Archive for November 2013

Hyundai Takes Home Total Value, ‘Best Popular Brand’ CPO Awards

Hyundai CPO Program

For nearly two decades, Strategic Vision has hosted the Total Value Awards for the automotive industry, which measure how economically beneficial every new model is for both the short and long terms. And for the first time ever, Hyundai earned the industry’s No.1 overall ranking, thanks largely to four cars in its lineup that won or tied for first in their respective classes:

  • Hyundai Sonata – midsize car segment (tied with the Ford Fusion)
  • Hyundai Genesis Coupe – premium coupe segment
  • Hyundai Elantra – small car segment (tied with the Ford Fiesta Sedan and Chevy Cruze)
  • Hyundai Equus – luxury car segment

For its part, the new Equus received the highest score in the entire industry, at 804, with the next closest model only managing a score of 786.

Hyundai CPO Program Recognized
Understanding the immense value that comes with buying a high-quality used vehicle, Hyundai has shown a strong commitment to its certified pre-owned inventory. At IntelliChoice’s Certified Pre-Owned Car Awards, the car-value research firm recognized that commitment yet again, naming Hyundai the “Best Popular Brand” for the third straight year.

More than anything else, Hyundai won the award because of its unique Certified Pre-Owned Program, which includes:

  • A 150-point inspection by a factory-trained Hyundai technician.
  • A 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
  • Reimbursement for rental cars while your vehicle is being repaired.
  • A 90-day period of no charges for XM satellite radio.

2014 Mazda6 and Nissan Versa Note Honored by Popular Mechanics

2014 Mazda6 and Nissan Versa Note

Mazda cars are renowned for being fun to drive, but they don’t always get the credit they deserve for being terrific all-around vehicles. Until now.

Popular Mechanics, a service magazine that covers topics ranging from tools and electronics to the automotive industry, released its list of Top 10 Cars for 2014, and the new Mazda6 came out on top as the Car of the Year.

On the surface, this may come as somewhat of a surprise, but when you take a look under the hood and inside the 2014 Mazda6, you’ll quickly realize it shouldn’t be. While the Mazda6 drives like a sports car, with extremely precise handling and an engine that generates 184 horsepower, it still returns impressive fuel economy of up to 40 mpg on the highway. In addition, the 2014 Mazda6 features the latest safety technology tools, including the available lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and forward-collision warning systems.

All in all, Popular Mechanics summed up the Mazda6’s victory succinctly: “It won because Mazda engineers set out to make a truly great car and succeeded.”

Also cracking the Top 10 was the 2014 Nissan Versa Note, which took home the honor of being named the best value. While small in size, the hatchback is plenty spacious on the inside and delivers up to 40 mpg on the highway … all for an MSRP of under $15,000. Earlier this year, KBB.com factored in those same benefits when it ranked the 2014 Versa Note the best back-to-school car.

Carspondent Ranks 2014 Kia Soul Highest for Adventurous Urban Drivers

All-New 2014 Kia Soul

Whether they bike, kayak or ski, urban drivers with active lifestyles must walk a fine line between finding cargo space for all their gear and fitting their vehicle into tight city parking spots. According to Carspondent, the Kia Soul compact crossover is particularly well suited for that balancing act, as it was recently named Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year by the auto-review site for the second straight year in the urban category.

The Kia Soul improved its chances of repeating in the Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards with a redesign for the 2014 model year. Receiving a new chassis that is longer, wider and stiffer, the 2014 Kia Soul offers more cargo space for outdoor gear while boasting a more dynamic and more comfortable ride. Even the opening of the rear liftgate has been widened by 2.4 inches so that larger equipment can fit inside, but if drivers do run out of space, the 2014 Soul comes standard with roof-rack mounts. To be considered for the urban category, Carspondent required that each model be priced at $20,000 or less, a mark the new Soul undercuts by thousands of dollars.

“Active urban drivers usually like to forge their own path, and the new Kia Soul lets them stand out with youthful styling while providing the versatility they need to switch between crowded streets and the great outdoors,” said Scott Levy, general manager of Rosen Kia of Elgin, a Kia dealer in Illinois. “Soul owners will also enjoy the trip to the trailhead a lot more with the revised front and rear suspensions and a chassis that is about 29 percent stiffer than its predecessor.”

The more responsive demeanor of the 2014 Kia Soul is reflected on the outside with bold touches inspired by the automaker’s Track’ster concept, including a large trapezoidal lower air intake, a “floating” body-color insert on the tailgate and optional fog lights mounted lower and closer to the outer edges of the front fascia. Inside the cabin, the circular-pattern theme carries over from the Track’ster, while passengers benefit from the use of soft-touch materials on the instrument panel, door panels and center console.

No matter how far drivers travel for their next adventure, they can stay connected on their trip with the 2014 Soul’s newly available eight-inch touchscreen, which provides access to the second-generation UVO eServices infotainment system. Owners can now control Pandora Internet radio directly from the touchscreen or with voice commands, while even the base Soul model features Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free phone calls.

“Staying active as a city dweller usually means juggling a lot of things on your plate, but the new Kia Soul allows you to safely make phone calls and music selections while keeping your eyes on the road,” added Levy. “Also, if drivers really want to treat themselves after a long hike or bike ride, they can opt for luxury amenities like ventilated and heated leather-trimmed seats and a panoramic sunroof.”