Hyundai leads pack in US News ‘Best Cars’ of 2022

Anyone looking for a new car might want to head for a Hyundai dealership.

The brand has racked up five “Best Car for the Money” awards from U.S. News & World Report for 2022.

Among the automaker’s SUVs making the list are its Kona for “Best Subcompact SUV for the Money,” its Tucson for “Best Compact SUV for the Money,” its Santa Fe for “Best 2-Row SUV for the Money” and its Tucson Hybrid for “Best Hybrid and Electric SUV for the Money.”

“They tend to pack a lot of useful technology features into them, and Hyundai is one of the automakers who offers the assurance of a really long powertrain warranty,” said Jim Sharifi, managing editor at U.S. News Best Cars, of Hyundai’s SUV offerings.

The Telluride, from Hyundai’s related brand Kia, won for “Best 3-Row SUV for the Money.”

“And like Hyundai, Kia’s vehicle also offers a very long powertrain warranty, it’s competitively priced, it’s feature-rich, and it’s roomy and comfortable,” Sharifi said.

The Hyundai Elantra Hybrid won for “Best Hybrid and Electric Car for the Money.”

The U.S. News list is based on factors like comfort, features, performance, quality and value, including the long-term cost of ownership.

Honda also did well, with its Civic named as “Best Compact Car for the Money,” its Accord as “Best Mid-size Car for the Money,” and its Odyssey as “Best Minivan for the Money.”

Other vehicles making the list include the Nissan Versa for “Best Subcompact Car for the Money” and the Toyota Avalon for “Best Large Car for the Money.”

While many vehicles have been selling at or above their suggested retail price, Sharifi said that’s factored in to the rankings. “We’re looking at real-time transaction prices,” he said. “We’re not necessarily looking at sticker price.”

Additionally, with the computer chip shortage affecting production and inventory levels, “it’s harder to get a good deal across the board right now,” Sharifi said. “Honestly, if you can wait right now, it’s not a bad time to wait.”

The awards are being presented Thursday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center during the Public Policy Day at the D.C. Auto Show, which opens to the public Friday.

Why Hyundai and Kia Are Winning the Windshield Wiper Game

We’ve been to the moon. We’ve figured out a way to get from zero to 60 mph in under two seconds without making any noise. We’ve even managed to manufacture cheese—the preferred cheese to put on burgers, no less—out of plastic. For all of humanity’s achievements and technological advancements, there are certain things that seem oddly and frustratingly primitive. The one I’d like to take time out of your day to talk about is admittedly a crucial one: windshield wiper stalks.

Here at The Drive we drive a lot of different cars. And sometimes, well, it rains. And when it rains, I’m reminded of one ironic constant that every automaker shares: they all do wiper stalks slightly differently—especially when it comes to vehicles equipped with a rear wiper. It’s infuriating. 

Of course, some manufacturers are better at this than others. For instance, while most subscribe to the philosophy of "move the stalk down the more water falls from the sky," some OEMs (looking at you, Volvo) go the opposite way. At the same time, some carmakers (like Honda) decide to relegate the granular auto or intermittent adjustment to a rotary piece that spins. Sometimes, however, it's more of a switch. And, more often than not, the direction in which this knob/switch corresponds with more/less wiper activity is a goddamn mystery.

Do the little expanding triangles printed on the stalk denote more intense precipitation or a wider gap in between wipes? And in which direction do I have to spin the wheel/adjust the switch to make it do what I want? Depending on the make, I’m still not entirely sure. And, if the engineers have been really creative, there might even be a button or two on there that does... something.

Perhaps even more frustrating than the wiper stalk's actual operation, however, is that unless it's absolutely pouring outside and the wipers are moving up and down in front of you in its most rabid setting, it's always a bit of a challenge to know what speed they're currently on at-a-glance. Hyundai (and Genesis and Kia), however, has a solution. Instead of just cramming a bunch of hieroglyphics onto the stalk itself (which is kind of dangerous to be looking at while you’re driving in the rain), their systems also throw a popup onto the gauge screen that shows exactly what you’re doing any time the stalk is moved. 

Take a look at the Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra N I drove recently, for example. If I move the stalk one detent down, the car clearly shows me that it's in the intermittent position. Move it around once more or fiddle with the intermittent adjuster (a switch in this case) and I know in real-time, full detail exactly what I have my wipers set to. Not only does this let you know, in plain English, exactly how your wipers are set at any given time but they also offer a clear, visual layout of precisely how the stalk itself works. 

