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By William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

March 27, 2013

Hyundai's flagship sedan has undergone a big refresh for the North American market this year, with the new 2014 Equus being shown at the New York Auto Show this week.

Outside, the 2014 Equus doesn't look that much different than the current model. The front bumper, grille, lights, and mirrors have been changed for the 2014 model. Moving inside, Hyundai has made some key changes including a new instrument cluster, steering wheel, center console, and a large 9.2-inch touchscreen in the dash. The Equus Ultimate model gets a 12.3-inch in the dash and two 9.2-inch screens for back seat passengers.

Under the hood, the 5.0L Tau V8 engine is left untouched. It produces 429 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. The power goes through an eight-speed automatic to the rear wheels.

Hyundai has reworked the Equus' suspension to improve ride and handling characteristics. Sport feels more sporty while normal feels more comfortable.

Hyundai hasn't announced when the new Equus will go on sale, but it might sometime later this year.

Source: Hyundai

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

Press Release is on Page 2


REDESIGNED 2014 EQUUS OFFERS DRIVER-FOCUSED TECHNOLOGIES, PREMIUM DESIGN, SUSPENSION REFINEMENT AND ADVANCED SAFETY FEATURES

Hyundai’s Flagship Premium Sedan Receives Comprehensive Mid-cycle Enhancements

NEW YORK, Mar. 27, 2013 – Hyundai Motor America today introduced the redesigned 2014 Equus premium luxury sedan in a North American debut at the New York International Auto Show with enhancements to exterior and interior design, vehicle dynamics, material selection, driver technology displays and advanced safety features. Equus has been an impressive success story for Hyundai; so far this year, Equus is the number-one shopped premium luxury sedan, well ahead of Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series, Audi A8, Lexus LS, and Jaguar XJ according to industry shopping analysis by Compete.

2014 EQUUS HIGHLIGHTS

Exterior

  • New 19-inch, turbine-blade polished silver wheel design
  • New front bumper fascia and grille design
  • New side mirrors and tail lamp graphics
  • Standard LED fog lamps
  • New Night Shadow Brown exterior color

Interior

  • Completely redesigned instrumental panel and center stack
  • Redesigned center console and shift lever design
  • Revised steering wheel control layout with vehicle settings
  • New ivory leather interior environment
  • New, ultra-premium genuine wood trim selections
  • Redesigned rear seat center console controls

Suspension

  • Revised tuning for both enhanced ride comfort and handling
    • Sport mode receives crisper damper tuning for improved body control
    • Normal mode receives enhanced ride comfort
    • Snow mode added to drive mode system

    [*]Revised front suspension bushings

Features

  • Standard Assurance Connected Care & Blue Link® – safety, service and infotainment telematics system
  • Larger, 7-inch TFT LCD cluster display (Signature)
  • 12.3-inch, fully-digital TFT LCD cluster display (Ultimate)
  • Larger 9.2-inch upper center stack LCD display
  • Climate control system offers three distinct cabin temperature zones
  • Standard smart cruise control with stop/start (from 0 mph)
  • Proximity smart key with both key fob and card-key types
  • Dual 9.2-inch rear seat entertainment monitors
  • Power door closure
  • Power lumbar for rear outboard seats

Advanced Safety

  • Standard Assurance Connected Care (3-year complimentary services)
  • Standard Rear Cross-traffic Alert
  • Standard Blind Spot Detection (BSD)
  • Heads-up display (HUD) designed for reduced driving distraction
  • Vehicle multi-view camera system

EXTERIOR DESIGN

2014 Equus exterior enhancements convey a premium-sport design message, starting with a new 19-inch turbine-blade alloy wheel design in a polished silver finish that relays motion whether parked or on the open highway. The front grille chrome bars are thinner, with sharper contrast to the blacked-out portions of the grille for a sportier look. The front fascia also has been redesigned, with the former chrome accents removed in favor of a modern premium appearance that includes lower fascia opening strakes. The headlamps offer jeweled design elements and include chrome contrasted with black-out finishes for a distinctive appearance. New LED fog lamps are now standard. Side mirrors have been redesigned for enhanced aerodynamics and tail lamp graphics move to a more horizontal theme.

