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Used Hyundai Car And SUV Overview And
How To Buy At The Best Price
Hyundai initially entered the U.S. market in 1986, but it wasn't until more recently that they earned a strong reputation for vehicles with a lot of value at great prices. In the 1990's, Hyundai began investing heavily in new product designs as well as in improvements in feature availability, materials quality and construction quality.
The resulting significant increase in demand for Hyundai vehicles took hold in the early 2000's and ballooned impressively again during the 2008 through 2011 model years ... a time that was particularly tough on nearly all other automakers due to the economic crisis.
While Hyundai may have lacked the "brand name" pizzazz of its rivals, it solidified its position by offering vehicles of sound quality and performance at affordable prices, while backing them up with one of the longest warranty periods in the industry.
Today, car shoppers who continue to automatically rule out a Hyundai do themselves a significant disservice. There is no question that most used Hyundai vehicles offer a compelling combination of affordability, features, quality and fuel economy.
Here's additional information on some of our favorites (click on the links for additional information):
Hyundai Accent: The Accent has earned praise for its spaciousness considering it's a compact car, long standard features list, good gas mileage, surprising acceleration and nimble handling.
Hyundai's smallest car got a redesign for the 2006 model year (its third generation that carried through until a redesign for 2012) which added size, power, and additional safety features. And while it originally debuted as a GLS four-door sedan, a new sporty two-door hatchback model was introduced as a 2007 model. There are currently four models available from this generation: the Blue (introduced in 2010), GS and the SE are two-door hatchbacks, while the GLS is a four-door sedan.
The second-generation Accent was produced for the 2000 through 2005 model years and can also be found in both sedan and hatchback forms. Initially, it was powered by a modest 89-horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. For 2001, a 104-horsepower 1.6-liter engine was added which eventually replaced the 1.5-liter for 2003. While perhaps light on power, these used Accents still produced adequate acceleration and both the manual and automatic transmissions performed capably. Of course, fuel efficiency was another plus. Also of note is this generation's small 13-inch wheels that limit its handling and braking capabilities, although performance is still adequate. Hyundai's 2004 and 2005 GT hatchback was better due to its 14-inch wheels and firmer suspension.
Overall Pros: Attractive pricing, nice highway ride, roomy cabin, comfortable seats, good gas mileage.
Overall Cons: Uninspired acceleration with automatic transmission, not a smooth ride on rough surfaces, low side-impact crash ratings.
Hyundai Elantra: The Elantra has an easier, smoother and quieter drive than one would expect from an economy sedan. Performance, maneuverability and handling are all excellent, while its suspension smooths out the rough spots well. Its acceleration is very good and is particularly impressive on models with the manual shift. Gas mileage performance is another plus.
The Hyundai Elantra has long been a solid choice in the economy sedan segment. But with its total redesign for the 2011 model year, it has really jumped to the head of its segment with a new head-turning design, outstanding fuel efficiency, comfortable interior, generous trunk space, long list of standard safety equipment, surprisingly upscale optional features and lots of bang for the buck.
Also considered a solid and economical choice, the next most recent generation (its fourth) was produced for the 2007 through 2010 model years. And while there is a four-door hatchback known as the Elantra Touring from this production run, it is primarily a sedan available in two models: GLS and SE. There was a third trim in this generation, the Limited, but it was discontinued for 2008 and replaced with an options package for the SE. 2008 also marked the addition of brake assist and stability control to the SE as standard features. And for the 2009 model year, the tuning for both the suspension and steering were revised and the USB/iPod audio jack was made available.
Overall Pros: Smooth and capable ride, high-quality cabin for the segment, roomy interior, long list of features, value price.
Overall Cons: Drive not as sporty and some cheap interior materials in pre-2011 models, limited rear headroom in 2011 and later models.
Hyundai Genesis: When it comes to the luxury car segment, the Hyundai Genesis is an outstanding value for the dollar. Reviews all over the internet pretty much agree that the Genesis is a great car at a great price. So good, in fact, that it won the prestigious 2009 North American Car of the Year award in its first year of production.
Its elegant exterior design clearly demonstrates the lines, cut and workmanship of a luxury sedan. Inside, the cabin continues this sophisticated ambiance with an attractive upscale design, high quality materials and soft-touch surfaces. There's also generous room for passengers, both front and rear, with comfortable and supportive seating.
On the road, the Hyundai Genesis cruises effortlessly, quietly and extremely smoothly ... nearly oblivious to road bumps and irregularities. There's plently of power and refinement in the V6 that will satisfy most drivers, but it's the 375 horsepower V8 that really shines, and with only a small sacrifice to fuel efficiency. (Gas mileage for the V6 is EPA rated at 18 mpg city and 27 mpg highway, while the V8 comes in at 17 city and 25 highway.)
Overall Pros: Powerful and smooth engines, spacious cabin, comfortable ride, lots of features, excellent crash test ratings, a lot of car for the money.
Overall Cons: Lacks brandname pizzazz, doesn't offer an all-wheel-drive model, backseat doesn't fold down.
Hyundai Genesis Coupe: Debuting for the the 2010 model year, the first-generation Hyundai Genesis Coupe (and carried through the current model) combines sharp handling, a sophisticated chassis, a head-turning design, a sporty cabin and attractive pricing.
While uplevel models are outfitted with a 306-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 engine, the base engine is a 212-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Both engine choices are matched to a standard 6-speed manual transmission, with a 5-speed automatic available on the four-cylinder and a 6-speed automatic available on the V6.
