As fireworks popped in the sky amid the strains of the national anthem, the Korean auto maker Hyundai was hitting new sales marks, beating the rest of the auto industry to the punch. Over the weekend, the company sold its 100,000-th fuel-efficient vehicle. With auto makers scrambling to deliver fuel economy to shoppers, Hyundai is picking up a good portion of this market segment and generating lots of buzz around cars that come with lots of the safety features, new technology and panache of a Toyota or Honda model, with a lower MSRP and transaction price.
Some of the models that are helping Hyundai to hit these sales highs are cars we have already reported on as hot buys in today’s market. These include the Hyundai Sonata and the Hyundai Elantra. One way that the auto maker is providing for fuel economy in these cars is with light frames. Comparing the curb weight of the Sonata or Elantra to other sedans shows how these cars get some of their high mpg. Hyundai is also competitive in designing fuel-efficient engines and generally building leaner vehicles.
One relatively obscure model that is slated to be added to Hyundai’s high-mpg stable is the Hyundai Veloster, which will go on sale in 2012. The Veloster sports a 1.6L engine delivering 138 hp, as well as numerous new tech features like USB ports and hands-free communication tools. The car’s sleek design and competitive engineering will likely draw a crowd and help Hyundai to stand out from the crowd even more.
If you’re going to the lot to pick up one of these cars, be prepared for all of the negotiating that you may have to do to get a good sale price under MSRP. Know about the auto maker’s current sales incentives, as well as a fair trade-in value for your older ride and your current credit score, which can make a big difference in your car financing contract. Educating yourself about the industry will give you a leg up when you are price shopping for your next ride.