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Found 37 results

  1. At one time, the subcompact was seen as the penalty box in the automotive marketplace. The reasons for buying one were the low cost and high fuel economy. But in return, subcompacts were devoid of many comforts found in larger vehicles such as air conditioning, power windows, and automatic transmissions. Now subcompacts are seen as a real choice in the marketplace and automakers have had to step up to make their models feel like an actual vehicle. One of the automakers who has made this change was Hyundai. Their entrant in the subcompact marketplace, the Accent, was the poster child of the no frills, cheap commuting vehicle. But with the most recent model, Hyundai has moved it up the food chain to better compete with the likes of the Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, and Honda Fit. But does the Accent belong in this playground, or is it just a pretender? There are two ways you can describe the Accent Hatchback’s design. One is that the model is quite boring and plain looking when compared to other subcompacts. The other way is to say the Accent Hatchback is sophisticated and matured. The Accent doesn’t have quite the flair of the fludic sculpture as other models, but does feature some sculpted curves along the doors, a distinctive character line running from the front fender to the rear, and a set of sixteen-inch alloy wheels that come standard on the SE model. Much like the exterior, the Accent Hatchback’s interior can be described as being plain or classy. Like most subcompacts, the Accent does feature its fair share of hard plastics. But the plastic is very solid and Hyundai used textured plastics on certain parts of the interior to make it feel somewhat premium. The center stack is well laid out and easy to glance at. My Accent SE tester came very well-equipped with Bluetooth, iPod and USB connections, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and satellite radio all as standard. One complaint I have with Hyundai and Kia vehicles is the lack of thigh support in the front seat when sitting in them for long periods. The Accent falls into this category as well. I don’t know if it's the way I have the seats adjusted or if there isn’t enough padding on the seat that causes this for me. Moving to the back, the Accent Hatchback does pretty well in this regard with a decent amount of head and legroom. Being 5’7”, I was very comfortable sitting in the back. Cargo space stands at 21.2 cubic feet with the seats up and 47.5 cubic feet which puts its in the mid-pack of the subcompact class. All Accents come equipped with a 1.6L DOHC four-cylinder producing 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up to a six-speed automatic. The Accent does take a little bit of wringing to get to the sweet spot in the powertrain. But when you’re leaving a stop, it doesn’t feel like the vehicle is gasping for power. Hyundai made sure it was very easy to get up speed on city streets. On the fuel economy front, the Accent SE is rated by the EPA at 27 City/37 Highway/31 Combined. My week’s average landed around 30 MPG. The Accent’s ride quality feels like a bigger vehicle with the suspension doing an excellent job of minimizing impacts from bumps and potholes. Noise isolation is also pretty decent with wind and road noise kept to a minimum. Those who are thinking of taking the Accent on their favorite road will be slightly disappointed. The Accent doesn’t quite have the same handling characteristics as the Chevrolet Sonic as it leans a little bit more and doesn’t quite feel as solid. Steering is light, but has a decent amount of feel for those who feel on going a sporting drive. The 2014 Hyundai Accent SE shows that it belongs in this playground. While it might not have the looks or driving dynamics as many of the subcompact competitors, the Accent has some positives to it. It begins with a fair number of standard equipment, followed by a engine that delivers very good grunt and a ride that feels like a bigger vehicle. It’s a very compelling choice in the class. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Accent SE, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Hyundai Model: Accent Hatchback Trim: SE Engine: 1.6L DOHC GDI Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 138 @ 6,300 Torque @ RPM: 123 @ 4,850 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/37/31 Curb Weight: 2,635 lbs Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, Korea Base Price: $17,395 As Tested Price: $18,315 (Includes $810.00 Destination Charge) Options: Carpeted Floor Mats - $110.00 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  2. At one time, the subcompact was seen as the penalty box in the automotive marketplace. The reasons for buying one were the low cost and high fuel economy. But in return, subcompacts were devoid of many comforts found in larger vehicles such as air conditioning, power windows, and automatic transmissions. Now subcompacts are seen as a real choice