INTERIOR DESIGN

Hyundai engineers wanted the 2014 Equus interior to perfectly complement the enhancements to its exterior. Thus, the themes of premium and performance again greet the driver behind the wheel. The entire instrument panel and center stack have been redesigned with more premium materials and an ergonomically-correct layout, with new button iconography for quicker and easier feature recognition. The center console and shift lever reveal more premium material selection and contemporary premium-luxury design cues. Steering wheel control layout has been improved, with new low-sheen button designs and icons. Similarly, rear passengers will enjoy a new rear console and button layout, with available dual 9.2-inch, high-resolution, adjustable seatback video screens to enjoy movies, audio media, HVAC or seating functions. Rear passengers can even search restaurant locations and provide navigation system directions directly to the driver’s navigation screen.

VEHICLE DYNAMICS

2014 Equus driving dynamics also have been revised to minimize traditional ride and handling compromises, with Normal and Sport modes each taking on a more differentiated ride and handling character. The air suspension was recalibrated: Sport mode receives more controlled damping, while Normal mode receives slightly enhanced ride comfort while retaining a well-controlled handling demeanor. The front suspension bushings were also revised to enhance suspension function. For those customers that experience adverse weather conditions such as ice and snow, a new Snow mode function was added to the drive mode system, for both safety and ease of control in challenging road conditions.

In urban areas, Equus is easy to maneuver and park, thanks to electro-hydraulic steering and its electronic parking guide assist. While the Equus is large, it doesn't feel over-sized or clumsy due to its 39.6 foot turning circle and variable-effort steering system.

On winding country and mountain roads, the Equus benefits from the precise wheel articulation delivered by its five-link front and rear suspension geometry. This geometry is maximized through Continuous Damping Control (CDC), which continually monitors road and driving dynamics and optimizes damping force accordingly. The standard 19-inch alloy wheel and tire package with staggered width tires (P245/45R19 front P275/40R19 rear) offers excellent grip and precise control.

NEW AND ENHANCED TECHNOLOGIES

All Equus driver-interface displays have been improved for 2014, with a larger, 7-inch Thin-film Transistor (TFT) LCD center cluster display for Signature models, a large 12.3-inch, fully-digital TFT LCD center cluster display for Ultimate models, and a larger, standard 9.2-inch center instrument panel LCD display. New, dual high-resolution 9.2-inch rear seat entertainment monitors have been fitted in place of the former single monitor for rear passengers in the Ultimate model. All of Equus’ new displays are larger and more legible, featuring premium-quality, high-resolution graphics. The Ultimate model’s larger, fully-digital LCD display now offers various driver menus that can be accessed directly via steering wheel haptic dial control, helping to keep the driver’s hands on the wheel for minimal driving distraction.

The climate control system now offers three distinct cabin temperature zones for driver, passenger, and rear passengers. The standard smart cruise control system has been enhanced to include a full 0-mph stop-and-start function for use in stop-and-go traffic. The smart proximity key now includes both key-fob and card-key types of vehicle entry for greater driver convenience. Ultimate models now feature an automatic power door closure assist function; once a door manually approaches full closure, a power function slowly and quietly ensures the door is fully secured for peace of mind. Also on the Ultimate model, both rear outboard passengers now have power lumbar support.

POWERFUL 5.0-LITER TAU V8 ENGINE

The 2014 Equus is powered by Hyundai’s 5.0-liter Tau DOHC V8 engine, producing 429 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 376 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,000 rpm, with a higher specific output (85.8 hp/liter) than its normally-aspirated premium luxury competitors. The Tau V8 engine creates this high output level while retaining exceptionally smooth power delivery throughout its rpm range, without the turbo lag and surge exhibited by some forced-induction engines.

The 5.0-liter Tau also features direct injection technology. This high-pressure direct injection system (over 2,200 psi) dramatically increases power and torque, while reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The 5.0-liter Tau has a high 11.5:1 compression ratio for greater thermal efficiency and output. It also has a bed plate for improved block rigidity and lower NVH, as well as camshaft carriers and a roller timing chain to improve valvetrain stability.

This V8 engine offers premium engine technologies, including Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT), a tuned variable induction system, and low-friction diamond-like coatings (DLC) on piston skirts, rings and tappets. Even with these impressive power increases, fuel economy is estimated at 15 mpg city, 23 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined.

The Tau V8 engine is coupled with a Hyundai-developed eight-speed transmission with SHIFTRONIC® manual shift capability for enhanced acceleration and overall efficiency.

