(1) The 2007 Hyundai Sonata
The 2007 Sonata is the smaller of Hyundaiís two midsize sedans. It comes in three models: a) The Sonata Limited trim is the top-line model and has a 235-hp V6 and 5-speed automatic as well as heated front seats, automatic climate control and fine leather upholstery. b) The Sonata SE also has a 235-hp V6 and 5-speed automatic. c) The Sonata GLS has 162-hp 4-cylinders and a choice of either 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission. All models are equipped with ABS and traction/antiskid control as well as front-side and curtain-side airbags.
While the old version reminded many car patrons of a Jaguar in terms of style, the 2007 version looks even better, with a front lamp that resembles an Audi and a backside that looks like an Accord. The thin roof pillars and the driver’s upright position also contribute to its esthetic value. The 2007 Sonata is also bigger, sharper and more technologically advanced version than the 2006 model. Overall, the Sonata’s advantage over other cars of its class such as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima is that it combines comfort, spaciousness, sophisticated design and reliable performance as well as a reasonable price.
(2) The Hyundai Accent
The new, completely re-designed 3-door Hyundai Accent hatchback is a welcome addition to the 4-door sedan introduced in 2006. Compared to the sedan, the Accent is a sportier ride in terms of both appearance and performance. It also boasts of side-curtain airbags, which are a rare feature in vehicles of this size and price range.
The 2007 Accent has superb handling, an attractive Euro style hatch and a strong safety kit. Sold in GE and SE trims, the Accent looks small on the outside but is surprisingly roomy inside, both front and rear. Its excellent fuel economy makes it an ideal choice for urban drivers, especially in places where gas costs as much as $6/gallon. Many have commented that the Accent 3-door 2007 model is even more attractive than the 4-door 2006 Accent sedan unveiled last year. The 2007 model brings back memories of the 3-door Honda Civic CX hatch from the mid-nineties or the Opel Corsa from General Motors which is so popular these days in Europe.
(3) The Hyundai Elantra
Many automotive industry observers consider the 2007 Hyundai Elantra a worthy challenger to the subcompact sedan field, which features the likes of the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Nissan Sentra. It is competitive in terms of safety, spaciousness and overall driving experience and may have a slight advantage in value and warranty coverage. However, its conservative styling needs to catch up with the rest in this field.
The 2007 Elantra has airbags galore both in the front seat-mounted and roof-mounted side curtains, and that’s for both front and rear seats. It also has antilock brakes and four-wheel-disc brakes that are far better than the disc brakes in front and drum brakes at the rear of its competitors.
(4) The Hyundai Tiburon
The Tiburon has been restyled for 2007 and now features lower-placed headlamps, a hallmark of the more mainstream Japanese models, as well as revised taillights and chrome exhaust tips. It also has a new sheetmetal frame with a more wedge-like, mainstream look that is a far cry from the odd-looking and curvy Tiburon model first introduced in the US in 1997.
The handling of the top-of-the-line Tiburon SE has likewise been streamlined to make it smoother and more appealing to enthusiasts.
(5) The Hyundai Santa Fe
With a car’s unibody construction instead of a regular truck’s traditional body-on-frame construction, the Hyundai Santa Fe is more like a “crossover SUV.” The 2007 version has been completely redesigned and is now bigger and better, boasts of more power, bigger legroom and a more sophisticated style.
Unlike last year’s model, the 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe blends naturally into the suburbs. Its brand-new third-row seating allows the 2007 Santa Fe to accommodate up to seven passengers. It also offers improved fuel economy and power, whether itís the GLS, SE or Limited trims.
(6) The Hyundai Azera
This year’s Azera has benefitted from minor changes in the interior details to increase its aesthetic value. It is actually a carryover from last year’s model and features the standard 3.8-liter, V6, 263-horsepower engine and 5-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. This 4-door, 5-passenger family sedan is available in 4 trims, ranging from the SE to the Limited XM.
(7) The Hyundai Tucson
The Tucson is another of Hyundai’s highly-regarded cars for 2007, especially since the 2006 Tucson captured the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates award for “Highest Ranked Multi-Activity Vehicle in Initial Quality” despite being only in its second year of production.
Based on a study of over 63,000 new car owners, the Tucson, on the average, outperformed its competitors in the Multi-Activity Vehicle (MAV) segment in six of eight categories. Overall, Tucson recorded scores that were 23 percent better than the category average. It also received high marks for its safety technology, electronic stability control, curtain airbags and for offering a choice between front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive.
(8) The Hyundai Entourage
In terms of standard safety features, the Hyundai Entourage is head and shoulders above the other minivans available in the market today It is no surprise that the 2007 Entourage garnered the Insurance Institute for Highway Safetyís highest and best crash test rating ever for a minivans.
Among the Entourage’s safety and comfort features are six airbags, standard ABS, standard Electronic Stability Control and standard active head restraints. In addition, the Entourage boasts of lots of space to spare, including seating for seven and huge cargo space.