Episode 505 – Sonata GLS Beats Hybrid in MPGs, Volt Headed to Europe, Ranger Based SUV

October 22nd, 2010 at 12:00pm

Runtime 8:28

John got to test drive the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and the Sonata GLS and found that the base version got better fuel economy. Chevrolet is going to sell the Volt in Europe right up against the Opel Ampera. Ford is developing an SUV based off of the redesigned Ranger’s architecture. All that and more, plus a preview of this week’s Autoline Detroit all about selling luxury cars in the American market.

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This is Autoline Daily for October 22, 2010. And now, the news.

DO AMERICANS WANT SMALL CARS? (subscription required)
Thanks to the new fuel economy regulations in the U.S. more and more automakers are introducing A- and B-class cars into the market. But do Americans really want small cars? Not according to Ed Tonkin, the Chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, which represents all the car dealers in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal quotes him as saying consumers don’t buy cars because of fuel efficiency, they prefer horsepower and comfort features. He also says they’re skeptical that small cars are safe.

Biofuels look like they could be a great way to help reduce our dependence on oil. But researchers in this field say the development of cellulosic biofuels is all tangled up in government regulations over gene-modification, Ward’s reports. The researchers argue that by using gene-modification they can speed the breeding process and also add traits to use less water and reduce cost. Currently this research is prohibited because of the fear over introducing genetically modified crops into the ecosystem. But scientists say some methods pose less of a risk than others and that it shouldn’t prevent research from being done.

I had an interesting experience yesterday. I’m on the jury for the North American Car & Truck of the Year award. Over the past few days the jury got together to test drive all the different vehicles up for this year’s award. I got the chance to test drive the Hyundai Sonata hybrid, the first hybrid with lithium-ion batteries. After driving it for a while, I decided to test it against the base Sonata GLS, without any hybrid technology. I got one of my fellow jurors to drive the hybrid while I drove the base car, and we took them both out on a 15-mile loop, with me following him, so that we drove the same roads at the same speeds. Get this, the hybrid averaged 33.3 miles per gallon, while the base car got 37.2 mpg, nearly 4 miles to the gallon better. I think Hyundai has got some work to do on its hybrid, and this also shows just how good the base car is.

Another thing I learned at the Car & Truck of the Year test drive: Chevrolet is going to sell the Volt in Europe. Now I thought Europe was only going to get the Opel Ampera, which is essentially the same car with a different body on it. But no, the Volt will be sold at Chevrolet dealerships throughout Europe, right up against the Ampera which will be sold in Opel dealerships. Chevrolet is one of the fastest growing brands in Europe, so I can understand why GM would want to sell the Volt there. But I can only imagine the people at Opel were furious to learn that they would not have exclusive access to this technology. After all, Opel needs all the help it can get.

FORD DEVELOPS RANGER-BASED SUV (subscription required)
Ford revealed its redesigned Ranger last week, the truck they’re selling in more than 180 countries on five continents but NOT in the U.S. It looks like it’s going to be a hard-working and stylish pickup. Between the front fenders buyers have three options: one Duratec gasoline engine and two Duratorq diesels. The most powerful delivers up to 470 Newton-meters of torque, about 347 pound-feet. To make the most of the truck’s architecture, Ward’s reports that Ford is developing an SUV based off of it. The sport-utility version is rumored to seat between seven and eight people. At the earliest it could debut at the end of 2012. The reason the latest and greatest Ranger will not be sold in the US is that it’s just so close in size and capability to the F-150. But it’s not big enough to suit the needs of the American market.

Yesterday we reported that the 2011 Dodge Journey is getting a big boost under the hood. Chrysler is dropping its brand-new Pentastar V-6 in there, but it’s not the only vehicle in the automaker’s lineup to get the engine. In the next three years, 13 different cars, trucks and sport utilities will get the powerplant. Chrysler is really streamlining its engine lineup, going from seven different V-6s to just one. The company is reducing the number of major engine components it produces from 189 to just 32! The benefits of this are too numerous to list. Topping the charts, the 2011 Dodge Challenger gets the most potent version, delivering an SAE-certified 305 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque. These numbers are all over the V-6 versions of the Mustang and Camaro. It’s great to see Chrysler getting back into the game again after Cerberus drove it into a ditch.

