Hyundai Elantra continues to prove its value in crowded compact segment

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Hyundai no longer surprises us with its continued march up the mountain of improvement. The South Korean automaker has been so consistent over the past few years in raising the bar with each new vehicle that it’s now expected. So the surprise would have been an all-new Elantra sedan not measurably better than the car it replaced.

Hyundai Elantra — Today a practical award winner

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

It came as no surprise to us when we saw that the Hyundai Elantra won the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 award for highest initial quality in the compact car segment. Elantra owners, who were surveyed by J.D. Power, reported fewer problems with their vehicles than any other in the segment.

What does this mean? It means Elantra owners were more satisfied with their cars in the first weeks of ownership than owners of such vaunted and valued nameplates as Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Mazda3 and Ford Focus.

Hyundai Sonata – now playing with the big boys

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Hyundai has a reputation for mimicking the best of the competition. The South Korean auto company has unabashedly over the years purloined the best designs of competitor’s cars and incorporated them into its products.

It has done such a good copycat job over the past couple of decades that some of its newest entries are now leapfrogging the competition and have become better in many respects than comparable models from Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Ford and Chevrolet.

Hyundai Genesis – value laden luxury

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Hyundai’s new foray into the luxury car market is eerily reminiscent of the Japanese — and specifically Toyota’s — entry into BMW and Mercedes territory more than 20 years ago.

Toyota, builder of small, fuel-efficient bargain-basement cars in the ’70s and ’80s, announced a new luxury nameplate in 1987 to the snickers of European and American manufacturers.

Well, as we all know today, the joke was on BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, Cadillac and Lincoln.

Hyundai Genesis Coupe — Dynamic performance vs. debatable design

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

We liked the new Hyundai Genesis coupe from the minute we cranked up the 3.8-liter V-6 engine and hit the highway.

We were torn about the styling. Styling, we admit, is a subjective thing. What appeals to one person may be unappealing to another. It’s just that in the case of the new coupe — a very well done sporty car from the ever- improving South Korean company – there is an arguable difference of opinion.