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Hyundai Exec Confirms Production of the 2015 Santa Cruz Concept

Hyundai Exec Confirms Production of the 2015 Santa Cruz Concept

Kia’s also building one, but it’s coming at a later date

Hyundai does not have a pickup in its lineup now, but that’s going to change soon now that a company executive has confirmed that a production model is currently under development. No timetable has been set in place, but the current schedule estimates that it could launch sometime in 2020. At the moment, the design of the production model is said to be finished, and the process of putting it into production is currently underway.

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Hyundai Palisade Leaked Ahead of L.A. Debut

Hyundai Palisade Leaked Ahead of L.A. Debut

It’s big, boxy, and bold!

Excited to see Hyundai’s new full-size SUV at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show? Well, your wait was just shortened by more than two weeks thanks to an official photo that leaked onto the web.

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Best Used 2016 SUV for Fuel Economy

Best Used 2016 SUV for Fuel Economy

Who said these big boys can’t run efficiently?

The market trend is quickly shifting from sedans to crossovers and SUVs. However, SUVs have two major cons when compared to their segment counterparts - high retail price and poor fuel economy. Even though they are a practical choice thanks to additional cabin and cargo space, it’s a little difficult for everyone to afford an SUV. So why not go for a used SUV instead? You don’t take the depreciation hit that first owner does, and since SUVs are built to last a lifetime, you can get an almost-new SUV at half the original price.

Now that we’ve planted this seed in your head, let’s have a look at the best used SUVs from 2016 with high fuel efficiency.

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Hyundai Pickup Gets Green Light?

Hyundai Pickup Gets Green Light?

Motor Trend says it has proof

Hyundai shocked the world when it debuted the Santa Cruz concept at the 2015 Detroit Auto show. The industry gabbed on whether the Korean automaker would make the leap into the U.S. midsize pickup truck market or whether the Santa Cruz was merely a design study. Well, it seems Hyundai will indeed build the crossover-based truck. At least that what Motor Trend is reporting.

“We have made the decision,” Motor Trend reports Dave Zuchowski saying. Zuchowski, Hyundai Motor America’s CEO, continued saying, “We have not made the announcement.” While that last bit is rather obvious at this point, the automaker is likely to break its silence at the Los Angeles this coming fall or Detroit Auto Shows, later next year.

The Santa Cruz is part of Hyundai’s apparent reallocation of space at its Montgomery, Alabama assembly plant to produce more crossovers. Whether the truck will actually take up residence in Montgomery is unknown, but Motor Trend’s report suggests the plant does have room for a fourth vehicle. There is also a Kia plant in Mexico with the capacity. There’s even the possibility of it being built in Korea since the Chicken Tax embargo is dying in 2021.

Regardless of where it’s built, the Santa Cruz is slotted to be a lifestyle truck that rivals the Honda Ridgeline for driving pleasure mixed with reasonable payload and towing capacities. Zuchowski is convinced most truck owners over buy, locking themselves into a truck that far exceeds their needs. The Santa Cruz is his answer to the problem.

It will come powered by a choice of a gasoline or turbodiesel engine with the option of an AWD or 4WD system. Pricing is expected to start around $25,000 and go on sale starting in Q4 of 2018 as a 2019 model.

Continue reading for more information.

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2016 Chicago Auto Show – Best And Worst In Show

2016 Chicago Auto Show – Best And Worst In Show

Winners and losers from CAS 2016, plus what went missing

The gates are open at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, and with those pesky journalists finally out of the way, the public can now enjoy all the vehicular goodness that North America’s “largest” auto show can muster. Special editions, refreshes, and brand-new models all dropped cover this year, with crossovers and SUVs served up as the main course, and new sedans and sports cars added as a tasty side dish. Picking winners and losers here is not exactly easy, but hey, this isn’t some elementary school talent show. Time to be ruthless.