Can Hyundai dealers in the U.S. really sell a luxury car like the Equus? Coming up next we’ll hear from two different dealers with two very different points of view.

On our television program Autoline Detroit this weekend, the discussion is all about selling luxury cars. Joining me for that discussion are three dealers including Ken Meade from the Meade Lexus group, which sells Lexuses, Rob Kurnick from the Penske Automotive Group, which handles many different luxury brands, and Chris Consiglio from the Eitel Dahm Motor Group, which has BMW and other brands. In the following clip we talk about whether or not Hyundai can be successful selling its new luxury car, the Equus.

By the way, you can watch that entire show, and it’s a good one, on our website, autolinedetroit.tv.

And that wraps us up this week for the top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you on Monday.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog, WardsAuto.com and WWJ Newsradio 950

57 Comments to “Episode 505 – Sonata GLS Beats Hybrid in MPGs, Volt Headed to Europe, Ranger Based SUV”

  1. HtG Says:

    Hey John, nice duds. Better not let your better half see.

    Now for my nitpick of the day. I wonder if driving behind a standard Sonata is a close enough comparison since you guys may have been giving different gas and brake inputs over the same trip.

  2. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Hey Ford guess what…….you just lost a major portion of the truck buying public.On all of the forums that I belong to (all automotive in nature) most everyone laments the total lack of updating done to the venerable ranger,but they are (rightly so)lamenting the announcement that the very new ranger (GLOBAL Ranger mind you)will not be available here in the US.Bad form Ford.You have pushed the US buyers right into Toyota’s arms.Smooth move exlax….

  3. G.A.Branigan Says:

    For those that are interested in the latest from the continuing GV vs.m&m saga:http://mahindraplanet.blogspot.com/2010/10/mahindra-delay-excuses-dont-set-well.html

    Back to Ford,when the mahindra TR series of small diesel trucks FINALLY reach our shores,watch the stampede to the nearest mahindra dealer.Boneheads…

  4. G.A.Branigan Says:


  5. tj Martin Says:

    Well before bringing up my Hyundai rant ( sort of ) I think it need mentioning that today FORD is recalling some 8.4 Million cars and trucks for a potential Fire Hazard .

    What is it with this trend ? First the Ferrari 458 . Then the TESLA Roadster . Next the Cadillac SRX . And now 8.4 million FORDS !

    Hyundai Rant ( sort of )

    Well this is a repeat and truth be known I’m a little late to the game on this but yesterday I’d read in the NYTimes that Hyundai has the stones to charge $58,900 base price for the Equus ? And $65,400 for the ( urp ) premium version ?

    What are Hyundai sniffing lately ? A better question is has Hyundai dipped into VW’s stash ? ( referencing the Phaeton)

    Seriously do the realize how many new car choices at that price point one has ? Go used and your options expand even further .

    I do hope no one here is gullible enough to pay $65,400 for any Hyundai present or future .

    If this trend keeps up next we’ll see a $70,000 Mahindra to compete ( urp ) with the Mrecedes G Class .

  6. LEX Says:


    I still think that the Mercedes B Class car, with Ontario Plates, which I saw earlier this year in Buffalo NY would sell very in the US.
    American Consumers want luxury name plates at an affordable price. Isn’t BMW going to introduce 1 & 2 Series vehicles in the US?

    The OEM’s have been putting too much Technology at the drivers fringe tips which most people do not use or want. I was speaking to a collegue of mine yesterday and she told me the following:

    Her Husband bought her a Toyota Camry XLE fully loaded with Nav, Heated Seats and etc. she told me does not have the time nor desire to use any of the stuff. She wants a great riding vehicle that is very reliable with a great sound system. She is lost when it comes to all the other stuff. I believe OEM’s need to address these types of buyers who want luxury without all the “Driver Distractive Technology”. I bet older drivers who buy the top of the line vehicles in there class are the ones in the most accidents due too DDT. This DDT Stuff also adds additional cost to the vehicle. I would like to see OEM offer a multi purpose screen in vehicles which display vehicle vital information and can accept input from a IPhone, Blackberry, Regular Cell Phone, IPod, MP3 Player, Tom Tom Nav Type device or even a notebook or laptop. The Sound of these external devices would be routed through the vehicles sound system. Email could be read using Text to Speech software already in cell phone devices. All these external devices, which one might already have, would be compatable via USB or Mini USB Cable with the vehicles Intelligent Multi Purpose Display or IMPD. This Intelligent Multi Purpose Display Screen configuration would hopefully reduce the cost of the vehicle and give the drive a hands free option to selectively choose their own external input device of choice.

