Friday, 18 May 2018

Hyundai Grand i10 Driving Impressions

The Hyundai i10 is all grown up now, and it's transformed into a fine little drive.
The previous i10 was basic transportation with a minimum of style. But the entry of the Eon to cater to the really budget-conscious has allowed  to bump the Hyundai Grand i10 for sale, as it's now called, up a rung on the ladder.
Our tester was a top-of-the-line Golden Orange 1.2 L version with a four-speed automatic. You can get this trim level with the 1.0 liter three-cylinder as well.
The car is certainly isn't bad to look at. While it doesn't quite have the playful, adventurous lines of the Eon, it is well-proportioned, modern, and blessed with enough interesting details. I especially like the front fascia and the neat angular rub strip along the doors. Only the view from the dead rear is a tad prosaic.
There's more style once you open the door. The plastics on the dash and doors may be hard to the touch but their matte finish oozes class. Touches of orange inject cheer into what would've been a dull gray interior. However, the orange reaches all the way to the air vents on the sides and this causes some glare into the side mirrors on sunny days.

The instrumentation is simple and clean, as are the knobs and switches. The steering wheel is a meaty affair with thumb rests at ten and two o'clock, a very nice touch.
Hyundai has also gotten the seats right. They are large, very well-bolstered, and covered in fabric that looks durable. A huge plus over the undersized thrones on the Toyota Wigo, a key competitor. The Grand i10's seats also adjust for height.
Props as well to the several cubbyholes and storage bins scattered all over the interior. I especially like the tray underneath the passenger seat and the extra-deep center cup holder that can easily accommodate a Starbucks venti without spilling it.
The rear seat has decent room for a car this size, helped by the rear wheels being pushed into the far corners of the car.
The sound system, a two-DIN job that also doubles as the back-up sensor monitor, is nothing to write home about, as the treble tones could be much crisper. However it's probably in line with most offerings at this price point. Another demerit is the USB port, which has been exiled to the glovebox. The center console box seems to be a more logical spot for it.
But how does the Grand i10 perform once you take the wheel? Very well indeed, thank you.
Ride quality is not at Lexus levels, but nobody expects that. Instead the i10's suspension, MacPherson struts in front and a coupled torsion beam axle in the back, smoothes out most road imperfections well.
The engine produces 87 horsepower at 6000 rpm. It's mated to a transmission that, in my opinion, is an absolute star. Blip the throttle and the gearbox gets the message fast, instantly dropping down a gear and offering a dollop of acceleration just when you need it. Maximum torque (12.2 kg-m) comes at 4000 rpm, but there's plenty of twist at 2500 rpm already. Best of all, the oomph is paired with a muscular, throaty exhaust note that will appeal to enthusiast drivers.

There's a manual shift mode as well, with a plus and minus on the lower part of the shift boot. You can access this mode by sliding the lever over to the left while in “D.” But with the transmission's inherent eagerness to downshift, this feature almost seems superfluous.
Braking is also a strong suit. The front discs and rear drums do a fine job of retarding motion with little fuss.
The only thing that lets the side down is the steering. It's too disconnected from the road. It seems like a hundred tiny Christmas elves are inside the wheel helping you turn at parking speeds, which is okay. However, the said creatures do not make themselves scarce quickly enough as speeds increase.
While taking on curves at Daang Hari at around 60 km/h there is still too much play in the wheel to inspire confidence. It's only at around 100 km/h that the steering effort becomes suitably firm.
If the Grand i10 can give the feel at 100 km/h as early as 60 km/h, then this Hyundai becomes a much more engaging proposition for spirited motoring.
It's a shame because the Grand i10 really does handle well. There's precious little body lean and the suspension tuning allows all four Nexen 165/65 R14 tires to stay planted on the asphalt on corners. The car never drives like a low-rent econobox, but instead gives the feel of something bigger and more substantial at speed.
Will the Grand i10 succeed?
Decide for yourself - take the Hyundai Grand i10 for sale for a spin at a Group 1 Hyundai dealership. Speak to Group 1 Hyundai’s knowledgeable staff about the Hyundai Grand i10 specs and more!
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Car review: Hyundai i20

Worthy supermini that majors on ease of use and grown-up design. Fun is in short order though.