There were a few clear standouts for Best In Show right from the start, but cutthroat competition to fill the remaining slots quickly followed. Picking vehicles for Worst In Show was also pretty tricky, but that’s why they pay me the big bucks.

So, without further ado…

Continue reading for the Best and Worst In Show at CAS 2016.

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The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

Every fall, dozens of journalists from all over Texas and around the country gather to compare, test, and crown the winner of the “Truck of Texas” competition. It’s a coveted award from the Texas Auto Writers Association that signifies Texas’ collective approval of a truck. And not only are trucks involved, awards go out for the SUV and CUV of Texas.

I already touched on the topic in the preview piece, but awards are also given to the winner in each vehicle category and for various things like “best connectivity” and “best powertrain.”

This year’s competition was fierce. There were 84 vehicles present from 21 automakers entered into 17 different categories. Evaluating the field were 69 TAWA members comprised of journalists and social media influencers.

So let’s get down to the results. Keep reading for the full breakdown.

Continue reading for the results of the 2015 TAWA Truck Rodeo

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2016 - 2017 Hyundai Tucson

2016 - 2017 Hyundai Tucson

The third-generation Hyundai Tucson debuted at the Geneva Motor Show on March 3rd of 2015 as a 2016 model. Compared to the outgoing model, it was a pretty huge departure in terms of exterior styling. The Tucson received a new hexagonal grille, more aggressive front fascia, and more upscale headlamps. In the rear, the Tucson got restyled tail lamps and a sportier rear fascia. Since the Tucson is larger than the outgoing model, the cabin offered up more passenger space and cargo room to go with the softer materials and a new premium look. To go with a new dash layout, the infotainment screen got a new chrome-looking bezel, and there is a new steering wheel to tie the interior together. Being a global model, the Tucson is available with a decent list of engines, but here in the U.S. we only get the choice of a 164-horsepower 2.0-liter or a 175-horsepower, 1.6-liter, turbocharged unit.

As far as safety goes, the Tucson is fitted with six airbags, active front head restraints, and electronic stability control. Other safety features like blind spot detection, lane departure, and automatic emergency braking are all optional features that come at a premium. As far as safety testing goes, the Tucson earned a five-star rating from the Euro NCAP. Competing against models like the Ford Escape and the Jeep Cherokee, the Tucson certainly has its work cut out for it. How well does it compare? Check out our full review below to make the decision for yourself.

Update 7-29-2016 Hyundai has announced a number of enhancements for the 2017 Hyundai Tucson. Check out the details in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Hyundai Tucson.

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2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell

2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell

Launched for 2005, the Tucson compact crossover was Hyundai’s answer to the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and the Ford Escape. The Tucson did surprisingly well its first year, selling over 60,000 units in the U.S. alone. The small crossover slotted under Hyundai’s larger Santa Fe and Veracruz crossovers. Sharing its platform with the Elantra sedan and Kia Sportage crossover, the Tucson proved to be a decent vehicle for moving people and their stuff.

Hyundai launched the Tucson’s second generation for 2010 that included a more stylized look and more efficient engines. The 2015 Tucson is part of Hyundai’s latest experiment with hydrogen fuel cell technology. The new hydrogen system totally replaces the Tucson’s gasoline engine with a power system that runs only on hydrogen, and only emits water vapor and heat as an exhaust.

While the 2015 Tucson isn’t Hyundai’s first attempt at hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, it’s Hyundai’s first successful attempt. The Korean automaker is currently leasing Tucson FCV in select areas of California, including Los Angeles. For $2,999 down and $499 a month, owners can drive their Tucson FCV without the cost of refueling, as Hyundai is including free hydrogen fill-ups at its ‘At Your Service’ maintenance centers.

