Sep 082017
 

Latino Traffic Report has learned that the communications team at Hyundai Motor America has added Hyundai veteran Brandon Ramirez as the senior group manager of Product Communications. In this role, Brandon is responsible for communicating the attributes of Hyundai’s entire product lineup to traditional and digital media. This includes auto show strategy, new vehicle launches and ongoing content creation for Hyundai vehicles. Brandon reports to Jim Trainor, director of Hyundai’s communications efforts in the United States.

Brandon is transitioning to the communications team from Hyundai’s product planning division, where he worked for the past thirteen years leading product development, market launches and lifecycle management for Hyundai’s lineup of cars, CUVs and alternative-powered vehicles.

BRANDON RAMIREZ

His expertise also includes target audience research, analyzing market trends, and serving as company spokesperson to media and other third parties. Brandon also has extensive multicultural experience serving as the chair of Hyundai’s internal “Amigos Unidos” employee group, which is tasked with community engagement and raising culture awareness at Hyundai.

“Brandon is the perfect fit in this role with his in-depth product and industry knowledge, experience as a media spokesperson and the relationships he has throughout the entire organization,” said Trainor. “The addition of Brandon completes the recent reorganization of the PR team that better aligns Hyundai communications with the evolving automotive business, media and digital landscape. We’ve built the communications team of the future that will be able to quickly adapt to changing consumer preferences and media habits, and can help us stay ahead of our competition.”

Prior to Hyundai, Brandon spent several years in product strategy at Mitsubishi Motors North America and was an acquisition analyst at Fairfield Investments. Brandon graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of San Diego.

Aug 122017
 

How do you redesign one of your all time best-selling models? Hyundai chose to add new features and technology to the all-new 2017 Elantra while dropping the starting price by $100. Having attended the regional launch last year, I recently drove the Limited or top-of-the-line Elantra trim level in a week-long test, for Latino Traffic Report and was reminded of the value Hyundai continues to reflect in its lineup.

As the word implies, a redesign starts on the outside. Defined by Hyundai’s signature hexagonal grille, the new Elantra also has smoother contoured lines that enhance its aerodynamics. The redesign also includes equipment firsts like the available HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Lights, unique vertical LED daytime running lights, the LED door handle approach lights, and LED taillights.

The Elantra comes with two available powertrains, a 1.4-liter turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine matched to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that’s reserved for the Eco trim level. The Limited and base model SE are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 147 horses and 132 lbs.–ft. of torque. It’s matched to a six-speed automatic Shiftronic transmission with the Active ECO System on the Limited, which also includes Drive Mode Select that allows the driver to choose between a Sport, Eco, or Normal setting to further enhance its performance. I kept it in the Eco mode for most of the drive to conserve fuel. The Limited, with its 17-inch wheels, has an EPA estimated fuel economy of 28 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. I averaged 35 mpg during the test drive.

Stepping up to the Limited trim level brings many more advantages, particularly when it comes to safety features. Standard advanced safety features include a rearview camera, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist. Surprisingly, some premium brands still include a blind spot monitor on an optional package so I’m always happy to find this critical safety feature included as standard equipment. Still, I would like to see it available throughout the lineup but it’s not available on the base SE with a six-speed manual transmission, it comes with a blind spot mirror on the driver’s side instead.

The Limited is the only trim with leather seating throughout, the Blue Link Connected Car system and a three-month trial of Blue Link Connected Care. The Limited trim also includes heated front seats and offers heated rear seats not found among its competitors.

Segment firsts include premium features like s a hands-free Smart Trunk (standard on the Limited)—there’s no need to swipe a foot under the bumper, just approach with keys in your pocket and in a few seconds, the trunk will open.

For added convenience, the rear seat is split 60/40, folding forward for additional cargo volume. Classified as a midsize sedan by the EPA. The Elantra already offers class-above total interior volume with 110.2 cu. ft. Cargo volume in the trunk reaches 14.4 cu. ft.

The test model also added the Tech Package ($2,500) that included navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the Infinity Premium audio system, and the Ultimate Package ($1,900) with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian protection, Lane Keep Assist, and smart cruise control, among other features.

Pricing for the 2017 Elantra Limited starts at $23,185. The as-tested pricing came to $27,710.