It’s Hyundai’s second-generation i20. The previous model was a decidedly average car that surfed into the marketplace on a wave of scrappage scheme trade-ins. Its replacement is a far more style and quality-led product, and while it still represents decent value for money, saving cash is no longer its number one priority. This is Hyundai getting serious about the supermini sector.
It’s even launched a more stylish three-door version it’s calling the i20 Coupe, a bespoke approach that underlines how it’s not messing about in this sector.


Comfort and ease-of-use are the key factors here. The ride is soft (though it’s occasionally perturbed by more broken roads) and the handling balance safe, though its body control is very well managed and it displays talent on twistier roads. It’s not fun or feisty like a Fiesta, though.

The initial engine range consisted of three naturally aspirated petrol and two turbodiesel engines, with 85 percent of i20s expected to sell with petrol power. The 99bhp 1.4-litre was the one to have, but in truth they’re all a little uninspiring and need revs to unleash their tame pace. Good job the long-awaited 1.0-litre turbo triple has arrived: now eschew the 1.4 and spend the extra on the T-GDI. You won’t regret it.

Of the diesels, a 75bhp 1.1-litre is most interesting. Not for its pace, which could be politely described as lethargic, but for its claimed 88.3mpg and 84g/km CO2. It’s a remarkably civilised engine once you’re eventually up to speed, and it cruises well. It’s punchy through town, too, if you can tolerate its narrow powerband and aren’t immune to frequent gearchanges. Inevitably it’s rather rattly in congested traffic, though.

On the inside

Hyundai appears to have been eyeing up the Polo when penning the i20, and nowhere is this more obvious than inside. This car gets closer to VW’s ergonomic slickness than the Fiesta or Corsa, with everything operating in a simple and pleasing manner. The materials largely feel good too, and are a world away from budget Hyundai offerings of a generation or two ago. There’s little to excite, but it’s a mature and grown-up place to sit.

Impressive follow-up to the mediocre original. The all-new Hyundai i20 for sale may have the competition worried.
If you’re in the market for a Hyundai i20 for sale - visit a Group 1 Hyundai. Test drive the Hyundai i20 on offer at your nearest Group 1 Hyundai dealership.

Friday, 4 May 2018

2018 Hyundai Tucson Review

Crossover SUVs (CUVs) are swarming American roadways, with no signs of letting up. Especially on the more affordable end of the spectrum, the segment is expanding at a seemingly exponential rate as car buyers ditch sedans in favor of more practical CUVs.

Until its new Kona subcompact crossover arrives in the spring of 2018, Hyundai straddles the line between tiny and compact CUVs with the Tucson. Bigger than a Honda HR-V, but smaller than a Honda CR-V, the 2018 Hyundai Tucson aims to be the automotive equivalent of a “just right” solution to your Goldilocks-style requirements and preferences

What Owners Say

Before we discuss the results of our evaluation of the Hyundai Tucson, it is helpful to understand who buys this Small SUV, and what they like most and least about their Tucsons.

More men are attracted to Tucson ownership compared to the small SUV segment as a whole (47% vs. 45%), and they are older in terms of median age (58 years vs. 54 years). Generationally, just 33% of Tucson owners are members of Generations X, Y, or Z, compared to 45% of Small SUV owners. Median annual household income, however, is about the same ($80,714 vs. $80,425).

Tucson owners rarely deviate from all Small SUV owners when it comes to sentiments related to vehicle ownership. They are less likely to agree that they prefer to buy a vehicle from a domestic company (38% vs. 52%), but that is not surprising. Tucson owners are also less likely to agree that they prefer a vehicle that stands out from the crowd (62% vs. 67%) and are more likely to agree that a vehicle is just a way of getting from place to place (50% vs. 45%).

People who own the Tucson are more likely to strongly agree that they avoid vehicles with high maintenance costs (71% vs. 65%), their choice in a Small SUV perhaps reflective of Hyundai’s comprehensive warranty and roadside assistance plans. Tucson owners are also less likely to pay more for a vehicle that is environmentally friendly (48% vs. 55%).