This is a thing, as far as I can tell, across the Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis lineups and, credit where it’s due, Nissan does this as well with the front/rear wipers in the new Pathfinder. But that’s pretty much it. As somebody who’s in and out of a bunch of cars made by completely different companies, the feature stands out as a huge usability win and something that really ought to be a standard in all cars, especially considering the wiper itself has been around, fundamentally unchanged, for more than a century.

If automakers have the time and money to develop entire sections of their infotainment software dedicated to ambient interior lighting color selection, they can definitely figure out a better way to control windshield wipers.

Source: The Drive

Is The 2022 Hyundai Staria The Ultimate People Mover?

It’s not very often that a van like the Hyundai Staria comes along and while we’ll have to wait until 2022 before sampling it for ourselves, YouTuber Asian Petrolhead recently had the chance to test it out.

The new Staria serves as the replacement to the Hyundai iMax and could be considered as an alternative to the Kia Carnival, even though it is significantly larger. The Staria is offered with a number of different powertrains depending on the market, and the example featured in this review features the automaker’s 2.2-liter CRDi turbocharged four-cylinder diesel. 

This engine is good for 174 hp and 317 lb-ft (430 Nm). Those figures are more than enough for everyday driving duties, although as the YouTuber discovers, it isn’t particularly quick, requiring over 11 seconds to hit 62 mph (100 km/h). Despite this, he notes that the engine has a good amount of torque and works nicely alongside the eight-speed automatic transmission.

A key selling point of the Staria is the fact that it is based on Hyundai’s N3 platform. As such, it drives much more like a car than it does like a big van and that’s not something that could be said with its predecessor.

The interior of the Staria is particularly unique. The example tested was equipped with seven seats and the reviewer was particularly impressed with the second row that has a pair of captain’s chairs that can be fully reclined. Other nice interior features include manual side window blinds and an ambient lighting system.

Source: Car Scoops

Genesis And Hyundai Top J.D. Power Awards For Best Tech

J.D. Power’s two most important annual surveys research the initial quality in new vehicles and the level of technological innovation in the automotive industry. The 2021 edition of the former was already released and Ram took the crown (see the related links below), while Chrysler ranked dead last. Now, it’s time to take a look at the data analytics company’s tech survey, which has pretty interesting results.

First, we’d like to share J.D. Power’s findings about modern technologies in cars in general, which pretty much overlaps with our opinion. While we agree many of the safety and assist systems make a lot of sense, there are certain features in new cars that only make them more expensive and do not help with the ownership experience. On average, the study finds that for more than one in three advanced technologies, fewer than half of owners have used the technology in the first 90 days of ownership. Among the least popular features are the in-vehicle digital market tech and driver/passenger communication tech.

“New-vehicle prices are at an all-time high, partly as a result of an increased level of content,” Kristin Kolodge, executive director of human machine interface at J.D. Power, explains. “This is fine if owners are getting value for their money, but some features seem like a waste to many owners.”

J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study finds Genesis as the highest overall ranked automaker, as well as the highest-ranked premium automaker. The South Korean brand has a score of 634 and in the premium segment is followed by Cadillac (551), Volvo (550), BMW (545), and Mercedes-Benz (523). As a refresher, Volvo ranked highest in last year's survey.

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Meanwhile, Hyundai is the most technologically advanced manufacturer in the mass market segment with 519 points, followed by Kia (510), Nissan (502), Subaru (499), and GMC (498). It’s important to note that Tesla’s score is actually the highest of all brands (668 points), but the EV maker is not officially ranked in the study as it doesn’t meet ranking criteria.

This year’s tech survey by J.D. Power is based on responses from a total of 110,827 owners of new 2021 model-year vehicles. They were surveyed after 90 days of ownership from February through July this year.

Hyundai Unveils 'Seven' SUEV Concept

Hyundai presents at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show, an all-new, all-electric concept - the Seven concept - that previews Hyundai's future sport utility electric vehicle (SUEV).

Just like the Hyundai 45 concept in 2019 that heralded in the Hyundai Ioniq 5, and the Prophecy concept in 2020 that has heralded in the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq 6, the Seven concept gives us glimpses of the Hyundai Ioniq 7 SUV.

