Forbes Wheels Best Automaker For 2021: Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai is Forbes Wheels’ Best Automaker for 2021. The company is on a roll with a standout line of crossovers, SUVs and sedans, which many U.S. automakers are abandoning. Sales are solid: Counting Hyundai, luxury spinoff Genesis and sibling Kia, the Hyundai Motors family in the U.S. holds 9% market share in 2020, according to MotorIntelligence data. 

The Forbes Wheels automaker of the year award goes to the company making significant advances to create vehicles buyers want and need. The best companies are designing future products with safety, autonomous driving, the environment and the future of transportation in mind as the world moves toward more people living in urban areas.

For a short period the Covid-19 pandemic may slow or reverse the move toward living in megacities—areas with at least 10 million population—but won’t reverse trends that take a decade or more to unfold.

Most all of Hyundai’s current cars or SUVs rate above average with the exception of some entry-level subcompact models. The three-row midsize SUVs , Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride, were introduced as 2020 models and sent shock waves through the industry for their class-above quality. For a time they commanded dealer markups reported to be as much as $10,000. 

“They have the best mass-market seven-seat SUVs in Telluride and Palisade. They have a luxury brand [Genesis] whose only flaw at this point is a lack of stand-alone stores,” says Forbes Wheels contributor Jerry Hirsch. “Elantra and Sonata are two great family sedans at different price points. They have intuitive technology in their vehicles. They are pushing into zero-emissions, offering a small range of battery electric vehicles across the brands, a fuel cell vehicle and are looking at the bigger picture by developing fuel cell heavy-duty trucks that are actually in commercial operation.”  

“It’s hard to even think of another brand that’s on a similar roll to Hyundai, Kia and of course Genesis,” says contributor Lawrence Ulrich, who recently profiled the rise of Genesis (see “The Brand Behind the Best Luxury Cars You’ve Never Heard Of”). 

Hyundai Palisade
Hyundai Palisade (photo) and sibling Kia Telluride riveted the automotive world when they arrived a year ago. The Genesis GV80 is built on a separate rear- not front-drive platform. All three are classified mid-size SUVs. Hyundai

The 10-Year Warranty Launched Hyundai

Hyundai has been in the US since 1986 and suffered through the first decade with a reputation for low prices, mixed reliability and quality control jokes on late-night TV. By 1999, Hyundai felt confident enough in its quality to establish the Hyundai Advantage warranty: a five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 10-year-old/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and five years/unlimited miles free roadside assistance. The 5/60 and 10/100 warranty continues today. 

Buyers two decades ago thought Hyundai Advantage was a great deal in case there were reliability issues. Hyundai knew the long warranty was a great deal for itself as well. Because the company had upbeat internal reliability projections, it carried little financial risk to the company. By the early 2000s, Hyundai was at or near the top of several reliability surveys. 

Kia Telluride
Demand for the Telluride at launch in 2019 outstripped Kia’s ability to build them at its lone factory, in Georgia. The Telluride and Palisade launched at the same time the industry’s best-selling midsize SUV, the Ford Explorer (and sibling Lincoln Aviator), suffered from serious early-production problems. Bill Howard

Quality and Safety Bragging Rights

In 2020, Hyundai Motor Group (Hyundai, Genesis, Kia) had the most model-level awards (seven) on the J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey (IQS): Genesis G70, Hyundai Tucson, Hyundai Veloster, Kia Forte, Kia Sedona, Kia Sorento and Kia Soul.

On the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) measuring reliability of three-year-old vehicles, Genesis ranked first overall among brands and the G70 was the highest-ranked midsize premium car. (The Hyundai and Kia brands were ranked slightly better than average. Kia Niro and Kia Sorento ranked among the top three in their segments.) 

On Safety, Hyundai says it has the most models—11—that received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick + rating (seven) or Top Safety Pick (four) of any automaker. The Top Safety Pick requires good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests; advanced or superior rating for available front crash prevention—vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations; and acceptable or good headlamps standard. TSP+ requires acceptable or good headlamps standard.

Similarly, all three Genesis sedans received Top Safety Pick + ratings. Six Kia models received Top Safety Pick ratings.