Owners report that their favorite things about the Tucson are (in descending order) the exterior styling, interior design and seats in a tie, driving dynamics, and visibility and safety. Owners indicate that their least favorite things about the Tucson are (in descending order) the storage and space, climate system, infotainment system, engine/transmission, and fuel economy.

What Our Expert Says

In the sections that follow, our expert provides her own perceptions about how the Hyundai Tucson measures up in each of the 10 categories that comprise the 2017 APEAL Study.


The Tucson’s exterior appearance is the number one thing that satisfies owners, and it’s for good reason. Hyundai’s comparatively mature and sophisticated design lacks the funky weirdness embraced by most subcompact crossovers, giving the Tucson a grown-up appearance. Handsome without overtly seeking attention, pleasing many while offending few, the Tucson is a good-looking CUV with upscale appeal.


With its black-on-black interior color, my test vehicle’s cabin seemed plain and minimalistic in almost every way. Silver plastic trim surrounding the vents and some of the other controls is the only relief from the monotony. Some people prefer this uncluttered look, with no seams around the dashboard top or any variances in textures, but I’m not among them. Choose a gray or beige interior if you seek greater contrast.

While I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the interior materials in Hyundais I’ve driven as of late, the Tucson’s cabin clearly didn’t reach for higher aspirations than what its price point would suggest. The plastics looked inexpensive and felt insubstantial, and several controls suggested an unbecoming flimsiness. As such, the Tucson is competitive with subcompact CUVs when it comes to refinement of interior materials, rather than traditional compact models.


Up front, the Tucson’s seats are flat and mildly bolstered, with decent cushioning. Heated cloth seats are always a pleasant surprise, too, and if you get Gray or Beige cloth, it features stain- and odor-resistant fabric.

I was able to find a good driving position thanks to the 8-way power adjustable seat, but my long-limbed husband couldn’t get the right combination of height and distance from the steering wheel that he prefers. The test vehicle’s front passenger’s seat lacked a seat height adjustment, supplying too low a position. Choose SEL Plus or Limited trim to obtain an 8-way power adjustable front passenger’s seat.

In the rear seat, there’s good room for two people, but three will have a hard time fitting. Thigh support is decent, and features like an available panoramic sunroof and rear air conditioning vents should prove appealing.

Climate Control System

Upgrade to SEL Plus, Value Edition, or Limited trim, and a dual-zone climate control system comes standard.

The test vehicle had this setup, the temperature controls comprised of two knobs with buttons for other functions arrayed between them. Everything was clearly marked and easy to use, and the Tucson includes a Clean Air ionizer feature. In my experience, I’ve found this fairly ineffective in controlling odors, whether they come from outside or from my children.

During testing under mild weather conditions, the system had no trouble warming or cooling the cabin as was needed.

Infotainment System

My Value Edition test vehicle didn’t have all the bells and whistles that come with upper trim levels, so I could not assess the navigation system or the Infinity premium sound system that are included with SEL Plus and Limited trim.

It did, however, have a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, providing access to navigation and communication through my iPhone and data plan. Also, the standard sound system’s quality was good enough for me. Therefore, I didn’t feel the upgrade available in top trims was necessary.

Better yet, traditional power/volume and tuning knobs flank the large main menu buttons under the screen, and everything is intuitive and easy to use while driving. Hyundai also provides SEL Plus and Limited trims with free Blue Link subscription services for three full years.

Frankly, I don’t know why so many Tucson owners appear to be unhappy with their infotainment systems. I think it’s great.

Storage and Space

If you choose a small vehicle, you’re going to get a small cargo area, so I’m a bit confused as to why Tucson owners give their SUVs middling marks for storage.

While it can’t match compact crossovers like the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, or Toyota RAV4 in terms of space (get the Santa Fe Sport if you want something that size), I thought the Tucson’s cargo area was both roomy and flexible. Behind the rear seats, the Tucson provides 31 cu.-ft. of volume. Fold the rear seats to access 61.9 cu.-ft. of space.

