Hyundai is all ready to take the car market by storm this year. With the Santa Fe already in place, the entry of the new Fluidic Verna in April and ending with the much-awaited i45 end 2011 – the company definitely has some ace cards up its sleeve.
Here’s taking a look at what’s coming our way…
The New Verna
Also known as the i25 or the saloon version of the i20, the new Verna hopes to inject a fresh lease to Verna sales in India.
Following a ‘fluidic sculpture design philosophy’, the new Fluidic Verna has a modern coupe-like sporty profile. At once uninterrupted and sharp, the design is similar to the Solaris which is sold in Russia and has a less angular look than Vernas sold elsewhere.
The wheelbase is longer than that of the Honda City and the grille and headlights use the same design elements as the new i10. The rear end of the car is fitted with dual chrome tipped exhaust which adds on to the sporty feel.
The interiors are luxurious with two-tone beige and black high gloss with wood finish. One of the unique features of the Fluidic Verna is the cluster ionizer that improves the quality of air inside the cabin by producing ion-plasma that traps bacteria and other impurities and comes into operation automatically as the AC is switched on.
The car is loaded with fabulous infotainment system that supports Bluetooth connectivity and comes with features like Radio/CD/MP3/USB/Aux-in/i-Pod connectivity for unlimited music access. To make driving pleasurable in summers it has a Fully Automatic Temperature Control (FATC) system with a cooled glove-box.
The Verna is available with four engine options – 1.4 litre VTVT, the petrol 1.6 litre VTVT engine, the Common Rail diesel 1.4 litre CRDi and the diesel 1.6 litre VGT CRDi.
The new Verna offers all-round protection with 6 airbags. Other first in segment features include parking camera and sensors, engine start/stop button with smart key, supervision cluster with blue illumination, power folding outside mirrors with turn indicators, Auto dim Electro Chromic rearview mirrors, Speed sensing auto door lock and Impact sensing auto door unlock
The Verna is available in a range of 6 exciting new colours with 8 trim options.
The much-awaited i45 will be replacing the current-generation Sonata by end 2011. The all-new Mercedes CLS look-alike is an impressively stylish, interesting and expensive looking four door sedan with more than a touch of coupe in its lines.
We can expect the i45 to come loaded with all manner of goodies like keyless go, paddle-shifts and Bluetooth and iPod connections.
The i45 is expected to be powered by a new direct-injection 2.4L four cylinder petrol engine that should deliver plenty more performance in comparison its predecessor, the Sonata
The i45’s chassis boasts improved body rigidity over the Sonata which enables better handling and on paper the traditional hydraulic (rather than electric) power steering system should translate to good steering feel. Also this car ticks the safety box with Electronic Stability Control, anti-lock brakes and six airbags.
So with an attractive Rs. 17-18 lakh price tag, Hyundai should be able to take on the slump from the Sonata sales.
The Santa Fe
Named after Santa Fe, New Mexico, this SUV launched in 2001 was an instant hit in the USA. A decade later, it’s been launched in India and has already won laurels such as the Import SUV of the year 2011 awarded by OverDrive.
A versatile vehicle, the Santa Fe’s fluidic design accommodates the needs of today’s families. The SUV has been launched with two trims i.e. 2 WD and 4 WD that will be available via CBU route.
Hyundai Santa Fe is powered by a 2.2 litre CRDi, 2199cc, DOHC, 4 cylinder diesel engine that pumps out maximum power of 197 Ps at 3800 rpm and belts out highest torque of 420 Nm at 1800-2500 rpm via 6 speed transaxle transmission system. The SUV has got strong profile tubeless tires with 18 inch alloy wheels.
Designed and built to accommodate seven, the rear seats of Santa Fe R can be folded down to increase cargo capacity to more than 2,000 litres. An easily accessible full-size spare alloy wheel is accommodated under the floor to maximise the usable space and enhance rear vision.
While the interior designing is dominated by leather seats, steering wheel, gear knob and wood finish inserts, there’s abundant storage for everything: including an upper storage compartment in the centre fascia, map pockets in all the door trims, a lockable illuminated glove box, front seat back pockets as well as cup holders in the front and back.
And that’s not all
The Hyundai Santa Fe is armored with an extensive equipment list. The driver-centric dash is back lit with a soft blue color. You get three circular dials inside a hooded binnacle. The steering wheel is a 4 spoke affair much like the one found on the Outlander. It has audio, Bluetooth and cruise controls on it. You get an aux and USB plug in facility for the 6 CD changer system. The multi information display shows distance to empty, average economy for the drive, two trip meters and some other information. Both the driver and front passenger seats are 6 way power adjustable with memory function. You have three row air conditioning with even the last row of passengers been catered for. You get sunroof, Keyless Entry with Security Alarm , all power goodies, climate control, plenty of 12V sockets, tire pressure monitor and even an outside temperature monitor.
So the Hyundai SUV savior seems to have finally arrived. The competition either misses out on the Santa Fe’s interior trim or its bomb of an engine. Not to forget its 7 seater capacity as well as stellar fuel efficiency given its performance. The Santa Fe’s only grouse would be that it isn’t exactly a perfect handler and also its price tag. Priced between 21-24 lakhs, it is expensive but total value-for-money.