Saturday, April 18, 2015

2015 Hyundai Genesis Review | Ultimate Pack

Anybody who doubts that Hyundai is gunning for the number one in the world has rocks in their head. Big heavy ones. Korean companies do not settle for anything less than number one. The second-generation Genesis (our first taste here in the Antipodes as the gen-one had its steering wheel on the wrong side) is proof.

What's different about Hyundai's unstoppable rise is the way they're going about it. They've always done their own thing in Korea, reinventing themselves time and again when they strayed off the beaten path.

The Genesis is a gamble for a Korean company in foreign markets whose default setting for luxury is marked, Britain or Germany. If Hyundai gets the Genesis wrong there will be howls of derision, or at best patronising pats on the back - "Nice try, you'll get there one day". But if they get it right...

VALUE

The only way to describe the Genesis' pricing is aggressive - kicking off at $60,000, it's the most expensive Hyundai money can buy, but with a spec list like this, you won't feel at all short-changed.

Your sixty large buys you a huge cabin with a seventeen speaker stereo, auto headlights and wipers, LED ambient lighting inside and out, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, powered front seats which are heated and cooled, satnav, front and rear parking sensors, and plenty of other bits and pieces.

Our car had the $22,000 Ultimate package, adding 19-inch alloys, blind spot sensor, front and side cameras, around-view display, real leather, more adjustments for the driver's seat, ventilated seats in the front, heated rear seats, panoramic glass sunroof, acoustic glass, heads-up display, powered bootlid and LED foglamps.

You can have a lot of the more useful features in the $11,000 Sensory Pack. It's a good middle ground that, for example, features the excellent heads-up display.

DESIGN

The Genesis is like no other Hyundai. For a start, it's gigantic - it looks easily as big as a BMW 7 Series (it isn't) with the road presence to match. There's a lot of BMW from most directions, but with a sharper approach to the creasing and character of the sheet metal.

Towards the rear it's more BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe and is all the better for it. The style is understated and technocratic.

The big wheels from the Ultimate pack help make it look lower and sleeker, too.

Inside is also very Germanic, but with a bit more of a Lexus feel. Our car had the lighter leather which meant that the wood and the metal materials didn't necessarily work well together.

The interior is expertly put together and feels like it will last forever.

The only jarring moment is the gear selector is shared with our long-term Hyundai i30 - it looked a bit cheap in what is otherwise a beautifully executed cabin - it needs more heft.

On Australian-delivered cars there is just one Hyundai badge, sitting proudly on the boot - you get the feeling this was debated long and hard and when the decision was made to go for it, a big one was chosen.

However, the winged Genesis branding takes pride of place everywhere else. When you approach the car at night and the puddle lamps come on, the Genesis logo is projected on to the ground, crisp and clear.

SAFETY

Nine airbags, traction and stability control, lane departure warning, forward collision control, ABS, brake force assist and distribution and traction and stability control bring the ANCAP count to five stars.

The Sensory and Ultimate packs add blind spot sensors and around view cameras.

FEATURES

The 9.2-inch screen splits the asymmetric air-conditioning vents. The software is unique to the Genesis and a huge leap forward over the rest of the Hyundai range - classy, smooth graphics, a good responsive screen.

You control the seventeen speaker stereo from here, which kicks out a rich sound and an impressive Bluetooth performance - rear seat passengers can also run the stereo from their armrest. The satnav is detailed and chatty, while the excellent heads-up display shows a configurable information set in strong, clear graphics.

ENGINE / TRANSMISSION

The Genesis is powered by Hyundai's own 3.8-litre V6 developing 232kW and 397Nm, mated to Hyundai's eight-speed automatic transmission.

Despite weighing just under two tonnes, the Genesis completes the dash to 100km/h in 6.5 seconds.

It has a claimed 11.2L/100km on the combined cycle. In what must be a first, we got below that, averaging 10.8L/100km over two weeks. And that's without stop-start fuel-saving to blunt the effect of lot of city driving.

We'd still like to try the V8 - only available in left-hand drive markets - though.

DRIVING

At five metres long, with a ride firmly pitched in the luxury camp, the Genesis is not going to tempt you into a track day, even with rear wheel drive.

Blindfold your passengers and swap them between a Lexus, a BMW and a Genesis and the overwhelming impression they'll get is one of incredible smoothness.

Sitting in the back of the Genesis, it's easily as good as the German and luxury Japanese competition. The seats are hugely comfortable, there's ample head, leg and shoulder room and it feels lot nicer than anything within a bull's roar of its price.

