Saturday, May 23, 2015

2015 Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo now from $29,990

The updated Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo is poised to get a price cut next week to $29,990 plus on-road costs — thereby matching the Toyota 86 GT — courtesy of a new two-spec strategy.

These specifications and pricing were pointed out to us ahead of next week’s official launch via a source, and are backed up by figures on a public industry database.

Hyundai’s expected price reduction on the SR Turbo doesn’t come without a trade-off though. The new sub-$30K offering is a de-specced variant that loses some of the outgoing car’s luxury items. A new SR+ version slots in above and retains them.

So, the regular Veloster SR with its carryover name is to be priced at $29,990 as a six-speed manual or $32,490 with a DCT. This is $3000 and $2800 cheaper than the current versions respectively.

But Hyundai has removed items such as satellite navigation, electric-folding side mirrors, climate control, Flex Steer and a panoramic glass roof from this SR to facilitate the price cut. That’s where the new SR+ version rolls in.

DCT incidentally denotes the new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission available on turbo variants in place of the old six-speed torque-converter auto.

The SR+ adds the features above — standard on the outgoing SR — and more, including heated and ventilated front seats. These versions are $1000 and $1200 pricier than the outgoing SR, which is similarly specced but lacks the DCT option, at $33,990 as a manual or $36,490 with the DCT.

As part of the updates, the regular Veloster and Veloster+ variants retain carryover pricing. The base car looks set to continue as a $24,490 proposition ($26,990 with the carryover six-speed DCT) and $29,490 in Veloster+ guise ($31,990 with the DCT) that is likely to be specced the same as the faster SR+.

There are no changes to the engines of either variant, with the entry Veloster continuing to produce 103kW and 166Nm from its naturally aspirated 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, and the SR Turbo extracting 150kW and 265Nm from its boosted mill.

As we know, the MY2016 Veloster update brings to the SR, at least, new silver trim around its front grille, tweaked headlight graphics and foglights and fresh alloy wheel designs, while the cabin gains a perforated leather steering wheel, revised instrument cluster, and new two-tone theme with colourful highlights on the leather seats, seatbelts and centre console grab handles.

There also appears to be a new matt blue paint option.

There’s also expected to be what Hyundai calls an Engine Sound Equaliser, which allows drivers to modify the sound the car makes and its volume, with options such as Dynamic, Sporty and Extreme.

The Veloster is Australia’s top-selling ‘sports’ car this year (1158 sales versus the Toyota 86’s 1087). Expect the price strategy and publicity from next week’s update to help sales further still.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Memorial Weekend Savings

4 Days Only! To honor our veterans this Memorial Day weekend we are doubling our Military incentive. Any active or retired military personnel and their spouse can receive $1,000 toward the purchase of a new Hyundai vehicle from May 22, 2015 through May 25, 2015. Act Fast! This incentive goes back to $500 on Tuesday, May 26th.

Gary Rome Hyundai
1000 Main Street
Holyoke MA, 01040
1-888-637-4279 or 888-637-4279

Gary Rome Hyundai Blood Drive

Please join us at the Gary Rome Hyundai Blood Drive!

Where: 1000 Main Street, Holyoke, MA

When: Monday June 1, 11am-4pm

Appointments preferred.

Contact: Baystate at 413-784-4600  

1000 Main Street
Holyoke MA, 01040

2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport

With its bold styling and improved overall quality, the radically redesigned Hyundai Sonata that debuted in 2009 shook up the midsize sedan segment. The car put perennial leaders Honda, Nissan, and Toyota on notice, and racked up some very solid sales. While the all-new 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport isn't quite the same drastic shake-up as its predecessor was, its redesign adds refinement to the exterior and interior, as well as the ride and handling. It's a strong choice in the midsize sedan segment, though the Sonata still lags behind the competition when it comes to connected apps and engine performance.     

How Much?
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata comes in six separate trim levels. There's the base SE at $21,150, the Sport at $23,175 (which we tested), the Eco at $23,275, the Limited at $26,525, the Sport 2.0 T at $28,575, and the Limited 2.0 T at $33,525. Our Sport tester also had the $1,700 Premium and $1,750 Tech package options, $125 carpeted floor mats, and an $810 freight and handling charge, for a total sticker price of $27,560.