Lower Antelope Canyon
Lower Antelope Canyon in Arizona, an inspiration for Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design language that debuted with the 2011 Hyundai Sonata and Hyundai Tucson. Moondigger via Wiki Creative Commons

Better Looking Cars Through Fluidic Sculpture  

Circa 2005, Hyundai decided the curves of Arizona’s Lower Antelope Canyon were better looking than its cars. The company embarked on a new design philosophy to set its cars apart from the offerings of HondaNissan and Toyotafluidic design. Between the company’s own forward-looking designers and hires from European automakers, Hyundai evolved a look with flowing lines, particularly in the side views, and a hexagonal grille on some models. 

Hyundai HCD 14
Rendering of HCD-14 Genesis concept that became the 2014 Hyundai Genesis sedan. Hyundai

Fluidic sculpture arrived in the U.S. in 2010 on the 2011 Hyundai Tucson and then the 2011 Hyundai Sonata sedan. The boxy look was dead. By mid-decade, fluidic design evolved to fluidic sculpture. Hyundai called it a refinement and privately said that, having made the point, it was time to back off a bit on the highly sculpted look. Entering the third decade of the century, Hyundai has a line of cars distinct from the competition, with rooflines a bit lower in some cases the pre-fluidic Hyundais, but with as much interior space as before. 

Hyundai Elantra N TCR (touring car racing) car is part of the company’s customer racing program. The series is for front-wheel-drive cars with turbocharged 2.0-liter engines based on the automaker’s production engine. Hyundai

Better Handling, High Tech Cars 

Hyundai’s long-term goal has been to be the peer of AudiBMW and Mercedes-Benz, not just mainstream brands such as  Chevrolet, Honda and Toyota. Thus the introduction of the midsize Genesis sedan in 2008 under the Hyundai brand. It was well built and nicely appointed inside but not a standout performer. Hyundai had matched Lexus but not the BMW 5 Series or Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

To augment the existing design team, says Forbes Wheels’ Ulrich, “Genesis, along with Hyundai and Kia, have become the most shameless poachers of talent in the global industry … European talent, mostly.”

The European talent includes Peter Schreyer of Audi and VW Group as Kia chief design officer head then in 2018 president of design management for Hyundai Motor Group. Later came Luc Donckerwolke, the former design chief of VW Group’s Lamborghini and Bentley brands, who rose to design chief for Hyundai Motor Group before retiring in 2016. 

On the performance side, Hyundai Motor Group in 2008 hired Albert Biermann, chief engineer of BMW’s M performance division, as executive VP and head of vehicle test and high performance development. He is now president of Hyundai-Kia vehicle test and high performance development. Biermann is responsible for the excellent handling of the platform underpinning the 2021 Genesis G80 sedan and Genesis GV80 SUV, as well as the twins’ safety and semi-autonomous driving features. 

Hyundai Elantra N
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra comes in three performance levels: 147 horsepower for the base model, 201 horsepower for the Elantra N Lane and 276 horsepower for the all-out Elantra N prototype show here. Hyundai

Hyundai N Models And N Line 

Americans want cars that ride smoothly. At the same time, they want at least the aura of performance. Look-fast, go-fast versions are part of an automaker’s coming-of-age. Hyundai has obliged with Hyundai N models and now N Line models.

In brief, a Hyundai N Line model is sportier than base Hyundais and a Hyundai N car is a serious performance vehicle. It’s no more confusing than BMW’s increasing levels of badging and performance on the BMW M Sport, M Performance and all-out BMW M variants. Similarly, Audi has S, RS and S Lines, Cadillac has the V Series, Mercedes-Benz has AMG and Rolls-Royce has Black Badge.

For Hyundai, the Veloster was first with an N version in 2019. By the end of 2022, there will be seven N or N Line models including the Elantra N and N Line, Sonata N Line, and Tucson N Line. N models are capable of “sustained track performance,” says spokesman Derek Joynce. Hyundai’s senior manager of product planning Michael Evanoff expects 5%-10% of Elantra buyers will choose N or N Line variants.

As for the N branding, Hyundai says the letter has three meanings: Namyang, Korea, is Hyundai’s global R&D facility and birthplace of the N models. The cars were tested on the Nürburgring race track in Germany; Hyundai uses the Ring as its European testing site. Finally, the letter N resembles a twisty road where the N cars are most at home.