INNOVATIVE OWNERSHIP EXPERIENCE

Hyundai will continue to offer its unique ownership experience for Equus customers, including tailored dealership showrooms, “Your Time, Your Place” at-home vehicle demonstrations, “At Your Service” valet service appointments and an interactive owner’s manual app for Apple iPad®.

The sales and service experience for Equus is unlike any other in the industry, with a special focus on the customer’s time and convenience. Prospective buyers can participate in the “Your Time, Your Place” valet test drive program, where a specially-trained Product Champion will deliver an Equus to their home or office for a personalized, convenient shopping experience. Equus also features the industry’s first interactive owner’s manual app, providing a convenient and simpler way for owners to become familiar with the full capabilities of the vehicle.

Another benefit of Equus “At Your Service” is completely free maintenance services throughout the five-year, 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty period. During this five-year period, any maintenance or warranty issue is fully covered by Hyundai, providing exceptional peace of mind to Equus owners. When service is required, Equus owners can schedule their maintenance and service through a simple online scheduling system or from the interactive owner’s manual. An Equus owner can also choose to have their vehicle picked up at their home or business, with a complimentary loaner dropped off. Once service is completed, the owner again chooses the time and location for the vehicle to be delivered.

PREMIUM REAR-WHEEL-DRIVE ARCHITECTURE

Equus is the third rear-wheel-drive product in Hyundai’s lineup and boasts near perfect front-to-rear weight distribution for exceptional handling balance and more refined steering characteristics. Equus reduces interior noise levels and improves ride and handling with a rigid, lightweight body structure. The use of high-tensile steel in critical areas throughout the unibody provides Equus with significantly higher dynamic torsional rigidity and a lower body structure weight, despite having a spacious interior cabin.

LUXURIOUS FEATURES AND DESIGN

The busy executive as well as the couple heading out on the town will feel right at home in the 2014 Equus due to abundant luxury touches and passenger comfort features. This ambience begins with superior quality materials and design layout. The leather upholstery, Microfiber suede headliner, genuine wood trim and leather-wrapped French-stitched instrument panel showcase the richness of the Equus interior.

The seats are fully adjustable with plenty of width and support. Thermoelectric devices located in the seat backs and bottom cushions provide control for heating, cooling and humidity. There is ample leg and head room for drivers over six-feet tall. In fact, Equus has more leg, head and shoulder room in the front and rear seats than the Lexus LS460.

The driver’s cockpit boasts an abundance of features and premium services. The Driver Information System (DIS) provides navigation, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, HD Radio technology, hands-free Bluetooth® phone system, Blue Link® telematics, and much more.

UNCOMPROMISED SAFETY TECHNOLOGIES

For 2014, Equus has added a number of new technologies that reduce the potential for distracted driving by helping drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. A new Blind Spot Detection system is standard, with blind spot vehicle alerts in either mirror. On the Ultimate model, a high-visibility Heads-up Display provides vehicle speed, navigation turn-by-turn instructions, smart cruise control indicators and select driving data viewable well above the cowl plane for reduced driving distraction.

When parking or navigating tight urban situations, Equus Ultimate now offers a multi-view camera system that provides an aerial view of the vehicle with split-screen vehicle perspectives for optimized visibility and safety. In addition, all models now include Rear Cross-traffic Alert to help alert drivers of vehicles crossing their path when backing up.

Equus also offers a lane departure warning system, with audible and visual warnings activated after a one-second lane departure. The system adds a haptic warning, via the seatbelt, for an extra margin of alert. Further, to help maintain safer following distances in traffic, Equus’ smart cruise control automatically manages the Equus’ speed through the braking and throttle systems to maintain a specified following distance selected by the driver.

Equus maintains Hyundai’s emphasis on delivering leading safety technology, boasting world-class active and passive safety features to help prevent accidents, and maximize the well-being of its occupants in the event of a collision. Named a 2013 “TOP SAFETY PICK” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Equus continues the Hyundai tradition of offering key safety technologies, with features such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC), nine airbags, electronic active front head restraints, lane departure warning system and smart cruise control that monitors and adjusts following distances in traffic. Equus even has a Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system that optimally manages ESC, the electronic parking brake, smart cruise control and the seatbelt tensioning system for optimal safety.