No matter where you sit, it's an incredibly quiet car. The engine is distant whoosh, the tyre noise muted and there's almost no wind or ambient noise. It's supremely comfortable and the excellent stereo will wash away what little noise does invade.

It certainly feels its weight from the driver's seat, with a competent, soft turn-in, but if you're wanting sudden movements, this isn't the car for you.

On fast flowing roads you can have some fun, but things will get floaty and that will quickly kill that fun. The ride and isolation from the rest of the world is completely worth it.

VERDICT

The Genesis is not quite a match for cars twice its price but it makes you think what's possible. It doesn't have the dynamic brilliance of a BMW or the self-assured faultless execution of a Mercedes. Lexus ought to be worried, though - why would you have an LS when you could have this? The only answer is 'badge'.

The Genesis is an epoch-making car for the Korean manufacturer. As the company has got better, there are fewer excuses for overlooking it. While the Genesis is pitched into a shrinking market, it's not really meant for the average i30 buyer to buy, but to see.

It's bristling with tech and is not only a halo car but a shot across the bows of both Lexus and the Germans. Attached to that shot is a note: "We're coming for you." In other words, Hyundai got it right.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Meet the 2016 Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai has been on a tear as of late with redesigns and updates, as it continues to spread its new signature look across its lineup. One of the remaining stragglers to not get this new look was the Tucson – the brand’s small SUV. Hyundai can now scratch this SUV off its list, as the Korean automaker revealed the redesigned 2016 Tucson at the 2015 New York Auto Show.

This is no update, folks, this is a 100 percent redesign, and it was long overdue. The 2016 Tucson’s body is now sportier, thanks to harder body lines and the all-new front fascia. Speaking of that fascia, it features Hyundai’s brand-new signature grille, all-new headlights with available LED technology, and a new and sportier front bumper.

Around back, the redesign continues with LED taillights, chrome exhaust tips, and a spoiler. Additionally, the 2016 Tucson’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer, giving the SUV a better stance and increasing the roominess of the cabin.

Inside the larger cabin, the 2016 Tucson has more premium materials than ever before, including a wrapped instrument panel, a soft-touch driver’s knee pad, and more soft-touch materials on all of the main touch points. An available full-length panoramic sunroof adds even more of an upscale feel to this redesigned cabin that clearly prefers to play outside of its price point.

In the drivetrain department, the standard Tucson carries on with the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder as it had in 2015. This engine produces 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque, and it mates to a Shiftronic six-speed auto transmission. Though its specs are the same, this new base engine is a little easier on fuel, thanks to EPA-estimated ratings of 23 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined – the highway mileage is up 2 mpg from 2015 and the combined mileage is up 1 mpg.

The optional engine is a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that replaces the old 2.4-liter engine. This four-pot puts out 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque – 8 fewer horsepower but 8 more pound-feet of torque than the 2.4-liter. This engine is available on Eco, Sport, and Limited trims, and it mates to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.  The big news with this engine is its fuel economy, as it gets up to 26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined with front-wheel drive – those represent gains of 5 mpg gains across the board.

Al of these upgrades combined with a revised suspension, an updated Blue Link telematics system, and reduced cabin noise all show just how dedicated Hyundai is to being a legitimate competitor in all of the main segments. The 2016 Tucson will arrive in dealers in July 2015.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Report: Hyundai To Launch Performance Line With Twin-Turbo Genesis Coupe

The Genesis Coupe didn’t exactly start a tuner revolution the way everyone thought it would, but it was a solid first effort at a real sports coupe from Hyundai. We’ve heard the next Genesis Coupe will go in a different direction, becoming more of a luxury performance coupe, and now we have some new evidence that it will get a badass engine.



The folks at Korean Car Blog report that the next generation Genesis Coupe will get three engines: a 2.0-liter turbo four, which was just killed off on the current car, the familiar 3.8-liter V6, and a new twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 with around 480 horsepower.

It was recently announced by Hyundai America’s CEO that the Genesis sedan will get a twin-turbo V6, so it makes sense that this engine will see duty in the coupe as well. But the really interesting part is how it will be sold.

According to Korean Car Blog, this twin-turbo GenCoupe will come under Hyundai’s N performance brand, which was announced in late 2013 but has yet to materialize. It’s awfully close in alphabetical proximity to the performance brand of a certain German automaker, but it’s a great move for Hyundai. I’d love to see an affordable twin-turbo GenCoupe with that kind of power.

Take all this with a grain of salt until it’s confirmed, but I hope things go this way. I’m holding out for a design that’s not far from the HND-9 Concept, too.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hyundai to Replace Tires On All 2015 Genesis Sedans

Hyundai Genesis drivers are about to get a fresh set of tires, free of charge. Owners of the current-generation Korean luxury sedan—redesigned for the 2015 model year—will be receiving a service bulletin notifying them that Hyundai will replace their current tires with a different brand, due to the possibility of vibration and road noise.