in the marketplace and automakers have had to step up to make their models feel like an actual vehicle. One of the automakers who has made this change was Hyundai. Their entrant in the subcompact marketplace, the Accent, was the poster child of the no frills, cheap commuting vehicle. But with the most recent model, Hyundai has moved it up the food chain to better compete with the likes of the Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, and Honda Fit. But does the Accent belong in this playground, or is it just a pretender? There are two ways you can describe the Accent Hatchback’s design. One is that the model is quite boring and plain looking when compared to other subcompacts. The other way is to say the Accent Hatchback is sophisticated and matured. The Accent doesn’t have quite the flair of the fludic sculpture as other models, but does feature some sculpted curves along the doors, a distinctive character line running from the front fender to the rear, and a set of sixteen-inch alloy wheels that come standard on the SE model. Much like the exterior, the Accent Hatchback’s interior can be described as being plain or classy. Like most subcompacts, the Accent does feature its fair share of hard plastics. But the plastic is very solid and Hyundai used textured plastics on certain parts of the interior to make it feel somewhat premium. The center stack is well laid out and easy to glance at. My Accent SE tester came very well-equipped with Bluetooth, iPod and USB connections, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and satellite radio all as standard. One complaint I have with Hyundai and Kia vehicles is the lack of thigh support in the front seat when sitting in them for long periods. The Accent falls into this category as well. I don’t know if it's the way I have the seats adjusted or if there isn’t enough padding on the seat that causes this for me. Moving to the back, the Accent Hatchback does pretty well in this regard with a decent amount of head and legroom. Being 5’7”, I was very comfortable sitting in the back. Cargo space stands at 21.2 cubic feet with the seats up and 47.5 cubic feet which puts its in the mid-pack of the subcompact class. All Accents come equipped with a 1.6L DOHC four-cylinder producing 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up to a six-speed automatic. The Accent does take a little bit of wringing to get to the sweet spot in the powertrain. But when you’re leaving a stop, it doesn’t feel like the vehicle is gasping for power. Hyundai made sure it was very easy to get up speed on city streets. On the fuel economy front, the Accent SE is rated by the EPA at 27 City/37 Highway/31 Combined. My week’s average landed around 30 MPG. The Accent’s ride quality feels like a bigger vehicle with the suspension doing an excellent job of minimizing impacts from bumps and potholes. Noise isolation is also pretty decent with wind and road noise kept to a minimum. Those who are thinking of taking the Accent on their favorite road will be slightly disappointed. The Accent doesn’t quite have the same handling characteristics as the Chevrolet Sonic as it leans a little bit more and doesn’t quite feel as solid. Steering is light, but has a decent amount of feel for those who feel on going a sporting drive. The 2014 Hyundai Accent SE shows that it belongs in this playground. While it might not have the looks or driving dynamics as many of the subcompact competitors, the Accent has some positives to it. It begins with a fair number of standard equipment, followed by a engine that delivers very good grunt and a ride that feels like a bigger vehicle. It’s a very compelling choice in the class. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Accent SE, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Hyundai Model: Accent Hatchback Trim: SE Engine: 1.6L DOHC GDI Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 138 @ 6,300 Torque @ RPM: 123 @ 4,850 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/37/31 Curb Weight: 2,635 lbs Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, Korea Base Price: $17,395 As Tested Price: $18,315 (Includes $810.00 Destination Charge) Options: Carpeted Floor Mats - $110.00 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  3. Space, the final frontier. Besides being one of the well known lines in pop culture, it’s a perfect description for the Nissan Versa. When the automaker first introduced the Versa, it promoted that the model had a lot of space for not a lot of money. With this combination, Nissan was able to take a nice chunk of the subcompact marketplace. But as time went on, the subcompact marketplace got more competitive with automakers introducing brand new models that offered more than a low price. However, Nissan is sticking with a lot of space for not a lot money combination with the new Versa and Versa Note. Is this still a viable plan? I spent a week in a 2014 Versa Note SL to find out. There are two key items you need to know about the Versa Note’s design. One: It follows