Sí: The Elantra Limited offers great value with impressive standard features like the blind spot warning system.

No: Important safety technology should not be reserved for the top-of-the-line trim but should be available across the lineup.

Jun 092017
 

Like it or not (Mr. President), the clean energy train has left the station, which means alternative fuel vehicles will continue to arrive at a dealership near you. This year Hyundai bolstered that prediction with the introduction of its all-new hybrid, the 2017 Ioniq. Latino Traffic Report recently attended the regional launch in Durham, North Carolina to drive not one, not two, but all three versions.

Rather than wait years to complete the lineup, Hyundai will build three powertrains on one dedicated platform, the Ioniq Hybrid, Electric (with a range of 124 miles), and a Plug-in Hybrid (available in 2018). All three were at the launch where they performed nicely, and like the name, a cross between “ion and unique,” the Ioniqs displayed distinctive good looks.

Ioniq Electric

I appreciated its sporty accents, like LED daytime running lights, and while the arched roofline may resemble that of other hybrids, it’s a functional necessity to maximize aerodynamics and achieve an industry-leading 0.24 coefficient of drag.

According to WardsAuto, in the United States, “Total EV sales grew to 79,915 units from 72,374 in 2015. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) sales, counted in a separate category, totaled 71,329 units, up 63 percent from 43,815 in 2015, and hybrid sales totaled 373,359 units in 2016, up from 341,792 in 2015.” Hyundai believes that millennials will energize the market further, increasing sales, according to Brandon Ramirez, senior group manager, product planning at Hyundai Motor America.

A recent addition to the segment, the Ioniq gets the benefit of bringing up the rear, improving on what the first hybrids started, like offering the best combined fuel economy in its class, 58 miles per gallon (mpg) with the Ioniq Blue trim (non-Blue trims should achieve 55 mpg combined). At the launch, I averaged 51 mpg with the Ioniq Hybrid Limited trim. A new 1.6-liter direct-injected Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine powers the Ioniq Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrids, delivering an estimated 104 horsepower and an estimated 109 lbs.–ft. of torque. On the Hybrid, it’s matched to a quick-shifting six-speed double-clutch transmission, an electric motor that delivers an estimated 43 horsepower with an estimated maximum torque of 125 lbs.–ft., and a 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery (with a lifetime warranty). With an 8.9 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery, the Plug-in Hybrid provides an all-electric range (before the gas-powered engine kicks in) of more than 27 miles while the Ioniq Electric offers an estimated driving range of 124 miles with a 28 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery . Mated to a single-speed reduction-gear transmission, the electric motor has a maximum output of 118 horsepower and 218 lbs.–ft. of torque. The Ioniq Electric has an EPA-estimated 136 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (MPGe) rating, better than any electric vehicle sold in the U.S.

Range anxiety plus the length of time needed to charge can discourage potential buyers. The Ioniq may offer some solutions. Charging the Ioniq Electric to 80 percent should take approximately 23 minutes using an SAE Combo Level-3 DC, 100 kW fast charger. An integrated In-Cable Control Box also allows drivers to charge their Ioniq using a standard household electric socket.

Enhancing the car’s fuel efficiency and dynamic driving characteristics, the driver can select either SPORT or ECO modes. On the launch, the SPORT mode did add oomph but it was the Plug-in Hybrid and Electric models that offered noticeably smoother rides.

The Ioniq reflects a deeper commitment to green from Hyundai with its use of recycled or ecologically-sensitive materials, like interior door covers made of plastic combined with powdered wood and volcanic stone.

Innovations continue on the inside with a seven-inch TFT instrument cluster that displays all gauge functions and Hyundai’s Blue Link connected car system, which is standard on the Electric model for three years. Placing the battery underneath the rear seats also adds extra passenger space on the Ioniq hybrid, an estimated 122.7 cubic feet and best-in-class cargo of 26.5 cubic feet, plus it gives the Ioniq a lower center of gravity for better road hugging. Handy features, like a rearview camera are standard, but safety technology, like a blindspot warning system, remain optional, even on the more expensive Electric model.

