daddyz Kustomz Elantra Touring “Beach Cruiser” Concept

K-Daddyz Kustomz is participating with Hyundai for the fifth consecutive year at SEMA with a world premier. Kyle “K-Daddy” Gann took a prototype Elantra Touring five-door compact (based on the i30 five-door) and created the ultimate Southern California “Beach Cruiser.”

A two-tone “Amazing Grape” and “Tango Orange” paint scheme with Hyundai’s “Flying H” tribal graphics highlight the flowing curves of the concept, while a green Polynesian tiki idol graces the hood. True to the cruising culture, the vehicle features a front-to-rear panoramic sunroof. K-Daddyz’ team also crafted a full line of interior and exterior billet accessories along with a custom race exhaust and ground effects kit. This approach is highlighted by a custom front grille with interlocking “Flying H” logos.

Performance enhancements include a prototype cold intake system, strut tower brace and painted motor cover and accessories. The aggressive and sporty look for the “Beach Cruiser” is completed by 20-inch Konig Rolf Blix 3 wheels matched with low-profile Dunlap Sport Maxx tires. The purple and orange paint scheme is carried through to the interior and is complemented by two-tone brown leather surfaces and matching interior accents. No cruising car would be complete without state-of-the-art audio and video capabilities, and K-Daddy delivers with four rear-seat video screens, eight speakers, five amplifiers and eight Infinity subwoofers. In signature attention-to-detail fashion, K-Daddy created billet speaker grilles to match the exterior “Flying H” grilles, fabricated by Ryno Manufacturing. Gann also covered the five amplifiers in the trunk with an orange fiberglass “Flying H,” hand painted with a purple outline.

Street Concepts – VIP Luxury Tuner Azera

A long-time Hyundai tuner, Shawn Williams from Street Concepts, delivered a sophisticated, bespoke Azera sedan. His team took Hyundai’s flagship and turned it into the “VIP Luxury Tuner.” The Azera’s custom white pearl paint and black suede seats with white stitching create a sporty look to match the Eibach suspension, MagnaFlow catback exhaust, K&N intake and Brembo brakes.

Troy Lee Designs – High-Tech Urban Escape Vehicle

Troy Lee Designs, known for its custom-design racing helmets, sports equipment and apparel, applied its unique artistry to the first-ever Hyundai Veracruz custom. The all-new Veracruz, launched earlier this year, has been critically acclaimed for boldly challenging the Lexus RX350 in quality and performance.

The Veracruz “High-Tech Urban Escape Vehicle” showcases the full potential of this vehicle’s platform in the hands of an enthusiastic tuner shop. The skilled painters applied a classic Troy Lee Designs paint scheme with Momo FXL1 wheels that pair beautifully with the 265/50-20 Nitto 420 tires. Mechanically, the Veracruz was modified with Eibach springs and received a beefed-up Willwood oversized brake system.

Luxury and comfort are the cornerstones of this customization, which features custom leather seats, painted interior moldings and trim pieces and custom floor mats by Intro-Tech automotive. Troy Lee wrapped the package with an Infinity premium audio/video system and topped it with a Thule cargo box.

Ernie Manansala – Urban Assault Vehicle Accent

The Ernie Manansala “Urban Assault Vehicle” Accent three-door is the ultimate in budget-friendly, low-weight tuner vehicles. The Accent’s custom high-end performance wide body kit is visually stunning with its red-on-black paint scheme. Add in Momo racing seats and you’ve got a potent mixture of energy and speed.

Mobis – Parts Expo Tiburon

The Tiburon regularly is at the top of the list of must-see cars at the show, and this year is no exception. Its track-inspired styling and handling characteristics inspire tuners with endless possibilities. To that end, Hyundai’s accessories group, Mobis Parts, created the Hyundai Mobis Parts Expo Vehicle. In addition to the KDM full-body kit by Tomato, supercharger by Next Generation Motorsports and Eibach suspension, this Tiburon features prototype parts that will be in Hyundai dealerships’ parts departments in the near future.

INCUS – Hyundai Innovative Customization Elantra

Hyundai has been expanding its aftermarket offerings, which include both aesthetic and performance equipment, that gives owners the tools to customize their vehicles easily and affordably. Decked out with original Hyundai aftermarket accessories, the “Hyundai Innovative Customization” Elantra was crafted by sister parts company INCUS. This vehicle features concept INCUS parts, including a body kit, 17-inch forged alloy wheels, custom mesh grille, suspension and dual exhaust.


Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif. is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced by more than 750 Hyundai dealerships nationwide.

