PINEHURST, NC and YONKERS, NY — October 7, 2019 — We have noted on our radio show, “Driving Me Crazy,” broadcast Thursday mornings at ten o’clock on Westchester on the Level with Hezi Aris, and in our published reviews in the Yonkers Tribune paper, about how the major car manufacturers seem to be shifting their emphasis on Crossover Utility Vehicles (CUV) or the Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV), and away from compact sport sedans, which appear to be a shrinking segment.
Hyundai continues to be strongly vested in the sedan market, with the 2020 Accent, starting at $15,195 with an incredible 41 mpg fuel consumption; the 2020 Elantra, starting at $18,950 with the same amazing 41 mpg; and the midsize 2019 Sonata, with an MSRP of $22,650 and still-impressive 35 mpg. Hyundai clearly sees their sedans as the platform on which the company proves its reputation for great styling, interior space, handling, features galore, all at a price you cannot beat. And that’s why we have been among their biggest cheerleaders. As Johnny says, “There are a lot of things to say about Hyundai in a positive way, and I think both Laurie and I have been at the forefront of the praise bandwagon.”
JOHN: There are lots of praiseworthy attributes to the Elantra Sport as well, but my first question about this vehicle is “Who is it designed for?” While the manufacturers suggested retail price starts at $22.K advertised on the net, our model had a suggested retail price of $23.7K, before the $2,250 add on Premium Package, which is worth the money.
LAURIE: And this is sales season, when dealers are turning over their inventory to make room for the new models, many of which are already out. So, there are real deals to be had.
JOHN: The point about price is that it isn’t really cheap as a first-time buyer purchase. I did, however, do some searching on the internet and found prices right at $17K for a brand new Elantra Sport, if the buyer had cash; and this was from a reputable dealer, too. Back to my question. Parents, would you buy one of these for your college bound 18-year-old? Check the insurance costs, but a four cylinder 1.6L engine, with 201 HP, probably isn’t going to raise any eyebrows at the insurance office; even if it does have a Turbo.
LAURIE: That may be so, honey, but the car we tested did surprise us with a sticker price of $27,005, which included the premium package Navigation GPS, audio system, and all the links and temperature controls and such that add another $2,250 to the base price. This was the first Hyundai where we paused and said, “Isn’t that a little high for a Hyundai?”
JOHN: Interior-wise, I thought the Elantra Sport was comfortable, easy to get in and out – important if you, like me, let’s say, are over 50 and weigh over 175 lbs.
LAURIE: Speak for yourself, chum.
JOHNNY: The seats were very comfortable and had the heated feature for those cold, wintry mornings (we’d be happy with cool ones at this point in time). The steering wheel is leather wrapped and flat on the bottom. Not sure if that is just for show, or to allow people to slide under it without hitting their legs. Since I don’t drive holding the bottom of the steering wheel and didn’t have any problems turning with it in this configuration, ‘okay, flat bottom steering’ say I.
LAURIE: Let me push in for a moment, dear. The seats were comfortable but nothing to get ecstatic over. The “knee room” when you slide into the driver’s seat and settle in was rather tight, even with the steering wheel raised up, and I do attribute this to something you said not that long ago, Johnny, about Western car manufacturers tending to design their cars for Asiatic people, who are, by and large, somewhat smaller than Europeans and Americans. As for the flat-bottomed steering wheel, I rather like it.
JOHNNY: I thought it interesting that even though we had a seven-speed automatic transmission, you can get the Elantra Sport with a six-speed manual shift, and even in automatic, you have the ‘paddle shifters’ you find on many of the sport models. The paddle shifters actually are just below your line of sight on the right and left of the steering column, so even though you can’t see them in the picture above, they are there. I’m not sure what hiding them accomplished, so you will have to ask the Hyundai engineers that one.
Advance Safety Technology is always something I am interested in, and Laurie loves the Comfort and Convenience package. You take it away first, hon.
LAURIE: You have always been the one to take the helm regarding safety and technology. This car has, as standard, some of the features that other car manufacturers add on as an “extras.” Hyundai’s great at including this sort of thing as part of the base price, which is why we love them. So, you get forward collision avoidance assist, lane keeping assist, blind-spot collision warning, rear cross traffic collision warning; front, front side impact and side curtain and driver knee airbags, electronic stability control with traction control, and ABS with electronic brake force distribution and break assist. These are the things that saves lives, folks. I often wonder how many people will turn down a “extras” or “optional” package that does have these safety features to save a couple of thousand bucks. It makes no sense to me, at least.