    All these “My Touch” in car systems are adding way to much cost and distraction to drivers.
    I am not saying the OEM systems are bad, but maybe they should be more modular and scalible when it come to in vehicle connectivity.

  7. Jon Says:

    At least monthly I ask this without getting a response-could you please PLEASE update the player here to match the standards at the other related sites-this one can not be enlarged and it makes it hard to see details of some vehicles shown………….

  8. HtG Says:

    LEX, could this be what you’re looking for?


    tjM, methinks you got Smokey’s attention.

  9. Dale Leonard,Lakewood Ohio Says:

    I totally agree with G.A.B. regarding the Ranger. I’ve owned Rangers for years and hate the thought of replacing it with a Toyota or Nissan although being a long time diesel fan I may look seriously at a Mahindra….If they ever get here.
    Side note: After watching AAH for so lont I have to say the “Ike” is the most laid-back,well mannered dog I have ever seen. You have a “Buddy” to be proud of.

  10. Dale Leonard,Lakewood Ohio Says:

    Regarding a $65,000 Hyundai…..Like Peter would say “A big huge bag of Not Good!”

  11. Dale Leonard,Lakewood Ohio Says:

    Re: Do Americans really want small cars?. Put it this way,if the Auto Makers start pushing A and B Class cars,all the retired people in Florida will start buying Limousines so they can drive their big cars!

  12. tj Martin Says:


    Which ” Smokey ” would you be referring to ? Smokey the Bear ( with the burning FORD’s issue ) or that ” Other ” Smokey who’s name we shall not mention ?

    If the first ,well good . His services may be needed . Quickly ! If the second . Well I hope not . Been nice being “Smoke Free ” around here lately

  13. tj Martin Says:

    RE; Do Americans want small cars ?

    Well I do . And it does seem more like myself ( 50-60 educated and at least reasonably successful ) do as well .

    As for the majority ? I’m afraid they may need to be force fed the concept of the smaller car

    You seen what these so called Enlightened 20 somethings are buying ? Full and Mid Size used SUV’s by the droves !

    Like with drugs , this generation learned nothing from our mistakes .

  14. LEX Says:

    Thank you HtG!

    That QNX System would make a great segment on AutoLine Detroit. Too many mobile telematic devices too many distractions. Is this an Aftermarket or OEM installed option?

  15. tj Martin Says:

    Honda must be feeling left out what with all the across the boards recalls and all .

    The NYTimes just announced that Honda is recalling 470,000 cars for Brake related issues .

    When does this ever end ?

    But wait ! This might just be a record ! between Ford and Honda we’ve just had 8,870,000 cars recalled in a single day .

    Check someone . This has to be a new single day record .

  16. Dale Leonard,Lakewood Ohio Says:

    Ok,I was going to let this slide,but it’s just burning my A**,and I have to say something. I was very offended by Ken Meade’s comment about how a person who owns a $70,000 car doesnt want to wait for his vehicle to be serviced. Well,We all can’t afford these high end cars and have to buy entry level vehicles,So what the hell makes this guy more important then me. We’re all customers supporting his paycheck. After hearing that statement I would not drive a Lexus or any other vehicle his dealership has to offer if they gave it to me,came to my house with a 5 star Chef,and cooked me a gourmet meal for the rest of my life. Big Bag of Not Good Mr. Meade

  17. Wade Says:

    Toyota has been making stripped down version of the Tacoma and land cruiser for years in many other countries, but not here in the USA. I just don’t understand why we are always limited to over-priced and bland vehicles compared to what Europe and Asia gets.

  18. HtG Says:

    LEX, that ‘vette is a showcase for the kind of in-car electronics that suppliers will be making available to OEMs. ARM are not the only ones doing this, and they only create the IP(intellectual property), rather than the actual hardware.

