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As recently as a few years ago, it would have been difficult to recommend buying a Korean car for any reason other than cost. Hyundai has been around since 1967, but the last decade has seen the Korean brand putting significant effort into the design and craftsmanship of their products. Those efforts
have paid off greatly. Exciting new products and ad campaigns have catapulted the once bargain car brand into the limelight, capturing a good chunk of the youth market, and even making inroads into the luxury segment. The Koreans are here to stay.
The Accent, Hyundai's entry-level subcompact available in four-door sedan and five-door hatch bodies, has really benefitted, becoming a genuine player in a tough segment. The Elantra, another familiar Hyundai product, is barely recognizable from its original beige econo-box incarnation. In fact, the Elantra has proven so popular in its newest iterations that the line has expanded to include a sleek two-door coupe and premium five-door hatch. Rounding out the compact segment is the asymmetrical Veloster, with two doors on the passenger side and one door driver's side, a bold experiment in automotive weirdness.
Heading up a class level, the Sonata sedan represents another big victory for Hyundai, and is also available with a very nice hybrid powertrain. Sharing the sedan spotlight with the Sonata is the newest addition to Hyundai's lineup, the Azera, which hasn't sold in large numbers, but has lots of interior space and luxury appointments often reserved for cars that cost twice as much.
Hyundai offers three CUVs: The Tucson manages to pack leather seats navigation and Bluetooth audio into its compact body. Further up range the Santa Fe Sport features substantial storage space behind a second-row bench seat. The new Santa Fe has room for seven, as well as a car-length panoramic sun roof.
Topping the Hyundai lineup is a relatively new series of luxury cars that represent Hyundai's play for the Acura and Lexus market. The Genesis Coupe is a RWD sports car powered by either a Turbo I4 or naturally aspirated V6. The Genesis sedan is available with a V6 or V8 and is intended to compete with the likes of BMW's 5-series or Mercedes' E-class. While the dynamic ability and overall refinement isn't quite on par with either of those, its comparable gadget list and significantly smaller asking price make a compelling argument.
Sitting gleefully atop the Korean car kingdom is the exclusive Equus. Set to compete with the likes of S-Class and 7-series, its $61,000 starting price may seem outrageous for a Korean car, until you consider it has more options than a Bentley Mulsanne. See more... See Less