What Does it Come With?
The Sport comes with a 185-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, side mirror turn signal indicators, a power driver's seat with lumbar support, heated front seats, automatic headlight control, an auto up/down driver side power window, Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system, a rearview camera, and an AM/FM/satellite/CD/MP3 audio system.

The Premium package adds blind spot detection and rear cross path alert, keyless entry and starting, hands-free smart trunk opening, chrome door handles with welcome lights, leather-bolstered sport seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, dual-zone climate controls, and an auto up/down front passenger power window. The Tech package is only available when the Premium package is added, and includes a navigation system with an 8-inch display, three months of SiriusXM Travel Link, a premium seven-speaker audio system with subwoofer, HD Radio, electroluminescent gauges with a 4.2-inch LCD, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a compass.

How's the Tech?
The car's 8-inch touch screen is not only one of the largest in the midsize sedan segment, but its infotainment menus are logically laid out and easy to use. For further convenience, the system has a My Menu page that can be configured so that your most-used features are quickly accessible. The Sonata also has an extensive list of radio features, including a What's on My Presets preview mode, and the ability to record AM, FM, and Sirius broadcasts even if you're not tuned to a specific channel.

In addition to typical telematics features such as automatic crash notification and stolen vehicle assistance, the Blue Link telematics system offers a remote app that has smartwatch compatibility via Android Wear, and a Google search function that works with the navigation system. SiriusXM Travel Link features live weather, fuel, and traffic info. But both Sirius Travel Link and Blue Link require a subscription once a free trial period is over.

The Sonata falls short with in-dash apps, offering only Pandora Internet radio and SoundHound, the latter of which seems redundant, given that music metadata is typically displayed for onboard sources.

How Does it Perform?
The Sonata Sport's 185-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine is acceptable—it gets the job done with decent fuel economy, but it isn't exactly fun to drive. Handling is equally neutral, but the Sonata does stand out in terms of ride quality, handling bumps and other road anomalies with confidence. Another plus: The interior is as quiet as some luxury cars.

Should I Buy It?
The previous-generation Sonata proved that Hyundai could take on longtime segment leaders like the Honda Accord, the Nissan Altima, and the Toyota Camry$30,779.00 at TrueCar. The updates to the 2015 Sonata only add to the car's appeal, and make it a very solid choice. But if you're looking for tech, the Toyota Camry offers more in-dash apps, and if you're focused on performance, the Mazda 6$33,395.00 at TrueCar has the edge. All three are good options, so you should choose the one that has the most appealing features to you.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Memorial Day Deals

The 2014 Genesis here is just one of our daily special deals going on right now. Click to view more of what we have for you today.

Gary Rome Hyundai
1000 Main Street
Holyoke MA, 01040
1-888-637-4279 or

Live Reporting: Holyoke Council to Vote on Gary Rome Hyundai Zoning Bid

The unanimous vote of a committee last week could signal approval from the City Council Tuesday (May 19) of a zone change for a $10 million Gary Rome Hyundai dealership.

Follow along as live coverage of the 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall is posted in the comments section under this story.

The council Ordinance Committee voted 4-0 last week to recommend that the full City Council grant Rome a zone change for nearly 19 acres of vacant property on Whiting Farms Road. The Planning Board also recommended Rome get the zone change.

To build an auto dealership, Rome needs a zone change to Business Highway from the current Business General. The property is on the part of Whiting Farms Road across from Autumn and Lynch drives.

Rome has agreed to buy the property from the Holyoke Gas and Electric Department (HGE) for $2,050,000, contingent on getting the zone change.

The new dealership will produce 50 new full-time and some part-time jobs along with thousands of dollars a year to the city in property taxes, Rome said.

The Gary Rome Hyundai at 1000 Main St. will stay open regardless of what happens with the Whiting Farms Road site, he said.

At a crowded public hearing on the zone-change petition March 31, most speakers urged approval of the zone change for Rome. Speakers included Mayor Alex B. Morse, the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce and several Rome employees.

But an accompanying zone-change petition the City Council also will vote on Tuesday tells a different story about the Whiting Farms Road site.

Residents, including former councilor Helen F. Norris, Gayle Keith and Terri Laramee, are seeking a different zoning designation for the same property Rome is targeting. They want the zone changed to RM-20, which stands for Multi-Family Residence at 20 units per acre. The uses are generally housing with limited commercial uses like bed and breakfast, funeral home, hospital and nursing home.