Hyundai in August announced its battery electric vehicles will fall under the dedicated EV brand Ioniq, with three new models arriving 2021-2024. Hyundai

Hydrogen, Electric-Powered Vehicles 

Hyundai is pursuing alternative propulsion systems from bridging technologies such as plug-in hybrids to battery electric vehicles (BEVs) to hydrogen fuel cells for cars, local delivery trucks, and long haul trucks. By the end of 2022, there will be 10 electrified vehicles for sale: four conventional hybrids, two plug-in hybrids, three battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and the fuel cell Nexo.

In August, the company said its EVs will fall under the sub-brand Ioniq, with three new EVs delivered by 2024: Ioniq 5, Ioniq 6 and Ioniq 7. Ioniq 5, due in 2021, will be a midsize crossover. Ioniq, Hyundai says, is the fusion of “ion” and “unique.”

Hyundai HDC-6 Neptune fuel cell concept converts on-board hydrogen to electricity. Concept truck is self-driving, has a full onboard bathroom including toilet and shower, and depending on the number of hydrogen tanks, travels 600-800 miles. It’s part of Hyundai’s FCEV (fuel-cell electric vehicle) 2020 vision. Hyundai

At the end of the year, Hyundai announced its hydrogen fuel cell development system will use another new brand, HTwo, which stands for (this almost doesn’t need explaining) the hydrogen molecule H2. Hyundai has offered the ix35 and in the US the Tucson FCEV, primarily in southern California where most of the US fueling stations are located.

Hyundai currently sells the Nexo Fuel Cell compact crossover for $60,000, less an available $8,000 federal tax credit. It has a range of up to 380 miles.

In Europe, Hyundai is delivering 50 Xcient fuel cell heavy duty trucks (track and integral cargo box with the ability to tow a box trailer) with plans to deliver 1,600 by 2025. They have a range of 400 km or 250 miles.

A year ago, Hyundai debuted the concept HDC-6 Neptune fuel cell tractor, tractor being the front end of a tractor-trailer combination. The cab resembles a 1930s locomotive; inside is a spacious area with seats for driver and partner but also a double bed and a full bathroom, meaning a toilet and shower. Depending on the number of hydrogen tanks, the truck could travel 600-800 miles, or 10-13 hours, before refueling.

The three-millionth U.S.-built Kia rolled off the West Point, Georgia, assembly line in September. Hyundai and Kia each produced about 340,000 vehicles in the U.S. in 2019. Kia

Hyundai’s Future: Looking Good

The Hyundai group is well-primed for the future with an appealing line of crossovers and SUVs well-regarded for their fit and finish. They have matched and raised Japan, Germany and the U.S. on quality. They’re delivering performance cars. has a good handle on semi-autonomous driving (Level 2) through Hyundai Drive Assist. Hyundai is profiting from U.S.-flagged automakers giving up on virtually all sedans. Hyundai does yet not sell pickup trucks, a high-profit business for the U.S. automakers, nor does it sell full-size SUVs that are big, comfortable and chip away at the company’s corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE, ratings. It will launch the midsize Santa Cruz pickup in 2021, based on a concept first shown in 2015 that had an expandable pickup bed.

The group has two modern plants in North America, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) in Montgomery, and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG), with a combined investment of about $3 billion. Each produced about 340,000 vehicles in 2019, some of them for export.

The launch of the Genesis luxury brand is off to a solid start except for a poorly conceive plan to create standalone dealerships; for now Genesis is mostly sold out of the corner of Hyundai showrooms, often with sales reps who don’t handle Genesis exclusively.

On the whole, the Hyundai Motor Group of Hyundai, Genesis and Kia is a benchmark for the auto industry. That makes Hyundai our Automaker of the Year for 2021.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/wheels

Hyundai NEXO gets five-star Green NCAP rating

Hyundai Motor’s second-generation fuel cell electric vehicle, the NEXO, has received a maximum five-star rating from Green NCAP, the independent organisation that ranks vehicles based on their energy efficiency and emissions.

The rating was based on three indices, each of which contained several metrics: clean air, energy efficiency and greenhouse gases. As a fuel cell electric vehicle, powered by hydrogen and producing distilled water as its only emission, the NEXO naturally scored full points on both the Clean Air and Greenhouse Gas index. Its excellent rating for energy efficiency was a further testament to the quality of the product, proving that fuel cell mobility is a mature technology and a viable transportation solution.

