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Archive for June, 2015

2016-hyundai-sonata-plug-in-hybrid-live-photos-2015-detroit-auto-show_100497239_l

Hyundai doesn’t expect big sales from its 2016 Sonata Hybrid since hybrid sales have been declining mostly due to the drop in gas prices. So why would they make a plug-in electric hybrid at all?

Well if the executives, engineers, designers, planners and business strategists at the Hyundai Motor Co had their way, they will in all likelihood not make the 2016 Sonata plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

But Hyundai didn’t have a choice in building the PHEV because they had to adhere to the mandates for cars in 10 states that require zero emissions. States like California, Oregon and many of the northeastern US require auto makers to sell a minimum number of cars that emit zero carbon dioxide within the next 10 years. Therefore, fuel cell vehicles that run on hydrogen, battery-powered electric vehicles and to a limited extent, PHEVs are the options available to Hyundai.

The new Sonata PHEV is a customized variation of Hyundai’s regular gas-electric hybrid, which will be new for Chapman Hyundai in 2016.

The fashionable and extremely fuel-efficient midsize sedan, which reaches car dealers this fall, is able to go for at least 20 miles on its electric powered motor only and over 600 miles in tandem with its gas powerplant. (Hyundai states in-house approximations are 24 mpg on all electric powered vehicles.) The car comes with a rechargeable battery-cell, somewhat like the Chevrolet Volt. However, similar to the Volt, the vehicle is expensive to design and make, complex and – if income figures are any signal – signifies a concept that’s not popular in 2015.

PHEVs are entitled for partial zero-emission credits simply because they do burn petrol once in traditional gas powered motor mode. The battery pack is charged by the gas engine when driving or by the plug-in alternative once the car is parked, generally in the owner’s garage. The 10 states mandating zero emissions make up approximately a quarter of the new automobiles sold in the U.S. Therefore, car makers will have no option but to produce electric powered cars like the Nissan Leaf, Volt as well as the new Sonata – or experience serious loss of income.

But at the moment consumers are not interested in alternative powered vehicles. According to Kelley Blue Book, sales in April 2015 for hybrids, electric and other alternative powered vehicles are down 15.4% from the previous year. The once highly successful Toyota Prius, which was having great success when gas prices were high, accounted for the biggest share of the decline. Hyundai’s planner, John Shon stated that there is no great demand for alternative fuel cars in the current market. However the technology they are developing and refining now will have a big impact in the future.

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The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport is an attractive package. It offers more horsepower, more cargo room, and more airbags than some of the more formidable competition, like the Honda CR-V and the Ford Edge. And while it’s a little smaller than its seven-passenger sibling, the Hyundai Santa Fe, the interior of the Sport offers ample room and comfort, with plenty of standard features. The four-cylinder turbocharged engine in our tester was amazingly potent, though at an estimated 19 highway/27 city/22 combined miles per hour, it falls slightly short in fuel economy in comparison with other crossovers in its class. That aside, the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport AWD 2.0T is great value especially if you desire space, comfort, and engine performance.

What Does it Come With?

The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T is powered by a four-cylinder 265-horsepower turbocharged engine and six-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0T already has the necessary standard features like hill-start assist, keyless entry, a Driver Selectable Steering Mode, and a hands-free smart liftgate that activates when the key is in close proximity. The 2.0T trim adds side mirror-mounted turn-signals, automatic headlights, push-button start, 8-way power driver seat, and 4-way power front passenger. The Santa Fe Sport also features heated front seats, electroluminescent gauge cluster with color LCD trip computer, Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system, HD Radio, rearview camera, and several driver assist systems.

How’s the Tech?

The Hyundai Santa Fe Sport’s 8-inch in-dash touch screen is enhanced with a series of buttons below it, with a large volume knob/power button in the center. One cannot deny the intrigue in the setup, which is intuitive and extremely simple to operate on the fly. The 8-inch screen delivers a large and bright canvas for info and some very detailed but clear-cut menus. The Infinity sound system also received an upgrade and can also tune into AM/FM/SiriusXM radio, CD or portable device connected to a USB port, aux-in jack, or Bluetooth. Unfortunately however, there is no access to streaming music options such as Pandora or Spotify.

The Blue Link telematics system provides only the basic features, although it does offer valuable ones like a fuel finder, and Google search that operates while in the car through voice. A companion Blue Link smartphone app also offers remote door lock/unlock and starting, which is rather handy indeed.