Updated 08/06/2015: Hyundai announced that the ix35 Fuel Cell (the global name for the Tucson Fuel Cell outside the U.S.) was driven for 24 hours with zero emissions. Behind the wheel were Arnt-Gøran Hartvig (Sports Scientist) and Marius Bornstein (Master of Physics) who traveled around the public roads in Germany, emitting nothing but water vapor. In order to brake the record, the car covered a 186 miles route between Vatenfall’s hydrogen station in HafenCity, Hamburg and a Shell hydrogen station in Sachsendamm, Berlin as many times as possible in 24 hours.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell.

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Hyundai CEO Confirms Santa Cruz; Wants New Baby Crossover

Hyundai CEO Confirms Santa Cruz; Wants New Baby Crossover

We’ve previously reported that Hyundai North American is seriously considering a truck-like utility vehicle based on the 2015 Hyundai Santa Cruz concept seen at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show in January. Now it seems Hyundai USA CEO David Zuchowski, a huge supporter of the Santa Cruz, expects to receive the green light for production from Hyundai’s main Korean headquarters by this November.

The trucklet will be based on a crossover platform underpinned by a unibody structure and a transverse-mounted powertrain with available AWD. Hyundai says the Santa Cruz wouldn’t be competing against the American midsized trucks, but rather vehicles like the current Honda Ridgeline.

What’s more, Hyundai is shifting a few of its production facilities from cars to crossovers, along with more factories being constructed globally. This will give Hyundai the room to build the new model without sacrificing production of its other products.

Reports are also suggesting Zuchowski is also pushing for a small, entry-level compact crossover aimed at the 2015 Nissan Juke, 2016 Mazda CX-3, 2015 Chevrolet Trax, and 2016 Honda HR-V. Zuchowski hints that the crossover will push the design envelope, saying “edgier styling will be really important in that segment.” The small crossover is expected for the 2017 model year.

As for the Santa Cruz mini-truck, if Hyundai’s Korean headquarters gives the go-ahead, it could enter production for the 2017 or 2018 model year. It would be marketed towards urbanites who lead active lifestyles who need the utility of a truck, but don’t need the size or towing capacity offered by modern American trucks.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Hyundai Santa Cruz Will Be Based On The Tucson

Hyundai Santa Cruz Will Be Based On The Tucson

The “green light” for production is all but official for Hyundai’s first pickup-like vehicle, the Santa Cruz, as more and more information trickles in. The latest news comes as Hyundai Motor America’s director of product planning reveals the Santa Cruz will be based on the existing Tucson crossover platform.

"We would not be starting from scratch with this vehicle, that is fair to say," said Scott Margason in a recent interview with Edmunds. By doing this, Hyundai would save costs by not developing a stand-alone architecture, along with one to two years of developmental time, Margason figures.

Designing the Santa Cruz off the Tucson’s crossover platform tells volumes about Hyundai’s intended market for the vehicle. Rather than being a direct competitor to players like the Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma, or the Nissan Frontier, the Santa Cruz would be marketed as a “lifestyle” vehicle for those wanting a pickup, but not the sacrifices associated with one.

"We tend to refer to it as more of an open-utility vehicle," continued Margason. "It is a personal-use vehicle." So don’t expect to see a Santa Cruz lugging equipment through a construction site. More to the point, the Santa Cruz’s closest competitor would be the Honda Ridgeline.

Hyundai is still deliberating on whether the Santa Cruz will launch with the 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder that powered the concept version. If chosen, the diesel would likely make the Santa Cruz more appealing to shoppers used to sedans, thanks to its high 30-mpg fuel economy estimations.

Despite its non-truck-like descriptions, Hyundai is targeting Millennial urbanites who lead active lifestyles by camping, bicycling, or even those doing DIY home improvements. The Santa Cruz will come with AWD to aid its versatile repertoire.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Hyundai Reportedly Close To Approving Santa Cruz Pickup For Production

Hyundai Reportedly Close To Approving Santa Cruz Pickup For Production

The rumors continue to swirl around Hyundai’s future product plans as Hyundai USA CEO David Zuchowski revealed the Santa Cruz pickup is close to getting the green light for production.

