Real, raw, & relatable me. Enthusiastic food & lifestyle blogger living in Vancouver, BC!

Category: Hyundai

Hyundai Palisade review

The weekends look a lot different now with the landscape of covid-19 and the necessity to stay indoors. I however, am under the employment of an essential service, which forces me to continue my work at this time. Monday to Friday the daily grind with a weekend that you don’t necessarily look forward to, as there isn’t much to do. Luckily, the weather has been better with dry spells, the sun has been punctuating clouds; and it being BC with so much wilderness around, there is plenty to get up to if you have the right vehicle. And this week I did. I was equipped with the 2020 Hyundai Palisade, which I fully maximized my time with.

The 2020 Hyundai Palisade is equipped with the most up to date features in safety. Lane assist, alarms that warn you when anyone seated isn’t buckling up, and beeps that sound when you are moving too fast or too close to the vehicle or stationary obstacle in front of you. The SUV even takes over and moves the wheel for you, if you are approaching anything too close to any of your corners. All the above, the spaciousness of the cabin, and the proper hooks to strap in a car seat, makes this a great vehicle to bring the whole family out for the day, or the weekend. Equipped with 7 seats and all the conveniences built-in for each passenger. A USB port, cup holders, speakers, and temperature control. With all these modern comforts you needn’t be worried about a long drive. This was definitely the case for our 3 hour voyage in each direction, as we set off to Mission, BC for some off-roading.

The drive there was an easy one; lengthy, but with modes like comfort and sport to toggle through, an enjoyable one. And if gas prices weren’t in the 90 cent range, eco mode would be handy as well. But with time to kill and fuel to burn I enjoyed the cruise; stopping to take in green pastures, wild livestock, and snow capped mountains. The weather was even nice enough to open the sun roof and reveal the sky light. We relished all the warmth of the sun we could get; and when the clouds rolled over we stayed warm with individually controlled climate, heated seats (or cooling, for a more refreshing draft), and a heated wheel.

A stop at a corner store yielded small batch jerky and another at a gas station some energy drinks for the journey ahead. It is worth noting that trips like these may be hard without pit stops. Public places and gas stations that once yielded toilets for all, are now closed off for the safety and necessity of everyone. So be warned, you might need to do as I did, and look in the wild to do your business. Learning the hard way, I can prepared with a roll of bamboo toilet paper.

We would stop for scenic views, climbing down hills sides or traversing across ravines to explore. All while staying away from others and socially distancing in the process. And it looks like others and smaller families had the same idea in mind. We would pass other mud crusted SUV, quads, and dirt bikes that were looking to get away from larger crowds with a trip into the forest. A few families even set up camps, with a lot more pairings opting for a couple of chairs and a camp fire by the water side.

Most memorable of our sightings was the gnome we found bolted on to a tree at the side of the road. A find we spotted by chance when stopping to alleviate ourselves. A tiny capsule hung from it, and after unscrewing it we discovered the world of Geocaching. A treasure hunt of sorts, where you download an app and travel to local parks and nature sites to search for such spots. You uncover and sign each, leaving your mark, along with others who have found it before and then after you. Sadly we didn’t have a pen nor did we think to leave ours name. We simply left with a new hobby to pursue instead.

Our goal was to reach Stave Lake, a 8km drive over uneven terrain. Bumpy and rocky ground that included muddy pot holes, snow covered soil, over grown brush and moss, and road side waterfalls. But with the Hyundai Palisade’s terrain modes it made the ride a lot smoother. We would switch between the mud and sand modes to find the best for a less bumpy ride. But sadly we would never reach our destination. Due to the necessity to help the general public separate and stay distance, park boards have since barricaded up parking lots and closed off access to such sites. Our only solution was the explore the outskirts of the lake, getting as close as we could to the ledge and looking down and the turquoise waters we would never touch. Luckily with the Palisade’s easy handling, handy over head and rear view cameras, and side camera that broadcast on the dash when you signal either right or left; we were able to easily pull over and park at multiple clearings for the photos you are seeing throughout.

And thus ended our day trip. We didn’t get the outcome we desired, but now know of a good locale for future camping trips and a great spot to enjoy some water, sun, and fresh air in Mission. Thank you Hyundai for the safe and comfortable ride to and from.


2020 Hyundai Kona review

This week I was behind the wheel of the 2020 Hyundai Kona. This would be my first electric vehicle assessment from my new “regular girl review” series. I haven’t had too much experience with fully electric vehicles, so was excited to put this one to the test.

As with many, I get anxiety relying on a battery to fuel my transportation needs. Is one charge enough to get me where I need to g? Will I be able to find a wall charger at my destination. Will it charge my vehicle fully and within the time I allot it? For many, hybrid vehicles are the way to go. You get the best of both worlds as they offer a little from both the battery powered world and the fossil fuel solution.