Equus’ total of nine airbags include advanced dual front airbags, front and rear seat-mounted side-impact airbags, roof-mounted side curtain airbags for both front and rear outboard seat occupants and a driver’s knee airbag. Equus utilizes strong unibody construction, along with front and rear crumple zones, bodyside reinforcements and five-mph energy-absorbing bumpers. The hood also includes buckling creases and safety stops to maximize occupant protection inside the cabin.

Equus is confidently brought to a stop by large four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD). The 14.2-inch front rotors have four-piston fixed calipers and the rear brakes feature 12.4-inch rotors with single floating piston calipers.

LEXICON® AUDIO SYSTEM OFFERS UNRIVALED AUDIO PERFORMANCE

Equus offers an ultra-premium Lexicon-branded state-of-the-art audio system featuring LOGIC 7® technology. The Lexicon surround sound audio system includes a 13-channel digital amplifier and 17 speakers producing 598 watts of power in 7.1 discrete surround sound audio. Equus also offers the clarity of digital HD Radio technology, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and iPod®/USB integration.

ASSURANCE CONNECTED CARE AND HYUNDAI BLUE LINK®

2014 Equus adds the Hyundai Blue Link® telematics system, with over 30 safety, service, and infotainment features available. In addition, Equus with Blue Link® includes Assurance Connected Care, a three-year complimentary services suite with critical safety and ownership assistance features. This three-year complimentary services suite even extends to potential subsequent owners during the three-year period.

Blue Link® combines safety, service and infotainment features to simplify owners’ lives, reduce stress and distracted driving. Blue Link brings seamless connectivity directly into the car with technologies like Remote Vehicle Start, Stolen Vehicle Recovery, and Remote Access from the Blue Link mobile application, including POI Search and Send-to-car. Blue Link can be easily accessed from the buttons on the rearview mirror, the web and via the smartphone app.

Blue Link is offered in three service packages: Assurance Connected Care, Essentials and Guidance:

Assurance Connected Care package (complimentary for 3-years):

  • Automatic Collision Notification (ACN) and Assistance
  • SOS Emergency Assistance
  • Enhanced Roadside Assistance
  • Monthly Vehicle Report
  • Maintenance Alert
  • Automated Diagnostic Trouble Code Notification (DTC)
  • Recall Advisor
  • Service Link

Essentials package:

  • Remote Vehicle Start
  • Remote Door Lock/Unlock
  • Remote Horn and Lights
  • Car Finder via Mobile App
  • Stolen Vehicle Recovery/Slowdown/Immobilization
  • Geofence
  • Valet Alert
  • Speed/Curfew Alert
  • Panic Notification
  • Alarm Notification

Guidance package:

  • Turn-by-Turn Navigation Service
  • POI Search by advanced voice recognition system
  • POI Web Search and Download
  • Daily Route Guidance with Traffic Condition
  • Traffic
  • Gas Station Locations and Gas Prices
  • Restaurant Ratings
  • Eco-Coach
  • Weather

More details on Hyundai Blue Link are available at http://www.hyundaibluelink.com/.

GENEROUS FEATURE PACKAGING

For 2014, Equus Signature and Ultimate packages are both so generously equipped that no factory options are available. Both the Signature and Ultimate packages now feature 5-passenger seating, increasing the Ultimate model’s appeal to customers desiring extra seating capacity. Both Equus Signature and Ultimate buyers benefit from the following new standard features added to all Equus models:

  • Blind Spot Detection (BSD)
  • Smart Cruise Control (with added 0-mph stop/start capability)
  • New LED fog lamps
  • Rear Cross-traffic Alert
  • Additional “card-type” proximity key entry
  • Blue Link® telematics capability
  • Navigation system with 9.2-inch LCD screen (formerly 8.0-inch)
  • Three-zone climate control system (formerly two-zone type)