Looking to the future, Hyundai and the all-new Ioniq will continue to attract consumers to the green car segment. Pricing for the Hybrid and Electric (pricing for the Plug-in was not available) models should start at $23,035 and $30,335 respectively, and the Electric will be eligible for government tax credits of $7,500, according to the IRS.  

Ioniq Hybrid

 

Oct 242016
 
2016 Lexus RX 350 F Sport

2016 Lexus RX 350 F Sport

Sport and Crossover Utility Vehicles (SUVs and CUVs) claimed family vehicle status long ago, and sales reflect that. According to statistics published by The Wall Street Journal, while car sales dropped significantly in September, year-to-date (YTD), sales of CUVs and SUVs rose more than seven percent totaling nearly five million units. Compact or full size, these vehicles help families transport themselves and their cargo with varying ease. I test-drove several models for Latino Traffic Report this year. Here are snapshot reviews of seven of them.

Crossovers

Audi Q3 2.0T quattro Tiptronic

2015-10-20-audiq3Compact CUVs comprise one of the fastest growing segments. The smaller size may mean a sacrifice in cargo and people carrying but it’s replaced with better fuel economy and maneuverability in an urban landscape. Audi’s entry in this segment adds premium appeal, from seating to technology.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine and six-speed Tiptronic transmission should achieve 2015-10-20-audi-q3-dashan EPA estimated fuel economy of 20 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. I averaged 21.1 mpg.

The Audi Quattro signature all-wheel-drive (AWD) system was included on the test model, providing better grip on the road and improved handling.

All Q3s include standard heated leather front seating—on the test model, it was a delicious Chestnut Brown shade—a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control, parking sensors, and a rearview camera. The test model added the Prestige package ($4,900) with navigation, Audi connect in-vehicle Wi-Fi, a power tailgate, and ventilated front seats.

2015-10-20-audi-q3The five-seater comes with a 60/40-split second row that folds flat automatically with the push of a button, no need to negotiate clunky levers. With the seats folded, cargo volume reaches 48.2 cubic feet (cu.ft.). Another striking touch was the interior lighting strips that changed color, from red to white to blue.

The digital instrument cluster can be configured to display different information and a seven-inch touch screen pops up from the center of the dashboard to reveal several functions, from audio to navigation. Audi’s combination of a dial and push buttons on the center stack for programming entertainment functions is a little labor intensive.

Pricing for the 2016 Q3 starts at $32,750. The as-tested pricing came to $41,975.

Hyundai Santa Fe Limited AWD

2016-03-29-santafefrontCrossovers are by far the most popular segment, selling more than three million YTD. Like Baby Bear’s porridge, the segment is just right for families.

The Hyundai Santa Fe offers various configurations so that it can meet its owner’s particular needs. It can be configured to seat five, seven, or six passengers like the test model that had the captains chairs rather than a second row bench. It also included Hyundai’s active on-demand AWD system.

Powered by a 3.3-liter V6 engine and a six-speed automatic Shiftronic transmission, it had an EPA city/highway estimated fuel economy of 17/22 mpg. It also had an Eco button to enhance fuel economy further. I took full advantage of it and averaged 19.2 mpg during the week-long test drive.

2016-03-29-santafe-rearAdvanced safety features, like a blind spot monitor, tend to be included in a package or more expensive trims and the Santa Fe is no exception. It was standard on the up-level Limited that I drove. All Santa Fes include remote keyless entry, a rearview camera, a roof rack with side rails, the Driver Selectable Steering Mode, and SiriusXM activation with a three-month trial subscription.

The test model added the Ultimate Package ($4,650) with a panoramic sunroof, ventilated/cooled front seats and heated rear seats, a rear parking sensor, and a heated steering wheel.

Pricing for the 2016 Santa Fe starts at $31,295. The as-tested pricing came to $42,385.

 

Highlander Limited Platinum AWD

2016-03-14-h-lander-fr-licIf the Highlander had sliding doors, it could be a minivan. But it’s not. It’s a crossover SUV and that only increases its appeal. Regarding capability, it doesn’t pretend to have an SUV’s off-road bravado but it does offer families the versatility and convenience they’re after.

Powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine matched to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Highlander has a city/highway EPA estimated fuel economy of 18/24 mpg. I averaged 19 mpg on the test drive. A 2.7-liter four-cylinder is the base engine.2016-03-10-highl-camera

Offered in five trim levels, the Limited Platinum is the top-of-the-line model and as such, it includes a few striking features, like a panoramic sunroof with a power sunshade, heated and cooled leather front seats, heated second-row seats, the Driver Technology Package that includes a pre-collision system with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Entune cover art displays on the eight-inch entertainment touchscreen.2016-03-14-high-rear

Safety features carry particular clout on a family vehicle. The Highlander includes its signature Star Safety System with traction control, anti-lock braking, etc, plus a backup camera and Hill-start Assist Control. The Platinum test model also included a blind spot monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and rear parking sonar. It’s unfortunate that these features remain so exclusive.

The versatile SUV can seat up to eight or seven like the test vehicle, and the rear seats are split to fold flat for expanded cargo carrying space of 83.7 cu.ft.

Pricing for the 2016 Highlander starts at $31,390. The as-tested pricing came to $45,390.

Lexus RX 350 F Sport

2016-03-08-lex-rxsideWhen Lexus first introduced its RX premium CUV, some say the luxury CUV segment was born. Four generations later, Lexus redesigned the RX, now the RX 350, for 2016, in a big way. The new exterior adds style to what had been a fairly vanilla design.

Like its siblings, it bears the spindle grille, but the floating roof design is unique. On the inside, the attention to detail, enhanced further with the F Sport exclusive Rioja Red leather seats on the test model, an available 12.3”-display screen, a mouse control for selecting onboard functions like audio, navigation and others, set it apart.2016-03-08-lexusrxfrseats

It’s a five-seater but the seats are split 40/20/40 to fold flat for extra cargo room of 56.3 cu.ft.

Powered by a 3.5-liter V6 matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the test model had an EPA estimated city/highway fuel economy of 19/26 mpg. I averaged 21.8 mpg on the test drive. Drive select modes also improve performance, allowing drivers to select among Sport, Eco, and Normal settings. The F Sport added the Sport+ mode and Adaptive Variable Suspension for better handling.

2016-03-08-lex-rxrear-licStandard safety features include a Smart Access Remote key, and Lexus Enform Safety Connect, the onboard emergency alert system. As we’ve seen, more advanced safety features tend to be grouped as a package but for a mere $500 extra, a blind spot monitor was included on the test model as a stand-alone option. Nice but at this price point, it should be standard.

Pricing for the 2016 RX 350 starts at $43,995. Equipped with AWD, the as-tested pricing came to $56,775.

 

SUVs

Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

2016-04-05-4runner-licMidsize SUVs are far and away the most popular SUV segment, more than 700,000 had sold in September YTD according to The Wall Street Journal. The 4Runner emphasizes the sporting side of an SUV and the TRD Pro is the sportiest model of all. It easily takes to off-road challenges as well as cruising on city streets.

The test model came in a unique TRD shade for 2016, Quicksand, that many seemed to find attractive, based on the comments I received.

2016-04-05-4-runner-dash3Powered by a 4.0-liter V6 matched to a five-speed automatic transmission, the TRD has a maximum tow rating of 5,000 pounds. Happily, a tow hitch is included as a standard feature. Don’t expect fuel efficiency, however. I earned 17 mpg on the test drive.

Built for off-roading, the TRD offers plenty of ground clearance, assisted by its 17-inch wheels—it did make climbing in and out of it a bid challenging for the short statured like me. Off-roading equipment on the TRD included a part-time four-wheel–drive (4WD) system with Active Trac, a locking rear differential, Multi-Terrain Select, Crawl Control, and Hill-Start Assist. Besides the TRD badging,, the package included special shocks and stamped aluminum front skid plates.2016-04-05-4-runnerrear-lic

The 4Runner offers seating for five or seven and split second and third-row seats that fold flat for a maximum cargo capacity of 89.7 cubic feet.

Pricing for the 4Runner starts at $34,750. The as-tested price came to $42,800.

 

Dodge Durango R/T

2016-09-20-durango-fr2The Dodge Durango brings a sporty option to the large SUV segment and the R/T trim level takes that sportiness to the next level. Add to that its rear-wheel-drive configuration and the Radar Red Nappa leather seating on the test model that I drove, and the Durango R/T carries unique appeal.

