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As the North American International Auto Show looms ever larger on the calendar, so does the annual North American Car and Truck of the Year awards, the winners of which will be announced on January 9th, before the show opens.
This year, finalists for the NACOTY award are the 2012 Ford Focus (shown), Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Passat, while finalists for the North American Truck of the Year award comprise the 2012 BMW X3, Honda CR-V and Range Rover Evoque.
The announcement of the finalists came following a December 15th meeting of the Automotive Press Association. The North American Car of the Year selection process is handled by a panel comprising 50 accredited automotive journalists from the US and Canada.
The 2011 car of the year winner was the Chevrolet Volt.
Consumer Watchdog is not backing down from its bid of calling out Hyundai‘s MPG claims for their popular Elantra, and has now issued out a letter to Hyundai’s CEO asking the company to pull its prominent 40-mpg claims from car’s advertisements until the EPA re-tests the model.
Elantra owners from around the country are reporting that their vehicles’ average gas rating is more in the 18- to 19-mpg range rather than the advertised 29-mpg city, 40-mpg highway that Hyundai is advertising. To add more fuel to the fire, Consumers Union and Motor Trend’s tests were well short of the 33-mpg combined claim and even the most mileage-obsessed drivers over at Fuelly.com couldn’t get their Elantras close to the 33-mpg claim.
And while most people understand that there is a discrepancy between mpg claims from manufacturers and real world driving scenarios, their complaint lies in the fact that the Elantra falls well beyond a 10-percent difference. Consumer Watchdog is now calling Hyundai out as being deceptive and hope that Hyundai will pull the claims from their ads before more consumers purchase the Elantra under false pretenses.
Motor Trend tested the Elantra to 25.9-mpg while Consumers Union averaged 29-mpg. USA Today on the other hand tested just 22-mpg.
Later this week Hyundai will be previewing its new Elantra model ahead of its LA Auto Show reveal, but the clever folks in Hyundai’s PR department have let slip little bit of the car’s sheetmetal before the unveiling. There’s little new here as we’ve already seen the Elantra not once, not twice, not three times, but at least four times before.
But hey, at least you ladies can get a good look Hyundai’s mid-west PR man Dan Bedore and his incredible acting skills. Step aside Brad Pitt.
The 2012 (2011?) Hyundai Elantra is set to become a major player in the compact sedan segment, and is expected to rival the new Focus and Cruze with a 40-mpg highway rating.
[Source: Hyundai's Twitter Feed]