Such uses are more compatible for the neighborhood and less of an intrusion into residents' quality of life than an auto dealer, they said.

The Ordinance Committee at the May 12 meeting voted 3-1 to recommend against adopting the RM-20 zone change.

Also watch for:

--City Council consideration of a 5-0 recommendation from the Ordinance Committee to grant a zone change to James P. Lavelle Jr. to allow for auto sales at the family-run JP's Restaurant & Sports Bar at 200 Whiting Farms Road.

Lavelle needs a zone change to Business Highway from the current Business General. He said he would sell a maximum of four used vehicles at a time.

--A proposal from Councilor at Large James M. Leahy and other councilors to give a proclamation to Lawrence Jackson Sr. who retired Thursday after nearly 36 years as a firefighter. Jackson, 59, was the city's first black firefighter. His first day was Aug. 8, 1979.

--Councilor at Large Rebecca Lisi's proposal to establish an ordinance to give to Planning Board members the $4,000-a-year stipends the city had been paying to each member of the board of directors of the Holyoke Geriatric Authority.

The authority was a nursing home at 45 Lower Westfield Road that closed last year. It was overseen by a board of seven, which consisted of three members appointed by the mayor and three by the City Council, with those six voting in a seventh.

"The dissolution of the Geriatric Authority frees up a small sum of money that may be used to compensate the (volunteer) members of the very active and labor intensive Planning Board," Lisi said.

The Planning Board has five members and an associate member. Board members are appointed by the mayor.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hyundai Heavy Industries’ Fuel Saving Propeller Attachment Becoming Popular

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) announced that it recently completed the performance verification of its new fuel-saving propeller attachment device, Hi-FIN, and expanded the use of it to all ships.

The Hi-FIN is a pinwheel-shaped attachment to the hub of a propeller allowing it to generate counter swirls to offset the swirls created by the propeller itself, which improves propulsion efficiency.

The HHI installed this new energy-saving attachment on the 162,000 m3 LNG Maran Gas carrier of Greece in April last year, it completed the requirement to be used on actual navigating ships for a year.

The vessel, equipped with a Hi-FIN, can save up to 2.5 percent of fuel compared with the same type of vessels without a Hi-FIN. Calculating the ratio on the basis of an 8,600 TEU container ship, it can save about US$750,000 (817.28 million won) per year or US$19 million (20.7 billion won) over 25 years, the estimated lifetime of a ship.

Now that it has confirmed the effectiveness of the Hi-FIN, the HHI has won orders to install it on more than 30 ships.

The new HI-FIN device can be installed on broader types of ships, from LNG carriers to container ships, very large crude carriers (VLCC), and LPG carriers.

An official from HHI said, “In the prolonged recession in the shipbuilding industry, we will improve our competitive power to win orders by differentiating vessel performance, including the improvement of fuel efficiency.”

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell: Early Drivers Discuss Experiences Traveling On Hydrogen

There have already been more Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell vehicles leased in the U.S. than any other hydrogen-powered vehicle.

Through April, Hyundai has leased 68 of the small SUVs since last June, when the first one was delivered.

That slightly exceeds the number of Honda FCX Clarity fuel-cell sedans leased from 2008 through April.

We spoke to early lessees in the U.S. and Canada to find out how they felt about driving on hydrogen and what kinds of experiences they'd had.

In the U.S., Paul Berkman has now had his Tucson Fuel Cell for six months, and he's covered 9,300 miles traveling among the three restaurants and the bed-and-breakfast he owns and operates.

His home in Corona del Mar, California, is only a few miles from three separate hydrogen fueling stations--one of the qualifications for leasing a fuel-cell vehicle in the first place.

2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at hydrogen fueling station, Fountain Valley, CA2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at hydrogen fueling station, Fountain Valley, CA

In Canada, Clayton Crawley and Jennifer Ma together leased the country's very first hydrogen-powered Hyundai in February.

The Vancouver, British Columbia, couple kicked off a roster of what will ultimately be about 30 leases in B.C.

Ma's workplace is just a few blocks from Metro Vancouver's only high-pressure hydrogen fueling station. (It is only accessible during business hours, howeve,r because it is sited on the property of the local electric utility.)

Both Berkman and the Crawley-Ma household report that refueling with hydrogen is relatively mundane.