How Does it Perform?

The 4-cylinder turbocharged engine in the 2.0T produces punchy V6-like force power. The six-speed automatic transmission shifts a bit too slowly, but it most likely won’t trouble most drivers. And there’s a Shiftronic manual setting for when the driver requires more control over shifts. The ride is particularly smooth and quiet for this vehicle class range, while the Driver Selectable offers three modes of settings—Normal, Sport, and Comfort. This touch offers good variety to accommodate different driving styles.

Should I Buy It?

The 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport faces stiff competition in one of the best-selling volume-vehicle segments, which will be quite a challenge. The field is also growing in competition due to the recently redesigned Honda CR-V, as well as the Toyota RAV-4, the Ford Edge, and the Buick Encore. Most of these crossovers offer better fuel economy and more comprehensive tech, but the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T beats them in engine performance including space and comfort, making it definitely worth a strong look at Chapman Hyundai.

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Hyundai introduced a new Rally Edition, coupled with significant design, dynamic and connectivity enhancements to its Veloster coupe at the Chicago Auto Show today. The Veloster Rally Edition continues upon Veloster Turbo R-Spec enthusiast credentials, with a more performance-focused suspension, RAYS® lightweight wheels with wide 225/40R18 tires, carbon-fiber-look aero accents, unique badging, and floor mats. The Rally Edition is a limited production, pre-plan run for 1,200 units. It covers vehicles in a gorgeous Matte Blue paint, guaranteeing exclusivity to its loyal fan base. The 2016 Veloster will hit dealerships, like Chapman Hyundai, in May 2015.

Furthermore, the 2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo model also offers a performance-oriented 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT), a new machined-finish turbo-exclusive wheel design, a sportier seat design, an accentuated electroluminescent gauge cluster, and a black headliner. The Veloster non-turbo receives a new 17-inch wheel design and available black seats with yellow accents.

In addition for 2016, all Veloster models come with a revised hood appearance without vent accents, dark gray grille surround, 10mm-wider tires fitted to all 18-inch wheels, and new audio/navigation system functions (HD Radio®, Apple Siri®, and next-generation Blue Link®).

All Veloster and Veloster Turbo models offer cutting-edge powertrain technologies like direct injection, optimizing their appeal to the younger generation with the combination of excellent fuel economy, spirited performance and low emissions without compromise.

The Veloster delivers “Fluidic Sculpture” character lines, muscular wheel arches, body color, door handles, and mirrors. In addition, the vehicle will feature wraparound headlights and taillights. Veloster’s dynamic rear design has a distinct glass hatch and dual center-fascia chrome exhaust tips that perfectly compliment the assertive front fascia.

The turbo edition of the Veloster comes with two distinctive, free-flowing round exhaust tips. Additionally all Turbo models feature Active Sound Design, which provide richer in-cabin powertrain sound character for an even more engaging driving experience; particularly during spirited driving.

From the bigger and bolder hexagonal front grille, ground effects, rear bumper fascia, and prominent diffuser vents, Veloster Turbo’s design delivers aggression and aerodynamic stability compared with the base model. A new set of machined-finish 18-inch alloy wheels with argent spoke bevels add sophistication and sportiness to the side profile. The front view of the Veloster Turbo reveals eight individual headlight LED accents, a feature common on more expensive models.

Inside Veloster Turbo, leather-seating surfaces embroider on the side bolsters aid to produce a distinctive appearance, while delivering higher levels of comfort and support. For 2016, orange-accented seat bolsters are available with Ultra Black and Vitamin C exterior colors on the turbo model and the turbo-exclusive electroluminescent gauge cluster has been improved. This offers the driver information in a clearer, larger and more interactive format, with a larger TFT screen located between the tachometer and speedometer. Heated front seats are also a staple on the Turbo version.

GAMMA 1.6-LITER DIRECT-INJECTED ENGINE

The Gamma 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is the smallest Hyundai engine to utilize direct injection. This technology aids to produce even more power, superior efficiency, lower emissions, and higher levels of reliability.

With direct-injection, the Gamma 1.6-liter engine with manual transmission produces a peak output of 138 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and maximum torque of 123 lb.-ft. at 4,850 rpm. The Gamma engine with dual-clutch transmission delivers 132 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 120 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,850 rpm. The Gamma also offers Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing, an electronic throttle control, a roller timing chain, variable induction, and innovative anti-friction coatings.