EQUUS SIGNATURE KEY STANDARD FEATURES

  • 5.0L GDI DOHC D-CVVT Tau® V8 engine w/429 HP
  • 8-Speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC®
  • Electro-Hydraulic Power Steering (EHPS)
  • Electronically Controlled Air Suspension with Continuous Damping Control (CDC)
  • 19” polished-silver finish alloy wheels with P245/45R19(Ft)/P275/40R19(Rr)
  • 4-Wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and EBD
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with TCS and Brake Assist
  • Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system w/ pre-collision warning
  • 9 Airbags: Advanced dual front airbags, front and rear seat-mounted side-impact airbags
  • Driver knee airbag, and roof-mounted side-curtain airbags
  • Electronic active front head restraints w/ power controls / Electronic seatbelt pre-tensioners
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • Lane-departure warning system (LDWS)
  • Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert
  • Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with stop/start
  • High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights with LED turn signal indicators
  • Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFLS) with auto-leveling
  • LED Fog lights & Automatic headlights
  • Front and rear parking assistance system with rearview camera & Rear Cross-traffic Alert
  • Dual power-folding heated auto-dim side mirrors w/ turn signal indicators/approach lamps
  • Dual asymmetrical exhaust tips integrated with rear bumper
  • Proximity key (card type) entry with push-button start
  • Illuminated scuff plates, inside door handles & door armrest
  • Premium leather seating surfaces and microfiber suede headliner
  • 12-way power driver seat plus lumbar adjustment and 10-way power front passenger seat
  • Heated & Cooled front seats
  • Heated, wood-trimmed & leather-wrapped steering wheel /power tilt-and-telescopic function
  • Integrated Memory System (IMS) for driver-side seat, mirror and steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped dash and genuine wood interior trim
  • Electroluminescent cluster with 7-inch TFT LCD screen
  • Electronic parking brake with automatic vehicle hold
  • Power windows with auto-down/up
  • Blue Link® Telematics System
  • Assurance Connected Care (with 3-years complimentary service)
  • Navigation system w/ 9.2 inch LCD screen w/ DIS multimedia controller
  • Lexicon® 7.1 Discrete surround-sound audio system with 17 speakers
  • AM/FM/HD Radio®/SiriusXM/CD/DVD/MP3 audio system
  • iPod, USB and MP3 auxiliary input jacks
  • Bluetooth® hands-free phone system
  • Three zone Automatic Temperature Control with Air Quality System
  • Windshield-wiper deicer, rain-sensing wipers / auto-defogging windshield
  • Electrochromic auto-dimming inside rearview mirror with HomeLink® and compass
  • Acoustic Laminated Windshield , Front and Rear side Windows
  • Power tilt-and-slide glass sunroof
  • 60/40 power reclining and heated rear seats
  • Power rear sunshade
  • Premium-grade floor mats, premium-grade trunk cargo mat and first-aid kit

EQUUS ULTIMATE ADDS ULTRA LUXURY FEATURES

Equus Ultimate adds or replaces:

  • Heads-up display
  • Cooled rear seats
  • Power rear side window sunshades
  • Rear seat power up/down head restraints w/ manual tilt
  • Rear seat illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Forward-view Cornering Camera
  • Power trunk lid
  • Steering-wheel haptic dial control for center cluster
  • Full 12.3 inch TFT LCD instrument cluster display screen
  • Rear seat entertainment system w/ dual 9.2” monitors
  • Power lumbar (rear outboard seats)
  • Multi-view camera system
  • Power door closure

COLOR PALETTE

For 2014, Equus buyers can opt for a distinctive new color, Night Shadow Brown, as well as the option of a new Ivory leather interior environment with contrasting piping on the seat bolsters, a sporty yet unmistakably premium interior design element. There are also three new genuine wood accents for the interior: Jet Black with Walnut, Ivory with Ash or Saddle brown with Madrona.


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Love that screaming chicken on the airbag cover...LMAO

Sat in one at the autoshow. Joke interior. How can anyone take this car seriously? The interior updates look improved but if it is the same level of interior materials and such, it will still look like a dollar store version of a real lux car.

I guess if you hit a goldmine in the chinese buffet business, you might be the market for this car because i fail to see anyone else who would pony up for this.

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"I guess if you hit a goldmine in the chinese buffet business, you might be the market for this car because I fail to see anyone else who would pony up for this."

- quote of the week.

:roflmao:

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one chinese buffet i used to frequent, even that family bought a used BMW X5 when they struck it big.....they didn't even gaux faux

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The Equus targets the S. Korean market primarily, I can't see it making much impact in NA. The Hyundai brand which is known in NA for cheap, disposable generics doesn't help.

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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It just doesn't have the solid feel of the Lexus.. .much less the Germans or even Cadillac and Chrysler. Sure, it has more toys to play with than the Americans, but who cares about that if they fall off in your hands?