Improved for 2016, the Durango achieves better fuel economy with engine stop-start technology on models with a 3.6-liter V6. Powered by the available 5.7-liter HEMI V8 that delivers 360 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque, the R/T zoomed through traffic and on the highway. 2016-09-20-duranago-seatsMated to an eight-speed automatic transmission it had a maximum towing capacity of 7,400 lbs. With an EPA city/highway estimated economy of 14/22 mpg for the R/T, fuel economy does suffer a bit. I averaged better than expected, however, earning 20 mpg in the city and 24.9 on the highway.

The R/T does come with a parking sensor and backup camera but more advanced safety features like a blind spot monitor and Cross Path Detection are grouped in the Customer Preferred Package ($1,995).

2016-09-20-durangorear-lic Standard creature comforts on the top-of-the-line R/T included heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, tri-zone air conditioning, and the Beats premium audio system. Additional options on the test model included a rear DVD entertainment system ($1995), second-row captains chairs and a third row of seating ($995), and a power sunroof ($1,195).

Pricing for the Durango starts at $31,490. The as-tested pricing was $49,170.

 

GMC Yukon Denali XL

2016-07-19-yukonThe Denali name stands for luxury throughout the GMC lineup. The brand’s largest offering, the Yukon XL, also stands at the top of the lineup when it comes to capability, including seating, cargo room, and maximum towing.

The trade-off will be fuel economy. Powered by a choice of two V8 engines, I drove the 6.2-liter version with 420 hp and 460 lb.–ft. of torque and matched to an eight-speed transmission. Available with 4WD and two-wheel-drive configurations, I drove the former with a maximum towing capability of 8,100 pounds when properly equipped. It has an EPA estimated city/highway fuel economy of 14/20 mpg. I averaged 19.2 mpg.

2016-07-19-yukon-seats2As the top-of-the-line model, the Denali includes a healthy list of standard features, including advanced safety technology like a blind-spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, and my favorite GM innovation, the safety alert seat. It buzzes on the right or left of the seat to warn of potential danger, from lane drifting to a potential collision. The test model added more than $9,000 in additional packages and options, including GM’s signature Head-Up display ($425).

2016-07-19-yukon-rear2-licOne of the roomiest SUVs on the market, the XL stretches the wheelbase even further. It has seating for nine and both the second and third row fold flat to create 121.1 cubic inches of cargo room.

Pricing for the Yukon starts at $49,510. The as-tested pricing came to $81,045.

Family vehicles need to be tough and versatile to make the grade. This list meets that criteria, and in some cases, surpasses them.

Sep 022016
 

img_news-1

Latino Traffic Report has learned that Hyundai Motorsport has signed a two-year extension to its agreement with Dani Sordo (pictured above, right), which will see the Spaniard remain with the team until the end of 2018. The announcement was made just one day after scoring his first podium of 2016 in a second-place finish at the rally in Germany.

Along with his co-driver Marc Martí, Sordo has played a vital role in establishing the team in the competitive world of WRC since the first rally back at Monte-Carlo 2014.

The Spanish crew contributed to the team’s historic 1-2 in Rallye Deutschland two years ago, while adding a further podium in Rally Spain in 2015. The pair have been regularly among the quickest in the field this season and secured their first podium of the season, finishing Rallye Deutschland in second place, equaling their best result for the team.

l to r: Martí and Sordo

Team principal Michel Nandan commented: “We are delighted to continue our relationship with Dani as we look to build further on our inaugural years in the WRC. Since we joined the Championship back in 2014, Dani has been an essential member of our team. He is motivated and consistent, helping us to develop both on and off rallies. We have shared many happy memories together, including their excellent result at the weekend. We can now look forward to even more positive progress in the future.”

Sordo added: “Hyundai Motorsport has become like a family to me, so I am pleased to extend my contract for two more seasons. I have had the pleasure of seeing and helping this young team grow into real contenders in just a few years and I am really excited to see where we can develop into the future, especially with the new regulations. My aim is to fight for WRC wins and podiums on a regular basis, and I know that is a realistic goal with this team. We’ve had our most successful season to date in 2016 but I know that there is so much more to come this season – and beyond.”