the general rule in subcompact and compact car design where the hatchback has a bit more style than the sedan. Two: The Versa Note’s overall design either reminds you of a small bread van or a tropical fish. The latter due in part to the tester’s blue color. Some design cues Nissan has applied to the Versa Note include a long, narrow front grille; seventeen-inch alloy wheels on the SL, and a rear spoiler. Space is the big theme with Versa Note and it begins with the back seat. Stepping back here, you’ll be surprised at the amount of head and legroom available here. Getting into the back for the first time, I felt like I was sitting in a midsize sedan, not a subcompact. For cargo space, the Versa Note offers up 18.8 cubic feet of space with the back seats up. This beats the Infiniti QX80 I reviewed the week before. Another selling point Nissan is promoting with the Versa Note is the amount of tech. On this particular model, it came equipped with a 5.5-inch color touchscreen with NissanConnect and navigation. The new system’s interface looks a little bit dated, but its easy to navigate thanks to large touch points and hard buttons on either side to move to different functions. It also comes with the ability for you to send points of interest and directions from Google. The system allows you use certain apps such as Facebook when your phone is hooked up. Sadly, I didn’t get chance to try either feature out. What I did try was Nissan’s Around View Camera system which uses four cameras (one in the front, the back, and under each side view mirror) to provide a 360 degree view of the view when backing up or getting into a tight parking space. It may seem a bit odd to have this feature in subcompact hatchback with excellent visibility all around, but I was very appreciative of this feature when I was trying to get the Note into a tight parallel parking spot. The rest of the interior is well, very dull. While many subcompacts are being somewhat interesting with their interiors, the Versa Note sticks on the boring side. Materials are mostly of the hard plastic variety, which is the standard for the class. Build quality is excellent. For Driving Impressions, See Page 2 Powering the Versa family is a 1.6L four-cylinder with 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. Base models get a five-speed manual as standard, while higher trim models such as the SL get a CVT. With a 0-60 MPH time around 11 seconds, the Versa Note is one of the slowest vehicles on sale. But oddly, it doesn’t feel that slow in certain situations such as leaving a stop. In others such as merging onto the freeway, you find yourself wanting a bit more oomph and less noise from the engine and CVT. The upside to the slowness is EPA fuel economy ratings of 31 City/40 Highway/35 Combined. During the week I saw an average of 34 MPG. The saying of you win some and you lose some is very apparent here. The Versa Note feeling like a bigger vehicle also pertains to the suspension. A MacPherson strut/torsion bar suspension setup is used and for the most part, and it was able to cope with most imperfections on the road. It should be noted that large bumps were able to upset the suspension. Out on the curves, the Versa Note isn’t great. The suspension tune is manly focused on comfort which means the Versa Note shows evidence of body lean. Steering feels very rubbery and there isn’t really much feel when you decide to push it. The subcompact class is filled with many vehicles that have their own distinct advantages for someone to find the right model. Because of this, the 2014 Nissan Versa Note fills a niche. If you’re someone who wants a lot space for not a lot cash, and the availability of a lot technology, then the 2014 Versa Note is one that deserves a closer look. But if you want something a bit more funky; something with a bit more sport; or something with better appointments, you have a wide range of vehicles to choose from. Cheers: Space, Big Car Ride, Around-View Camera, Infotainment System Jeers: Could Use A Bit More Power, Dull Interior, Not A Car You Want To Play Around With Disclaimer: Nissan Provided the Versa Note, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Nissan Model: Versa Note Trim: SL Engine: 1.6L DOHC Inline-Four Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT Horsepower @ RPM: 109 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 107 @ 4,400 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 31/40/35 Curb Weight: 2,482 lbs Location of Manufacture: Aguascalientes, Mexico Base Price: $15,990.00 As Tested Price: $19,545.00 (Includes $790.00 Destination Charge) Options: SL Package - $1,700.00 Technology Package - $800.00 Carpeted Floor Mats & Cargo Mat - $175.00 Rear Cargo Cover - $90.00 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 View full article