Until now, all versions of the Hyundai Genesis with 18- or 19-inch wheels have been fitted with Hankook Venus S1 Noble 2 tires. The Hankook 18-inch tires will be replaced with a Michelin model, while all 19-inch tires will be replaced with Continental ProContact DX rubber (per service campaign P18).

“Our dealers will replace the current tires with four brand new tires, regardless of whether the customer has experienced issues with the tires or not,” said Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor.

On March 19, Consumer Reports first became aware of the service campaign initiated in the South Korean market—although no such campaign existed in the United States.

When originally contacted at that time, Hyundai Motor America had not announced plans to replace tires for American customers. When we recontacted Hyundai on April 7, it appeared that our persistence had resulted in the service campaign being extended to U.S. customers.

If there is any difference in the performance of the Genesis in our test fleet when shod with different tires, we will let you know.


Monday, April 13, 2015

2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Offers New Standard Features, Revised Steering and Suspension Tuning

The award-winning Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport offer more standard comfort and convenience equipment for 2015, including refinements to the steering and suspension systems. The 2015 Santa Fe Sport starts at only $24,950, excluding $875 freight charge, and is arriving in dealerships now.


The electric power steering system in the 2015 Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport now uses a 32-bit microprocessor that delivers a refined steering feel. The revised steering system retains Hyundai’s Driver Selectable Steering Mode, which features a retuned “Sport” setting that takes advantage of the updated microprocessor and offers firmer steering. Front wheel bushings have also been retuned for 2015, which also enhances steering feel.

Already known for delivering world-class ride and handling, suspension enhancements for the 2015 Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport increase wheel bearing stiffness and lower control arm bushing stiffness, which increases the overall lateral stiffness of the front suspension. Revised rear suspension geometry and bushings increase lateral stiffness.

Hyundai Santa Fe continues to offer front- or all-wheel drive and seating options for five, six or seven passengers. The 2015 Santa Fe Sport is powered by an efficient 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine or the powerful, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. 2015 Santa Fe uses the acclaimed 3.3-liter Lambda II V-6. All Santa Fe engines use gasoline direct injection and Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT). A six-speed automatic transmission is standard on all Santa Fe models.

New standard features for the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport include daytime running lights, a driver’s blind spot mirror and an auto up/down front passenger power window. Sparkling Silver and Platinum Graphite paint colors are new for 2015. Hyundai’s innovative new power Hands-Free Smart Liftgate with Auto Open is now available on Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport models, which makes it even easier for owners to gain access to the cargo area when their hands are full. The system makes it easy for the driver to keep both feet on the ground, simply waiting for the liftgate to open after standing within a few feet of the rear bumper with the key fob in a purse or pocket. This is also the first time Santa Fe Sport can be equipped with a power liftgate. Santa Fe Sport also receives a two-tone grille for 2015 that emphasizes its sportier personality.

Standard safety equipment on the 2015 Santa Fe includes Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control System, seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag, four-wheel disc brakes and ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) with Downhill Brake Control (DBC) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

NEW ADVANCED STANDARD SAFETY TECHNOLOGIES: PART OF HYUNDAI’S ASSURANCE COMMITMENT

All models have a standard Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system, which optimally manages Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and the Motor-Driven electric Power Steering (MDPS). VSM works to help control two effects. The first is when a driver accelerates or brakes on a split-mu (slippery on one side, dry on the other) surface and the vehicle wants to pull in one direction. VSM detects this condition and sends a signal to the MDPS to apply steering assist. VSM counters the pull and automatically provides counter-steering. VSM reacts the same way during sudden lane changes or fast cornering. Active Cornering AWD drive models integrate torque and brake vectoring.

All Santa Fe models feature seven airbags, including side curtain airbags and a driver’s knee airbag along with rollover sensors for the side curtain airbags. When the sensors detect a potential rollover, the control module triggers the head-curtain side airbags and safety belt pre-tensioners to help protect passengers against injury.

Santa Fe also features a state-of-the-art braking package. The package includes four-wheel disc brakes (12.6 inch front and 11.9 inch rear), an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) including Brake Assist providing maximum braking force when a panic stop is detected, and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) to automatically adjust the braking force to front and rear axles, based on vehicle loading conditions. Additionally, Santa Fe offers family-friendly passive safety features, including a Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system for children’s seats on the second row and three-point seatbelts for all seating positions.