Sordo is not waiting until next season for his next big result. With Tour de Corse next up on the 2016 calendar—and his home rally in Spain two weeks later—he is definitely looking to continue his strong form.

“We’ve had our most successful season to date in 2016,” he adds, “but I know there is so much more to come in the final rallies of the year.”

Jun 242016
 

2016-02-23 10.42.52

Launched in 1990, the award-winning Elantra is one of Hyundai’s all time best-selling models. For 2017, Hyundai manages to add new features and technology to the all-new Elantra, while dropping the starting price by $100. At the regional launch in New Orleans, the Elantra impressed Latino Traffic Report with its bar-raising segment firsts.

The redesign starts with a new look on the outside, defined by Hyundai’s signature hexagonal grille and smoother contoured lines that enhance its aerodynamics. The redesign also includes equipment firsts like the available HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Lights, unique vertical LED daytime running lights, the LED door handle approach lights, and LED taillights.

Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay

The base model Elantra SE matches the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a standard six-speed manual transmission. Great news for fans of the stick shift, except that it’s sold as-is. Stepping up to the Eco trim level makes the 1.4-liter turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine matched to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission standard. The Eco trim should offer the best gas savings of all with an EPA estimated combined fuel economy of 35 miles per gallon (mpg).

At the launch, we drove the Limited trim level that’s powered by the 2.0 liter matched to a six-speed automatic Shiftronic transmission with the Active ECO System. We averaged 35.9 mpg while driving at a good clip and crossing state lines between Louisiana and Mississippi. Standard on all Elantras, the Drive Mode Select further enhanced its performance.

2017 ELANTRA SEDANStepping up to the Limited trim level brings many more advantages, including standard advanced safety features like a rearview camera, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert, and Lane Change Assist. While not offered on the SE manual, they are available on the SE with the automatic transmission.

Premium soft-touch materials, new creature comforts like dual climate control, and available advanced technology like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, give the  Elantra a more upscale interior. It’s also larger than its competitors, so much so that it’s classified as a midsize sedan by the EPA. Segment firsts include premium features like s a hands-free Smart Trunk—there’s no need to swipe a foot under the bumper, just approach with keys in your pocket and in a few seconds the trunk will open.

60/40-split folding rear seat

60/40-split folding rear seat

More segment firsts on the inside include the integrated memory system for the power driver seat and side mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and advanced ergonomic front seats. The Limited trim adds heated front seats and offers heated rear seats (not found among its competitors).

For added convenience, the rear seat is split 60/40, folding forward for additional cargo volume. The Elantra already offers class-above total interior volume with 110.2 cu. ft. Cargo volume in the trunk reaches 14.4 cu. ft.

Standard entertainment features include Smartphone/USB and auxiliary input jacks, an AM/FM/CD/MP3 Audio System, and complimentary SiriusXM activation with a three-month trial subscription.2016-02-23 11.38.23 HDR

In a competitive segment like compact cars, the Elantra excels at offering a generous list of standard and available features, including some not normally found among its competitors.

Pricing for the 2017 Elantra SE starts at $17,985, while pricing for the Limited starts at $23,185.

 

Apr 122016
 

2011-hyundai-sonata-7

Latino Traffic Report has learned that Hyundai Motor Company is recalling certain model year 2011 Sonata vehicles manufactured December 11, 2009, to October 31, 2010. In the affected vehicles, the Electronic Power Steering (EPS) circuit board may be damaged and result in a loss of power steering assist.

The loss of power steering assist may require extra steering effort, especially at lower speeds, increasing the risk of a crash.

Hyundai will notify owners, and dealers will replace the EPS control unit, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 30, 2016. Owners may contact Hyundai customer service at 1-855-371-9640. Hyundai’s number for this recall is 143.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236  (1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Feb 232016
 

CHICAGO (Feb. 11, 2016) – Nissan TITAN will be available in 4x2 or 4x4 drive configurations with three cabin configurations – Crew Cab, King Cab and Single cab – and three bed lengths – 5.5, 6.5 and 8 feet. Similar to TITAN XD, TITAN will be available in five trim levels – S, SV, PRO-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve. The TITAN will be powered by Nissan’s 5.6-liter Endurance® V8 gasoline engine capable of 390 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine will be mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. A V6 gasoline engine will also be available (details to be announced at a later date).

