NEW & NOTABLE
Genesis: The most exciting thing happening at Hyundai in 2017 is a great example of addition by subtraction. The flagship Hyundai Genesis sedan and ultra-luxury Hyundai Equus are no longer considered Hyundai models. Instead, Hyundai has created the Genesis luxury brand — and, like many others in the industry, it will separate its core brand from its luxury brand. The first model will be an Equus-based Genesis G90.
Elantra: The new 2017 Elantra is a sleek, chiseled sedan that gets heavy revisions inside the cabin and under the hood. The exterior design calls for a larger grille, aggressive side panel lines and a more overall athletic feel. Two new engines grace the option sheet with a 147-horsepower, 2.0-liter I-4 that’s mated to either a six-speed manual (only available in SE trim) or a six-speed automatic. The Eco model offers a turbocharged 1.4-liter (128 horsepower) that’s mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic that promises 40 mpg highway. A stiffened chassis adds to the performance handling and overall improved ride.
Ioniq: Taking on the establishment built by leaders Prius and Volt, the Hyundai Ioniq is a conventional hybrid using a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and a 43-horsepower electric motor. If you like, a plug-in hybrid adds a larger lithium-ion battery for EV-only driving, while an electric-only version coming in the fall will offer a 28-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery and an estimated driving range of 110 miles. The engines of both hybrids are mated to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. Each version of the Ioniq has slightly different styling details, but all use the same basic four-door-hatchback shell.
Santa Fe: New front and rear fascia that grace the venerable two-seat Santa Fe Sport and three-row Santa Fe models are merely the first of many improvements. Both models offer new driver-assist items (rear-view camera, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and automatic emergency braking) as well as new convenience features. Hyundai also has retuned the Sport’s two four-cylinder options for slightly improved fuel economy and added a mode selector with sport, eco and normal settings to all powertrains.
Minor changes: Accent, Veloster
No changes: Azera, Sonata, Tucson