Hyundai Motor America Reports September Sales

Hyundai Motor America Reports September Sales

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., 10/02/2007 Hyundai Motor America today reported 33,214 sales for the month of September. The fuel-efficient Accent and the all-new Santa Fe led the month with sales of 3,120 and 7,496, respectively, up 64 percent and 21 percent over September 2006. The new Veracruz continued to post strong sales with 1,653 units sold for the month.

“While we are encouraged with the strong sales of Accent and Santa Fe, our overall sales were flat versus 2006, reflecting the challenging economic climate and industry conditions,” said Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai Motor America’s vice president, National Sales. “We just concluded a very successful dealer meeting, and as our 2008 models begin to arrive on our dealer’s lots, we are quite optimistic about having a successful fourth quarter.”

All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by The Hyundai Advantage, America’s Best Warranty. Hyundai buyers are protected by a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 7-year/unlimited-mile anti-perforation warranty and 5-year/unlimited-mile roadside assistance protection.

Following is the sales breakdown for September 2007:

CARLINE SEPT/2007 SEPT/2006 CY2007 CY2006
ACCENT 3,120 1,908 29,212 28,089
SONATA 6,550 8,971 99,358 123,555
ELANTRA 7,164 7,569 73,890 80,634
TIBURON 1,236 1,357 11,850 14,452
SANTA FE 7,496 6,216 70,005 45,270
AZERA 1,423 1,985 17,361 20,562
TUCSON 3,693 4,223 32,449 40,288
ENTOURAGE 879 1,155 15,664 6,409
VERACRUZ 1,653 N/A 8,618 N/A
TOTAL 33,214 33,384 358,407 359,259

2007 Hyundai Elantra: Small Sedan With Big Features

2007 Hyundai Elantra: Small Sedan With Big Features

The newest generation Hyundai Elantra is larger than its predecessor and surprisingly sophisticated, and it delivers small-sedan value like nobody’s business. The Elantra boasts a roomy interior, premium comfort and convenience features, and a top-notch warranty.


Body style: Sedan

Trim lines: GLS, SE, Limited

Price: $13,395-$17,295
(tester, a fully loaded Limited)

Drive: Front-wheel

Seating: Two in front, two or three in back

Engine: 2.0-liter, four-cylinder

Transmission: Five-speed manual or
four-speed automatic

Miles per gallon of fuel: 28 city/36 highway

Car and Driver: “all new for 2007, the fourth-generation Elantra follows Hyundai’s success formula. Even base models come with standard ABS, power mirrors, power windows and six air bags. The latest Elantra is bigger than the previous edition, and if it’s not exciting, it is a good value. The spacious interior seats four adults comfortably, with lots of standard features and a comprehensive array of safety equipment.”

WHAT’S SPECIAL: The Elantra’s added size — about 2 inches taller and wider and about 112.1 cubic feet of total interior volume — puts it among the leaders for sedans in its class. Also on the inside, there is more dramatic flair, with blue-lit gauges and classy, ergonomically correct controls.

WHAT WE LIKE: The abundance of standard safety features on the Elantra is worthy of applause. Stand and cheer for head-curtain and side-impact air bags, anti-lock brakes and front-seat active head restraints, all at no extra charge.

WHAT ISN’T THERE: A gas-guzzling engine. Say goodbye to your local convenience-store clerk — it will be awhile between visits with the Elantra getting 28 mpg city, 36 highway. That’s all thanks to an efficient 2-liter, four-cylinder, 16-valve engine.

YOU OUGHTA KNOW: The Elantra is practical, sure, but it’s not without its fun side, too. Take it out on a winding road and check out its rigid suspension and precise cornering ability. Its motor-driven power steering was engineered to improve fuel economy. Hyundai knew what it was doing when it included all those standard safety features: The Elantra gets a five-star (top) rating in government crash tests.

EXTRAS: This thing just oozes convenience. There are storage areas in the dash, console and seatback pockets. There are dual front cup holders and a rear armrest with cup holders. There’s also an auxiliary input jack for iPod fans. If it’s luxury you’re into, indulge in the leather seats, the heated seats or the power sunroof. Also, enjoy the standard XM Satellite radio. Bluetooth connectivity is coming. “A compact economy sedan, the 2007 Hyundai Elantra comes in GLS, SE and Limited trim levels. Aimed at dealer advertising fodder, the base GLS is sparesly equipped: It wears 15-inch steel wheels and has power windows, mirrors, and locks, but offers neither air conditioning nor a stereo as standard, which must be added via a preferred equipment package. In contrast the midrange Elantra SE is nicely equipped.”

AND ANOTHER THING: Hyundai continues to stun observers with its revamped vehicle lineup, safety ratings, warranty program and high-quality rankings.

Cox News Service
February 2, 2007