We must admit that the new concept looks pretty interesting - its styling is extraordinary and futuristic, but likeable. Hyundai explains that it has tried to present a vision of future mobility that would offer "a next-generation customer experience that seamlessly integrates the most advanced technologies into everyday life settings."

The Hyundai Seven concept, based on the Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), is "redefining SUV with aerodynamically pure exterior and powerful presence."

The things that we can note right away are aerodynamic silhouette, long wheelbase (3.2 m), and rather simple, clean lines. Something unique are wheels with integrated Active Air Flaps, which - according to Hyundai - deploy or retract depending on brake-cooling or low-drag requirements.

"SEVEN has an aerodynamically pure silhouette instinctively divergent from a typical SUV. The low, leading edge of the hood, a single, streamlined roofline and elongated wheelbase communicate a clear break from traditional SUVs powered by internal combustion. The pure volume of SEVEN’s minimal forms contrast with the powerful stance and commanding, rugged presence."

Of course, there are the Ioniq’s signature Parametric Pixel lights both in the front and rear. The manufacturer has developed a Welcome Light Sequence on start-up.

"Parametric Pixels provide a common design thread, linking digital and analog styles, a reminder that its designers considered every aspect of SEVEN’s design, down to a single pixel."

The "Pillarless Coach Doors" welcome passengers to join the premium lounge style interior. Thanks to the E-GMP platform, the floor is flat and overall, the passenger compartment is very spacious.

The concept offers also a possibility to flexibly customize the space depending on needs.

"The flat floor allows Hyundai Motor to explore an alternative to the traditional row-based seat arrangements, creating a more fluid interior layout. The Pillarless Coach Doors offer a grand entrance to reveal a welcoming interior with a completely new dimension of space. The streamlined roofline, long wheelbase and flat floor that extends to the third row opens new opportunities to furnish the interior like a premium lounge."

The concept is also imagined as a fully autonomous vehicle, with a retractable control... stick. At this point, it seems that the manufacturers explore the idea of moving away from a conventional round steering wheel to yoke, stick or remove it completely.

"SEVEN also embodies Hyundai’s future vision of autonomous mobility. The driver’s seat features a retractable control stick that hides away when not in use. Without the need for the usual driver’s equipment, the ultra slim cockpit and integrated screens create a lounge-like experience. The seat arrangement is unlike traditional SUVs, with swiveling lounge chairs and a curved bench seat. This seat arrangement can be customized depending on driver-controlled or autonomous driving modes."

"SEVEN has a Universal Island console, specially designed home appliances and a multi-functional Smart Hub graphic user interface. When the Smart Hub and front seats combine with the rear chaise-lounge seating, SEVEN becomes an environment where customers can experience quality time alone or together in the glow of side-door ambient light. In transit, SEVEN’s built-in mini fridge provides chilled refreshment on the go and shoe-care compartments refresh passengers’ footwear.

The concept’s vision roof features a panoramic OLED screen that not only displays various content based on passengers’ tastes, but also changes the overall interior atmosphere to guarantee maximum relaxation and pleasure during the journey."

Hyundai equipped the concept with eco-friendly materials and two special systems: Hygiene Airflow System (inspired by the sophisticated airflow management of passenger aircrafts) and UVC Sterilization (activates once the vehicle is vacated of its passengers), but those appear to be a step too far to consider in a production car.

Target specs - over 300 miles

According to the press release, the Seven concept is intended to utilize the full potential of the E-GMP platform, including a target range of over 300 miles (483 km) on a single charge.

Moreover, it's expected to be able to recharge from 10% to 80% of state-of-charge (SOC) in just about 20 minutes at 350 kW chargers.

José Muñoz, President and CEO, Hyundai Motor North America said:

“The SEVEN concept demonstrates Hyundai’s creative vision and advanced technological development for our electrified mobility future. Its innovative interior space, eco-friendly powertrain and cutting-edge safety and convenience technologies reveal an exciting future for Hyundai SUV customers."

The company presents at the show also the XCIENT heavy-duty fuel cell truck and the soon-to-be-launched (in the U.S.) Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Hyundai Seven concept target specs:

  • over 300 miles (483 km) of range
  • DC fast charging: from 10% to 80% of state-of-charge (SOC) in about 20 minutes at 350 kW chargers (800 V)

Something's Going On At VW

VW likes talking about one thing: switching to new, flashy EVs. What it doesn’t like talking about (other than the reason why it is switching to EVs) is what’s going on with its conventional cars. All that and more in The Morning Shift for October 20, 2021.