2016 EQUUS

For a company that has worked very hard to establish its name for providing safe, quality vehicles that are not only dependable but popular, Hyundai sets itself apart with its luxury four-door sedan, the Equus. From the 429-horsepower engine to the cushioned ride and luxury interior features, the Equus can stand toe-to-toe with any vehicle wearing a more historic name badge. How do you spot the smartest person in the VIP line at the restaurant valet service? She’s the one who paid 40 percent less for a vehicle with all the quality creature comforts and services of more common super sedan choices. She’s the one who bought the Equus.

Two Trim Levels to Choose From

Starting at $61,500, the Hyundai Equus Signature provides everything you need to feel good about your driving choices. An electronic air suspension system makes you feel like you’re driving down the road on a cloud, whisking away pot holes and bumps like you’d wash the dirt from a baby’s face. Nine airbags, a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel and dual power seats let you know this is not just some family car with a few stick-on doo dads. The Ultimate trim level has all the same features as the Signature model, plus a few more fun extras. Most of the difference comes in the rear seat entertainment package, which includes dual screens and controls for riders to watch TV, movies or play games.

Decent Fuel Mileage for Such a Large Car

For all the interior room and superior ride you get with this expansive luxury car, 15 miles per gallon in the city and 23 out on the highway is a pretty reasonable expectation. Add a huge trunk, climate control, superior concert sound with 17-speakers and plenty of charging ports and the Equus provides a very nice vehicle for a long commute, family vacation, or just tooling around town with the moonroof open.

Easy to Park and Maneuver in Urban Locations

With electro-hydraulic steering doing much of the work, the Equus is surprisingly easy to handle in tight traffic situations. Visit Chapman Hyundai for a test drive and see just how comfortable it is to drive a well-engineered car through city traffic. The Hyundai Equus also provides concierge services, making service and dealership appointments events that are done at your place on your schedule. All regular maintenance is completely free for the first 36,000 miles.

Road-Trip-Feature

According to the American Automobile Association, last winter’s low fuel prices have risen slowly, contributing to the lowest average fuel price in the nation over the last five Memorial Day weekends. After tallying up the savings following last weekend’s gas reports, the average cost of fuel in Arizona was $2.78 on Memorial Day, slightly higher than the average national cost of $2.73. The average Arizona price was $3.51 in Arizona on Memorial Day 2014, $3.44 in 2013, $3.76 in 2012 and $3.69 in 2011. Despite the lower prices on this particular holiday, recent rising trends make it wise to consider a fuel-efficient vehicle with your next car purchase. Stop by Chapman Hyundai and look at the wide selection of cars and SUVs that get more than 30 mpg on the highway.

Cheapest in Five Years, Highest This Year

As the introduction to the summer travel season, Memorial Day typically has the highest fuel prices of the year to date and this year was no exception. Because of an increase in demand caused by vacations combined with the introduction of more expensive summer fuel blends, analysts expect prices to stay where they are for most of the summer, dropping just after Labor Day. There is still an abundance of crude oil in the market, which will keep summer prices lower than last year.

 Fuel Economy Guide Lists Bests Choices

Head over to the U.S. Government’s Fuel Economy website to either research a particular car or download a guide that lists the fuel mileage for all vehicles in a specific year. Fuel estimates determined by the Environmental Protection Agency help consumers compare gas mileage between particular vehicles. Estimates are given for city driving in urban areas, highway driving out on the open freeway or rural roads, and a combined estimate that utilizes 55 percent freeway driving and 45 percent highway driving. The EPA bases its annual fuel cost estimates on the combined driving number, and adjusts the cost per gallon each year.

Your Fuel Economy Will Vary

That disclaimer is printed on the window sticker of every vehicle because driving habits, vehicle maintenance and driving conditions play a huge part in your actual mileage. Overly aggressive driving and long periods of idling will lower your mileage, as will severe weather, wind, underinflated tires and carrying a heavy load. Although cars with smaller engines generally get higher gas mileage, that may not be the case if you are exceeding the maximum load limit in hilly or mountainous terrain. Stop by Chapman Hyundai and take a good long look at the window sticker to see how much information is actually provided.