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Old 11-14-2018, 12:44 PM   #1
Biggins
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Is Hyundai a new Honda?

After spending a month driving my mother-in-law's earlier this year when she could not, I never imagined that anything from Hyundai would be tolerable. Her car is a 2012 Elantra which was probably a decent car when coming off the lot in 2012, but her car has lived a VERY tough life and shows scars inside and out and is on engine and transmission #2. I like the size of her car, but it's slow, the clutch is rough, and the interior is forgettable. I had a Veloster rental car in Nebraska years ago and thought it was just okay (for a rental). I had a manual i30 (Elantra hatch) as a rental on a trip to Ireland a few years ago and put almost 2k miles on it there. It was slow but felt solid and was very convenient with the hatch.

With all of those considerations, am I crazy to think that the 2018 version of Hyundai is better than 2012? I keep reading rave reviews or at least good reviews of the new Hyundai Veloster N and even the less tame R-Spec. The Elantra Sport (sedan and hatch) both seem like logical cars to consider against the comparable Honda Civics, Ford Focus ST, and Mazda3s. Should I really consider a Hyundai against these other options?

The Veloster N seems like a really good car with its really weird body style. I did not love the layout when I had one as a rental car years ago, but it does have that rear door that makes it much more convenient for loading the new baby. It looks like it will have almost Civic Type R numbers for more than $5k less. The Veloster seems like a modern Honda CRX with ever weirder "style." I don't particularly love the design, but the performance numbers are intriguing and is Hyundai's first car built under the old BMW M leader's direction at Hyundai.

https://www.caranddriver.com/hyundai/veloster-n

I know most of you punch above this class of cars, but does anyone have experience with any of these new Korean cars and if they are worth test driving/considering vs the established cars in the class?
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Old 11-14-2018, 12:54 PM   #2
John V
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There have been Hyundais that have looked pretty good on paper but have failed to be engaging in real life. The Genesis coupe comes to mind.

I'm willing to give the Veloster N a chance, but I don't have high hopes for it actually being decent. The last Veloster was a turd.

Having said that, with how the current crop of new Hondas look, I'd be more inclined to look at a Hyundai than a new Civic.
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:55 PM   #3
AF
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I had a 2016 Hyundai Sonata as a rental a little over a year ago and thought it was a great car. Recently I had a 2018 Hyundai SUV, I forgot the model but besides for the under powered engine it was a great vehicle.

If I were you I'd check out the Kia's too, they make some really nice vehicles.
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:31 PM   #4
robg
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Hyundai/Kia seem to consistently achieve the highest ratings for quality. With their recent poaching of top design and engineering talent from the likes of BMW and Audi, their cars are starting to become desirable. The Kia Stinger best exemplifies this new trend. So, yes, they seem poised to become what Honda was in the 80s (reliable, desirable, fun to drive). I would definitely strongly consider one over a comparable Toyota/Honda/GM/Ford.
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Old 11-14-2018, 09:05 PM   #5
clyde
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If it's a car that's somehow on your list, why would you possibly not take the time to test drive one?

It won't tell you what you'd think/feel about the car after a year of ownership. It won't tell you about reliability. It may tell you for sure that you'd hate it so much you move on. It may tell you that you'll love driving it and if you can drive the deal you want, you'll drive ti home. Maybe it will drive ok and you'll be impressed, but not blown away or in love and go home to think about it more.

Where's the downside?
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Old 11-15-2018, 12:09 AM   #6
Biggins
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I've always been a huge fan of Hondas, and I actually like the styling of the new Civics, but if I can get an equivalent-ish Hyundai for $4-5k less... maybe I need to try it. If it's $1-2k less, then I'm probably back to a Honda.

I just need to decide what I need and when I need it, but the slightly used market for all of these cars is pretty terrible and there seem to be much better financing deals on the new versions of these cars.

In the meantime, using the FR-S for daycare pick up has worked when I don't walk/run there, but I definitely see the convenience in having a little more loading space of a 4/5 door.
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