  19. Steve Says:

    “Biofuels look like they could be a great way to help reduce our dependence on oil.”

    The unspoken assumption is that someone, US govt included, is actually interested in reducing dependance on oil.

  20. LEX Says:

    HtG, The Terminal Mode for Smartphones link to YouTube Prius Segment is more of what I had in mind. I like the traditional Speedo, Tech, Oil and Temp Gauges. The Terminal Mode on the central dash display screen would accept input/data feed and be controlled via steering wheel controls. The Central Display Screen on the dash would allowing smartphone / devices to display on the Central Dash Display is exactly what I was writing about. Thanks Again.

  21. tj Martin Says:

    Dale Leonard L.O.

    First off you shouldn’t . Service is service . A car is a car and if all I’m paying for with that premium price is quicker service and gourmet latte’s well thanks but no thanks . and if anything the Premium car being more complicated you’d assume repairs would take longer .

    But if it makes you feel any better . Back in the bad old days when I had my Audi S4 Avant , we received much better as well as more timely service from Toyota on the wife’s lowly ( but dependable ) 92 Corolla .

    Whereas all I got from three different Audi dealers was multiple delays . Constant run around’s and a lot of aggravation .

    The treatment I received from the Audi Owners Advocate Group was less than a joke . i.e ;

    “Oh are you having to replace a second ECU in less than six months ? I’m so sorry to hear that but there’s really nothing I can do sir ”

    Was the typical response .

    So much for the concept of Premium Service on your High End car .

  22. Andy S Says:

    To tj — The Ford news item is about the high percentage of owners who have not responded to a series of prior recalls over several years, despite numerous communiques… not a new recall. The Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai recalls are new and noteworthy.

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    Tj regarding #5 maybe it’s those stupid, useless plastic engine covers that most cars come with these days and Hyundai will have a hard time selling this Equus cars, remember in a lot of people’s minds Hyundai and Kia are still crap.

  24. tj Martin Says:

    Wade ;

    About Toyota’s stripped down trucks . After having considered and tested the US FJ Cruiser , then having the opportunity to drive a non US Series 75 Land Cruiser I couldn’t agree with you more . I’d buy the 75 in a heart beat whereas the FJ’s blind spots , silly interior , all the add on fiddley bits/electronics and cartoon details convinced me to walk away .

  25. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Do Americans want small cars? Of course not (it is pocketbook driven for the most part); also, with all the SUV’s still on the road, in a small car, you feel miniscule. Even in my STS I feel surrounded by all the trucks and other raised vehicles.

    Funny, ethanol gets the nod (from Congress) yet when the talk starts to get cellulosic (non corn) the government gets all concerned; (perhaps the farmers lobby is really, really stronge). A little paranoid, perhaps, though stranger things have emminated from D.C.

    The small pickup is a thing of the past; the new world Ranger is (as reported) just too big to give that warm fuzzy of small pickup of old (I blame the Dakota for escalating the small pickup to midsize; never to return).

  26. Dave Says:

    I dont know If the new big dollar Hyundai will work, but the hyundai is going and most things they touch turns to gold. I would not vote against them on whatever they do

  27. tj Martin Says:

    Well no matter how you want to count the FORD issue , you can now add on another 300,000 from GM for Seat Belt Issues .

    Been one Hell of a day for recalls and re-recalls

    But hey its still only 2pm PDT so plenty of time to drum up a few more before the week is out .

    I mean what the heck . If you add in the Ford re-recalls we’re now up to 9,170,000 cars . With 770,000 just today .

    Maybe it’d be quicker and easier if they just recall every vehicle built by every manufacture in the last say five years .

  28. TomL Says:

    We should be talking about Chrysler. With Sergio Marchionne running the show, we are now starting to see good things. To make the cars better he hired at least 500 new engineers.One great V6 engine, new interiors and the employees are feeling good about Chrysler.
    Keep up the good work.

  29. G.A.Branigan Says:

    ^ They’re “feeling good” from the lunchtime buzz.