My test vehicle was equipped with a hands-free power opening rear liftgate that activates when you stand near the rear of the Tucson with the key on your person. It’s a convenient feature if your hands and arms are full of parcels and bags, and you don’t have to wave your feet around in an awkward dance, which can be downright dangerous on ice and snow.

Inside, Hyundai provides storage bins and cubbies throughout the cabin, and while they weren’t big, there were enough of them to keep small belongings in check.

Visibility and Safety

Based on my time with the Tucson, the only noteworthy visibility issue related to the SUV’s thick rear roof pillars that make it harder to see out.

Good thing, then, that my Tucson had a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert and lane change assist. That latter feature is relatively new to Americans, sounding an alarm when a vehicle is approaching from behind at a comparatively rapid rate of speed, which would make a lane change unwise. Hyundai includes this feature with SEL Plus, Value Edition, and Limited trim.

In crash testing, the Tucson earns a “Top Safety Pick” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and a 5-star overall rating from the NHTSA. In order to help prevent a collision from occurring in the first place, an automatic emergency braking system with pedestrian detection is available for the Tucson, but you need to get the Limited trim and upgrade it with the Ultimate package.


J.D. Power data shows that aside from fuel economy, the Tucson’s drivetrain is the source of the greatest dissatisfaction with ownership, and I think I know why.

The standard engine is a relatively underpowered 164-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is an option.

Upgrade to Value Edition or Limited trim, and you’ll get a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder supplying 175 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s satisfactory, but it comes only with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT), which can cause consternation if you’re unfamiliar with a DCT’s quirks. Personally, I’m not a fan of DCTs, as they tend to lurch and behave less smoothly than traditional automatics.

Front-drive is standard with the turbocharged engine. My test vehicle had the optional all-wheel-drive system, but as with most crossovers the front wheels get the power the majority of the time. Hyundai gives you a “Lock” mode that distributes the power evenly for improved traction in the slippery stuff.

The turbocharged Tucson does feel livelier than many competitors, but delivery of that power isn’t as linear as you’d expect. Turbo lag is evident in the lower end of the rev range and the DCT is characteristically hesitant upon launch, so you’ll have to adjust to its unique traits in order to find happiness.

Fuel Economy

One reason Hyundai uses a DCT with the turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder is to maximize fuel economy. Does it do the trick?

The EPA says that a turbocharged Tucson with AWD should get about 24 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the open road, with a combined average of 25 mpg. I got 23.3 on my test loop, which is comprised of various types of driving conditions.

Driving Dynamics

Composed and zippy around town, the Tucson delivers a smooth ride and nimble urban handling. You will notice quite a bit of road and engine noise, especially on the highway, but vehicles in this category tend to be quite loud inside.

Though Hyundai doesn’t tout the Tucson to be an athletically inclined crossover, it more than holds its own in a set of twisties. Body motion is well controlled and the driving dynamics inspire confidence.

Tucson owners may disagree with me, but nothing about driving it makes you succumb to the siren call of a road trip. This is an automotive appliance, wrapped in a good-looking package.

Final Impressions

Crossover vehicles are here to stay, and its little wonder, as they deliver all the advantages of a car combined along with the cargo space and versatility of a traditional SUV.

The 2018 Hyundai Tucson does a good job of straddling various permutations of the small CUV, and thanks to appealing design, modern technologies, impressive safety ratings, and affordable pricing, it competes handily in the little crossover category. Plus, like every Hyundai, the Tucson gives owners peace of mind thanks to generous warranty and roadside assistance coverage.

To experience the Hyundai Tucson yourself - visit a Group 1 Hyundai dealership book a test drive. View the 2018 Hyundai Tucson online here.

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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

2018 Hyundai Accent Preview

Fast Facts:
  • Improved performance and dynamics
  • New cascading grille features expressive and upscale design
  • Vehicle architecture includes 54.5% advanced high-strength steel
  • Standard rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
  • Advanced connectivity with available Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Hyundai Blue Link telematics, and SiriusXM satellite radio

The 2018 model year introduces the fifth generation of the sub-compact Hyundai Accent—only, with increased interior space, it’s now classified as a compact. The new model features improved dynamics, a quieter ride, attractive exterior, and a high-tech interior, Hyundai says. The new model’s key feature is advanced high-strength steel, which composes 54.5% of the vehicle: up 13 percentage points from the fourth generation. Hyundai also points out that the Accent’s torsional rigidity improves by 32%.