  4. Space, the final frontier. Besides being one of the well known lines in pop culture, it’s a perfect description for the Nissan Versa. When the automaker first introduced the Versa, it promoted that the model had a lot of space for not a lot of money. With this combination, Nissan was able to take a nice chunk of the subcompact marketplace. But as time went on, the subcompact marketplace got more competitive with automakers introducing brand new models that offered more than a low price. However, Nissan is sticking with a lot of space for not a lot money combination with the new Versa and Versa Note. Is this still a viable plan? I spent a week in a 2014 Versa Note SL to find out. There are two key items you need to know about the Versa Note’s design. One: It follows the general rule in subcompact and compact car design where the hatchback has a bit more style than the sedan. Two: The Versa Note’s overall design either reminds you of a small bread van or a tropical fish. The latter due in part to the tester’s blue color. Some design cues Nissan has applied to the Versa Note include a long, narrow front grille; seventeen-inch alloy wheels on the SL, and a rear spoiler. Space is the big theme with Versa Note and it begins with the back seat. Stepping back here, you’ll be surprised at the amount of head and legroom available here. Getting into the back for the first time, I felt like I was sitting in a midsize sedan, not a subcompact. For cargo space, the Versa Note offers up 18.8 cubic feet of space with the back seats up. This beats the Infiniti QX80 I reviewed the week before. Another selling point Nissan is promoting with the Versa Note is the amount of tech. On this particular model, it came equipped with a 5.5-inch color touchscreen with NissanConnect and navigation. The new system’s interface looks a little bit dated, but its easy to navigate thanks to large touch points and hard buttons on either side to move to different functions. It also comes with the ability for you to send points of interest and directions from Google. The system allows you use certain apps such as Facebook when your phone is hooked up. Sadly, I didn’t get chance to try either feature out. What I did try was Nissan’s Around View Camera system which uses four cameras (one in the front, the back, and under each side view mirror) to provide a 360 degree view of the view when backing up or getting into a tight parking space. It may seem a bit odd to have this feature in subcompact hatchback with excellent visibility all around, but I was very appreciative of this feature when I was trying to get the Note into a tight parallel parking spot. The rest of the interior is well, very dull. While many subcompacts are being somewhat interesting with their interiors, the Versa Note sticks on the boring side. Materials are mostly of the hard plastic variety, which is the standard for the class. Build quality is excellent. For Driving Impressions, See Page 2 Powering the Versa family is a 1.6L four-cylinder with 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. Base models get a five-speed manual as standard, while higher trim models such as the SL get a CVT. With a 0-60 MPH time around 11 seconds, the Versa Note is one of the slowest vehicles on sale. But oddly, it doesn’t feel that slow in certain situations such as leaving a stop. In others such as merging onto the freeway, you find yourself wanting a bit more oomph and less noise from the engine and CVT. The upside to the slowness is EPA fuel economy ratings of 31 City/40 Highway/35 Combined. During the week I saw an average of 34 MPG. The saying of you win some and you lose some is very apparent here. The Versa Note feeling like a bigger vehicle also pertains to the suspension. A MacPherson strut/torsion bar suspension setup is used and for the most part, and it was able to cope with most imperfections on the road. It should be noted that large bumps were able to upset the suspension. Out on the curves, the Versa Note isn’t great. The suspension tune is manly focused on comfort which means the Versa Note shows evidence of body lean. Steering feels very rubbery and there isn’t really much feel when you decide to push it. The subcompact class is filled with many vehicles that have their own distinct advantages for someone to find the right model. Because of this, the 2014 Nissan Versa Note fills a niche. If you’re someone who wants a lot space for not a lot cash, and the availability of a lot technology, then the 2014 Versa Note is one that deserves a closer look. But if you want something a bit more funky; something with a bit more sport; or something with better appointments, you have a wide range of vehicles to choose from. Cheers: Space, Big Car Ride, Around-View Camera, Infotainment System Jeers: Could Use A Bit More Power, Dull Interior, Not A Car You Want To Play Around With Disclaimer: Nissan Provided the Versa Note, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Nissan Model: Versa Note Trim: SL Engine: 1.6L DOHC Inline-Four Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT Horsepower @ RPM: 109 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 107 @ 4,400 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 31/40/35 Curb Weight: 2,482 lbs Location of Manufacture: Aguascalientes, Mexico Base Price: $15,990.00 As Tested Price: $19,545.00 (Includes $790.00 Destination Charge) Options: SL Package - $1,700.00 Technology Package - $800.00 Carpeted Floor Mats & Cargo Mat - $175.00 Rear Cargo Cover - $90.00 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
