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(WRCB)   Hyundai Elantra edges out Ford Focus and VW Passat for 2012 North American Car of the Year award. Because nothing says "North America" like a Hyundai and a Volkswagen   (wrcbtv.com) divider line 89
    More: Asinine, Hyundai Elantra, VW Passat, Hyundai, Car of the Year, cars, auto show, compact cars, Range Rover  
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616 clicks; posted to Business » on 10 Jan 2012 at 1:15 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-01-10 10:19:54 AM  
Isn't the Focus a german car anyway?
 
2012-01-10 11:27:15 AM  
Yes I understand its foreign company but subby my car came from:

www.automotiveaddicts.com
 
2012-01-10 12:41:45 PM  
I'm curious as to how VW's new strategy of cheapening the materials is going to work out for them. It's nice that the Passat costs less for 2012, but there's a reason for that.
 
2012-01-10 12:42:58 PM  
A little outdated, but the "most American" car in 2011? Toyota Camry (new window)
 
2012-01-10 12:50:20 PM  
Both the Hyundai and the Volkswagen are built in North America.
 
2012-01-10 01:22:07 PM  
"North American" refers to the market, not the manufacturer.
 
2012-01-10 01:23:17 PM  

Rapmaster2000: I'm curious as to how VW's new strategy of cheapening the materials is going to work out for them.


Probably pretty well. Bring the cars out of the luxury import segment, and make it cost less than $500 every time a window regulator or power lock dies because they got wet inside the door.
 
2012-01-10 01:24:27 PM  

vernonFL: Both the Hyundai and the Volkswagen are built in North America.



And the iPhone, iPad is built in China.
 
2012-01-10 01:24:39 PM  
First of all, it's cars built for North America, not in it.

Second of all, several outlets have clearly explained why Ford didn't win: Sync and the double-clutch slushbox are absolute trash to the point that their presence on the car makes the entire car undesirable. Or, in this case, apparently it's so bad the entire line, including models devoid of these monstrosities, become undesirable.
 
2012-01-10 01:25:02 PM  
Elantras don't even come with a spare tire.

Cheap is apparently rewarded these days.
 
2012-01-10 01:27:22 PM  

hurdboy: Rapmaster2000: I'm curious as to how VW's new strategy of cheapening the materials is going to work out for them.

Probably pretty well. Bring the cars out of the luxury import segment, and make it cost less than $500 every time a window regulator or power lock dies because they got wet inside the door.


Sales up 40% and Passat sales in first two months surpassed the entire previous year.
Link (new window)

Not to mention made in the US
 
2012-01-10 01:30:49 PM  

nmrsnr: A little outdated, but the "most American" car in 2011? Toyota Camry


Yeah, people have been dying to have one of those.
 
2012-01-10 01:33:25 PM  

Splinshints: Sync and the double-clutch slushbox are absolute trash


Isn't the Elantra auto a dual clutch as well? I'm genuinely curious as I've been trying to line up a new vehicle for purchase later this year. Elantra is the top or close to it (and Car of the Year helps it). Are they they same tranny, is Ford's inferior? I'd prefer manual, but I like the double clutch, at least as a concept.
 
2012-01-10 01:33:55 PM  

nmrsnr: A little outdated, but the "most American" car in 2011? Toyota Camry (new window)


That's strictly looking at parts, not jobs, when you look at all the functions of the automotive organization (logistics, deal accounting, etc., etc.. etc., the domestics still represent a larger chunk of the American economy..
 
2012-01-10 01:38:49 PM  

Splinshints: Second of all, several outlets have clearly explained why Ford didn't win: Sync and the double-clutch slushbox are absolute trash to the point that their presence on the car makes the entire car undesirable.


I test drive both the Hyundai and Passat and ended up buying a '12 Focus with both the automatic transmission and the Sync\MyTouch system. The Hyundai was nice, the Passat less so and the Ford seemed to me to be the best car easily.

The transmission is not the best, true enough, and I sincerely wish Ford would offer the manual in all trim levels other than the base model. I have discovered that driving the car in a "spirited" manner, while not the best for fuel efficiency makes for a much improved experience from the transmission.

I think most of the reviewers must either be technological idiots, or just didn't even try to use the Sync system. The dealer paired my phone with it (I could have done it myself easily) and that was pretty much it. Everything is easy to access on the touch screen, and aside from a few quirks (seemingly related to the navigation system) in toggling between radio, nav and Sirius, it has worked perfect and seamlessly. Hopefully my experience continues.