Exterior Features
The 2018 Hyundai Accent for sale is wider than the previous generation by 1.2 in., and the overall length has increased by 0.6 in., while height remains unchanged. The wheelbase has also increased by 0.4 in., pushing the wheels farther to the corners and improving interior roominess.

The 2018 Accent’s more rigid chassis improves noise isolation and overall driving dynamics, according to Hyundai. The new exterior design features Hyundai’s cascading grille—a visual signature integral to the company’s identity—flanked by wraparound headlights and available LED signature daytime running lights. The sweeping roof profile and sharp character lines run the length of the car, meeting available slim LED wraparound tail lights. The new Accent features standard 17-in. alloy wheels and side mirror LED turn signal indicators. The underside of the car is sculpted for aerodynamics, and Hyundai points to a new front-lip spoiler and lower ride height as contributors to the Accent’s efficient design.

Interior Features
The driver-friendly interior layout features improved roominess, intuitive controls, and premium soft-touch materials. Technology features include a wide instrument panel that features a standard reversing camera system with a 5-in. or optional 7-in. color TFT LCD display. Beneath the screen, the control panel features a horizontal layout, with buttons and controls logically grouped by function. The lightweight but strong seat frame helps to keep occupants steady in collisions. Heated front seats are available. The standard rear seats fold with a 60/40 split. Total interior volume is 103.9 cu. Ft.

Optional Features
Available features on the 2018 Accent include projector headlights with LED DRLs; power sunroof; fog lights; 6-speed automatic transmission; larger touch screen; Blue Link Connected Services with 3 years of standard complimentary service, including remote start; hands-free smart trunk release; dual USB charging; heated front seats; proximity push-button start and automatic temperature control; and forward-collision avoidance assist.

Under the Hood
For 2018, the new Accent receives an updated standard powertrain that includes a 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injection (GDI) engine, which produces 130 horsepower and 119 lb.-ft. of torque. Compared with the previous-generation Accent, Hyundai says, the engine’s powerband has improved, with increased low-end torque to make drivability easier. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard; an automatic transmission is optional. The automatic transmission includes the company’s Drive Mode Select feature to adjust both powertrain performance and steering calibration, allowing the driver to customize the driving character by selecting two modes—Normal or Sport—by touching a button on the center console.

Fuel Economy
Fuel efficiency has also been improved by an estimated 7% overall, Hyundai claims. According to the EPA, the 2018 Hyundai Accent returns 28 mpg in the city, 38 mpg on the highway, and 32 mpg combined with the automatic transmission, and 28/37/31 mpg with the standard manual transmission.

The 2018 Accent features several collision-protection improvements. The front crumple zones have been increased; front side airbags have been upgraded; and reinforcements have been added to improve the car’s collision-energy management performance, especially in small overlap crashes. The greater proportion of high-strength steel also improves collision-energy management without adding weight, Hyundai says.
New for 2018 and for the segment, the new Accent offers available forward collision-avoidance assist that employs a front forward-facing radar to detect a vehicle and warn the driver of a potential collision. If the driver does not react to avoid the impact, the system will automatically apply emergency braking.

Improved ride comfort, handling, and stability are achieved through key developments in the suspension. The standard Motor-Driven Power Steering (MDPS) system instantly adjusts to changing driving conditions for greater precision and steering feel while improving fuel economy, Hyundai says. The new Accent offers a proximity key with push-button start, so drivers never need to pull out a key from their pocket or purse. The optional 7-in. touch screen features both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for seamless and intuitive operation of the most commonly used smartphone functions, including app-based navigation, streaming audio, and voice-controlled search capabilities. Blue Link integrations for Amazon Alexa and Google Home allow remote start and climate control.

If you’re in the market for the good looking, innovative Hyundai Accent - find a Group 1 Hyundai dealership. Find out more about Group 1 Hyundai’s Hyundai Accent for sale and test drive a Hyundai Accent today.