Best of the year: press reactions to Hyundai’s 2018 model launches

- Throughout 2018, Hyundai Motor unveiled a range of exciting new vehicles, from concept cars like Le Fil Rouge to its second high-performance model under the N line-up, the All-New i30 Fastback N.

Many of these new model launches have taken place at international motor shows, while the All-New i30 Fastback N was revealed with a world-record race between the Danish villages of Rome and Paris.

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Here’s a selection of some of the praise the new models have received from the world’s media in the past twelve months.

The All-New Santa Fe

Hyundai launched the All-New Santa Fe at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. The latest edition of its popular SUV is characterised by its strong stance and sporty, elongated lines. It offers customers the latest Hyundai SmartSense active safety and driving assistance features, as well as boasting a new design.

British car magazine Auto Express had warm words for the fourth generation of the Hyundai model since its debut in 2001, remarking on its “sharp redesign” and “aggressive look”.

Meanwhile, Germany’s Focus remarked that the All-New Santa Fe’s premium design “is harmonious in proportion… powerful, yet athletic, but not overly masculine”.

The All-New Kona Electric

Hyundai also unveiled the All-New Kona Electric at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, a model that combines the two hottest automotive trends: eco-mobility and SUV style. The All-New Kona Electric not only makes eco-mobility more attractive and affordable for everyone, it also lays down a major challenge to other manufacturers.

The petrolheads at Top Gear were suitably impressed with the All-New Kona Electric’s straight-line speed, saying the long-range version offers “201 bhp and an almost hot hatch-like 7.6 seconds 0-100 km/h sprint”.

Following a test drive event in Oslo, where European motoring journalists were invited to drive the All-New Kona Electric for the first time, Caradisiac praised the model as “undeniably innovative”. The French publication said that the vehicle is ideal for a couple with children either in the city or for longer trips, reserving particular praise for its exterior design, sound insulation and maneuverability.

Le Fil Rouge

The third car Hyundai premiered at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show was the ‘Le Fil Rouge’ concept car. A reinterpretation of the brand’s historical Hyundai Coupe Concept from 1974, it marks a new beginning for the brand’s design and provides a glimpse into its future design direction.

British car magazine Evo described Le Fil Rouge as a “radical departure from Hyundai’s current themes”.

Elsewhere in Europe, German website Auto Bild described the brand’s latest concept car as “dynamic”, noting its long wheelbase, large wheels and Intelligent Personal Cockpit.

The New Tucson

Hyundai also launched the New Tucson in 2018. Designed in Europe, it features an overhauled design, a revised powertrain line-up and more advanced technology for the modern driver.

It was awarded four stars from Top Gear, who described it as “a corker as far as family crossovers go”, noting its space, comfort, refinement and “excellent” ownership costs.

Meanwhile, Carbuyer also awarded the New Tucson four stars, saying “it offers families a functional and desirable SUV at a sensible price”.

The All-New NEXO

The All-New NEXO is Hyundai’s flagship Fuel Cell SUV, and boasts a futuristic look, eco-friendly technology and autonomous driving capabilities.

In its review, trade bible Auto Express awarded the All-New NEXO four stars, praising its design, eco-mobility credentials and advanced driving features. “It’s an attractive and usable package with efficiency at its heart and strong tech to boast of”.

German publication Frankfurter Allgemeine praised it for its comfort, and said it is in a league of its own: “The NEXO is more comfortable than the competition models of Toyota or Honda, there are no other noteworthy competitors”.

The New i20

Hyundai also launched the New i20 in 2018, featuring a refreshed, seductive design and updated safety features with Hyundai SmartSense.

Following a test drive, Italy’s Quattroruote found the New i20 to be “agile and comfortable” and “an excellent solution for those looking for a B-segment vehicle that combines space on board with a wide range of equipment”.

The All-New i30 Fastback N

At the 2018 Paris Motor Show, Hyundai’s star attraction was the All-New i30 Fastback N, which combines a sophisticated and elegant design with the proven N fun-to-drive factor and is the first five-door hot coupe in the C-segment.

In its analysis of the new model, Motor1.com said the All-New i30 Fastback N “blends performance with style”. The automotive website praised Hyundai for creating an everyday sports car that doesn’t compromise on sportiness.

France’s Auto News noted that by combining the high-performance of the i30 N with the coupe body of the i30 Fastback, “it’s difficult to find a direct competitor to this particularly exotic car”.