NO LINES STANDING STILL

Hyundai designers crafted Santa Fe Sport and three-row Santa Fe together, with the signature differentiating element being the side view daylight opening (side window shape) – the larger Santa Fe features a shape that highlights the increased passenger and cargo room behind the third-row seat. Santa Fe also has its own bodyside character lines from the B-pillar back, grille design, 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome-tipped dual exhaust and a flush-mounted tow hitch design. Taking a page out of the larger Santa Fe’s playbook, the 2014 Santa Fe Sport 2.0T is now fitted with brand new standard 18-inch wheels. All Santa Fe models can also now be equipped with HID headlights and LED taillights for a striking appearance at night.

2014 Santa Fe

Both Santa Fe trims feature the same flowing interior look, designed for family functionality and comfort. From the available heated rear seats and eight-way power driver seat with four-way lumbar support, to a standard 40:20:40 split-folding rear seat back, both models boast flexibility and a pleasant cabin for all. Also for 2014, Santa Fe helps keep clothes neat and crisp on hot, humid days with the option of ventilated front seats. These seats work via fans in the seat cushion and seat back blowing a gentle stream of air through the miniature perforations in the leather. The driver’s seating position and exterior mirrors can also be set and saved using the integrated memory seat available for the 2014 model year. Standard on all Santa Fes equipped with cloth seats is a ‘YES Essentials’ seat fabric treatment that provides soil-resistant, anti-odor and anti-static properties for added longevity and livability. Special care and attention went into other interior details, such as an optional panoramic sunroof, which allows more natural light into the cabin and rear side window sunshades. Available on all Santa Fe models, is a push-button starter with proximity key, electroluminescent gauge cluster with color LCD trip computer and a heated steering wheel.

The three-row Santa Fe increases second-row legroom by 1.9 inches and cargo capacity by 5.5 cubic feet and features standard rear-passenger HVAC controls and vents to increase family comfort, while also offering a standard 50:50 split folding third-row bench seat with 31.5 inches of legroom. Second row captain’s chairs are also available on the three-row Santa Fe.

THETA II GDI 2.4-LITER ENGINE

The Theta II GDI 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) fuel delivery system contributes to improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions in Santa Fe Sport. This shorter, more direct path of fuel delivery, allows for greater control of the fuel mixture at the optimum moment, thus improving efficiency. The fuel is injected by a camshaft-driven, high pressure pump that operates at pressures up to 2,175 psi. Direct injection also utilizes a higher-than-normal 11.3 compression ratio for increased power. When compared to other naturally-aspirated engines, this power plant has best-in-class power-to-weight ratio. The high-tech, all-aluminum, 16-valve engine also features Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (DCVVT) and a Variable Induction System (VIS) for better engine breathing.

2.0-LITER THETA II TURBOCHARGED ENGINE

The Santa Fe Sport 2.0T combines both GDI technology and a turbocharger. The 2.0-liter turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine in the 2014 Santa Fe Sport 2.0T produces 264 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque with regular grade fuel. Hyundai’s 2.0-liter Theta II turbocharged engine features a twin-scroll turbocharger that when combined with the GDI system, results in instantaneous power delivery. The Ford Edge, like the Santa Fe Sport 2.0T, uses a turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine. However, the Santa Fe Sport 2.0T has upped the ante with 24 more horsepower and, a better power-to-weight ratio.

HIGHLY ACCAIMED LAMBDA 3.3-LITRE GDI V6 ENGINE

The three-row Santa Fe is powered by the highly acclaimed 3.3-liter V6 engine, which is also found in the Hyundai Azera. This V6 engine will suit a shopper’s needs in terms of towing, drivability and fuel economy. The Santa Fe’s Lambda II 3.3-liter GDI also has a high-pressure direct injection system (over 2,200 psi), which dramatically increases power and torque, while reducing fuel consumption and emissions. This system eliminates the need for a larger displacement V6 engine and increases the compression ratio for greater thermal efficiency and output. Santa Fe’s V6 tow rating of up to 5,000 pounds is perfect for towing small boats or other weekend toys. The three-row Santa Fe’s powertrain was tuned in Ann Arbor, Michigan to satisfy American driving expectations.

SIX-SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION

All Santa Fe engines are mated to Hyundai’s six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC® manual control. This transmission offers smooth shifts and a wide ratio spread that suits the engine’s characteristics. An automatic transmission warmer is included with the V6 engine to keep the transmission oil at its optimal temperature, which helps to improve real-world fuel economy. Additionally, all models have an Active ECO System that modifies engine and transmission control to smooth out throttle response and to help increase real-world fuel economy.