JOHNNY: Hyundai seems to have been one of the leading innovators of safety and technology aspect of cars for years now, but their Comfort and Convenience packages are excellent too. Since we had the Premium Package, with an 8” Touch Screen for our navigation, we also had the Infinity Premium Audio System with 8 speakers. That’s a 1” bigger Touch Screen and two more speakers than standard. The Premium Package also features Blue Link, a registered name with Hyundai, that is a connected vehicle system using an embedded telematics to gather vehicle Car Care information such as Monthly Vehicle Health Report and Automatic Crash Notifications. The system utilizes mobile apps to allow the customer to Remote Start, Stop, Lock or Unlock their Hyundai. Their standard Comfort and Convenience package includes Sirius XM radio, phone charging, hands free Blue Tooth, the power sunroof, the rear view camera with dynamic guidelines (a feature that uses lines to let you know where you rear is headed and how close you are to objects visually), Sport Instrument Gauge Cluster and black headliner, and Hands Free Smart Trunk Release, plus even more. Some of those things, like Blue Tooth and a rearview camera, also contribute to safety, but I know there are some specifics you wanted to talk about.
LAURIE: Let’s go back to fuel economy. The 2019 Elantra Sport gets combine 29 mpg, averaging 26 city and 33 highway. I was surprised to see the Government 5-Star safety ratings at “4” out of “5” pretty much across the board, with the sole “5” rating for Side Front seat crash.
JOHN: We take for granted the things I am going to list, but we are so much safer and protected now that they are part of the car’s standard features and not add-ons that you’ve mentioned. Keeping down the incidence of accidents does a lot more than reduce insurance rates. As you said, these features save lives – ours and the people around us. Those are good things to have.
LAURIE: Well, let me wrap this one up, then. I enjoyed driving this car; I always enjoy driving a Hyundai. I enjoy the way it handles; I like the looks of this car; I am always impressed with a Hyundai’s looks. Which reminds me of a Christmas episode of the classic, heartwarming BBC Television series, All Creatures Great and Small…
Every Christmastime, Siegfried Farnon, whose veterinary practice is the only one in his part of the Yorkshire Dales, is invited to one of the remote sheep farms for the first slice of Christmas cake for the season. This particular family has been longtime clients, and Mr. Farnon’s opinion on the Christmas cake is not only a tradition between them, but the very success of the cake hangs on his opinion. This particular year, the wife of the house has decided to make a switch. Instead of serving up her Christmas cake, a brandy-soaked fruitcake which she so carefully begins preparing three months before, she decides to substitute her sister’s recipe. She tells no one, so when she brings the cake out of the larder, no one knows that it is not hers except herself. The family is all together, seated around the dining room table, children and adults alike, and with great fanfare, she sets the cake in front of Mr. Farnon, who is sitting in his traditional place at the head of the table, and serves him the very first piece.
He takes his fork. He cuts a bite. He raises it up to inspect the consistency. He picks up his teacup with his free hand and swishes some tea in his mouth to “cleanse” his palate. Then he takes the bite. He takes his time, chewing slowly, savoring the morsel, puts his fork down, dabs his mouth with his napkin, and looks intently at the wife of the house.
“Mrs. B—-,” he says. “This is a wonderful cake. This is a delicious cake. This is a marvelous cake. But I am afraid, my dear, it is not quite up to your usual standards.”
Delighted that her sister’s cake is proclaimed by the expert of all experts to be inferior to her own, the wife claps her hands together and says, with sheer delight in her voice, “Oh, what a wonderful man!”
So, Hyundai, I say, the 2019 Elantra Sport is a wonderful car. It is a delightful car. I will go so far as to say it is a marvelous car. But I am afraid, my dear, it is not quite up to your usual standards.
Do you understand the moral of my story, Johnny?
JOHNNY: Do you mean we can start decorating for Christmas?
LAURIE: No, dearest. You have to wait until the day after Halloween. That’s soon enough.
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Hyundai of Pinehurst – Southern Pines Hyundai Dealer is your North Carolina Hyundai dealer. They invite you to 10732 U.S. Hwy 15-501, Southern Pines, NC 28387 location for a wonderful sales experience while being treated as a guest in their automotive home. Sales and Service at 910-692-2424 or 877-894-2568.
At Central Avenue Hyundai, customer satisfaction is their highest priority and they are proud to offer one of the largest selections of brand new Hyundai models in Southern Westchester and New York City. Central Avenue Hyundai. Sales: 914-368-7981; Service 914-831-1500; Parts 914-328-2227; and Finance 914-220-0360.
Whether you’re looking for a fuel-efficient sedan to take on your daily commute or a family-friendly SUV, there is sure to be a great vehicle option waiting for you! They serve the following areas: White Plains, Scarsdale, Hartsdale, Yonkers, Mt. Vernon, New Rochelle, Eastchester, Irvington, Ardsley, Bronxville, Dobbs Ferry, Elmsford, West Harrison, Purchase, New York City, and beyond!
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Listen to John, and Laurie’s review this Thursday morning, October 10th, from 10-10:30am on the Driving Me Crazy segment of Westchester On the Level. Access the broadcast “Live” or “On Demand” – use this hyperlink: http://tobtr.com/s/11517693