AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Side curtain airbags are no good if they also send a piece of metal in your direction during deployment.
As 2012 comes to an end, it’s always interesting to see what vehicles were most popular on everyone’s research list for the year.
Extended wheelbase models are becoming a necessity for any automaker’s lineup if they wish to succeed in the growing Chinese auto industry.
Fuel economy numbers are more important now than ever before, as gas prices continue to rise in North America.
An impressively high number, even a class-leading car like the Hyundai Elantra, which gets 40 mpg highway, only achieves an average of 33 mpg. While the exact fuel economy figures have yet to be released and a 40 mpg highway rating is still in sight, when the Dart (above) goes on sale later this year it most certainly will not get 40 mpg average; not in real world driving and not even on the window sticker.
Dodge wasn’t wrong. They’re not even entirely to blame. If fact, they were just using a different testing method to get their fuel economy numbers. Or to put it more accurately, they weren’t even doing the testing. So why would a different testing method be used? It’s a long and complex story, but the gist of it is that according to a government mandate, in order for Fiat to take control of Chrysler it needed achieve three goals, the final one being building a 40 mpg car on American soil. Being government related, that number is a CAFE number, not an EPA number. What’s the difference? Read on.
Now here’s something you don’t see everyday. Strong winds out in South Korea managed to push a container on top of a Hyundai Elantra, making it appear to be a low rider cruising with a hydraulic suspension.
Thankfully no one was injured in this freak accident, and surprisingly the Elantra held up pretty well which makes it no surprise that Hyundai posted the image on its Facebook page. Ironically enough, the container has Hyundai mud flaps. Perhaps it was destiny that the two met.
“A car that won almost every Car of the Year (COTY) award around the world preventing a container from getting blown away by strong wind,” said Hyundai on its Facebook page, trying to make the best of a bad situation.
GALLERY: Flattened Hyundai Elantra
[Source: Hyundai Facebook]
Hyundai offered a 2010 model year Elantra Blue briefly, featuring a manual transmission and special gear ratios helping it to achieve better fuel economy than a standard Elantra. Now it appears that the Korean automaker might revive the Blue package for its compact Elantra.
On the EPA’s fuel economy website, Hyundai has a listing for an Elantra Blue model that shows a 34-mpg combined rating, which is 1 mpg more than the standard Elantra. It appears that the 1 mpg bump is in city economy, while both the Elantra Blue and standard Elantra have 40-mpg highway.
“Hyundai is continuing to study the application of start-stop technology in our vehicles. Hyundai chose to certify a vehicle with start-stop to see the benefits in EPA testing, although plans to sell an Elantra Blue in the U.S. market have not been finalized,” said Hyundai representative Jim Trainor to Leftlane News.
Though it doesn’t exactly confirm the model’s existence, it does confirm that the Korean automaker is looking to integrate start-stop technology in its vehicles, and that the Elantra would be a fitting model to release it on. We currently see the start-stop technology being used in the sister company, Kia‘s Rio sedans.
If there is indeed a fuel economy difference in the Elantra Blue, it might not be solely attributed to start-stop technology. The Korean automaker in the past has admitted that start-stop alone doesn’t help in EPA testing.
With the New York Auto Show around the corner, there is a chance that the Korean automaker may make an announcement then.
[Source: Leftlane News]
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.
The 1 millionth Hyundai Sonata rolled off the line on July 29 2011 at the Alabama manufacturing facility, marking a historic milestone for the Korean automaker. A small celebration last Friday was held at the plant, as a 2012 Limited Edition 2.0 Turbo with a radiant silver paint finish, marked the event . Employees of the plant cheered as President and CEO Young Deuk Lim drove the Sonata off the line with Vice President of Production, Ashley Frye and Robert Coleman, HMMA’s Team Member of the year in the passenger seats.
“I am so proud of everything our Team Members have accomplished in the past six years, eclipsing 1,000,000 total vehicles manufactured in November 2009, producing more than 300,000 vehicles in 2010 and now our 1,000,000th Sonata,” said President Lim. “This milestone provides us an opportunity celebrate our many achievements and take pride in knowing our Hyundai spirit is alive and ready to reach any goal we set for ourselves.”
The Alabama plant has produced three different vehicles since 2006 including the Sonata, Santa Fe and Elantra. The popular Sonata, has helped Hyundai exceed the 300,000 unit capacity at the plant for the past two years.