The only kicker is approval must come from Hyundai’s South Korean headquarters.

However, Zuchowski is confident the project will get approved, as he told The Detroit Bureau during the rollout of the Sonata Hybrid, “There is a very high probability we get the approval of the truck very soon.”

The Santa Cruz concept made its debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show back in January, and caused quite a stir. The truck takes a very different approach to styling and functionality than the more traditional midsized pickups like the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma. Hyundai says the truck targets millennial “Urban Adventurers” who lead active lifestyles and are looking for a vehicle that supports that living. The Santa Cruz’s bed offers space to carry dirty sports equipment or sweaty clothes not otherwise welcomed in the sedan or crossover.

Zuchowski says more than 90 percent of potential buyers the automaker surveyed has like the Santa Cruz concept. “It’s proven very popular,” he concluded.

What’s more, Zuchowski mentioned his team is also considering a subcompact crossover to compete against the Honda HR-V, Chevrolet Trax, and Jeep Renegade. “This is a growth segment,” The CEO said. “We want a piece of it.” Again, approval would be needed from South Korea, but the possibilities for production are just as promising as the Santa Cruz.

Continue reading for more information

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Hyundai Explores Truck Land With Santa Cruz Crossover Concept

Hyundai Explores Truck Land With Santa Cruz Crossover Concept

Hyundai surprised audiences at the North American International Auto Show with the Santa Cruz, a crossover-like pickup truck that blends easy-driving characteristic with functional utility in a stylish package marketed towards Millennials. With a trick extending cargo box, seating for five, all-wheel-drive, and a diesel engine, the Santa Cruz is certainly an interesting concept.

Head over to TopSpeed Trucks for the full review.

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2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport - Driven

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport - Driven

In the crowded world of family-hauling SUVs, there are literally dozens of “me-too” options that scream out with their boring designs and ho-hum driving dynamics. A field of minivan replacments that are packed full of so many compromises that they fail to excel at any single thing. Despite this, there is one crossover that continually surprises me with both its competence and its quality. That is the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.

The Santa Fe Sport is the smaller, two-row version of the Santa Fe. It competes directly with machines like the Toyota Venza, the Chevrolet Equinox and the Subaru Outback, but it does so with a dash of style and value that those others can’t match. When equipped with the optional 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine, it is also a quick performer.

But this Santa Fe Sport doesn’t have the turbocharged motor. It also doesn’t have AWD. In fact, aside from a few equipment options, this Santa Fe Sport the lowest-trim version you can buy. Will the less-powerful, 2.4-liter engine and lack of AWD ruin my feelings about the car? Without the speed and grip, is it still a good match for those competitors? After a week of driving, and a few hundred miles on the clock, I think I have the answer.

Read on to find out more about the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.

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2015 Hyundai H350

2015 Hyundai H350

Hyundai is vying to enter the highly competitive European van market with its all-new H350 van. Sporting a familiar face borrowed from its consumer vehicle lineup, the H350 offers configurations as a cargo van, passenger van, and even a flatbed truck. While the H350 isn’t likely to hit U.S. shores anytime soon, the fact Hyundai is taking on the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Fiat, and even Nissan is big news.

The Korean automaker started with a clean sheet of paper when designing the H350. High-strength steels make up a majority of the van’s construction and much attention was paid to its powertrain options. Even the level of interior refinement seems above par for the segment. Hyundai has a lot to prove, after all.

Hyundai gives customers the choice between two separate tunes of the same 2.5-liter, turbo-diesel engine, with the more powerful of the two producing 167 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. The turbo-diesel is mated to a six-speed manual transmission that powers the front wheels.

The H350 comes equipped with a host of safety and driver convenience functions as well. A 4.2-inch TFT display keeps the driver informed on vial stats while a high-strength steel passenger compartment ensures occupant safety. A full suite of electronic nannies help keep the top-heavy H350’s shiny side up.

