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Welcome back to the all-you-can-eat Top-10 buffet! You know you want more, and AutoGuide’s happy to serve up another heaping helping of facts, neatly garnished with a sprig of fun. Grab a plate, load it up and tuck in to another generous portion of automotive infotainment.
10. 2013 Ford Escape Review
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As 2012 comes to an end, AutoGuide has decided to take a look back at the most watched videos from our collection.
SEE ALSO: 2013 Ford Escape Review – Video
Kicking off the top 10 list is the 2013 Ford Escape video review, where Editor-in-Chief Colum Wood puts the new crossover to the test, admiring its sleek new looks and its handling.
Hosting its annual week-long Test Fest, the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada has announced its picks for Car of the Year in 11 categories with the Cadillac ATS and Ford Focus ST, among others, taking awards.
From in-car technology to turbocharging, there is perhaps no other trend that’s fundamentally changing new cars more than the move to dramatically reduce the weight of modern vehicles.
The Sante Fe has grown in 2013, and now offers seven passenger seating, rendering the Veracruz as a model without a market. The Veracruz name plate never caught on in the US like Santa Fe did, so Hyundai will offer the new Santa Fe with either five or seven seats, to make it a versatile vehicle which can be marketed under the same name.
“It’s hard to establish a new brand name,” Krafcik said. “It can take $50 to $100 million dollars. Santa Fe is a golden nameplate for us, it’s a great product, and now it will be much more efficient in my marketing spend.”
Also helping to oust the Veracruz is the simple fact that it is old looking, where as the new Santa Fe has inherited Hyundai’s new fluid design language which has been successful on the Elantra and and Sonata.
Images of the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe leaked today, giving us an idea of what features to expect in the upcoming model.
While there have already been teaser images spread across the internet, the brochure pictures show LED head and tail lights and indicate that the new model will have lane departure warning, parking assist, knee airbags and BlueLink.
[Source: The Korean Car Blog]
Two renderings of the 2013 Santa Fe crossover have been provided, giving us a better picture of what the next-generation CUV will look like in combination to the photos leaked earlier this year.
According to the Korean automaker, the new Santa Fe sports a new styling language “Storm Edge”, stating that it’s a natural evolution from its successful “Fluidic Sculpture” that has been seen on Hyundais the last few years.
By the looks of these photos, it appears that the Santa Fe will continue to be a two-row crossover – the optional third row was tossed out in the 2009 model year – and will continue to compete with the likes of the Nissan Murano and Toyota Venza.
Look for more on the 2013 Santa Fe with AutoGuide’s New York Auto Show coverage starting April 4th.
GALLERY: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai North America CEO John Krafcik reaffirmed, in an interview with Fox News, that the Korean automaker doesn’t intend to join the truck market but will look instead into the six and seven passenger crossover segment.
With vehicles in over a dozen automotive segments, Hyundai is seeing success in both the pre- and post-family stages, but is struggling in the family life stage, where their Veracruz sits. In 2009, the Entourage minivan was discontinued which left the Santa Fe as their only three-row vehicle. In 2011, the Veracruz sold a disappointing 9,146 units which utterly fails to compete with the 130,235 Kia Sorentos sold last year, it’s obvious that Hyundai has their work cut out for them in that particular market.
“We’re not a big truck player. I like to say brands define themselves as much by what they choose not to do as what they chose to do. We could be a truck player if we wanted to, we choose to focus on more fuel efficient segments of the market,” Krafcik said.
So it appears that Hyundai will probably be working more on crossovers and possibly SUVs but for now, we won’t see trucks bearing their badge anytime soon.
[Source: Fox News]
Little is known about the new CUV, though the third-generation will probably feature the same drivetrain with somewhat improved performance and fuel economy. We’re also guessing the majority of aesthetic updates will be on the inside, keeping in line with the company’s other updated interior designs. Another example is the updated Elantra— you can see pictures-a-plenty of the futuristic design cues in our review.
The Santa Fe got an update in 2010 (pictured above), and the CUV isn’t a poor seller, but it isn’t great either falling into the middle range for overall sales last year with just over 74,000 units sold in North America. That’s a lot better than the abysmal 1,524 Azeras sold last year, or if you really want embarrassing numbers: 18 in December. It’s also nowhere near the Sonata, which capped 2011 off with almost 226,000 units sold.
While a fresh design and a little more horsepower isn’t going to slingshot the Santa Fe to such regal status among the fleet, it could stand to get current Hyundai customers back into the showroom at just the right time, when their 2010 leases are set to expire. Sales have been more-or-less stable since the update, but are on a slow decline, meaning the reiteration is probably a wise choice.
GALLERY: 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe
[Source: Motor Trend]
Hyundai is recalling more than 200,000 Veracruz and Santa Fe SUVs between 2007-2008 model years for an airbag failure. The recall affects 26,548 Veracruz vehicles and 178,865 Santa Fe models.
According to Hyundai the airbag assembly could become damaged over time and as a result the airbag may not deploy in a crash. Hyundai has already replaced 8,000 of the assemblies under warranty claims.
No injuries or accidents have been reported in association with this recall, and did state that a warning light would illuminate on the dash board if the airbag system is not working. Hyundai is taking a different route with the recall however, fixing first the vehicles with the warning light illuminated while asking owners with functional airbags to wait. Hyundai states the reason being is that there isn’t a sufficient supply of replacement parts to service all affected vehicles in a short period of time.