Hyundai Ramps up CUV Production


Hyundai has been busy. The Korean car manufacturer announced in November 2017 that there will be eight new CUV models available by 2020. Some of the new models will be new versions of old models, and some of them will be brand new. One of those brand new CUV's is already in Hyundai showrooms. Improved fuel efficiency is clearly one of the goals behind this Hyundai CUV explosion, although an attempt to claim a larger piece of the CUV-craze pie is most likely the biggest motivation. Here are answers to some of the questions you may have about these new additions to the CUV class.

1

Is there a new electric Hyundai CUV out this year?

Hyundai has just announced the all-new Kona Electric, although prices and the exact release date are not yet available. This new electric CUV looks almost exactly like the gas-powered Kona. One noticeable difference is the closed grille that is the same color as the body of the car. The charging port is accessed through a small door in the grille on the driver's side.

There are two powertrain versions available with the Kona Electric. One of them comes with a long-range battery with a range of 300 miles. The other powertrain comes with a 39.2 kWh battery that gives you a range of up to 194 miles.

The new Kona Electric is equipped with a shift-by-wire operation module that Hyundai claims provides "an intuitive operation of the electric powertrain." It also comes with an adjustable regenerative braking system that can be adjusted using paddle shifts located on the steering wheel.

Other high-tech conveniences include a 7" supervision cluster, head-up display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and navigation. The new Kona Electric also comes with Hyundai's SmartSense active-assist safety features. The safety features included are Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Driver Attention Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Following Assist, Blind Spot Collision Warning including Rear Cross, Traffic Collision Warning, and Intelligent Speed Limit Warning.

2

Did Hyundai release a new crossover CUV this year?

The all-new gas-powered Kona is a five-passenger, subcompact CUV that is available now in four different trims. Starting MSRP ranges from $19,500 to $27,400. Front-wheel drive is standard, although you can get the Kona with all-wheel drive for an extra $1,300. The two engine options are a 147-hp 2.0-L, inline 4-cylinder MPI Atkinson engine or a 175-hp Inline 4-cylinder turbocharged 1.6-L turbo GDI engine. The new Kona gets 27-28 mpg in the city and 32-33 mpg on the highway.

The Kona is available in four trims - the SE, SEL, Limited, and Ultimate. All of the trim levels come equipped with a decent infotainment system. It includes Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, a six-speaker stereo system and a 7" touchscreen. All trims also come with a rearview camera, LED headlights and keyless entry.

Unfortunately, all of the SmartSense active-assist safety features that the Kona Electric comes with are only standard on the Ultimate trim. They are optional on the SEL trim. Blind-spot Collision Warning, Lane Change Assist, and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision systems are standard on SEL Limited and Ultimate trims.

3

Is Hyundai going to sell a new diesel CUV?

A diesel-powered CUV is on the docket. That is one of the eight new CUV's Hyundai have available. It will probably hit showrooms in early 2019.

4

Does Hyundai make a fuel-cell CUV?

The Nexo is Hyundai's hydrogen-powered fuel-cell CUV. It is one of the CUV's that will be completely overhauled for its fourth generation. The new Nexo will be available by 2019. It will have a range of 370 miles and get an estimated combined mpge of 60.

5

What new CUV's is Hyundai working on?

In addition to the new Kona and Kona Electric, the revamped Nexo and the new diesel-powered CUV, Hyundai is working on a new subcompact or A-segment CUV, a new mid-sized CUV and two mystery CUV's. The new mid-sized CUV could very well be a new Santa Fe. The two mystery CUV's are scheduled for release before the end of 2018, so we should be hearing something more on those soon. The new A-segment and midsize CUV's aren't due out until 2019.

6

Is there a CUV that is a better deal than a Hyundai?

It's a little too soon to say, what with all the big changes Hyundai is making, but the Mazda CX-3, Buick Encore, and Subaru Crosstrek should be on your test-drive short list if you're looking for a new 5-passenger, subcompact CUV. U.S. News & World Report rates them at #1, #2 and #2, respectively. The CX-3 gets 29 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. MSRP for a 2018 model starts at $20,110 to $26,415. The Encore gets 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Starting MSRP for a 2018 ranges from $22,990 to $32,100. The Crosstrek gets 27 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. A 2018 Crosstrek costs between $21,795 and $26,295.

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