The Japanese earthquake disaster and the resulting supply disruption mixed up the Top 10 best-selling vehicles in June, allowing the Chevrolet Cruze compact to top the chart in the US, a spot usually reserved for the Toyota Camry.
The Camry did make the Top 10 and was the only Japanese vehicle to do so but as number eight, with sales down 27.7 percent from last June. Toyota has regained strength and production is almost back to normal so expect the Camry to move back up. Honda also took a tumble and fell to 15th place with the Civic, down 34 percent compared to this time last year. The Altima was Nissan’s top seller coming in at 11th place with sales up 22.7 percent.
Coming in first place was Ford’s F-series which improved over last year by 6.7 percent. Second place was awarded to the Chevrolet Silverado which improved by 5.1% over last year.
[Source: USA Today]
Even with high gas prices, Americans are choosing fuel effiecient compacts with conventional gas engines over pricier gas-electric hybrids. Sales have steadily increased with the Hyundai Elantra, Ford Focus and Chevrolet Cruze while hybrids are showing little activity.
Hybrid sales in the U.S peaked in July,2009 peaking at 3.6% and last month sales were down to 1.6% however production cuts and the Japan disaster are playing a factor.
“Even with the fuel savings, it doesn’t make sense to buy a hybrid” for many buyers, says Power Senior Manager Mike Omotoso of J.D Power and Associates. “This year, we had $4 gas (in many cities) but we saw the introduction of compacts that get 40 mpg. All of these cars are considerably cheaper than hybrids.”
The nations best-selling hybrid is the Toyota Prius averaging 50 mpg, while the Ford Fusion hybrid averages 38.5 mpg. However, all Elantras and some Focus and Honda Civic models are rated at 40 mpg or more on the highway.
New conventionally powered cars use various strategies to increase gas mileage to compete at hybrid levels- without the batteries and electric motors that can increase the price of the car by $6,000, according to J.D Power and Associates.
[Source: USA Today]
The basic powertrain will likely come from the sedan which is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder producing 148-hp and 131 lb-ft of torque. Hyundai is also likely to create a high performance Elantra R-Spec in 2012. This coupe will likely be powered by the same 208-hp turbocharged engine already confirmed for the high-performance version of the Hyundai Veloster. Transmission choices for the Veloster include an optional duel-clutch automatic transmission for its naturally aspirated 1.6-liter engine, so this will likely be the choice for the R-Spec Elantra.
Fuel economy will likely be around 29 MPG city and 40 MPG highway regardless of transmission, trim level and wheel size. The Elantra sedan is offered in two trim levels including GLS and Limited. Coupe equipment will likely be similar to the sedans offerings.
[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]
Hyundai officially announced that its has sold 5 million vehicles in Europe since it first began retail operations in 1977. The first Hyundai Pony was imported to Europe in 1977 and the five millionth vehicle was in i30, which was launched in 2007 and has sold just over 320,000 units throughout Europe.
Hyundai has managed to sell 1 million cars alone, in the last three years. However it took the Korean automaker 19 years to sell its first million cars within Europe, and the two millionth car was sold in 2001.
The company progressed immensely with the introduction of the Hyundai i30 in 2007, which was designed for the European market. The i30 is built in Nosovice, Czech Republic producing 300,000 units per year.
Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe, commented, “Hitting five million sales is a wonderful achievement for Hyundai, and it marks us out as a major player in what is the world’s most competitive car market. But this is just the beginning for the brand. We are planning for further sales growth during 2011, to take us to 3% market share in Europe. And in the longer term we expect the quality and desirability of our cars to help us maintain our momentum and deliver our next five million sales in a much shorter time frame.”
Hyundai has recalled over 190,000 Elantra models over concerns that the passenger side airbags might not work properly.
The Elantras were from the last generation, built from July 2006 to November 2008, and cover model years 2007 to 2009.
The recall deals with a defect in the airbag seat sensor that detects a person’s weight and deploys the airbag accordingly, not deploying the airbag if the passenger is a child, for example. The sensor is located in the center console, and could break easily—if liquid is spilled into the console, for example. Then, the side airbag could fire regardless of the passenger’s size and weight, injuring a child.
Over 96,000 additional Elantras from 2007 and 2008 are also being examined for a driver’s side airbag that could deploy incorrectly if the seat is set in a certain position.