\First time domestic owner
\\Focus shames my '99 MB in pretty much every way
\\\Leased so I can get into the Focus ST
 
2012-01-10 01:43:11 PM  

brandent: Sales up 40% and Passat sales in first two months surpassed the entire previous year.


VW was pretty sad in the middle of the last decade.

brandent: Not to mention made in the US


So was the Dodge Stratus -- your point is? A shiatty car can be built anywhere.
 
2012-01-10 01:43:15 PM  
Presumably because we haven't yet given GM enough subsidies to force them to become responsive and efficient.
 
2012-01-10 01:43:38 PM  

brandent: hurdboy: Rapmaster2000: I'm curious as to how VW's new strategy of cheapening the materials is going to work out for them.

Probably pretty well. Bring the cars out of the luxury import segment, and make it cost less than $500 every time a window regulator or power lock dies because they got wet inside the door.

Sales up 40% and Passat sales in first two months surpassed the entire previous year.
Link (new window)

Not to mention made in the US


I was having a great day until I read VW and window regulator in the same post. All 4 of my wife's went out in her convertible Beetle. One at a time. Over 2 months.
 
2012-01-10 01:46:09 PM  

dr.zaeus: brandent: hurdboy: Rapmaster2000: I'm curious as to how VW's new strategy of cheapening the materials is going to work out for them.

Probably pretty well. Bring the cars out of the luxury import segment, and make it cost less than $500 every time a window regulator or power lock dies because they got wet inside the door.

Sales up 40% and Passat sales in first two months surpassed the entire previous year.
Link (new window)

Not to mention made in the US

I was having a great day until I read VW and window regulator in the same post. All 4 of my wife's went out in her convertible Beetle. One at a time. Over 2 months.


Hey, I had the same problem with my wife's Beetle. Hated that farking car.
 
2012-01-10 01:46:15 PM  
Besides they are built in the United States and probably have more US parts, unlike a Ford made in Mexico?
 
2012-01-10 01:48:19 PM  
My early to mid 2000 VWs were a piece of total shiat.

Every issue that plagued these, I had.

Window regulator, clogged drain on the sun roof, engine coils, cat converter/02 sensor

Booo VW

yay Kia!.. so far
 
2012-01-10 01:49:36 PM  
I will never buy anything but Hyundai's anymore. When I met my wife she had a brand new Accent with about 4000 miles on it. It now has over 200,000 miles on it and we have been through 3 other cars since then (not Hyundai's). I have had to replace the temperature gauge one time on that car and that is it. Even my 12 year old son wants the car when he turns 16. It's reliable enough... and great on gas... he may just get it.
 
2012-01-10 01:49:58 PM  

Splinshints: First of all, it's cars built for North America, not in it.

Second of all, several outlets have clearly explained why Ford didn't win: Sync and the double-clutch slushbox are absolute trash to the point that their presence on the car makes the entire car undesirable. Or, in this case, apparently it's so bad the entire line, including models devoid of these monstrosities, become undesirable.


not sure what the big deal is with sync, my wifes explorer has it... she had no problems figuring things out on it, it's really pretty easy to work..
 
2012-01-10 01:49:58 PM  
I've only had personal experience with the Ford Focus, and I'm not surprised it didn't win.

Barely made 30mpg, which for a small car is nearly inexcusable. But my personal annoyance was the fact I had to keep my foot on the accelerator, in order to maintain speed going downhill on a 7% grade. The transmission (their vaunted new 6-speed automatic) caused engine braking to slow the car down - I understand that most people would consider that a safety feature, but really, that's what fifth and fourth gears should be used for, not sixth.

Gimme the Hyundai any day.
 
2012-01-10 01:51:19 PM  

Rapmaster2000: dr.zaeus: brandent: hurdboy: Rapmaster2000: I'm curious as to how VW's new strategy of cheapening the materials is going to work out for them.

Probably pretty well. Bring the cars out of the luxury import segment, and make it cost less than $500 every time a window regulator or power lock dies because they got wet inside the door.

Sales up 40% and Passat sales in first two months surpassed the entire previous year.
Link (new window)

Not to mention made in the US

I was having a great day until I read VW and window regulator in the same post. All 4 of my wife's went out in her convertible Beetle. One at a time. Over 2 months.

Hey, I had the same problem with my wife's Beetle. Hated that farking car.


This is the daily thread where I again tell everybody that my 2006 Scion xA has never had a non-maintenance part (that is, excluding tires, brakes, battery, etc.) fail, except for the stereo (replaced under warranty).
 