What brings journalists en masse to Chicago in the middle of winter? The largest auto show in the country, the Chicago Auto Show, that’s what, and this year’s reveals reflected a truck and big SUV resurgence, while at the same time, new green car initiatives.

Gasoline prices remain at an all-time low and that’s good news for truck and SUV buyers. Nissan brought forth two big bruisers, the all-new Titan half-ton and the 2017 Armada.

Last year Nissan introduced the award-winning 2016 Titan XD, powered by an all-new 5.0-liter V8 Cummins turbo diesel engine. This year the gasoline-powered version of the Titan (above) took center stage in Chicago. Powered by a 5.6-liter V8 engine and built on a separate chassis from the TITAN XD, it’s also 14.7 inches shorter.

2017 Nissan Armada

2017 Nissan Armada

Similarly, the all-new Armada will be powered by the new 5.6-liter V8 engine and matched to a seven-speed automatic transmission for better fuel economy.

The handsome full-size SUV will come with an extensive list of available safety and convenience features, like Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Backup Collision Intervention, Blind Spot Intervention and Blind Spot Warning, among other features. An eight-inch display, navigation, and heated front seats will be standard. Both the Titan half-ton and Armada will go on sale this summer.

The 2017 Ram Power Wagon.

The 2017 Ram Power Wagon.

Ram followed suit with its off-road monster, the Power Wagon. Based on the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty 4×4 Crew Cab, the 2017 Power Wagon receives all-new exterior and interior design elements. Seeking its own design statement, Ram abandons the crosshatch grille on the new Power Wagon for the one featured on its half-ton off-road sibling, the Ram Rebel.

2016-02-11 14.37.38

Pacifica Hybrid.

FCA also showed the hybrid version of its all-new Chrysler Pacifica minivan. Revealed last month in Detroit, the Pacifica replaces the Town & Country. A segment first, the hybrid will deliver an estimated range of 30 miles solely on zero-emissions electric power. New available technology will also include a Stow ‘n Vac integrated vacuum cleaner.

While the Pacifica goes on sale this spring, the hybrid version should go on sale in the second half of 2016.

Available in dealerships now, the 2017 Hyundai Tucson receives a fresh exterior design and LED lighting signatures, plus additional infotainment, convenience and safety technologies, including Drive Mode selection with Sport, Eco and Normal settings. Brandon Ramirez, senior product manager, unveiled the refreshed versions of the 2017 Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport.

Kia Niro.

Kia Niro.

Expanding its green vehicle line-up, Kia introduced the 2017 Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle. The all-new Niro hopes to find a niche between the hybrid-electric vehicle and CUV segments, achieving a combined fuel efficiency rating of 50 mpg. It joins Kia’s green car line-up that includes the Soul EV, Optima Hybrid and 2017 Optima Plug-in Hybrid that also made its global debut in Chicago.

2016-02-11 15.32.57

Volvo XC90.

Finally, Volvo’s all-new XC90 continues to collect accolades winning MotorWeek’s 2016 Drivers’ Choice Best of the Year award. It’s the first utility vehicle to win the top honor in the 34-year history of the awards. To date, the XC90 has been named the 2016 North American Truck of the Year, the CUV of Texas by the Texas Auto Writers Association, and the Family Car of the Year by the Midwest Automotive Media Association.

“The XC90 brings Volvo firmly into the luxury space and fully represents the company’s new direction,” said Dean Shaw, vice president, Corporate Communications, Volvo Car USA.

Jan 082016
 

2016-NFL-Super-Bowl-50

Would you like to attend the Super Bowl but consider it impossible? Pues, rejoice Latino football fans! Latino Traffic Report has learned that Hyundai, an official NFL sponsor, is hosting a sweepstakes to give away 50 tickets to Super Bowl 50. Twenty-five lucky winners will receive a pair of tickets to the game, lodging, and transportation to and from the stadium on February 7, 2016.

Contestants can submit entries by completing one or more of the following. Points accumulate for each registered participant, increasing competitors’ chances of winning the grand prize.