  30. Alex Kovnat Says:


    As long as fuel is cheap, you’re going to have the phenomenon of oh, so enlightened suburban liberals going (in their cars, of course) to hear a speech by the likes of Al Gore, who will tell them “We have to get TOUGH on General Motors! We have to show them whose boss! We have to make them build the cars we, the government, want them to build, not what THEY want to build!” Or, something to that effect.

    What invariably will happen is that these enlightened suburban liberals will clap and stomp their feet (in approval that is) and cheer. What then? They’ll go to the parking lot, get into their Buicks and Toyota Camrys and Chrysler not-really-so-mini vans with V-6 engines, and drive home as usual.

  31. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    :O Open mouth to John’s Bombshell.

    By the way, it’s Lithium Polymer; not Ion.

  32. G.A.Branigan Says:

    As a jeep jk owner I had hoped for better mileage as to what I am really getting with a v6.I just did some checking and the dodge hemi is actually rated at 1 mpg higher (hwy.mpg) then my v6,and they won’t sell us a damn diesel.Go figure….

  33. dcars Says:

    During the Bankruptcy, GM found out who its friends were and it wasn’t Opel or Germany.
    Opel’s recent announcement to move into Australia; in direct competition with Holden, was a clear sign that they are not team players. I would guess that GM wants to keep its name in Germany, but not with Opel. Hyundia would do well in the luxo market and Lexus shouldn’t take them lightly, because they are the target.

  34. dcars Says:

    The reason I don’t own a smaller car is that for about the same money, I could buy a bigger car (an Accord) and got nearly the same mileage as the smaller cars.

  35. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    D Cars, they puposely do that so people can Buy Accords.

    They’ll have a car like the Accord that’s the size of a Whale get 32 MPG, while their subcompact gets 35 MPG.

    That’s exactly what Ford is doing to their Focus and Fiesta. When the Focus comes out the Fiesta is done for. Both get the same fuel Economy, but one is larger, and for what it has in it its a better value than the smaller one.

    They royally screw the American small car owner. That’s why I buy Korean in the first place, because either way Im going to get screwed as an American small car lover so I might as well get screwed at a much more fairer price point.

    However, the Package the Koreans are about to bring out in Accent/Rio equates to me being a WHOLE LOT LESS SCRWED THAN NORMAL. Finally some small cars with Real Subcompact Fuel Economy, Power, and Midsizzed/Luxury car like features at a decent price.

    The Car Companies are lying to the public and forcing people INTO BIG A-S SH-T for more profits!!!!


  36. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Proper Car Segmentation should involve a 5+ MPG gap from one segment to the Next, and 25-35 Less HP.

    If a Sonata gets 35 MPG, then an Elantra should get 40 MPG, and an Accent should get 45 MPG. If a Sonata gets 200-210 HP, then an Elantra should get 170-180 HP, and an Accent should get 140-150 HP.

    If a Fit gets 35 MPG and 120 HP, then a Civic should get only 30 MPG and 150 HP, but the Civic Doesnt. If a Civic gets 140 HP and 38 MPG then a Fit should get 115 HP and 43 MPG, but it doesnt.


    Baby Boomers and Gen Xers have been slaves to this criminal establishment for years-WELL WE ARENT GOING TO BE!!!


  37. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    The Automotive Industry is becoming like the Music Industry to this generation. The Days of just making poop and getting tons of sales based on branding or one or 2 features on that Turd are over.

    You have to be smart about EVERYTHING you do, and you have to ultra cater your cars to be boutiques, and if you want generalism it has to be decent BUT DIRT CHEAP OR PRESENT AN UNCOMPROMISING VALUE.



    You can continue the Old traditional Auto Industry in China, BUT IT’S NOT GOING TO FLY IN AMERICA



  38. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Look at many music artists today. Every song they produce these days on one album (even the mediocre ones that hardly get any attention) would have been a SMASH hit in a different era.

    Cars are going to have to become like this in this country.

  39. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    As a result, Car companies are going to have to produce much better product than they normally would at a much lower profit than they normally would find acceptable.

    The Tech Companies have this scenario down to a science and an art.

    Like I said before manufacturing is an Antiquated industry that even in 20 years from now will be too expensive even to be made cheap in China. Then Africa will become the World’s Factory, and if not humans will just be replaced by Robots and Androids.