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      This being a refresh, Hyundai couldn’t go completely crazy in terms of the design language, however the updates really help the Sonata have more presence. Up front is bolder with a new hexagonal grille surround, chrome grille slats, new sculpting on the hood, and deep cuts in the bumper for LED fog lights. The side profile retains the chrome trim that runs through the headlights and around the windows. Hyundai made some drastic changes for the rear by smoothing out the trunk lid and moving the placement of the license plate to the bumper. 
      The Sonata’s interior retains the basic shape of the outgoing model, but changes have been made to freshen it up. The center stack boasts a revised control layout and all trims get a three-spoke steering wheel. Previously, only the Sport trim got this wheel design. It would have been nice if Hyundai was a little bit more adventurous with the design, but I’m willing to forgive some of this feeling as the controls fall easily into hand. Interior materials are about average for the class with a mix of hard and soft plastics.
      The front seats were designed with long-distance comfort in mind with a fair amount of seat padding and just the right amount of firmness. Power adjustments for both driver and passenger are standard on the Limited and offer a generous range of adjustments. Space in the back is quite roomy and there are some nice touches such as manual window shades. The Sonata has one of the largest trunks in the class with 16.3 cubic feet of space on offer.
      All Sonata’s come with a 7-inch touchscreen featuring Hyundai’s BlueLink infotainment system. Our test Sonata Limited had the optional 8-inch screen with navigation. The current BlueLink system has been with us for a few years and its interface is beginning to look somewhat dated, but the system is still one of the best when it comes to overall usability with large touchscreen buttons, bright screen, and a simple interface. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all Sonatas except the base SE.
      Sonata offers one of the widest range of powertrains in the segment with three gas engines, a hybrid, and plug-in hybrid. Our Sonata Limited came with the base 2.4L inline-four producing 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic routing power to the front wheels. The engine provides adequate power for around town and rural driving. You will need to step on it when making a pass or merging onto a freeway as torque resides higher in the rev band. The six-speed automatic goes about its business smoothly and always knows what gear it needs to be in. Hyundai does offer an eight-speed automatic, but only if you opt for the turbocharged 2.0L.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the 2018 Sonata Limited are 25 City/35 Highway/28 Combined (SE models see a one mpg increase in highway and combined figures). My average for the week landed around 28.5 mpg.
      Hyundai did make some tweaks to the 2018 Sonata’s suspension including a revised rear suspension setup with thicker trailing arms and revised steering system. The end result is a Sonata that handles much better than the previous car. Body motion has noticeably decreased and the steering provides decent weight when turning. Thankfully, the tweaks made to the suspension haven’t affected the Sonata’s ride quality. Bumps and other road imperfections are soaked up before reaching passengers. Some of the credit has to go to Hyundai not going crazy on offering large wheels - the Limited seen here rides on 17-inch wheels. Road and wind noise are kept to near silent levels.
      My first impression seeing the 2018 Sonata was that Hyundai had improved it, but was still a bit short when compared to the work done by other automakers. Spending a week with the Sonata caused me to change my train of thought; It surprised me how much work Hyundai put into this mid-cycle refresh and brings the Sonata up to the point where I would say it is fighting for best-in-class honors. 
      While the 2018 Sonata may lack most of the pizzazz found in the sixth-generation model, it does show that Hyundai has learned from its mistake and worked to reclaim some of the magic.
      Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Sonata, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Sonata
      Trim: Limited
      Engine: 2.4L GDI DOHC D-CVVT Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic. Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 185 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 178 @ 4,000 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 25/35/28
      Curb Weight: N/A
      Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, AL
      Base Price: $27,400
      As Tested Price: $31,310 (Includes $885.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Ultimate Package - $2,900.00
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00
    • By William Maley
      Rumors of a possible buyer for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have popped up again. Late last week, the Asia Times learned from sources that Hyundai Motor Group CEO Chung Mong-koo is waiting for "an expected decline" in shares of FCA before launching a takeover bid attempt. This is expected to launch sometime between the summer and "prior to the Fiat-Chrysler annual shareholders’ meeting in May 2019."
      Reportedly, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne drew Hyundai's attention by using interest from Great Wall Motor.
      The deal is being spurred by Paul Singer, the principal of Elliott Management. Singer made headlines in April by pressuring Hyundai to merge with Mobius, their parts' division to create a new holding company and demanded the company to pay investors more than $10 billion in “excess cash.”
      Marchionne has been trying his damnedest to try and find a merger partner for the past few years.
      Tried to work with General Motors CEO Mary Barra about possibly merging the two companies in 2015, but was turned down. Rumors about possibly merging with Volkswagen, but was told no. Various Chinese automakers considered bidding on FCA, but most deny it. Great Wall was considering only purchasing Jeep. However, plans for this were put on ice Here is the question we find ourselves wondering about, why would Hyundai consider buying FCA? Aside from getting their hands on Jeep and Ram Trucks (FCA's money makers), FCA would be gaining the most from this possible deal.
      To throw another wrench into this, Hyundai is currently in the midsts of a reorganization effort and part of that includes possibly replacing Mong-koo who is 80 years old.
      Both FCA and Hyundai declined to comment.
      Source: Asia Times
      Thanks @regfootball for the news tip