Even the entry-level 2.0T comes very well equipped with standard features that include 18-inch alloy wheels, 12.6-inch antilock disc brakes, a front strut brace, projector beam headlamps, power windows, air conditioning, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, steering wheel audio controls, AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3, trip computer, cruise control, Bluetooth, iPod connectivity, electronic stability control, active head restraints, and front/side/curtain airbags.
Overall Pros: Athletic handling, comfortable ride, lively engines, sporty looks, value priced.
Overall Cons: Steering wheel doesn't telescope, so-so sound system, somewhat confusing iPod interface.
Hyundai Santa Fe: The Santa Fe has been providing solid performance at discount prices since its inception in 2001. And within the now fast growing midsize crossover SUV segment, the Santa Fe has only gotten better since.
The current Hyundai Santa Fe is in its second generation, having been introduced for 2007 and with only minor changes since. It can be found in three trims: GLS, SE and Limited. These Santa Fe's have performed well as practical and family-friendly SUVs. And those with the larger V6 engine are particularly smooth and have ample power. While certainly not designed to be dynamic and athletic street performers, the Sante Fe is easy to control and has well-mannered handling, despite its fairly heavy size.
The first generation Hyundai Santa Fe debuted for the 2001 model year. Sold through 2006, Hyundai's first SUV was a success, also winning praise for its roominess and compliant ride. Offered in GL, GLS and LX models, these Santa Fe's were powered by either a 149-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a 177-horsepower 2.7-liter V6. And all can be found in both front-wheel or all-wheel drive forms.
Overall Pros: Attractive interior, high safety scores, optional third row, value priced.
Overall Cons: Mediocre driving dynamics, firm ride quality in SE and Limited models.
Hyundai Sonata: While the Sonata version that was built through the 2005 model year remains a solid choice and clearly offers much value for the dollar, it's really the 2006 and newer models that are the best value play today. In fact, it's closed considerable sales ground on the traditional segment leaders, the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
The Sonata was also redesigned for the 2011 model year and has elevated itself from a "very solid choice" to "the top of its segment". It offers a myriad of appealing qualities, including its sleek design, smooth drive, capable handling, spacious interior, impressive feature list, large trunk, excellent safety ratings, long warranty and strong value for the dollar.
In addition to its impressive materials quality and solid construction, the powertrain offers both surprising athleticism and power while still delivering high fuel mileage. And with more standard features than its competitors while still priced $2,000-$3,000 less, this newest Sonata offers a value that will likely continue it heady sales growth.
Overall Pros: Impressive interior, smooth ride, roomy interior, large trunk, long list of features, attractively priced.
Overall Cons: V6 slightly underpowered and somewhat numb steering in pre-2011 models.
Hyundai Tiburon: Although production ended with the 2008 model, the Tiburon has always impressed with its tight handling, energetic power (especially the GT V6), steering ease, supportive seats and manual transmission clutch-shift interaction. The Tiburon remains just a lot of fun to drive.
The base GS trim comes with a 4-cylinder 138-horsepower 2.0-liter engine. As you might expect, a 5-speed manual transmission is standard, but many can be found with the optional automatic transmission. The GS is also outfitted with a long list of standard equipment.
The Tiburon GT would be a more athletic choice for those interested in beefing up performance. The GT is equipped with a 2.7-liter 172-horsepower V6. It also has an upgraded suspension, larger 17 inch wheels and firmer spring rates. Additional features on the GT include alloy wheels, automatic climate control, cruise control and a rear spoiler. Move on up to the GT Limited and a sunroof, leather seats and an 440-watt Infinity sound system were added on.
Overall Pros: Responsive driving dynamics, sporty looks, long standard feature list, affordable pricing.
Overall Cons: Handling and engine strength lags newer competitors.
Hyundai Tucson: We like the newest generation introduced with the 2010 model year. The Tucson is definitely an attractive and value-oriented choice in the compact SUV segment thanks to a long list of safety features, car-like performance and handling, and a spacious and pleasing cabin design.
Standard features on the already well-equipped base GLS model includes full power accessories, keyless entry, air conditioning, hill descent control, a hill-holder feature, a trip computer, a tilt steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, 17-inch steel wheels and a 6-speaker audio system with a CD player, satellite radio, a USB port with an iPod interface, and auxiliary audio jack.
With its nicely-weighted electric power steering system and European-styled suspension tuning, the Tucson provides a sportier and more athletic drive than other top competitors in this segment. Some might find the sporty suspension a bit firm, however, as there is a trade-off between a firmer suspension and ride softness. This is more noticable with the larger 18-inch wheels.
Overall Pros: Attractive and well-equipped cabin, nimble handling, good gas mileage, value priced.
Overall Cons: Firm ride quality, below-average storage room.
All in all, and no surprise here, we think a used Hyundai makes an excellent choice as a pre-owned car purchase. And we can suggest a number of ways to help you save when buying one.
How To Buy A Pre-Owned Hyundai
At The Best Price:
There are actually several different ways to buy a used Hyundai at the lowest price, and even at wholesale. You can click on the links to each of the following methods to get the specific instructions.
First of all, here's a Lowest Price Used Car Buying Guide that details a super effective method, one that often beats down prices even to wholesale levels. And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
In addition, you can also try the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them in your own area.
Also ... for those of you who might be interested in a brand new Hyundai, if the price was crazy good, here's info on exactly How To Get The Best Price On A New Hyundai. This works just phenomenally well.
Other Model Overviews And Best Buy Help:
More Model Overviews And Best Buy Help:
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