A base model of the new Kia Cerato has been specially packaged to help the South Korean brand break into Australia’s important fleet market.
The Cerato small car is Kia’s biggest-selling model globally but has struggled to make significant ground in Australia’s most popular segment.
Kia Australia sold 7881 Cerato hatches and sedans in 2012, a figure that failed to get the model into the top 10 for the year.
It was outsold by models that included the market-leading Mazda 3 (44,128 sales), i30 (28,348) and Elantra (8697) from parent company Hyundai, and even the generally costlier Volkswagen Golf (17,289).
Kia says it has been hampered by previous models that didn’t have the necessary credentials to be considered by fleet buyers. The company says fleet sales account for about 20 per cent of the Hyundai i30.
“With the previous generation Cerato… that car we did not sell to fleets,” says Kia Australia’s general manager of marketing, Steve Watt. “Fleets specify CO2 emissions, how many [safety] stars it’s got, [government] Green Vehicle Guide rating, and all those things that make a government list.
Hyundai and Kia in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have issued a recall for nearly 1.6 million models over a malfunctioning brake lamp, which not only is a safety hazard for drivers behind, but the defect apparently can inadvertently prevent the vehicle from disabling its cruise control system. Yikes.
Additionally, the malfunctioning stop lamp can also prevent the car from starting as well as the operation of the brake-transmission shift interlock, which keeps the driver from shifting out of park if the brake pedal isn’t depressed. This can also affect the car’s stability control.
The recall affects a wide variety of models, including the 2007-2009 Hyundai Accent and Tuscon, the 2007-2010 Hyundai Elantra, 2007-2011 Hyundai Santa Fe, the 2008-2009 Hyundai Veracruz, 2011 Hyundai Sonatas, and the 2010-2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe.
Failure of the brake lights to illuminate when the brake pedal is depressed could result in a crash causing property damage and/or personal injury. Consequently, Hyundai and Kia dealers will replace the switch.
Affected models include:
- 2007 Kia Sedona;
- 2007-2012 Kia Rondo;
- 2007-2010 Kia Sportage;
- 2007-2011 Kia Sorento;
- 2010-2011 Kia Soul;
- 2011 Kia Optima;
- 2007-2009 Hyundai Accent;
- 2007-2010 Hyundai Elantra;
- 2007-2011 Hyundai Santa Fe;
- 2007-2009 Hyundai Tucson;
- 2008-2009 Hyundai Veracruz;
- 2010-2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe;
- 2011 Hyundai Sonata
Source: Transports Canada
|Photo: Matthieu Lambert|
A teenage driver was recently involved in an incident that is allegedly due to another case of unintended acceleration. The event occurred last December in Texas around the Dallas metro area. The teenager, 16-year-old Elez Lushaj, reportedly called 911 under a panic about his car, a 2011 Hyundai Elantra, having a stuck accelerator pedal.
Lushaj was noted for reaching speed nearing 120 MPH on Highway 183 as a local country sheriff pursued the supposed out-of-control Elantra. The 911 dispatchers urged Lushaj to attempt to shut the vehicle down by either switching the key off, putting the car in neutral, or simply using the brakes. However, Lushaj claimed that none of it was working.
That said, police were left stumped with nothing else to do but warn traffic ahead of the runaway Elantra and wait for it to burn its fumes. But unfortunately, Lushaj lost control on Interstate 30 after traveling 113 miles in just 90 minutes and ended up in a wreck that left him with several broken bones.
The Hyundai Elantra is another one of those small cars that is more mid-size when it comes to interior space and luggage capacity.
Launched in Australia in June 2011, the fifth-generation Hyundai Elantra is the Korean carmaker’s sedan entrant in the high-volume and highly competitive small car ring that includes heavyweights such as the Toyota Corolla, Mazda3, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Holden Cruze and even the Volkswagen Jetta.
It’s aimed at i30 buyers that prefer a boot to a hatch, in the same way that Jetta targets Volkswagen Golf buyers who want a boot. Or at least that’s the premise.
Despite the highly creditable competition, though, Elantra’s sleek, low-slung design remains one of the standout lookers in the segment.
There have been few changes to Elantra apart from a minor spec update in March 2012, which saw all three variants (Active, Elite and Premium) gain a new five-inch colour touch screen audio system along with chrome interior door handles (Elite and Premium variants only).
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Each week, our German correspondent slices and dices the latest rumblings, news, and quick-hit driving impressions from the other side of the pond. His byline may say Jens Meiners, but we simply call him . . . the Continental.
Sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and few cars demonstrate this concept quite as well as the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT. It’s got the same 1.8-liter engine under the hood as the rest of the Elantra lineup, yet it feels sportier. It’s priced below most of its hatchback competition, yet it somehow feels just a bit more premium than many others.
Blame it on the Elantra GT’s European finishing school background. It’s the first model in the Elantra lineup that wasn’t penned specifically for U.S. buyers; in fact, it’s a variation on the Hyundai i30 designed in Europe and sold worldwide. The result is a modern hatchback with impressive style, more than capable of going head-to-head with the likes of the new Ford Focus and the updated Mazda3 in terms of both appearance and content.
Under the Elantra GT’s hood lurks the same 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine used throughout the Elantra lineup, good for 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque. In the Elantra GT, it returns 39 mpg on the highway, 27 mpg in the city and 31 mpg combined, with either the six-speed manual or the six-speed automatic transmission.
Outside, the car is a blend of the familiar and the bold. The familiar comes in the form of the hexagonal grille, shared with other models in the Elantra family as well as with Hyundai’s most sporting offering, the Genesis Coupe. The bold comes in the form of the Elantra GT’s plunging roofline, which gives the car a fastback look that mirrors the latest trend in hot hatchback design.
Inside, the Elantra GT goes a slightly different direction than other Elantra models, favoring a straight-edge dash design that lacks the styling flair of the other Elantra models’ hourglass-shaped center stack. It’s less distinctive, but it’s also more refined, as if Hyundai were pitching the Elantra GT to a different demographic (i.e., older) of buyer. While we’re happy with the inside of the Elantra, the interior of the Elantra GT seems just a bit more upscale to us.
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