    By the way, the Koreans are the World leaders in Android Research, investing Billions of Won in that industry.

    The best way to avoid the social ramifications of this is to require Associate Degrees and Technical Diplomas as Mandatory in Public schools, and make BAs so dirt cheap that they are almost free in cost, or so affordable that the need for a loan is pointless.

  40. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    That’s after the next Bubble though, which College loans will probably be the next Bubble, as most people in the future will owe more money than what they can feasibly pay off in a lifetime, or more money than what that college education is actually worth.

    Like Houses today, the price of an education will as a result plummet by a factor of 4 or more.

  41. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Many of you in the Automotive industry want to do this with cars, but like most other disposable goods that ultimately have values that dwindle down to zero-NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

    Unless you find a way to fully securtize the losses of shit trade in values, then you will neve rbe able to do such a thing.

    This can only work best with products that have tangible values that always increase, such as Homes or Education.

    If you did this with cars, it would be disastrous to the Auto Industry with a total wipe out of GM and Chrysler, 4 Japanese Weak Brands, and qute a few dead German brands.

    The Number of global Automakers would be cut down by half resulting in:



    Japan= Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and maybe Mazda

    Germany= VW/Audi/Porsche, BMW/MINI, Merc

    It’s going to become like Department Stores in the 80s and 90s where most brands got wiped out, and replaced by Mega Centers, and Boutiques. If you didnt do this to car loans=IT MIGHT HAPPEN ANYWAY!!


    10 years:

    HYUNDAI IS THE NEW COSTCO-good products at cut rate pricing (then again you can buy certain Hyundais at COSTCO now.)

    CHINA IS THE NEW WALMART-cheap products with cheap quality for the masses who cant really afford to shop anywhere else.

    FORD IS THE NEW TARGET-ok and some great products that are overpriced but will still maintain tons of popularity for sometime.

    TOYOTA IS THE NEW GAP-AN OLD AGING OUT OF TOUCH STORE CHAIN that used to be very popular, but that popularity died once their products went out of style yet they still run them as brand new.

    VWAG like JC Penney- Low quality Products at rip off prices, but has that name brand “Halo” so people keep shopping.

  42. dcars Says:

    The Malibu is an excellent car, and it appears that Chrysler is introducing some nice products. If Chrysler’s products reach the quality levels or the pre-Daimler days they will make some headway in the market.
    The Malibu could be my next car.

  43. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    I like how the Malibu rides on the Highway. For a Highway Cruising car it’s up there with the best. It needs to look like a Modern day Old School Turnpike Cruiser. The Current Gen Malibu kind of looks like that, but this next one is dissapointing.

    Chrysler’s JD is improving too. They used to be right on the bottom, and at the rate they are going they could be a middle of the pack brand, but ONLY if they improve more and markedly. They might even earn my respect back as my favorite American brand if they continue improvements.

  44. Nick Stevens Says:

    “The world of business all has their fair share of career bullshitters, and the car industry is no different. So this week’s Weekend Head Scratcher is this: Who do you think was the worst car executive ever?

    Now note my wording “car executive”. This isn’t about CEO’s. Bullshitters can be found everywhere. Now before you all pile of Rick Wagoner, may I throw a couple of other suggestions out there? Roger B Smith. A guy who tried to modernize GM and ended up retarding it. “Maximum” Bob Lutz. A guy who said that making diesels 50 state compliant couldn’t be done without the use of Urea. Until VW did it without using urea. Juergen Schrempp (remember him?) The guy who orchestrated a $36 billion “Merger of equals” (that was a hoot in itself) and left it for the next guy to undo. So come on people. Who’s the worst car executive? As always, I want to hear a reasoned argument and not just random venom. This isn’t YouTube.”

    I’ll go with Roger Smith. Wagoner was a clueless fool, but he just does not compare to the destruction this clueless idiot SMith (of Saturn Infamy) brought GM.

  45. Nick Stevens Says:

    And I can’t believe I agree with that buffoon fatso Michael Moore on the above!!!

  46. Nick Stevens Says:

    Re the Sonata vs SOmata hybrid: John, I have already commented you on your experiment, that surprisingly showed the Sonata basic version getting an average 37 MPG (!!!) v s only 33 MPG from the Hybrid.