In its report, Green NCAP wrote: “[With the Hyundai NEXO] there are no tailpipe emissions other than water. As a result, the NEXO scores full points for both the Clean Air and Greenhouse Gas indexes. Energy efficiency is also very high and the NEXO emerges with an average index just high enough to earn the car a maximum five-star rating.”

Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, vice president marketing and product at Hyundai Motor Europe, said: “We are proud to announce that the NEXO is the latest Hyundai model to have been awarded a five-star Green NCAP rating, joining the ranks of the IONIQ and the KONA Electric. This is further proof that we are achieving our goal of making high-quality, eco-friendly mobility solutions available to all.

“Our flagship fuel cell electric vehicle has been recognised not just for being an environmentally-friendly zero-emission vehicle, but also a strong product with very high energy efficiency.”

Hyundai’s NEXO is a fuel cell electric vehicle and the technological flagship of Hyundai’s growing eco-vehicle fleet. It combines the practicality of an SUV crossover with advanced electrified technology, comprehensive driver assistance functions and innovative design features.

The NEXO is the third Hyundai model to receive a maximum five-star rating. In 2019, Green NCAP also awarded the five-star rating to the battery-electric version of Hyundai’s IONIQ. Meanwhile, in 2020 the organisation also awarded the Hyundai KONA Electric the maximum score.

See the full report at https://www.greenncap.com/assessments/hyundai-nexo-2021-0069/

  • About Green NCAP:

Green NCAP is an independent initiative which aims to promote the development of cars which are clean, energy efficient and not harmful to the environment. The organisation uses a broad range of tests that go above and beyond legislative testing and, through consumer information, rewards manufacturers whose vehicles go beyond the minimum requirements.

Source: https://mediawire.co.za/

Hyundai shows first images of STARIA – its new MPV with a premium and futuristic design

The Hyundai Motor Company has unveiled teaser images of STARIA, the brand’s new multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) line-up. The images show the STARIA Premium, a high-end variant of STARIA standard model.

The STARIA name combines “star” and “ria”, in reference to the vehicle’s future-oriented product values and streamlined design characteristics ¬– defined by one curve gesture silhouettes as well as clean and pure body volume.

The STARIA Premium, which will be available in select markets, including South Africa, takes mobility to the next level, boasting premium features and variant-exclusive finishes for a more luxurious look and feel.

STARIA reflects Hyundai’s commitment to lead the future mobility industry as a Smart Mobility Solution Provider, under the brand’s vision of “Progress for Humanity”. STARIA is equipped with various driver-centric features and futuristic design elements that deliver new experiences for drivers and passengers that make time in transit more productive and worthwhile.

“STARIA is Hyundai’s new MPV line-up that opens up a new mobility era,” said SangYup Lee, senior vice president and head of Global Hyundai Design. “STARIA will provide a completely new experience and value proposition for customers through its unprecedented design features.”

STARIA offers a striking futuristic and mysterious exterior, resembling a spaceship. The front is highlighted by a long, horizontal daytime running light and headlamps positioned underneath.

The “spaceship” vibe is echoed by its expansive panoramic windows and lower belt lines, underscoring the openness of the interior. The height of the cabin is also optimized for premium comfort and convenience, making it ideal for both business and family use.

Hyundai Motor will unveil more details regarding design features of STARIA and STARIA Premium in the coming weeks.

Source: https://mediawire.co.za/

N Powered Kona races into the South African Market

After a long teaser campaign and spy shots, Hyundai has finally revealed the 2022 Kona N, the next member of the Hyundai performance family. The Hyundai Kona N is confirmed for South Africa, with an estimated arrival towards the end of 2021.

The sportiest version of the compact crossover from Hyundai has been shown. Boasting the same powertrain from the Hyundai Veloster N, the Kona N makes 206 kW and 392 Nm from its 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine. No surprise Hyundai is calling the Kona N its first true hot SUV. 

The Hyundai Kona N is front-wheel driven, with power going through an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. There’ll be no manual option and no all-wheel-drive derivative either. Hyundai has worked extensively under the skin and thoroughly reworked the suspension, plus added an electronic limited-slip differential to help cut those corners. There are also N-specific 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in performance Pirelli P-Zero rubber. 