2012-01-10 01:53:57 PM  

GoodyearPimp: Isn't the Elantra auto a dual clutch as well? I'm genuinely curious as I've been trying to line up a new vehicle for purchase later this year. Elantra is the top or close to it (and Car of the Year helps it). Are they they same tranny, is Ford's inferior? I'd prefer manual, but I like the double clutch, at least as a concept.


I don't know about the Elantra, but a lot of people have been complaining about the way the Ford electronic double-clutch works. Complaints about it shifting roughly to the point that it's slamming between gears and causing the cars to dive and jerk, not properly downshifting until it stalls, etc. Sounds like it's mostly programming problems. If you want a good idea of how the '12 Focus with a Powershift tranny will perform, search around for Fiesta owners with the Powershift tranny and see what they think.

As far as the double-clutch crap goes, it's an automatic, so if you know how to drive a stick, you're probably going to be better off going manual regardless of how well the dual-clutch setup works. Unfortunately, Chumming for Kraken states that it's only available on the base model, which is incredibly dumb and pretty much takes me out of the market for one altogether...

Chumming for Kraken: I think most of the reviewers must either be technological idiots, or just didn't even try to use the Sync system.


Consumers have been griping about it in virtually ever vehicle Ford puts it in. And not just that it's difficult to use or doesn't respond well to voice commands, but that there are actual technical problems like unexpected reboots and unresponsive touch controls. That, and the fact that you have to keep switching back and forth between the steering wheel controls and voice commands is the biggest annoyance I found when I tried one in an Explorer.

It's not just reviewers, it's a pretty widely hated system and it's hated across virtually every vehicle it's been placed in. In recent years, BMW's mind-bogglingly stupid iDrive is the only thing I can think of that I've seen more hate heaped upon than Sync.
 
2012-01-10 01:57:44 PM  
Should've been the Impreza. Affordable, reliable, better handling and sport options than the Focus, suited for every NA climate, and now with 36 hwy mpg(which is a huge improvement).

/Elantra is a nice car, but a bit boring
 
2012-01-10 02:14:13 PM  

Geotpf:
This is the daily thread where I again tell everybody that my 2006 Scion xA has never had a non-maintenance part (that is, excluding tires, brakes, battery, etc.) fail, except for the stereo (replaced under warranty).


I'm not surprised. Nobody builds beige appliances like Toyota. Too bad their interiors are getting so chintzy these days. They're really slipping under Honda in that regard.
 
2012-01-10 02:18:44 PM  

Splinshints: Consumers have been griping about it in virtually ever vehicle Ford puts it in. And not just that it's difficult to use or doesn't respond well to voice commands, but that there are actual technical problems like unexpected reboots and unresponsive touch controls. That, and the fact that you have to keep switching back and forth between the steering wheel controls and voice commands is the biggest annoyance I found when I tried one in an Explorer.

It's not just reviewers, it's a pretty widely hated system and it's hated across virtually every vehicle it's been placed in. In recent years, BMW's mind-bogglingly stupid iDrive is the only thing I can think of that I've seen more hate heaped upon than Sync.


I certainly hope I don't experience the problems that it seems many have. I got my Focus in early December, so still letting things settle in I guess. So far, from my singular personal experience, Sync has operated pretty close to flawlessly, and voice commands are completely optional. Coming from a twelve year old car, talking to my new car is not really on my radar yet, so I have rarely used the voice commands.

As I put in slashies before. I have never before owned a domestic car of any kind (although I had a 2000 BMW Z3 that was built in SC). Not to sound like "that guy" but I am coming from two BMW's and a Mercedes but I just don't really like what either company is putting out lately, and I wanted more of a commuter car. Comparing the "leather" inside a BMW, and what came in my Focus was shockingly in favor of Ford. Still, I leased this car fearing that it would disappoint me in the long run. So far, I have been highly impressed. My mileage in mixed driving has been from 28 to 32.
 
2012-01-10 02:18:54 PM  

Chumming for Kraken:
I think most of the reviewers must either be technological idiots, or just didn't even try to use the Sync system. The dealer paired my phone with it (I could have done it myself easily) and that was pretty much it. Everything is easy to access on the touch screen, and aside from a few quirks (seemingly related to the navigation system) in toggling between radio, nav and Sirius, it has worked perfect and seamlessly. Hopefully my experience continues.


The thing is, when you ask people to cough up $20,000, then your system better be usable by technological idiots. Apple accomplishes this on $200 phones. Saying "but you're doing it wrong" is immaterial. It should be nearly impossible to do it wrong.

I understand Ford has less expertise than a consumer electronics firm with this type of product management, but it's still a product management failure and it will be talked about in academia as an example of what not do to.
 