The main differences: The pump looks futuristic, and the nozzle gets cold during the process (on account of the very low temperatures at which the hydrogen is stored).

Berkman notes, however, that the heavily promoted "three-minute refueling" generally takes closer to 10 minutes. He's never once completed a fill-up in less than three minutes, he says.

2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at hydrogen fueling station, Fountain Valley, CA2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at hydrogen fueling station, Fountain Valley, CA

The pair of hydrogen pioneers also lauded the practicality and utility of the Tucson compact crossover.

Crawley and Ma said that design gave them confidence they could use the vehicle for camping trips with their two children and a dog.

He specifically mentioned feeling the Tucson Fuel Cell had been designed to fit their lives, and that they wouldn't need to make any compromises or adjustments in their routines to use the vehicle.

Similarly, Berkman liked the high SUV seating position, its comfortable seats, and the outward visibility--a particularly important point for him--along with the intuitive controls and its lack of electronic bells and whistles.

At 66, he said, he simply prefers not to have to learn those kinds of systems.

2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at Hyundai headquarters, Fountain Valley, CA2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at Hyundai headquarters, Fountain Valley, CA

He also praised the smoothness and quiet ride.

At one point, Berkmansaid, his Hyundai dealer loaned him a top-end gasoline Tucson loaded with options--"and it was really noisy!"

"I don't think I want a gas car ever again," he mused.

As well as accessibility to rare hydrogen fueling stations, the early lessees appear to have an affinity for advanced-technology vehicles.

Crawley and Ma had looked into plug-in electric vehicles, but hadn't found one which met all their family's needs – cabin space, in particular.

Aside from a cargo floor that's an inch higher (and no spare tire), the hydrogen Tucson retains the space of its gasoline counterpart.

Berkman had owned a first-generation Honda Insight hybrid two-seater, although after going through six high-voltage batteries on a 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid, he gave up on that brand's hybrids. "Never again," he said.

His second car at the moment is a 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid SUV. "I never looked at Hyundai," he said. "It wasn't even on my radar."

"But I've always wanted to be ahead of the curve," Berkman said of the cars he has driven.

The favorable impressions to the everyday utility of the Tucson Fuel Cell largely match the reactions of automotive journalists to the little zero-emission SUV.

Berkman did mention a distinct lack of performance at highway speeds--which some reviewers apparently didn't notice, especially if they drove it only on local and regional routes.

That lack of power at speed was also a frequent complaint in Tucson Fuel Cell owner group surveys, Berkman said.

2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at Hyundai headquarters, Fountain Valley, CA2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at Hyundai headquarters, Fountain Valley, CA

While he praises its instant acceleration from a stop, he says he's learned what the car is and isn't capable of. "I simply got used to the car, and I drive accordingly," he said.

Crawley and Ma similarly enthused about the low-speed torque. They also noted that the car's silence can lead them to exceed highway speed limits without noticing, unless they keep an eye on the speedometer.

Finally, the couple also notes that driving a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle has led to them to look at other choices they make around energy use.

Berkman has driven or looked at a variety of zero-emission vehicles, and he ran down his reactions to the various cars he's tested:

Tesla Model S: A "beautiful car," hard to get used to the strong regenerative braking, some blind spots, didn't like the huge display screen

BMW i3: Seemed like "a kit car," weird seats, didn't feel solid, felt cheap--just seemed like "a step backwards" for the brand

Ford Focus Electric: Too small, too little range

Nissan Leaf: Never even considered, never been to a Nissan dealer, low range a problem

Chevrolet Volt (which he drove for a week): Very small inside, airplane-like cockpit, no peripheral vision, but was able to do his daily driving entirely on electricity

2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at hydrogen fueling station, Fountain Valley, CA2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell at hydrogen fueling station, Fountain Valley, CA

Berkman says that while he wouldn't presently buy a hydrogen vehicle, he is confident that the capability of future hydrogen cars will exceed those offered in these early days.

"They can squeeze out more range, it's easy for them to do," he suggested. "They'll figure it out."

The Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell is rated at 270 miles of range; the most Berkman has seen thus far is 290 miles, driving conservatively.

But, he said, he refills his car when the fuel gauge reads 3/4 to 1/2 full, just to guard against the chance that one or two of his three local hydrogen stations is not working--as has been the case over the several months since he took delivery of the car.