“VERSATILE CAPABILITY” WITH Torque Vectoring Cornering Control

Santa Fe customers will feel the benefits of the optional Active Cornering Control All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) system, which cooperatively helps control torque and braking in conjunction with the Vehicle Stability Management System. This system can anticipate traction requirements and deliver additional stability through braking via continuous monitoring of driving conditions. Most other AWD systems can only react to conditions after they occur. The Dynamax AWD system supplied by Magna Powertrain accesses an intelligent control unit that continuously analyzes data from the vehicle controller and distributes torque to any single wheel through a multi-clutch plate. The coupling system is fully controllable via an electro-hydraulic actuation system. Braking force can also be sent to any single wheel via the software. These processes are known as torque vectoring and torque braking. All this analysis is completely transparent to the driver.

Drivers of the Santa Fe equipped with Active Cornering Control AWD will realize the following advantages:

·         Improved lateral stability while cornering
·         Reduced of unintended over- and under-steer, by reducing unwanted traction to the front and rear axle
·         High thermal capacity, which helps prevent overheating during hill climbs and trailer towing

In addition, greater efficiency is achieved through the intelligent control electronics that provide the torque needed for enhanced traction in a variety of driving situations. As a result, lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions are achieved. The electronic components are also optimally sized for minimal energy usage. This intelligent system allows for even more driver control.

All 2014 Santa Fe trims feature Hyundai’s Hillstart Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Brake Control (DBC) to maximize control on steep hills. HAC minimizes rolling backwards on steep ascents, while DBC helps the driver maintain vehicle control and speed on steep downhill descents. By selecting the DBC switch, the Hydro-Electronic Control unit manages the wheel speed sensors, steering angle sensor and acceleration sensor to maintain control and speed on steep declines without having to use the brake.

FUN TO DRIVE CUV DRIVING DYNAMICS

For enhanced ride performance, all Santa Fe models employ a compact and light MacPherson strut front suspension and a fully independent multi-link rear suspension. The front suspension has a 26 mm hollow stabilizer bar to save weight. The rear suspension uses a 21 mm solid stabilizer bar in the front wheel drive model and a 19 mm solid stabilizer bar in the all-wheel drive Santa Fe.

Behind the wheel, drivers benefit from Hyundai’s Driver Selectable Steering Mode, with three operating modes – Comfort, Normal and Sport. This innovative system allows drivers to adapt the Santa Fe’s steering characteristics to varying driving preferences and road conditions. Comfort mode is ideal for city and parking environments, offering the greatest ease of steering with a decrease in steering effort from Normal mode. Normal mode is ideal for a mix of driving conditions. Meanwhile, Sport Mode is optimized for higher-speed freeways or winding roads and decreases power steering assist from Normal mode. The Driver Selectable Steering Mode not only adjusts power assistance levels in each mode, but also adjusts on-center build-up feel and steering build-up curves throughout the steering range, for a very natural and progressive feel. Steering dampening characteristics, active return and friction levels have also been optimized in Santa Fe.

SANTA FE CABIN SPACE ADVANTAGE

The sleek design of the Santa Fe, combined with Hyundai’s expertise in interior engineering, delivers a great presence on the road, while improving functionality and convenience. The spacious cabin has more passenger and cargo volume along with more second and third row leg room than Toyota Highlander. Seating utility is also improved, due to a standard 40:20:40 split-folding rear seat back with available sliding function. This seat back is perfect for seating five passengers comfortably or accommodating four passengers, plus long items like skis, golf clubs, snowboards or surfboards. Fold down two seats to seat three people and hold larger packages or fold down all rear seats to maximize cargo space. The three-row Santa Fe also features an available power liftgate for added convenience.

Santa Fe includes a number of convenient, standard stowage and storage features, including an overhead console sunglass holder, two front and two rear seat cup holders, door bottle holders, enlarged central storage console, front storage bin, front seat-back pockets and generous under-floor cargo storage.

Available dual-zone automatic temperature controls ensure a comfortable environment for all occupants during long journeys. The dual-zone climate controls also incorporate an automatic defogging system, which detects humidity levels using a sensor and removes it from the windshield. Another premium feature is a CleanAir Ionizer that produces negatively charged ions to help purify the air when the heater or air conditioner is running.

OVERALL DIMENSIONS

The larger Santa Fe rides on a 110.2-inch wheelbase, which is 3.9 inches longer than the Santa Fe Sport’s wheelbase. Its overall length of 193.1 inches is 8.5 inches longer compared to Santa Fe Sport. The 74.2-inch width is slightly wider (0.2 inch) than Santa Fe Sport. The Santa Fe’s overall height is 66.5 inches, which is 0.4 inches higher than Santa Fe Sport.

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