  • Register for the sweepstakes at football.hyundaisweepstakes.com—one entry point
  • Test drive a new Hyundai vehicle, like the all-new Tucson, at your local Hyundai dealer (click here to see the closest dealer or go to HyundaiUSA.com)—ten entry points
  • Get friends to enter the sweepstakes by posting a pre-assigned message to users’ Facebook or Twitter profiles—up to five entry points
2016 Tucson

2016 Tucson

A total of 16 entry points can be earned for each contestant, and entries are tracked via Hyundai’s website. U.S. residents ages 18 or older are eligible for entry, and winners will be notified via phone and email circa January 25, 2016. The sweepstakes opened at 12:00:01 a.m. ET on December 16, and close January 15, 2016 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET.

“With these sweepstakes we want to give back to fans of the Hyundai brand,” said Trea Reedy, senior group manager, experiential marketing, Hyundai Motor America. “By giving 50 fans the chance to spend a night in the heart of the action, at one of the world’s biggest sporting events, we hope to give them an experience that they won’t soon forget.”

Since Hyundai inked its official sponsorship with the NFL in June, the company has been busy connecting with fans across the country. During the season opening celebrations on September 9-10, Hyundai was the presenting sponsor of the 2015 NFL Kickoff activities that included a concert in the San Francisco Bay Area, and unveiled two new NFL-themed television ads that highlight what it truly means to be a fan.

To keep up with all of Hyundai’s NFL activities, visit HyundaiNews.com.

Oct 072015
 
2016 Tucson

2016 Tucson

While the compact crossover utility vehicle (CUV) segment continues to expand, the third generation Hyundai Tucson has a leg up on the competition. Considered a “stepping stone” to its larger sibling, the Santa Fe Sport, the redesigned 2016 Tucson appeals to buyers, e.g. young families, with fuel economy, safety technology, and versatility.

At the regional launch in Asheville, North Carolina, the Tucson handled nicely on curves while maintaining low noise, vibration, and harshness in the cabin—sound dampening and insulation improvements make it one of the quietest in its segment.2016 Tucson

Available in four trim levels, a 2.0-liter, direct injected four-cylinder with 164 horsepower and paired with a six-speed automatic transmission powers the base or SE model. The 2.0-liter should achieve an EPA estimated fuel economy of 23 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. A larger fuel tank also improves driving range.

A 1.6-liter turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder with 175 horsepower matched to a first–in-segment seven-speed EcoShift dual clutch automatic transmission powers the three remaining trims Eco, Sport, and Limited. Available in front-wheel- or all-wheel-drive versions, the 1.6-liter paired with the Eco trim level offers the best fuel economy. It should achieve an EPA estimated city/highway fuel economy of 26/33 mpg. At the launch, we drove Limited and Sport versions and the fuel economy remained close to the expected combined fuel economy of 29 mpg for the AWD and 27 mpg for the FWD.

2016 TucsonFor better performance, driver’s can also engage Drive Mode Select, standard on all models, to select a desired setting among Eco, Normal, and Sport. On the test drive, Sport mode provided a definite energy boost.

Rear cargo area increases by 5.3 cubic feet to 31 total. With the 60/40 split rear seats folded flat it expands to 61.9 cubic feet. There’s also an innovative dual-level cargo floor in the rear that can be lowered two inches for packing smaller items.

The smart cargo liftgate is available with a hands free mode that automatically opens the rear liftgate after three seconds if it senses the keys are within three feet, i.e. you don’t have to wave a foot below the bumper to engage it.

2016 TucsonStandard features on the base model include a rearview camera, a blinds spot mirror on the driver’s side, remote keyless entry with alarm, electronic stability control, and traction control. Stepping up to the Sport model adds more cutting edge features like a blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, and lane change assist. To get Hyundai’s newest safety feature, a pedestrian sensor with braking, you’ll have to add the Ultimate Package, but that also includes heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats.

2016 TucsonStandard creature comforts include a tilt and telescopic steering wheel with radio and cruise controls, YES Essentials cloth seats, air conditioning, a five-inch color touchscreen with AM/FM/SiriusXM/CD/MP3 audio system, and iPod/USB/auxiliary input jacks.

Pricing for the 2016 Tucson SE base model, which is not sold as-is but can still be upfitted with a few optional features, like roof rails or illuminated vanity mirrors, starts at $23,595.