    You need to tell us what kind of driving that was. I bet it was not stop-go city driving. Given thew 37 MPG, it was not highway at 75+ MPH either. Most likely it was copuntry roads at 50 MPH, but you tell us.

    I encourage you to continue this test, and do it as SCIENTIFICALLY as you can, clearly specifying the conditions:

    For example, do ONE Segment of 50 miles highway (BOTH WAYS!) with the cruise at 75 MPH.

    Then Do a country road with the cruise at 55 MPH

    Then do a CITY stop-go circle. I SERIOUSLY doube the hybrid will not trounce the basic Sonata in that one.

    Then do an average given a typical driver profile, OR let us the prospective buyers INPUT whatg % we drive is type 1, 2 and 3 respectively.

    BUT as John said, his numbers do not prove how bad is the Hybrid but how amazingly good is the base 4 cylinder.

    I bet it does not make sense to buy the Sonata hybrid for most buyers, in the same sense that it makes little sense to get the Camry hybrid or the fusion Hybrid over their non-hybrid clones with the base 4 engine.

    Again, you want a hybrid to get super MPG? ONLY THE PRIUS does it!

  47. Nick Stevens Says:

    On the Equus. Maybe the Phaeton comparison is appropriate. Maybe, after a series of HOME RUNS, Hyundai will lose one. BIG DEAL. They are STILL on a roll. Just look at the sales numbers for the AWESOME Sonata. AND the Elantra, and a crossover (Sorrento?)

    WHY the Equus? It does NOT have to make $, maybe they have it as a “HALO CAR”. so that every poor bastard that gets a $10k Kia or Hyundai can pretend his car is in the same class as this LExus LS- S class competitor.

    Of course, Hyundai already has the Genesis to compete with smaller luxo barges (ES 350, E class), maybe the Equus was unnecessary given the Genesis.

  48. Nick Stevens Says:

    re the large car- small car BS:

    I SURE would have preferred a SMALL Car for my daily commute and short trips around town, and for a while I kept my 1990 Accord as my “small car’ while I drove my 98 740iL on highway trips, but garage space limitations in the snowbelt primarily made me donate the Accord to charity two years ago.

    If I had a young family, with several small kids, and took them on long highway trips, but even around town, I’d want something with a lot of passive and some active safety. A minivan, even a large one, may not be the best choice for that, I might have to consider the Merc GL biggest SUV, maybe with the Diesel to save on gas, or with the 450 or 550 V8. Or, better, the BMW X5 diesel or even gas version.

  49. Nick Stevens Says:

    chevy-volt-is-a-ulev-emits-more-than-prius-or-a jetta TDI???????


  50. dcars Says:

    My sister in law with 4 kids in a 2010 Honda Odyssey flipped on its side going 45 mph. Everyone walked away with a couple of scratches. All eight air bags deployed. Todays minivans are pretty safe.

  51. pedro fernandez Says:

    The Volt is like today’s economy, the closer you look, the worse it gets. dcars: glad to hear everyone is ok, was the Odyssey hit or took a curve too fast, what made it flip over?

  52. Philip Lawyer Says:

    Yes they do block you-tube.

  53. Steve Lindsay Says:

    you tube is blocked @ my work

  54. XA351GT Says:

    As for the Equus what are the projected sales #s? I would be surprised if they sell over 15K @ year. It’s a big ticket item that many people won’t look at Hyundai for. Just like VW with the Phaeton I agree it’s a halo car . It gets you there and then reality kicks in and you go home with a Sonata or Elantra. Hyundai’s old luxo car the HG350 or whatever the hell it was called never sold all that well ,but was very well appointed for it’s price. I just don’t think the Hyundai name has the appeal of other cars in the luxo market it’s shooting at. It may take time as long as they are patient. I remember Audi and even BWM not being looked at all that fondly in the 70′s But maybe Hyundai has the right idea. It seems that if you put a big price tag on something people will automaticly think it’s great and buy it. That model has worked well for others in the past.

  55. G.Aguilar Says:

    Yes, youtube is blocked at my work

  56. Rob Says:

    Nope, youtube is not blocked at work…

  57. jf Says:

    youtube blocked