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2006 New York Auto Show, Part V

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2006 New York Auto Show Coverage by TCC Team (4/10/2006)



Hyundai’s New Elantra: Bigger Than The Rest


2007 Hyundai Elantra

2007 Hyundai Elantra

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Hyundai is rolling steadily toward its goal of selling 500,000 vehicles in 2006, vice president John Krafcik told New York audiences on Thursday. The brand saw record sales in January and February, and with vehicles like its Elantra drawing back customers for a second Hyundai, the prospects for a record-setting year seem good. The arrival of a new Elantra this year should help Hyundai toward its half-million target. Taller and wider than the outgoing car, the new Elantra has more space than the Nissan Sentra, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla – even the Acura TL, Hyundai says. Sitting 2.2 inches higher with a higher driving position, the Elantra is two inches wider as well. In EPA terms, it’s large enough to be classified as a mid-size car. Power comes from a 2.0-liter four teamed to a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic. Hyundai’s extensive standard safety package includes front, side and curtain airbags, as well as anti-lock brakes. Hyundai promises a base price of under $14,000 for the GLS model.



Honda Goes Urban with ElementSC


2007 Honda Element SC

2007 Honda Element SC

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With the Koreans edging into its niches, Honda is expanding its lineup and is itself experiencing record sales. “Honda now has the most comprehensive lineup in its history,” says U.S. sales chief Dick Colliver, who predicts another record sales year for the Japanese brand thanks to the addition of vehicles like the Civic GX. The natural-gas-powered Civic goes on sale in California next month coupled with the home refueling station, called “Phill,” that lets owners refuel their vehicle in their own driveway. The Civic GX will go on sale in New York in the fall, Honda also confirmed.


Honda also used its New York bully pulpit to boost the street cred of the Element SUV. The new SC edition, coming this fall, adopts a monochromatic look and performance gear to craft a new urban personality for the postmodern surf wagon. Honda’s painted 40 more pieces on the car, added a new bumper and body kit, and dropped the car three inches in ride height while putting on 21-inch wheels. Inside, gloss trim on the dash meets actual carpeting on the floor, new power seats with integrated seatbelts and a center console. The four-cylinder engine will be mated to a five-speed manual or a new five-speed automatic option, and the engine now makes 166 hp, up ten ponies. Side impact and curtain airbags, as well as stability control, will be standard on all 2007 Elements. The SC edition arrives in the fall.

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