The 2019 North American Car & Utility Vehicle of the Year at Schomp Hyundai NOW
This year’s North American Car, Utility and Truck awards were a triumph for our Hyundai brand. The Hyundai Kona/Kona EV crossovers and the Genesis G70 Sedan brought home two of those awards.
These awards are announced every January at the Detroit Auto Show and are always highly anticipated. They are chosen by a panel of more than 50 independent automotive journalists, based on factors that include segment leadership, innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value. The nominated vehicles must be all or substantially new for the model year in which they’re considered. The field this year included 23 cars and 21 SUVs.
Kona Stands Out in SUV/Crossover Class
You probably have read about the significant shift American consumers have made toward crossovers/SUVs. The five-passenger Hyundai Kona is a great example of why Coloradans have embraced crossovers and SUVs: fashionable styling, comfort and their ability to haul families, pets and lots of stuff. USNews.com ranked the 2019 Hyundai Kona #1 among Subcompact SUVs.
Beneath the Hood
The Kona comes in four trim levels: SE, SEL, Limited and Ultimate with standard front-wheel and optional all-wheel drive.
- The SE and SEL share a 147-hp, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engines with six-speed transmission
- The Limited and Ultimate have a 175-hp, turbocharged, four-cylinder, 1.75-liter engine with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic.
- According to the editors at Car & Driver, which named the Kona one of its 10Best Trucks and SUVs for 2019, the Kona is “fun to look at [and] it’s also fun to drive,” with its “Potent turbo four, quick-shifting automatic transmission, lithe handling with a well-balanced ride.”
On the Ground
Riding on an all-new platform, the 2019 Hyundai Kona, again according to Car & Driver, “delivers agile handling … damping out bumps and providing occupants with a cabin that is well isolated from pavement imperfections.” Equipped with AWD, the SE/SEL get EPA-estimated gas mileage of 25 mpg city/ 30 mpg hwy. The Limited/Ultimate AWD option rates 26 mpg city/ 29 mpg highway.
The 2019 Kona has upped its game on safety features, making automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and driver attention monitor standard on all trims. Automatic high-beam headlights are available. On the Ultimate, you can also get Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, rain-sensing wipers and Reverse Parking Distance Warning and Pedestrian Detection. In Insurance Institute of Highway Safety crash tests, the Kona scored “Good” on the side impact, roof strength, rear crash protection/head restraint, small overlap front and moderate overlap front tests.
Reviewers note the Kona’s supportive seats, good visibility, lower cabin noise and usable climate controls, as well as the logically arranged and well-labeled dashboard controls. The SEL and above have leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats standard and power-adjusted driver’s seat. The Limited includes automatic climate control, leather upholstery and a universal garage door opener.
It’s often said that vehicles are now rolling computers. The 2019 Kona’s advanced technological features fit the description. The SE, SEL and Limited all come with a standard 7-inch infotainment touchscreen, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration and six-speaker audio system. Move up to Ultimate and the touchscreen expands to eight inches with navigation and wireless charging pad, as well as a head-up display.
The Industry’s WOW Warranty
Hyundai’s warranty coverage is among the best in the industry: 5-year/60,000-mile limited warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
About that 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric Vehicle
While the Kona EV shared the Utility Vehicle of the Year award, it won’t be available for another month or two, but when it gets here it will be a game-changer. Hyundai has cracked the distance-on-a-single charge conundrum: the Kona goes 258 miles on a single charge.
According to U.S. News’ Best Cars Executive Editor Jamie Page Deaton, “A livable EV range, affordable price and practical cabin combine with lively driving dynamics to make the EV a true pleasure. It’s the kind of EV that could convince the most ardent EV-skeptic.” It helps that there are still generous state and federal subsidies available for electric vehicles.
2019 North American Car of the Year: the Genesis G70 Sedan
The standard sedan is far from dead, and once you take a look at the 2019 Genesis G70 you may want to rethink any European luxury sedan bias you may have.
“The Genesis G70 doesn’t just go toe-to-toe with segment mainstays…it beats them all in driver engagement while positively slaying them on value for the dollar,” according to CNET Roadshow Executive Editor Chris Paukert.
The G70 is the smallest and sportiest in the Genesis lineup, and loaded its price tag is still under $60k. It comes in five levels, moving from “Advanced” to “Elite,” to “Prestige” and “Dynamic,” which adds a limited-slip rear differential and 19-inch wheels. The “Sport” version is super tricked out with sport-quilted Nappa leather, alloy pedals, sport exhaust system, electronically controlled suspension, and Brembo brakes.
The respected automotive review organization kbb.com enthuses, “To its credit, the Genesis G70 is a highly impressive new player and an excellent alternative to the usual suspects. It brings style, technology, the requisite rear-wheel-drive (or optional all-wheel drive) architecture, and a choice of turbocharged 4-cylinder or V6 engines. Furthermore, the G70 stands out with a fantastic warranty and superior value proposition.”
Good Looks, Great Performance
Also according to kbb.com, the Genesis G70 has “athletic performance and striking design.” That includes the two-liter, four-cylinder engine clocking in at 252 horsepower. For more fun choose the 3.3-liter turbocharged V6 that produces 365 horses. “We challenge you not to cackle with delight as your body sinks into the plush seats while this Genesis sedan screams forward,” said kbb.com’s reviewer.
Inside and Out
The Genesis G70 is built to seat five. On all but the lowest trim levels leather seats are standard. The G70 shows well with touches like an auto-dimming rearview mirror and stainless trim. You can opt for heated and cooled front seats and a 15-speaker audio system, which as Motortrend.com said, “features plenty of adjustability, crisp sounds, and rich tones. Not once did it get raspy or sound muddled, making it an excellent option for audiophiles.”
Overall, MotorTrend’s reviewers said, “The interior is luxurious, well-built, and driver-centric without being overly complicated and remaining user-friendly. Balance is the Genesis G70’s game-harmonizing luxury, comfort, style and sportiness…” Car and Driver says the G70 has “a handsome, well-proportioned design with some interesting detailing.” That includes an exterior design that sports the brand’s signature grille, LED accent light strips that are also its turn signals.
The G70 is heavy on tech features: eight-inch infotainment display, Apple and Android smartphone integration, HD Radio, three USB ports, 12-way power-adjusted driver’s seat and eight-way power-adjusted passenger seat. The 15-speaker sound system is optional, but move up a level and it’s standard, along with navigation and wireless smartphone charging. Next level up brings a surround-view monitor and head-up display.
No skimping here. Consumers can rely on automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane-keeping assist, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, driver attention monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. On the higher trim levels you could also opt for rain-sensing windshield wipers, adaptive low-beam headlights, head-up display and front/rear parking sensors.
We’ll give the last word to the NY Daily News: “…Genesis has successfully achieved that rarest of feats: distilling our best memories of sports sedans past into a thoroughly modern machine that hits every important mark…” In other words, it’s quite worthy of the North American Car of the Year Award for 2019.
For more information on these two vehicles, visit Schomp Hyundai today!