2019 Hyundai Sonata- The Pendulum Swings

There’s an old adage that “you can’t please everyone.” Hyundai knows that all-too-well when it comes to its long-running family sedan; the Sonata. Picture it…….the United States….2010. Hyundai debuts its radical fifth generation Sonata to much fanfare. For the first time ever, there were waitlists for……a….Hyundai sedan. Annual sales nearly doubled by the time I tested that Sonata in 2013 and the car became a true force to be reckoned with. But alas, all was not well in the kingdom and back in Hyundai’s home market, the new look was too showy for Korea’s conservative tastes. To win those buyers back, Hyundai went a conservative route with the all-new sixth generation in 2015. The tactic worked, initially. But like the little Dutch boy plugging the hole in the dike with his finger to save Haarlem, another leak sprung and demand in America dropped to pre-2010 levels. Desperate to find middle ground, Hyundai did a major refresh in 2018 to liven up the Sonata’s personality in an effort to make everyone happy. But can they, and did they, succeed?

Continue reading

2019 Hyundai Santa Fe- The Zia Sun Still Shines

It was only befitting that our test car in the proud state of New Mexico was the all-new 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe. Refer to your geography books, or what you learned in sixth grade, and you’ll recall that Santa Fe is the capital of the self-proclaimed “Land of Enchantment”. Aside from sharing the same namesake, the city and the vehicle each have historical significance. Founded in 1610 by Spanish colonists, Santa Fe retains its title as the oldest U.S. state capital after it became the seat of government for the new colony of Nuevo Mexico. Debuting for 2001, the Santa Fe marked a major shift for Hyundai when it became the brand’s first, and currently longest-serving, SUV. But that’s where the similarities end. One is made of abode. The other is primarily steel. The city has 65,000 inhabitants. The car can only hold a maximum of five. But wait! Isn’t the Santa Fe capable of holding seven?! While that was recently true, it’s also marks a change in the Santa Fe’s evolution as it enters its fourth generation, and like the city, reflects back on its humble roots.

Continue reading