Performance is claimed to be brisk, with a 0-100 kph of around 5.5 seconds, thanks to a temporary overboost that takes power up to 213 kW. There are 5 drive modes (Normal, Sport, N, Custom, Eco) that will change the throttle responsiveness, traction, exhaust sounds and steering weight. To make it look the part, Hyundai has given the Kona N a fantastically aggressive look, complete with twin big exhausts at the back. 

Inside, the cabin gains bucket seats and plenty of N branding. The driver will get a 10-inch digital instrument cluster as well as a 10-inch infotainment screen. There are cool performance features too like a lap timer and performance meter. 

Hyundai-Kona-N

When is the Hyundai Kona N coming to South Africa?

At the recent launch of the facelifted Hyundai Santa Fe, representatives of the brand confirmed the Kona N’s arrival after the facelifted Kona and Kona N Line launch.

Source: https://www.hyundai.co.za/news-feed

The all-new Hyundai i20 has landed in South Africa!

The all-new Hyundai i20 has landed in South Africa! Here are detailed specifications and local pricing for the new i20 compact hatchback.

We’ll be driving the Hyundai i20 in the Western Cape this week and ahead of the launch, some specifications and pricing details have been published on Hyundai South Africa’s website. The new Hyundai i20 looks to be a big step up from the previous-generation car and will be taking on the Volkswagen Polo, Ford Fiesta, Kia Rio, Renault Clio, Toyota Starlet, Opel Corsa and Peugeot 208, to name a few. Let’s take a closer look at what the new i20 has to offer. 

What standard features are offered on the new Hyundai i20? 

Hyundai-i20
The design of the i20 has matured nicely and this is one modern-looking hatchback.

Hyundai is offering its new i20 with both naturally-aspirated and turbocharged petrol engines (more on that below) as well as two levels of trim: Motion and Fluid. There’s also the option of a two-tone finish.

Hyundai i20 Fluid 

Infotainment System (Apple CarPlay /Android Auto) 
Steering Wheel Multifunction Controls (Bluetooth, audio, onboard computer)
Cruise control 
Manual air conditioner
3.5 Inch Supervision Cluster
Front & Rear USB Connection
Wireless Charging
Electric/Auto Folding Side Mirrors
Black cloth seat trim 
Black front grill 
16-inch Alloy Wheels
Driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags
ABS with EBD braking systems
Central locking with remote
Rear Park Assist & Camera

Hyundai i20 Motion

Infotainment System (Apple CarPlay /Android Auto) 
Steering Wheel Multifunction Controls (Bluetooth, audio, onboard computer)
Manual air conditioner
3.5 Inch Supervision Cluster
Black cloth seat trim 
Black front grill 
15-inch Steel Wheels
Driver and passenger airbags
ABS with EBD braking systems
Central locking with remote
Rear Park Assist & Camera

Hyundai-i20
The Hyundai i20 cabin looks like a pleasant place to be with a comprehensive standard features list. 

Engine and Transmission

Hyundai is offering its new i20 with a blend of naturally-aspirated petrol and turbocharged petrol engines and customers have the choice of manual, automatic or dual-clutch transmissions. 

Kicking off the range is a naturally-aspirated 1.2-litre, 4-cylinder motor developing 61 kW and 115 Nm, which is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox and is claimed to consume 5.9 L/100 km.

For those wanting an automatic, Hyundai offers its i20 with a slightly more powerful 1.4-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine, which produces 74 kW and 133 Nm. This powertrain claims a fuel economy figure of 7.5 L/100 km.

Sitting at the top of the range is the new 1.0-litre turbocharged, 3-cylinder engine with 90 kW and 172 Nm on tap. Customers can choose from a manual gearbox or a quick-shifting dual-clutch transmission (DCT). The manual-equipped version returns 6.5 L/100 km, while its DCT sibling is a touch thirstier at 6.9 L/100 km.

Hyundai-i20
A dual-clutch transmission paired to a turbocharged engine makes its way into the Hyundai i20.

How much does the new Hyundai i20 cost in South Africa?

