Cars are no longer just marketed to the hip segment of the market, to the fashionable, to the young, to the moneyed, the sports minded and to the sports-driven; car manufacturers take the needs of our retirees at the forefront as well. That’s right new cars that are designed right now are not just geared for the young; but these cars are geared for the ‘more mature’ segment of our society. The rationale is simple; to make driving easier and simpler for our retirees.
Right now, both Kia and Hyundai offer vehicles that can guide drivers with less-than-perfect eyesight. Perfect examples are the Hyundai Santa FE SUV and the Kia Sedona mini-van. Both models offer large climate and audio controls with stand-out text. The Acura brand also makes its one model retiree-friendly. The Acura RDX SUV features a driver seat that effectively adjusts to eight different settings. The pre-selected settings will effectively help drivers with limited range of motion in the upper body. These kind of amenities and features should come as a standards to up and coming vehicles since there is a growing market as well for our ‘retiree’ or the consumers that are aged 65 and older. In fact, according to the US Census Bureau statistics, more than 30 million licensed drivers are over 65 years old.
Forbes.com made a listing of what cars are best for retirees. They used a number of factors and these factors include crash-test safety ratings, safety measures such as the air bags, the driver’s seat position in proportion to the vehicle’s controls, the ease of egress and entrance and cargo space as well. So what cars made Forbes short list? At the top of the list is the Honda Odyssey. This vehicle scored high on safety ratings, an eight way power adjustable seats and there’s a sliding door for easy opening. Trailing the Odyssey are the Kia Sedona and the Hyundai Santa Fe. The Hyundai Entourage and the Honda CRV also made the cut.
The Honda Odyssey is a mini van that is produced by Honda and was first released in 1995. This van was available in three generations. There were two related but distinct Odysseys that were produced since 1999. The much larger Odyssey were sold in the North American market and the smaller ones that are sold in Japan and other markets. The Kia Sedona is yet another mini van from the Kia brand. The Honda CRV is a compact crossover SUV that is available in the market since 1996. The design of the CRV is loosely based from the Honda Civic so as to satisfy the need or the public demand for a sport utility vehicle coming from Honda.
Santa Fe is the latest face of Hyundai in the competitive automotive industry. This developed after the Hyundai Santa Fe together with the Elantra SE joined the lists of Consumer Reports on the listing of the years ‘Best’. The Hyundai Santa Fe for 2008 is actually a redesigned version of the old Hyundai Santa Fe that was first issued in 2001. This was actually redesigned in 2007 and the move to redesign this vehicle proved to be a good move. What the Santa Fe offers is a quite and a roomy interior, excellent paint and finish, optional third seat to name just a few. Based on Consumer Reports test, the Hyundai Santa bested Honda Pilot in its category.
The Santa Fe is available in three trims- the GLS, the SE and the Limited.
The Santa Fe GLS features a 2.7L DOHC V6 engine with dual exhaust outlets and a 5 speed transmission and also available in 4-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic. Also included in the GLS trim are the Electronic Stability Control or the ESC, the Anti-Lock Braking System and the Traction Control System. Sixteen inches alloy wheels are provided and there is a tire pressure monitoring system or the TPMS.
The Santa Fe SE trim features a 3.3L DOHC V6 engine and a 5-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic. Eighteen inches alloy wheels are provided and the trim is provided with an auto-dimming inside mirror that is integrated digital compass. Other features include the fog lights, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, automatic on/off headlights, steering wheel mounted audio controls, Trip computer, chrome grille surround and the windshield wiper de-icer. The SE series also features the ESC, ABS and the TCS.
The Limited Edition on the other hand features leather seating surfaces and heated front seats. The power seats have lumbar support and there is an automatic temperature control with outside temperature display. A complete listing of the features of the Limited Edition:
The complete listing of the features of the GLS, the SE and the Limited can be viewed on the site and the standard features are listed as well.
All in all it can be expected that the Hyundai Santa Fe has that rugged capability and at the same time extending that much-desired style and comfort. This what makes the Santa Fe a mile ahead of its competitors in its segment. And Consumer Reports validated the claim of Hyundai by placing this Hyundai vehicle on its respected list for 2008. Also joining the Hyundai Santa Fe on the list is the Hyundai Elantra SE. The feat that was achieved by these two Hyundai models helped propel Hyundai vehicles as one of the most admired in the sector when it comes to vehicle reliability and dependability.
Give a little space, Honda. This year, a new name is recogized as member of the elite class when it comes to reliability and dependability, at least based on the opinion of Consumer Reports. Based on the ’10 Bests listings of Consumer Reports for 2008, a new name has been ushered into the elite list. South Korea’s Hyundai brand has been ackowledged as makers of reliable and dependable cars.
For two years running, its all about Honda and their reliable cars but not for 2008 as US and Hyundai cars made an appearance on the list. The appearance of Hyundai is more significant as this is the first time that this brand has managed to get the citation from the respected Consumer Reports. Hyundai’s Elantra SE was named as the top small sedan and the Hyundai’s Santa Fe was named the top mid-sized sport utility vehicle.
But if you notice that I only mentioned two Hyundai vehicles in the top 10 and another 1 from Chevy, its because Japanese car manufacturers still tops ’em all. Japanese car makers sent 7 entries into the top ten of Consumer Reports. This goes to show that these car makers continued their dominance in the ratings for performance, safety and reliability. And what are these cars and from what manufacturer? The Lexus 460L is there as the best luxury sedan. Dubbed ‘greenest’ car is Prius that can be powered by gasoline or electricity. Prius’ feat is remarkable as this is the fifth time that this car model was selected on its category. Prius and the Lexus are of course products of Toyota.
Though Toyota sent two in the list, the best cars that are sold in the US market are still coming from the Honda brand. Honda did send one in the list, the Honda Accord but what makes the feat of Honda excellent is the fact all Honda vehicles that are rated by Consumer Reports made it to the list of Consumer Report’s recommended lists.
The citation that has been received by Hyundai is an affirmation that indeed Hyundai has turned serious into producing top quality vehicles. As it can be remembered, the brand’s reputation has been not-so good in terms of quality and reliability. But over time, Hyundai made for the lost ground and found its place now as one of the best. In fact, its reputation is fast approaching that of Honda’s.
Here’s the rest of the top picks, as selected by Consumer Reports for 2008.
As mentioned these listings that was created by Consumer Reports was based on reliability ratings, road tests and the ratings in insurance industry and government safety testing.
Aside from the fact that Consumer Reports cited two Hyundai vehicles for their reliability, the publication also chose three Hyundai vehicles for its ‘Most Overlooked Cars’ listing. These Hyundai vehicles are the Kia Rondo and the Optima and the Hyundai Azera.