VW loves to hype its EV and tech developments (here’s a new missive from boss Herbert Diess), but what is somewhat less publicized is what’s going on with its gas-burning models. They are ... in cut mode, as Reuters reports:

Volkswagen has produced just 300,000 cars at its main Wolfsburg plant so far this year, a company source with knowledge of the matter said, the lowest figure since 1958 and far behind its average output before the pandemic.

The plant, which makes cars from the Golf, Tiguan, and Seat brands among others, produced an average of 780,000 vehicles per year in the past decade and the company said in 2018 it aimed to boost this figure to a million.

But supply chain problems meant just under 500,000 vehicles made it off the assembly line in 2020. This year’s output, first reported by Die Zeit weekly, is set to be even lower as the chip crisis sets in.

The reality of the car world at the moment is that the high profit-margin stuff gets seriously prioritized over everything else as automakers feel a general squeeze in semiconductor supply. This means high-volume, low-margin stuff is getting seriously slowed down. Skoda, as Bloomberg reports, is down a quarter million units, for instance.

Source: Jalopnik

2022 Hyundai Tucson driveway and infotainment test | No knobs? No probs

2022 Hyundai Tucson driveway and infotainment test | No knobs? No probs

Hyundai's 2022 redesign of its compact Tucson was about as comprehensive as they come. The switch to a new chassis brought with it a larger and more usable interior package, a redesigned cabin and a new set of powertrains. The interior overhaul included a brand-new infotainment system that happens to be suspiciously free of knobs. Harrumph.  

After spending a day with a 2022 Tucson hybrid earlier this year, I came away very impressed by the interior, as you can tell from the TikTok clip above. It looks great, feels great, and apart from a few small quibbles (like the volume controls and push-button gear selector), the cabin of these Limited models (the base car gets a different center stack switch setup) is fairly conventionally and intuitively laid out. If anything, I expected the lack of physical controls to be my biggest gripe with the Tucson long-term, but that turned out not to be the case. 

Let's start with the obvious: it works. Functionally, the Tucson's infotainment is no different than what we've seen in Hyundai's other recent offerings. The 10.25-inch screen looks larger than its dimensions suggest here (the Sonata's is 12.3 inches, for comparison) because it sits flush with the large, glossy bezel that houses all of the capacitive control surfaces. Yes, you have to hunt around for controls and the lack of tactile feedback can be frustrating, especially if you're on a bumpy road and pecking at one of the smaller toggles. But Hyundai included an audible "beep" for each of its capacitive buttons, so at least you know your inputs have been accepted. 

It also helps that Hyundai's voice controls are quite good. I happened to spend time in the new Tucson and a 2021 Ford Mustang on the same day, and was struck by just how much smarter the Hyundai's language recognition is. The older version of Sync in the Mustang required the use of specific keywords to access certain features, which ends up being the voice equivalent of menu-diving. The Hyundai? Just tell it what you want; 9 times out of 10, it'll understand. Plus, the center console does still house quite a few redundant physical controls, including those for the climate control, heated/ventilated seats and heated steering wheel. 

The wheel itself has volume and tuning controls, plus those for the cluster menus, from which you have control over most of the driving aids and other driver-centered features, meaning there's no need to dig into the infotainment system or even reach for the stack-mounted volume controls at all. It also has an instant-access button for your favorite feature, which you can designate from within the main screen's settings menu. Think of it like a bookmark you can customize. You can even turn it into a power button for the entire system, if you'd like, and there's a redundant toggle for it beneath the touchscreen so your passenger can reach it too. 

All in, it's not bad. Yeah, it would be better with a knob, but compared to other systems that have made the same transition, it's among the best. I can live with it.

About Garage Centraal

The goal of Garage Centraal Aruba is simple: that everyone that needs a vehicle is able to have a vehicle that satisfies their needs and expectations, with expert service and parts support. We offer award winning quality vehicles from Hyundai, Isuzu and Volkswagen, along with an extensive catalog of pre-owned vehicles.

We are open from 8:00am till 5:30pm on weekdays and saturday from 8:00 to 12:00pm. Come visit us or call us at 522-6200

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