2018 Hyundai Accent vs subcompact sedans: How it compares on paper

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Hyundai  first revealed the new 2018 Hyundai Accent a few months ago, but that debut was in Canada for the Canadian-market car. We didn’t get our look at the U.S. version until just recently, which is when we also finally got plenty of specifications on the little car. So as we did with the Genesis G70, we’ve brought you a breakdown of the Accent’s specs and some of the segment’s best and most popular: the Nissan Versa, Kia Rio, Chevrolet Sonic and Toyota Yaris iA.

Before we get to the chart, let’s give you a quick reintroduction to the 2018 Accent. The subcompact is completely new this year, and under the hood is again a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. It makes 7 fewer horsepower and 4 fewer pound-feet of torque than the outgoing model with totals of 130 horsepower and 119 pound-feet. This drop in power probably won’t be noticeable, though. It’s also available with either a manual or automatic transmission, both featuring six speeds. Fuel economy hasn’t been announced, but the Rio’s numbers below are probably a good indicator as they share powertrains.

The one thing that isn’t available with an Accent is a hatchback. According to Autoweek, the hatchback was canned with the assumption that hatch buyers would simply purchase an example of the upcoming Kona crossover. But if you want a traditional subcompact hatch from South Korea, Kia is happy to oblige, as the Rio is still available as a hatchback. Learning that the Kona may have killed the Accent hatch causes us to wonder if Kia brought the Rio hatch to the U.S. because it wasn’t planning on offering the Stonic.

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Hyundai and Rockstar team up to build Moab-inspired Santa Fe for SEMA

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We’re in the run-up to SEMA 2017, and the early looks at the show cars are rolling in. Hyundai is letting this render out early. It’s called the Rockstar Energy Moab Extreme Off-roader Santa Fe Sport Concept, and that mouthful shouts everything Hyundai wants this thing to communicate from the top of its lungs. Most of those words, however, aren’t likely on the minds of shoppers looking at this three-row crossover, but logic and SEMA do not always find each other.

Before we get into details of this build, we reached out to Hyundai and a representative clarified a few things. This Santa Fe hasn’t been out bouncing off rocks at Moab — yet. We were told it “will be HEAVILY tested at Moab and a special video prepared for SEMA.” We can’t wait.

While Hyundai says this is an all-new vehicle, it treads much of the same ground as last year’s nitrous-huffing Rockstar concept Santa Fe. The King coilovers, R1 brakes, AEM intake and Mishimoto plumbing are all present and accounted for. And yes, there’s another Nitrous Express system installed. New wheels and tires are present, as is a new wrap and more LED lights up front. (Can there ever be enough lights on a show truck?) It doesn’t look like a winch is fitted, but there’s a rooftop tent.

SEMA is coming up at the end of the month, so we expect more details on this and other concepts soon.

Hyundai and Rockstar team up to build Moab-inspired Santa Fe for SEMA

48887_HYUNDAI_ENERGIZES_THE_2017_SEMA_SHOW_WITH_ROCKSTAR_ENERGY_MOAB_EXTREME_OFF.jpg

We’re in the run-up to SEMA 2017, and the early looks at the show cars are rolling in. Hyundai is letting this render out early. It’s called the Rockstar Energy Moab Extreme Off-roader Santa Fe Sport Concept, and that mouthful shouts everything Hyundai wants this thing to communicate from the top of its lungs. Most of those words, however, aren’t likely on the minds of shoppers looking at this three-row crossover, but logic and SEMA do not always find each other.

Before we get into details of this build, we reached out to Hyundai and a representative clarified a few things. This Santa Fe hasn’t been out bouncing off rocks at Moab — yet. We were told it “will be HEAVILY tested at Moab and a special video prepared for SEMA.” We can’t wait.

While Hyundai says this is an all-new vehicle, it treads much of the same ground as last year’s nitrous-huffing Rockstar concept Santa Fe. The King coilovers, R1 brakes, AEM intake and Mishimoto plumbing are all present and accounted for. And yes, there’s another Nitrous Express system installed. New wheels and tires are present, as is a new wrap and more LED lights up front. (Can there ever be enough lights on a show truck?) It doesn’t look like a winch is fitted, but there’s a rooftop tent.

SEMA is coming up at the end of the month, so we expect more details on this and other concepts soon.

Hyundai gives 3 millionth Elantra in America to hurricane hero near Houston

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Hyundai has just crossed a significant milestone in its history. Since the company’s Elantra compact sedan was introduced to the American market back in 1991, the company has now sold the 3 millionth example here. The 3 millionth car is a normal Elantra sedan, a handsome, competent car that we don’t find to be terribly exciting unless it’s the Sport model with the turbo engine.

But we’re certain the owners of this new Elantra are pretty excited regardless. See, Hyundai didn’t exactly sell the 3 millionth American Elantra. It donated it to Henry Rogers, a paramedic field supervisor in Baytown, Texas, near Houston. His town was pummeled by Hurricane Harvey, and he was out helping people for two days straight.