2012-01-10 02:27:23 PM  

Rapmaster2000: I'm curious as to how VW's new strategy of cheapening the materials is going to work out for them. It's nice that the Passat costs less for 2012, but there's a reason for that.


It will, VW got away form its roots for a few years 99-06 with the MK4 and even the bloated and heavy MK5's, but now they seem to at least acknowledge this with their current line up.
 
2012-01-10 02:28:25 PM  

Rapmaster2000: The thing is, when you ask people to cough up $20,000, then your system better be usable by technological idiots. Apple accomplishes this on $200 phones. Saying "but you're doing it wrong" is immaterial. It should be nearly impossible to do it wrong.


That's just it. My experience has been that one would have to be my mother-in-law for Sync not to just work and be easy to operate. It took the dealer literally ten seconds to pair my phone (iPhone incidently, so I am used to Apple usability), about two minutes of poking at the touch screen to familiarize myself with the system, and off I went.
 
2012-01-10 02:40:56 PM  

Geotpf: This is the daily thread where I again tell everybody that my 2006 Scion xA has never had a non-maintenance part (that is, excluding tires, brakes, battery, etc.) fail, except for the stereo (replaced under warranty).


You are an anecdote, we can look at data (new window)if we want real analysis.
 
2012-01-10 02:42:08 PM  

You're the jerk... jerk: You are an anecdote


Your mom's an anecdote.
 
2012-01-10 02:46:44 PM  

Kraftwerk Orange: I've only had personal experience with the Ford Focus, and I'm not surprised it didn't win.

Barely made 30mpg, which for a small car is nearly inexcusable.


I had a 2000 Focus and my v8 Mustang got better mileage than that thing.
 
2012-01-10 03:05:00 PM  
I've got 19,000 on my 2011 Hyundai Elantra. Best car I've ever owned. Had an '09 Elantra, which was not a bad car. My son totaled that and I got the '11.
Looks great, both inside and out. Tons of room inside (I'm told it actually has the interior room of a mid-size car). I'm a tad over 6' and have no problems with headroom and I have a sunroof! I get about 31 - 33 mpg. Leather heated seats in the front and back. 4-wheel disc brakes and 17" wheels. It just seems like it should cost more. :)

My brother in law has an '11 VW Jetta turbodiesel. Great performance, but the rest of the car sucks. Very cheap interior, no legroom in the back, buzzy at certain speeds, but it gets 55 mpg on the highway. That is kind of offset by the high cost of diesel fuel.
 
2012-01-10 03:06:00 PM  
2004 Focus owner here, automatic with only 62,000 miles. On a *good* tank I average 22mpg, with city driving and no climate control running. I'm on alternator number FOUR, and had to replace the thermostat at 50,000 miles. The "Get up and go" on this car "got up and went" ages ago and the amount of road noise is absurd (yes, I know it's an economy car, but I swear you can hear ants farking when stopped at a red light.) Cannot WAIT to ditch this thing.

/going Kia or Hyundai
 
2012-01-10 03:08:24 PM  
My last three cars have been Kia's and a Hyundai. I loved them all.
 
2012-01-10 03:12:30 PM  

Geotpf: This is the daily thread where I again tell everybody that my 2006 Scion xA has never had a non-maintenance part (that is, excluding tires, brakes, battery, etc.) fail, except for the stereo (replaced under warranty).


FWIW, I've only ever driven beat-up, used domestics and had basically the same experience (suspension and exhaust parts basically become "maintenance items" after 150-200k)...
 
2012-01-10 03:24:48 PM  

Rapmaster2000: I'm curious as to how VW's new strategy of cheapening the materials is going to work out for them. It's nice that the Passat costs less for 2012, but there's a reason for that.


My 2011 Jetta TDI has had 4 recall notices so far, plus 2 other warranty repairs on the windshield-washer system and some other minor problems that I haven't bothered to get fixed. I'm not sure how much of that is a direct result of the cost-cutting, but it's not a good sign.
 
2012-01-10 03:34:11 PM  
purple helmet:
Elantras don't even come with a spare tire.

Get used to it, for new cars anyway. Manufacturers are looking for ways to reduce weight to boost their CAFE numbers for the 2016 deadline, so a 15-20lb spare tire will be replaced by a 3-5lb patch kit on cheaper cars. I expect higher-end models to abandon the full-size spares in favor of run-flats, if they haven't already.