The new Hyundai i20 is sold with a 5-year / 150 000 km manufacturer’s warranty, additional 2-year / 50 000 km manufacturer’s powertrain warranty, 5 Year / 160 000 km Manufacturer’s Perforation Warranty, 7-year / 150 000 km roadside assistance and 4-year / 60 000 km service plan with intervals every 15 000 km.

Hyundai i20 1.2 Fluid Manual – R289 900

Hyundai i20 1.2 Fluid Manual Two-tone – R294 900

Hyundai i20 1.4 Motion Auto – R305 900

Hyundai i20 1.0 TGDI Fluid MT – R330 900

Hyundai i20 1.0 TGDI Fluid MT Two-tone – R335 900

Hyundai i20 1.0 TGDI Fluid DCT – R355 900

Hyundai i20 1.0 TGDI Fluid DCT Two-tone – R360 900

Source: https://www.cars.co.za/motoring_news

Watch out BMW, Toyota, new Santa Fe SUV sees Hyundai turning up the premium notch

  • Hyundai has recently launched its upgraded version of its fourth-gen Sante Fe SUV
  • There’s a new 2.2-litre turbo engine in the range, along with a new eight-speed auto transmission.
  • The seven-seater Sante Fe rivals several models with competitive pricing.

Have you taken a look at Hyundai cars of late? Really stopped and taken a closer look?

Over the last decade, if not a bit longer, Hyundai and Kia have changed their design and improved their quality. It’s only been going good for the two sister brands.

While Hyundai’s sales numbers have been hitting it out of the park, the automaker has not been resting on its laurels. We saw it with the new Venue a couple of years ago, and that was already a sign where Hyundai was taking their design and product strategy. 

Then came along the Creta, and I won’t lie, those new futuristic-type headlights threw me for a bit, but I eventually got used to it. Then Hyundai launched its Sante Fe SUV recently, and the new look continued. We’ve also seen it on the new Palisade, which will be arriving locally later this year.But it’s not just the looks on the exterior; Hyundai has carried the improvements inside the vehicle too and its technology. The latest Santa Fe is the fourth generation and is the flagship in Hyundai’s range in South Africa.

The latest version is more than just a facelift and has been completely revamped. Even Hyundai says the interior creates an aura of luxury and prestige. The 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine has been re-tuned, and it is now mated to an eight-speed Dual Clutch Transmission.

First launched in 2000, the Sante Fe has come a long way now in its 20th year, and as the flagship model, there is a lot to like in this large SUV. 

Stanley Anderson, sales and operations director of Hyundai Automotive South Africa, says: “The Santa Fe was Hyundai’s first SUV, and it still is the flagship model in our local model line-up.

“The continuing improvements the Santa Fe has undergone over the past two decades demonstrate Hyundai’s commitment to developing quality products with the latest features for its customers, as is evident from this latest upgrade.

“We believe the Santa Fe offers great value and easily passes the test in its market segment, where the bar is set very high in terms of quality, luxury, an outstanding driving experience and innovative features.”

Of course, people of the brand would speak highly of their own products, but there is very little to contest what Anderson says after driving it.

The build quality is really good, and there are no cheap plastics in the cabin as you run your fingers over the fascia and materials in the car.

Locally, the new Santa Fe is available in two seven-seater models: the R2.2 Executive with the upgraded turbodiesel engine and new eight-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT); and the R2.2 Elite, with the same engine and transmission, but with All-Wheel Drive and several more luxury features.This latest Santa Fe is the first model to be fitted with the next-generation powertrain Smartstream R2.2 turbodiesel engine, which produces 148kW (3kW more than the previous model) and 441Nm (5Nm more).

The new engine block is made of aluminium instead of iron, making it 19.5 kg lighter. There’s also a new 2 200 bar injection system improving overall engine performance.

Another first for the brand is the newly developed Smartstream Wet 8DCT, a dual-clutch transmission delivering quick eight-speed shifting and acceleration performance. It employs two clutches, one coupled to a shaft for odd-number and the other to the shaft for even-number gears. There’s also no gear lever inside the car, but you change gears via buttons on the new floating centre console. At first, I thought this would hamper the driving experience, but it really is as simple as a flick of a button. And, once you get used to it, it takes the same effort as it would using a conventional lever.

Source: https://www.news24.com

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