While Hyundai is currently releasing the H350 only in European and other world markets, a large success there could see it arriving on U.S. shores within a few years. Holding back the process would be diesel development and passing the U.S. emissions standards.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Hyundai H350.

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2014 Hyundai Tucson Walking Dead Edition

2014 Hyundai Tucson Walking Dead Edition

More than just being one of the biggest automakers in the world these days, Hyundai is also pretty adept at preparing for the apocalypse. Whereas other companies aren’t as involved when it comes to gearing up for the day zombies roam this planet, the Korean automaker has been doing the opposite for the past few years.

Hyundai has already released a handful of zombie-prepared vehicles in the past and at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, it introduced its latest survival vehicle. It’s called the Hyundai Tucson Walking Dead Edition, and as the name clearly says, this special edition SUV is based on the hit AMC show.

For its color, Hyundai opted to use an Ash Black shade for the exterior with matching red accents and some dedicated graphics, including four unique decals featuring factions - Hilltop, Kingdom, Saviors and Survivors - from the graphic novel-inspired show.

Inside, the special edition Tucson receives black leather seats, custom floor mats, and a seven-inch touchscreen display with a special The Walking Dead splash screen. A "Zombie Survival Kit" is also part of the package, which has a host of cool items, like a survivalist backpack and a Walking Dead Tucson Quick Reference Guide.

Updated 06/20/2014: Hyundai announced that the new Tucson Walking Dead Edition is now on sale at its dealers around the country. Also, a new set of images was added so you can now see this special Tucson on both exterior and interior.

Click past the jump to read about the 2014 Hyundai Tucson

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2014 - 2015 Hyundai Tucson

2014 - 2015 Hyundai Tucson

The second generation Hyundai Tucson was announced in 2009 and the only update it received was back in 2011 when the old GL trim was replaced by a new GLS version. Things are completely different for the 2014 model year though, as the Tucson was updated with some minor changes on both the exterior and the interior, but under the hood it received two new, more efficient engines.

The 2014 Tucson will be Hyundai’s first vehicle on the American market to be powered by the new 2.0-liter Nu GDI engine, with other models to follow at a later point. Next to the new engines, the 2014 Tucson is also offering an all-new SACHS Amplitude Selective Damping (ASD), Hyundai’s Blue Link safety, service and infotainment telematics system, two-stage reclining rear seats and third-generation navigation with a larger seven-inch touchscreen display and HD Radio technology.

For 2014 model year the Tucson will be offered in three trim levels: GLS, SE and Limited with prices ranging from $21,450 to $27,700.

Updated 07/22/2014: Hyundai announced prices for the 2015 Tucson which is now available in dealerships. The model received pretty much no changes for the 2015 model year, so prices remained unchanged: $21,500 for the base GLS version and up to $27,800 for the Limited edition. Details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Hyundai Tucson.

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First Official Image of the 2013 Sante Fe

First Official Image of the 2013 Sante Fe

Hyundai was not shy about releasing a number of teaser images ahead of the Sante Fe’s official debut at the 2012 New York Auto Show. They’ve spent the whole month of March bringing out these images and we’re just about fed up with the wait. Thankfully, we came across a little banner that helped us out on the journey. Say hello to the first official image of the 2013 Hyundai Sante Fe.

It may only be a few hours until the New York Auto Show officially opens it doors, but that was still too long to wait. After twelve years on the market, the SUV was well in need of a new generation. This new Sante Fe takes its design inspiration from the Veloster and the new generation i30. The car features Hyundai’s new Fluidic Sculpture design language, a set of new headlamps and taillamps, and a new set of 19-inch aluminum wheels.

The current model is offered with engines like a 2.4-liter gasoline engine with an output of 174 hp and 197 HP diesel engine capacity of 2.2 liter. For the new model, Hyundai will offer more power in out of a couple of four cylinder engines.

We’ll find out more about the 2013 Sante Fe as soon as New York opens its doors, so stay tuned!

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