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Rumors of a possible buyer for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have popped up again. Late last week, the Asia Times learned from sources that Hyundai Motor Group CEO Chung Mong-koo is waiting for "an expected decline" in shares of FCA before launching a takeover bid attempt. This is expected to launch sometime between the summer and "prior to the Fiat-Chrysler annual shareholders’ meeting in May 2019."
      Reportedly, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne drew Hyundai's attention by using interest from Great Wall Motor.
      The deal is being spurred by Paul Singer, the principal of Elliott Management. Singer made headlines in April by pressuring Hyundai to merge with Mobius, their parts' division to create a new holding company and demanded the company to pay investors more than $10 billion in “excess cash.”
      Marchionne has been trying his damnedest to try and find a merger partner for the past few years.
      Tried to work with General Motors CEO Mary Barra about possibly merging the two companies in 2015, but was turned down. Rumors about possibly merging with Volkswagen, but was told no. Various Chinese automakers considered bidding on FCA, but most deny it. Great Wall was considering only purchasing Jeep. However, plans for this were put on ice Here is the question we find ourselves wondering about, why would Hyundai consider buying FCA? Aside from getting their hands on Jeep and Ram Trucks (FCA's money makers), FCA would be gaining the most from this possible deal.
      To throw another wrench into this, Hyundai is currently in the midsts of a reorganization effort and part of that includes possibly replacing Mong-koo who is 80 years old.
      Both FCA and Hyundai declined to comment.
      Source: Asia Times
      Thanks @regfootball for the news tip
    • By William Maley
      I found myself in a bit of quandary when it came to writing the review for the 2018 Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio. Both of these models have been redesigned recently and despite the different exteriors, under the skin they share a number of key parts such as the engine and suspension. As I was going through my notes, I realized the answer was right in front of me; talk about the differences between the two and see which one does it better. 
      Exterior
      Between the two vehicles, the Rio stands out considerably. Like the previous model, the new Rio has a fair amount of European influence with neatly proportioned body and clean lines. The front end is quite low and features a narrow top grille and deep slits in the bumper for a set of fog lights. 15-inch alloy wheels come standard on EX. Unlike the Accent, the Rio is still available in as a hatchback.
      The Accent goes for the safe approach with a simple three-box sedan design. This isn’t helped by the silver color on my test vehicle which makes it become somewhat anonymous. The only real design traits are in the front with a new grille shape that is appearing on new Hyundai models and cutouts in the bumper for accent trim on our base SE tester or foglights on higher trims. One way the Accent SE stands out from the Rio LX is painted door handles and mirror caps.
      Interior
      There are no frills to be found in the Accent’s interior. Like the outside, Hyundai went for a simple and honest design. Material quality is what you expect in the class - hard plastics on most surfaces. But the plastics have a solid feel. All Accents feature basic front seat adjustments - fore/aft, height (driver only), and recline. I was able to find a position that worked for me quite quickly. One item to be aware of is the SE doesn’t come with a telescoping adjustment for the steering wheel; SEL models and above get that feature. Space in the back is average for the class with a decent amount of headroom, but a limited amount of legroom.
      Kia added some style to the Rio’s interior with a sculpted dash featuring two-tone plastics. Hard plastics make up the majority of interior surfaces with a grain texture pattern. Like the Accent, the plastics have a very solid feel. The layout is simple with most controls in easy reach. Finding a comfortable position took no time with a basic set of seat adjustments and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. However, I found the seats in the Rio to not be as supportive on long trips. The back seat mirrors the Accent; ok headroom and a small amount of legroom.
      Infotainment
      The Rio EX comes with a 7-inch infotainment system with Kia’s UVO infotainment system. No navigation system is offered, but you won’t need it as support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is standard. It will not take long to familiarize yourself with UVO thanks to a well-thought out interface and dedicated buttons for various features. Performance is impressive with the system responding very quickly to inputs.