  5. The biggest complaint laid before the 2015 Subaru WRX aside from the styling is the lack of a hatchback. This is a bit odd since the last-generation WRX hatchback made up 50 percent of sales in the U.S. But a new report says Subaru is reconsidering this. Motoring.com.au talked with Masuo Takatsu, Subaru's general manager for the WRX. He said the company is thinking about bring back the hatchback. “We have received strong interest from the US, where the hatchback was 50 per cent (of previous-generation WRX sales), so we're now considering,” Takatsu said. “The main target for WRX is the US, Japan is number two, Australia number three. Basically, we target these three market" Takatsu explained that a lack of resources led to there being no hatchback and more interestingly, a automatic version of the STi. Source: Motoring.com.au William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  6. The biggest complaint laid before the 2015 Subaru WRX aside from the styling is the lack of a hatchback. This is a bit odd since the last-generation WRX hatchback made up 50 percent of sales in the U.S. But a new report says Subaru is reconsidering this. Motoring.com.au talked with Masuo Takatsu, Subaru's general manager for the WRX. He said the company is thinking about bring back the hatchback. “We have received strong interest from the US, where the hatchback was 50 per cent (of previous-generation WRX sales), so we're now considering,” Takatsu said. “The main target for WRX is the US, Japan is number two, Australia number three. Basically, we target these three market" Takatsu explained that a lack of resources led to there being no hatchback and more interestingly, a automatic version of the STi. Source: Motoring.com.au William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  7. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 8, 2013 Forbes had the chance to talk with General Motors' North American president Mark Reuss this week. Reuss talked about key gaps that he sees in GM's lineup and what could be done to fill them. We'll start with the Chevrolet Cruze. Since going on sale in the U.S., a lot of us have been wondering why there isn't a hatchback version. Especially considering the number of compact hatchbacks that are on sale has been growing and that Chevrolet sells a Cruze hatchback in Europe. Reuss said “That was a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake.” Even without the hatchback, the Cruze has been doing quite well, with 211,862 models sold so far this year. Speaking about the next-generation Cruze, Reuss said “the next-generation will blow you away.” From what we know, the next-generation Cruze will adopt a design profile similar to the Sonic. Maybe the five-door Cruze will come as well. Reuss also talked about a "contemporary wagon for mainstream America." Something more affordable than the wagons from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and even Cadillac's own CTS Sports Wagon. There are a few other models that were bandied about by Reuss including a compact van to take on the Ford Transit Connect, a “black hole” pickup truck that would be sandwhich between a medium-duty and heavy-duty truck, and a a flagship model for Buick that Reuss says “a much more beautiful Panamera.” Source: Forbes William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  8. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 8, 2013 Forbes had the chance to talk with General Motors' North American president Mark Reuss this week. Reuss talked about key gaps that he sees in GM's lineup and what could be done to fill them. We'll start with the Chevrolet Cruze. Since going on sale in the U.S., a lot of us have been wondering why there isn't a hatchback version. Especially considering the number of compact hatchbacks that are on sale has been growing and that Chevrolet sells a Cruze hatchback in Europe. Reuss said “That was a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake.” Even without the hatchback, the Cruze has been doing quite well, with 211,862 models sold so far this year. Speaking about the next-generation Cruze, Reuss said “the next-generation will blow you away.” From what we know, the next-generation Cruze will adopt a design profile similar to the Sonic. Maybe the five-door Cruze will come as well. Reuss also talked about a "contemporary wagon for mainstream America." Something more affordable than the wagons from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and even Cadillac's own CTS Sports Wagon. There are a few other models that were bandied about by Reuss including a compact van to take on the Ford Transit Connect, a “black hole” pickup truck that would be sandwhich between a medium-duty and heavy-duty truck, and a a flagship model for Buick that Reuss says “a much more beautiful Panamera.” Source: Forbes William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  9. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 16, 2013 Can there be strength in numbers? In the compact car class, no one can really agree on that. All agree that having a sedan is very important. From there it gets somewhat unclear. Some manufacturers stick with just a sedan; others go with either a hatchback or a coupe. Hyundai is one the few automakers who offers all three with their Elantra lineup. You have the Elantra sedan, coupe, and GT (hatchback). The GT is the company's latest attempt at compact hatchback and Hyundai says it provides versatility and 'European' driving dynamics. The question is the Elantra the added strength or the weak link in the Elantra family? The Elantra GT is definitely the sportier and possibly sexier looking out of the Elantra lineup. Part of this comes from the GT being about nine inches shorter and riding on a shorter wheelbase than the Elantra sedan and coupe. The other part comes from European influences throughout the design. This is thanks to the kissing cousin of the Elantra GT, the i30. Both models share an upright front end with a hexagonal grille, sharp creases and sculpting along the side, and a sloping rear hatch. Inside, the Elantra GT doesn't share the sexy looks as the exterior. Instead, Hyundai goes with a conservative look with black and silver dash pieces, curves, and blue backlighting. It’s a look that works, but I kept thinking it could use pizzazz. What doesn't need to change is build quality as my tester was top notch. Space is a mixed bag for the Elantra GT. The back seat provides good legroom, but is a bit short on head room thanks the sloping roofline and a panoramic sunroof. The Elantra GT does claw back some points in terms of cargo space. With the back seats up, the Elantra GT gets 23 cubic feet of space. Fold the seats down and you get a massive 51 cubic feet of space, making it the best in class. Hyundai still knows how to do the value argument very well and it shows on the Elantra GT. All models come equipped with air conditioning, Bluetooth, six-speaker audio system, heated front seats, keyless entry, and Hyundai's BlueLink telematics system. This Elantra GT also came equipped with the Style package (seventeen-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, and panoramic sunroof) and Tech Package (navigation, dual-zone climate control, and push-button start). As tested price? $25,365. For that price, the Elantra GT makes many of its competitors red in the face. You'll only find one engine in the Elantra GT and that would be a 1.8L GDI four-cylinder with 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual or six-speed automatic are your choices for the transmission. The 1.8L is a very spritely engine. Thanks to a curb weight of around 2959 lbs, the Elantra GT moves like no other. The same cannot be said for the six-speed automatic transmission. Hyundai seemed put a big emphasis on fuel efficiency with this transmission and it shows with somewhat sluggish gear changes and a tall first gear. Those looking for a bit more excitement should look into the six-speed manual. Fuel economy for the Elantra GT is rated at 27 City/37 Highway/30 Combined. During my week, I saw an average of around 28 MPG in mixed conditions. Hyundai has been getting its share of complaints about how their sporty vehicles don't feel as sporty as they should. With the Elantra GT, Hyundai seems to be turning that around. If you order your Elantra GT with the Style Package, you get a sport-tuned suspension which makes it very enjoyable on your favorite road. However, Hyundai made sure the sport-tuned suspension didn't knock out fillings when its driven day to day. The suspension is able to cope with imperfections very well. Steering is a bit of a mess. Standard on the Elantra GT is Hyundai's Flex Steer which varies the weight of the steering via three settings: Comfort, Normal, and Sport. In theory, the system should provide the right weighting for the occasion. In reality, it’s a much different story. The problem is that Comfort is way too light and Sport is verging on an exercise regime. I found myself leaving the system in Normal as it provided the best balance of the two. I think Hyundai is getting there, but taking a glance at that Mazda3's steering might help out. The 2013 Elantra GT leaves a big mark on the compact car marketplace. Sleek styling, a nice ride balance between sport and comfort, loads of cargo, and list of features that embarrasses many rivals. The downsides are only a few; the Flex Steer steering system that presents more problems than solutions, a somewhat sluggish automatic, and tight headroom in the back. Hyundai is a believer that strength does come in numbers in the compact class. The Elantra GT solidifies it. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Elantra GT, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year - 2013 Make – Hyundai Model – Elantra GT Trim – N/A Engine – 1.8L DOHC D-CVVT Inline-Four Driveline – Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic Transmission Horsepower @ RPM – 148 @ 6,500 RPM Torque @ RPM – 131 @ 4,700 RPM Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/37/30 Curb Weight – 2,959 lbs Location of Manufacture – Ulsan, Korea Base Price - $19,395.00 As Tested Price - $25,365.00* (Includes $775.00 destination charge) Options: Style Package - $2,750.00 Tech Package - $2,350.00 Carpeted Floor Mats - $95.00 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  10. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 16, 2013 Can there be strength in numbers? In the compact car class, no one can really agree on that. All agree that having a sedan is very important. From there it gets somewhat unclear. Some manufacturers stick with just a sedan; others go with either a hatchback or a coupe. Hyundai is one the few automakers who offers all three with their Elantra lineup. You have the Elantra sedan, coupe, and GT (hatchback). The GT is the company's latest attempt at compact hatchback and Hyundai says it provides versatility and 'European' driving dynamics. The question is the Elantra the added strength or the weak link in the Elantra family? The Elantra GT is definitely the sportier and possibly sexier looking out of the Elantra lineup. Part of this comes from the GT being about nine inches shorter and riding on a shorter wheelbase than the Elantra sedan and coupe. The other part comes from European influences throughout the design. This is thanks to the kissing cousin of the Elantra GT, the i30. Both models share an upright front end with a hexagonal grille, sharp creases and sculpting along the side, and a sloping rear hatch. Inside, the Elantra GT doesn't share the sexy looks as the exterior. Instead, Hyundai goes with a conservative look with black and silver dash pieces, curves, and blue backlighting. It’s a look that works, but I kept thinking it could use pizzazz. What doesn't need to change is build quality as my tester was top notch. Space is a mixed bag for the Elantra GT. The back seat provides good legroom, but is a bit short on head room thanks the sloping roofline and a panoramic sunroof. The Elantra GT does claw back some points in terms of cargo space. With the back seats up, the Elantra GT gets 23 cubic feet of space. Fold the seats down and you get a massive 51 cubic feet of space, making it the best in class. Hyundai still knows how to do the value argument very well and it shows on the Elantra GT. All models come equipped with air conditioning, Bluetooth, six-speaker audio system, heated front seats, keyless entry, and Hyundai's BlueLink telematics system. This Elantra GT also came equipped with the Style package (seventeen-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, and panoramic sunroof) and Tech Package (navigation, dual-zone climate control, and push-button start). As tested price? $25,365. For that price, the Elantra GT makes many of its competitors red in the face. You'll only find one engine in the Elantra GT and that would be a 1.8L GDI four-cylinder with 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual or six-speed automatic are your choices for the transmission. The 1.8L is a very spritely engine. Thanks to a curb weight of around 2959 lbs, the Elantra GT moves like no other. The same cannot be said for the six-speed automatic transmission. Hyundai seemed put a big emphasis on fuel efficiency with this transmission and it shows with somewhat sluggish gear changes and a tall first gear. Those looking for a bit more excitement should look into the six-speed manual. Fuel economy for the Elantra GT is rated at 27 City/37 Highway/30 Combined. During my week, I saw an average of around 28 MPG in mixed conditions. Hyundai has been getting its share of complaints about how their sporty vehicles don't feel as sporty as they should. With the Elantra GT, Hyundai seems to be turning that around. If you order your Elantra GT with the Style Package, you get a sport-tuned suspension which makes it very enjoyable on your favorite road. However, Hyundai made sure the sport-tuned suspension didn't knock out fillings when its driven day to day. The suspension is able to cope with imperfections very well. Steering is a bit of a mess. Standard on the Elantra GT is Hyundai's Flex Steer which varies the weight of the steering via three settings: Comfort, Normal, and Sport. In theory, the system should provide the right weighting for the occasion. In reality, it’s a much different story. The problem is that Comfort is way too light and Sport is verging on an exercise regime. I found myself leaving the system in Normal as it provided the best balance of the two. I think Hyundai is getting there, but taking a glance at that Mazda3's steering might help out. The 2013 Elantra GT leaves a big mark on the compact car marketplace. Sleek styling, a nice ride balance between sport and comfort, loads of cargo, and list of features that embarrasses many rivals. The downsides are only a few; the Flex Steer steering system that presents more problems than solutions, a somewhat sluggish automatic, and tight headroom in the back. Hyundai is a believer that strength does come in numbers in the compact class. The Elantra GT solidifies it. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Elantra GT, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year - 2013 Make – Hyundai Model – Elantra GT Trim – N/A Engine – 1.8L DOHC D-CVVT Inline-Four Driveline – Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic Transmission Horsepower @ RPM – 148 @ 6,500 RPM Torque @ RPM – 131 @ 4,700 RPM Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/37/30 Curb Weight – 2,959 lbs Location of Manufacture – Ulsan, Korea Base Price - $19,395.00 As Tested Price - $25,365.00* (Includes $775.00 destination charge) Options: Style Package - $2,750.00 Tech Package - $2,350.00 Carpeted Floor Mats - $95.00 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  11. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 12, 2012 Coming in this week at the Cheers & Gears Detroit garage is the 2012 Mazda3 i Grand Touring hatchback. This 3 is equipped with a 2.0L SKYACTIV-G four-cylinder producing 150 HP and 155 lb-ft of torque and goes through a six-speed automatic. If you're wondering, this is the same powertrain package in the Mazda CX-5 crossover I had back in August. The 3 i Grand Touring starts at $23,150 and my test vehicle stickers at $25,345* (includes $795 destination charge) thanks to the optional Technology Package. I had this car for about day and there are some items that impress me and others that drive me somewhat crazy. 2.0L SKYACTIV engine doesn't feel sluggish at all in the 3. I'm thinking the lighter weight of the 3 to the CX-5 plays a role. Handling is sublime and fun. The car is stable when turning and the steering is just right in feel and weight. Ride could use some improvement as the 3 will transmit every little bump into the interior. Average fuel economy so far is an impressive 35 MPG (EPA rating is 28 City/39 Highway/32 Combined) I have the 3 till Wednesday and will be updating before it goes back. If you have any questions for the 3, drop them below and I will do my best to answer them. Update: October 15, 2012 It has been an interesting weekend with the Mazda 3 as it had to deal with endless rain and being used to carry a good amount of stuff to the recycling bin as I was cleaning out my closet. The 3 dealt with both of these without a sweat. Average fuel economy has dropped to about 33 MPG, which is still above the combined fuel economy figure. I also did a bit of highway driving which saw fuel economy climb to an impressive 40 MPG. The highway also revealed that the Mazda3 isn't so good at containing road noise. I'll have one more update before the 3 leaves on Wednesday. If you have anymore questions, please don't hesitate. Drop them off. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  12. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 12, 2012 Coming in this week at the Cheers & Gears Detroit garage is the 2012 Mazda3 i Grand Touring hatchback. This 3 is equipped with a 2.0L SKYACTIV-G four-cylinder producing 150 HP and 155 lb-ft of torque and goes through a six-speed automatic. If you're wondering, this is the same powertrain package in the Mazda CX-5 crossover I had back in August. The 3 i Grand Touring starts at $23,150 and my test vehicle stickers at $25,345* (includes $795 destination charge) thanks to the optional Technology Package. I had this car for about day and there are some items that impress me and others that drive me somewhat crazy. 2.0L SKYACTIV engine doesn't feel sluggish at all in the 3. I'm thinking the lighter weight of the 3 to the CX-5 plays a role. Handling is sublime and fun. The car is stable when turning and the steering is just right in feel and weight. Ride could use some improvement as the 3 will transmit every little bump into the interior. Average fuel economy so far is an impressive 35 MPG (EPA rating is 28 City/39 Highway/32 Combined) I have the 3 till Wednesday and will be updating before it goes back. If you have any questions for the 3, drop them below and I will do my best to answer them. Update: October 15, 2012 It has been an interesting weekend with the Mazda 3 as it had to deal with endless rain and being used to carry a good amount of stuff to the recycling bin as I was cleaning out my closet. The 3 dealt with both of these without a sweat. Average fuel economy has dropped to about 33 MPG, which is still above the combined fuel economy figure. I also did a bit of highway driving which saw fuel economy climb to an impressive 40 MPG. The highway also revealed that the Mazda3 isn't so good at containing road noise. I'll have one more update before the 3 leaves on Wednesday. If you have anymore questions, please don't hesitate. Drop them off. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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