Just redone for 2018, the Accent only gets a few shifts in equipment: LED headlights are added to the Limited (replacing projector halogen lights), fog lights are now standard on SEL (previously only Limited), SE gets a chrome grille and SEL gets a chrome molding under the window-line.
Only two years into its last redesign the Elantra gets a significant refresh with a new hood, front fenders, grille, fascia, headlights, trunk and taillights. All of the new metal and plastic add up to two inches more overall length. Wheelbase and other exterior dimensions are unchanged.
The powertrains remain the same: a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson engine as the standard; a 1.4-liter turbo for the Eco model; and a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine borrowed from the Veloster Turbo for the Elantra Sport.
The Elantra Sport now exclusively has a multi-link independent rear suspension with a stabilizer bar. This sets it apart from its lesser Elantras with their torsion bar. All models get quicker steering racks for sharper steering response.
Safety systems are becoming more important in new cars, especially autonomous systems which could lead towards driverless cars. Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Braking, previously only offered as an option on Elantra Limited, is now standard on all but SE models. Elantra Limited offers the option of adding pedestrian detection to the system.Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist are also standard on all but SE; It includes a new Driver Attention Warning that uses the cameras in the Lane Keep Assist system to detect the signs of a drowsy driver and sets off a warning, suggesting a break. Finally a back-up camera is now also standard on SE.
Sport gains automatic high beam assist, in addition to it now being standard on Limited.
SE manual includes standard Bluetooth and steering wheel mounted audio controls, making it standard on all Elantras, now.
The Elantra GT Sport is now the Elantra GT N Line, hooking onto the coattails of the new N performance division. Nothing on the N Line changes from the Sport. The base Elantra GT loses its manual transmission and its engine is rated with one less horsepower: 161.
A Driver Attention Alert feature is now available, it monitors how well the driver stays in the lane and alerts if signs of drowsiness are detected. Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid and Electric now can have their charging status remotely monitored and managed via smartphone app.
An electric version of the Kona joins the conventionally powered version. With 250 miles of range (estimated) it's right up their with the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevrolet Bolt. The Kona Electric also gets a more sophisticated, fully-independent rear multi-link suspension. Due to the battery placement, under the rear seat, rear headroom and legroom are slightly down compared to the gasoline Kona. Cargo volume is the same as the gasoline model, though. Unlike its gasoline cousin, the Kona Electric only offers front-wheel-drive. An All-wheel-drive version may not be in the works, as the battery may take up too much space to mount another electric motor on the rear axle.
A lot of advanced safety features are made standard on the Kona Electric: Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist and a Rear View Monitor with Parking Guidance. Automatic High Beams are standard on Limited and Ultimate and a rear Park Distance Warning is standard on Ultimate.
The Hyundai Nexo is the replacement for the Tucson Fuel Cell.
Burning hydrogen through a fuel cell stack resulting in electricity and water vapor, the Nexo is now a dedicated hydrogen platform which solidifies Hyundai's position in alternative fuels. Nexo is lighter than Tucson fuel cell, has a more powerful electric motor and a range of 370 miles, 40% more than the Tucson Fuel Cell. The dedicated platform allows a more efficient placement of storage tanks, batteries, motors and fuel cells. This results in a larger passenger cabin.
In Korea, the Nexo is being tested as an autonomous vehicle, so American buyers can expect at least some autonomous features such as lane-keeping and autonomous braking. Of course, only American buyers in California will have the opportunity to buy or lease the Nexo.
O.K., pay attention: last year's Hyundai "Santa Fe Sport" is now just the "Santa Fe." Last year's "Santa Fe" will get a new name: "Santa Fe XL." The two-row compact sport utility from Hyundai is now called the "Santa Fe."
The Santa Fe is new for 2019. The engines are carry-over: a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder and a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo. However, the transmission has been upgraded to an eight-speed. The two extra gears are expected to improve acceleration. Fuel mileage is slightly higher with the base 2.4-liter engine. The fuel tank is larger: 18.8 gallons vs. 17.4.
Bigger news under the hood: a 2.2-liter diesel will be offered. With 190 horsepower and 322 pound-feet of torque, the new engine will offered increased fuel mileage and range.
A lot of safety and convenience equipment is standard across the board: high beam assist, adaptive cruise control, collision warning, forward collision avoidance assist (automatic braking), driver attention warning, rear cross traffic warning with automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, and safe exit assist (warns of approaching vehicles on the side that a door is being opened).
On the outside the Santa Fe gets a new cascading grille and a set of three levels of lights, similar to the Hyundai Kona: top slits are daytime running lights, middle row are headlights, integrated into the sides of the grille, and bottom are optional fog lights. The wheelbase and length are almost three inches longer than last year's Santa Fe Sport.
On the inside there's more passenger space, including over an inch-and-a-half more front headroom, almost three inches more front legroom, an inch-and-a-half more rear legroom, and more hip room front and rear. With the optional 2.2 Diesel engine, you can get an optional third row seat for small people. Cargo room is basically unchanged.
Santa Fe XL
Last year's "Santa Fe" is now "Santa Fe XL." The SE Ultimate model is discontinued, leaving the SE and Limited Ultimate.
"Sonata Sport+" and "Limited+" are now "Sonata Sport" and "Limited." The 2.0T turbo engine with 245 horsepower is no longer offered in the Hyundai Sport, only the Limited.
Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keeping Assist, Automatic High Beam Assist, Dynamic Bending Headlights, Electric Parking Brake are all now standard on Sonata Limited.
The Sonata SE now has a compact spare tire, leaving the Eco as the only one without one. Heated mirrors are standard on all models.
The Tucson is refreshed with new bumpers, new grille, facias, headlights and taillights. New wheel designs for the 17 and 19-inch wheels and a new 18-inch wheel for the SEL round out the exterior changes.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.
A new Sport model is placed between the SEL and Limited models.
The 1.6-liter turbocharged engine has been replaced with a normally aspirated 2.4-liter with more horsepower and less torque (181 horsepower, 175 pound-feet). This optional engine comes in the SEL, Sport and Limited Tucson. The SE and Value Tucson still have the same 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with 164 horsepower.
Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (forward collision warning and automatic braking) and Lane Keeping Assist are now standard on all Tucson models for 2019. As an option on Tucson Limited, Pedestrian Detection can be added to the system. A Driver Attention Warning system can also be added on Limited, utilizing facial recognition to alert the driver to distraction or drowsiness. Rain sensing wipers are also optional on Limited. Automatic High Beams and Smart Cruise Control are standard, the latter will bring the Tucson to a full stop if traffic stops.
BlueLink telematics have been extended to all but SE models. It allows remote starting and can call for help if an airbag deployment is detected, among many features.
A power front passenger seat is no longer offered.