      Over at the Accent SE, it comes with a 5-inch touchscreen radio. For the most part, the system was simple to use with redundant buttons for various functions, simple interface, and large touchscreen buttons. I only wished that the screen was slightly larger when I was scrolling through my iPod. One surprise was the SE getting Bluetooth as standard. Kia doesn’t offer Bluetooth on the base Rio LX.
      Powertrain
      Both the Accent and Rio use the same 1.6L inline-four engine producing 130 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque. What differs between the two is the transmission; the Accent SE comes with a six-speed manual while the Rio EX makes do with a six-speed automatic. Between the two, the Accent is noticeably quicker. The manual transmission allows the engine to flex what little muscle it has to get the vehicle up to speed. In the Rio, the automatic’s programming smothers the small amount of power to improve fuel economy. There is a Sport mode that holds onto gears longer, but it doesn’t make much of a difference. Neither of the transmissions can help the 1.6L on the freeway as the engine struggles to get up to speed at a decent rate.
      Fuel Economy
      EPA fuel economy figures are almost identical for the two models. Both return 28 mpg in the city and 37 on the highway. The difference is in the combined figure; the Rio returns 32, while the Accent returns 31. I got an average of 34 in the Rio and 33 in the Accent.
      Ride and Handling
      There are more similarities between the Rio and Accent when it comes to the driving experience. Both still employ struts in the front and a torsion-beam rear axle. But the body has been stiffened which helps with ride quality. Both models exhibited excellent isolation of most road imperfections. Handling is another place where the two surprised me. While not exhibiting the sporty characteristics of a Ford Fiesta, both the Accent and Rio show little body roll and feel quite nimble. The steering is light, but provides a decent amount of feedback when pushed. 
      Pricing
      The 2018 Hyundai Accent begins at $14,995 for the base SE with manual transmission and climbs to $18,895 for the Limited. Our test SE with optional floor mats came to an as-tested price of $16,005. While it does cost $1,095 more than the base Rio LX, the Accent SE comes with more features such as Bluetooth, full power accessories, and a rear USB port.
      The 2018 Kia Rio kicks off at $13,900 for the LX sedan and climbs to $18,700 for the EX hatchback. The EX sedan tester came to an as-tested price of $19,425 with carpeted floor mats and destination. It is a bit hard to stomach the price tag when you can into some decently equipped compact sedans such as the Hyundai Elantra and Chevrolet Cruze for similar money. Even after you factor in the EX getting forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, it’s still a tough sell.
      Verdict
      Trying to decide which of the two subcompacts was the winner in this piece was very difficult as they share so much. Beginning with the Rio EX, it is a very sharp looking subcompact with a fair amount of European influence and it is available as a hatchback. But the automatic transmission suffocates what little performance is on offer from the 1.6L engine. Plus the price tag of the EX is very difficult to swallow when you can step up into a compact for similar money. If it was the midlevel S, this would have been a closer fight.
      This brings us to the Accent SE. It's styling inside and out is a bit plain when pitted against the Rio. The lack of hatchback also makes the Accent a bit of hard sell to some buyers. But the list of standard features on the base model is very surprising. Plus, the manual transmission allows the engine to have some flexibility in most driving situations. 
      Both models are towards the top in the subcompact class. But in this comparison, the base Accent SE nips the top-line Rio EX by a hair.
      Disclaimer: Hyundai and Kia Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Accent
      Trim: SE
      Engine: 1.6L DOHC 16-valve GDI Inline-Four
      Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, Front-wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 130 @ 6,300
      Torque @ RPM: 119 @ 4,850
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 28/37/31
      Curb Weight: 2,502 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Nuevo Leon, Mexico
      Base Price: $14,995
      As Tested Price: $16,005 (Includes $885.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats: $125.00
      Year: 2018
      Make: Kia
      Model: Rio
      Trim: EX
      Engine: 1.6L 16-valve GDI Inline-Four
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 130 @ 6,300
      Torque @ RPM: 119 @ 4,850
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 28/37/32
      Curb Weight: 2,714 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Pesqueria, NL, Mexico
      Base Price: $18,400
      As Tested Price: $19,425 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $130.00

      View full article
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