Unfortunately, while he was out helping the citizens of Baytown, his family’s home was being swallowed up by water. Neighbors came by to rescue his wife, three adopted kids, and three dogs. Everyone came out all right, but the house and its contents were lost. So for Rogers’ contribution to the town, and for everything his family lost, Hyundai saw fit to get them started on the right foot with a fresh car, and a fairly historic one no less.

The new Hyundai Veloster will have a driver-focused interior

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We’ve had a number of solid glances at the Hyundai Veloster’s exterior while testing, but this is our first look at the car’s interior. And it’s a seriously good look. About the only thing hiding the dashboard is some snazzy zebra-print vinyl wrap.

We can tell from these new spy photos that the Veloster’s interior is more focused on the driver than other Hyundais. The center stack is canted slightly toward the driver, and it’s a bit asymmetrical, favoring the person behind the wheel. At the top of the center stack is a large touch screen that protrudes from the dash, but it looks a bit more integrated than the screen found in the Elantra GT, as it’s nestled between two air vents.

We have reason to suspect this is a Veloster Turbo model, which may be renamed Veloster Sport to fit nomenclature used on the Elantra line. The steering wheel is leather-wrapped and has a metallic red accent in the bottom spoke, just like the wheel in the Elantra Sport models. The shifter also has an accent in the same red color as the one on the wheel. We doubt this could be a Veloster N, though, as the seats don’t seem aggressive enough, and there don’t appear to be any accents in the performance sub-brand’s trademark light blue.

We expect to see this interior fully revealed, along with the rest of the Veloster lineup, by the end of the year. It will be available in three versions, an entry-level model, a peppier Turbo or Sport version with the outgoing model’s center exhaust and more aggressive looks, and a high-performance N model that will probably use the Elantra i30 N’s 271-horsepower turbo engine. The Veloster N will also have the most aggressive looks, featuring a large rear wing.

New entry-level Genesis G70 luxury sedan revealed

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Genesis, Hyundai’s semi-independent luxury car brand, finally revealed the long-awaited G70 compact sedan. This is the Korean automaker’s new entry-level model and likely to be the brand’s biggest seller, at least until a crossover makes an appearance. The G70 enters one of the mostly hotly contested segments around. Competitors like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class have been perfecting their craft for decades. This is arguably Genesis’ toughest task yet.

The original Genesis — now known as the G80 — made its first appearance nearly a decade ago. Genesis has slowly been building momentum ever since. That 5-Series competitor was followed by the Equus, Hyundai’s answer to full-size sedans like the 7 Series and S-Class. Like all Hyundais, these Genesismodels pack in a ton of features at a lower price point. The cars have been well received, even if some of the smaller details aren’t quite there.

Pricing hasn’t been announced, but expect the G70 to follow the same basic formula as its larger siblings. As expected, the G70 simply looks like a smaller variant of the G80 or G90. That’s generally a good thing, as both of those current models wear a far more handsome and bold design than their fine but bland-looking predecessors. The car’s design was lead by Luc Donckerwolke, the former lead designer of Bentley, Lamborghini and Audi.

There was a big focus on proper proportions, with a long hood and short overhangs. There are a number of small chrome accents that brighten the car without looking tacky. New LED lighting up front should soon make its way to other Genesis products. The taillights are an stretched evolution of the lamps on the G80.

Hyundai, Kia to temporarily close U.S. plants in path of Irma

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South Korea’s Hyundai and sister car maker Kia said on Monday they planned to temporarily shut down plants in the United States to avoid potential damage from Hurricane Irma.

The shut down comes at a time Hyundai’s U.S. sales have fallen more than the market average, and after it recently announced plans to expand its SUV lineup and launch a pickup truck in the market in an attempt to reverse the slide.

In a statement, Hyundai Motor said it would suspend operation of its Alabama plant for two days – between Monday and Wednesday — while Kia Motors will stop operation of its Georgia plant for one day – between Monday and Tuesday.

The suspension is expected to result in lost production of about 3,000 vehicles for both, the Yonhap news agency earlier said on Monday, citing a Hyundai Motor group spokesman. A Hyundai spokeswoman declined to comment on the number.

Hurricane Irma took aim at heavily populated areas of central Florida on Monday as it carved a path of destruction through the state with high winds and storm surges that left millions without power, ripped roofs off homes and flooded city streets.

Hyundai’s U.S. sales are down nearly 11 percent this year through July 31, worse than the overall 2.9 percent decline in U.S. car and light truck sales.

Sales of the Sonata, once a pillar of Hyundai’s U.S. franchise, have fallen 30 percent through the first seven months of 2017. In contrast, sales of Hyundai’s current SUV lineup are up 11 percent for the first seven months of this year.