I just replaced a 2000 Hyundai Tiburon that I put 268,000 miles on with a 2003 Lexus ES300 that had only 63,000 miles, was dealer-maintained, and was garage-kept. Never had a lick of trouble with the engine itself on the Hyundai, but was on my 3rd fuel pump and would have needed to replace a wheel bearing, CV joint, and most of the brake hardware to keep it on the road safely and quietly. It also loved burning out headlight bulbs and breaking window regulators. I would have loved to find another Hyundai to replace it, but the Lexus was too hard to pass up.
 
2012-01-10 03:34:51 PM  

You're the jerk... jerk: Geotpf: This is the daily thread where I again tell everybody that my 2006 Scion xA has never had a non-maintenance part (that is, excluding tires, brakes, battery, etc.) fail, except for the stereo (replaced under warranty).

You are an anecdote, we can look at data (new window)if we want real analysis.


This. The bigger picture is important. I had an '01 Civic that needed three CVT transmission replacements (the first at only 8,000 miles) and a half-dozen start clutches. But this is not a typical experience for a Civic owner of that vintage.

It still makes me grumpy.
 
2012-01-10 03:40:33 PM  

watson.t.hamster: Presumably because we haven't yet given GM enough subsidies to force them to become responsive and efficient.


oooh you're edgy! What are the odds you have been in a GM dealership in the last year? The cars are much better than they used to be, and efficient. the Cruze in particular (last years car of the year) is really good.
 
2012-01-10 03:42:55 PM  
Ford has won "European Car of the Year" 5 times, Subby.
 
2012-01-10 03:47:51 PM  

Chumming for Kraken: Comparing the "leather" inside a BMW


Frankly, I've never thought too highly of BMW's workmanship inside their cars in general. The leather isn't impressive, the panel and material usually seems cheap, the carpeting seems cheap and the cabin itself just isn't something I'd consider worthy of a car with a price tag usually north of $40k. Their engineering is top notch when it comes to the motor, electronics, etc., but the interiors of their cars are generally pretty poor for the class IMHO.
 
2012-01-10 03:48:36 PM  

purple helmet: Elantras don't even come with a spare tire.

Cheap is apparently rewarded these days.


Mine came with heated leather seats front and back, fully integrated electronics package including GPS, bluetooth, and a backup camera, and power everything. It's also averaging ~35MPG, and only cost me $22K. If I get a flat, I'll just use the free road side assistance that comes with the vehicle. Plus, it was built in Alabama.

I'll get my own spare if I think I need one.
 
2012-01-10 03:51:07 PM  

Rent Party: I'll get my own spare if I think I need one.


I don't mind the trend of cars shipping without spares. After all, I can get my own, as you say. But I really hate the trend of "not leaving a big enough space for a full-size spare." Ship it empty, or with a can of fix-a-flat, or with a donut spare... just leave me enough space so that I can carry an actual spare if I wish without giving up most of the trunk to do so.
 
2012-01-10 03:53:29 PM  

Representative of the unwashed masses: oooh you're edgy! What are the odds you have been in a GM dealership in the last year? The cars are much better than they used to be, and efficient. the Cruze in particular (last years car of the year) is really good.


I was shopping for a small-to-mid sized car last year and compared all of the specs, prices, reviews, inside dimensions, safety, warranty, etc.

GM didn't even make the cut to visit the dealer. Nothing appealng at all.

Kia/Hyundai/Ford/Honda Went Kia. Would have ranked them Kia/Hyndai/Honda/Ford.
 
2012-01-10 03:53:58 PM  

raygundan: You're the jerk... jerk: Geotpf: This is the daily thread where I again tell everybody that my 2006 Scion xA has never had a non-maintenance part (that is, excluding tires, brakes, battery, etc.) fail, except for the stereo (replaced under warranty).

You are an anecdote, we can look at data (new window)if we want real analysis.

This. The bigger picture is important. I had an '01 Civic that needed three CVT transmission replacements (the first at only 8,000 miles) and a half-dozen start clutches. But this is not a typical experience for a Civic owner of that vintage.

It still makes me grumpy.


That sucks, I am on the other end of the bell curve I have driven many different 1990s chrysler products to over 150k+ miles and none of them had any issues.
 
2012-01-10 03:54:04 PM  
I very much liked the Elantra when I test drove it. My only complaint is that rear visibility is limited because of how high the trunk is and how small the rear window is. I test drove the Focus and was unimpressed. I found the seats incredibly uncomfortable. My and my passengers back started to hurt after 15 minutes.

Right now I am choosing between the Elantra, Cruze and Fit. I'm going to have to redrive them all in one day before I can make a decision.
 
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