But I can confidently say that I got around well just fine being fully electric, and without the need to charge the Kona for the week. I did end up doing so on 3 separate occasions. But between low volt wall outlets and limited timed parking, it really didn’t make much of a difference. At 400km, the range is tremendous. My 60km (to and fro), daily work commute put a dent into this, but the Kona still had plenty of juice left to get me around for grocery shopping and social outings. And doing so with comfort and ease.

This is a smaller SUV, and as such, it might as well be a coupe. Despite the luxury of a generous arm rest equipped with cup holders, your passengers don’t get a lot of room in the back seat. With the front rows adjusted comfortably, leaving enough leg room to do some stretching, you take away all and any such room for your passengers at the back. Not to mention there are head rests and belts for 3, but nothing more or in addition to being able to sit 3 well for an extended period of time. There are at least compartments and binning on the doors, to be able to store what you need, leaving as much room as possible for the people.

And what felt like a spacious cabin, was actually just as tight. The proof was in the number of times I found myself accidentally poking or jabbing my front seat passenger. A couple of times this was due to me trying to use the cup holders, and more when togging between music and the settings on the centre console. I kept thinking that I had more clearance than I really did. And it didn’t help that the centre console was set further back than with most vehicles. So in order to use it you seat yourself awkwardly, positioned with the need to almost turn around and look back and down at it. And these were buttons that I found myself using often enough to find this positioning a nuisance, like the seat warmers and sport mode. As for the buttons themselves they felt a little cheap in plastic with the push down.

Turning the vehicle on is as simple as pushing a button. It lights up and shuts down with melodic tones, much like a computer or game console would. A nice warning tone, it begins to ramp up as you slowly accelerate, it climaxes when you hit 30 and you can’t hear it any more. This is an audio cue that let’s you know that your vehicle is running, given that you don’t actual hear or feel the roar of an engine. This is not to be confused with the back up sensors that sound a lot more jarring, on purpose.

And when driving you don’t miss a normal gas engine. Start and stop the car is very responsive, you get a whole lot of power accelerating just with a little tap. On the line at a red, I beat a BMW easily. And I kept my acceleration speed, so that I didn’t even realize I was clocking in over the speed limit. But luckily when it came to breaking, the Kona stopped at a dime. The perks of a computerized engine means no delays or moving parts to have to go through the emotions with. No resistance working against you.

But at some points, I did feel out of control, between the body rolls and the shaky wheel, certain speeds on the highway were a little sketchy. With normal conditions, the drive is incredibly smooth. It almost feels like you are gliding, there is no friction between you and the road. No movement in the car from the changing or switching of gears, it is just simply running. It all felt easy. Like the intuitive windshield wipers. It is nice to have a car that knows what to do, it knows it is raining before you do, and reacts accordingly so you don’t have to.

Although with the beating rain came the noise. The cabin echoed with all the sounds of the water sloshing on to and under the car. The sounds made it feel more intimidating than it actually was. That and you could feel all the individual bumps on the road like it was multiplied. The easy remedy for the unwanted sounds is to crank up the music to drown it out. And luckily the speakers are great, and there is a nice echo in the Kona for some the good acoustics.

But now for the most important part, the actual charging. As with all electric vehicles, the outlet you choose effects the speed in which you charge. I was able to find a normal outlet in my underground, but finding where to plug the cable from the wall to the car was another story. Luckily, with all the references of the internet at my fingertips I was able to do a quick search to locate the panel. Given that the Kona didn’t need a grill to help cool down the engine, it was covered and used to hide the charging outlet. A single push on the left side popped open the hatch. A practical decision, but one I didn’t like for cosmetic reasons.

The plug in process is pretty self explanatory, you match the “female” part to the “male” part and they click into place. Removing it on the other hand is a different story. This required another internet search, and the patience required to watch a 4 minute YouTube tutorial. Here it is summarized. There is an lock button that ensures that if you leave the cable plugged in and the vehicle unattended, no one can remove it. Any amount of tugging won’t release the cable, you would sooner move the entire car, true story. To be able to unplug you have to unlock all 4 of the doors.

There is also an Auto Unlock button that unlocks the cable when it is done completely changing. This is helpful when you are at a charging station, and don’t want to hold the plug up. This way another person can come and use it after you.

Or you can simply avoid having to charge your vehicle for as long as possible by utilizing the Kona’s auto regeneration feature. In laments terms, when you feel the resistance from the car (almost like it is breaking, but it’s not), you use the paddle at the side of the wheel to down shift. This action allows you to help in the regeneration of the batteries. With the dash showing you by how much.

In summary, there is just something about driving an EV vehicle that just makes you feel like a better person. You want to be seen walking up to your car, to be acknowledged that you are doing something right for the longevity of the world. And that you don’t have to worry about fluctuating gas prices or when to fill up for the best deal. The only worry is the eventual need to replace a larger and heavier battery that will no longer hold its charge. EV vehicles are the future, and if they are built like the Kona, I can tell that we are going in the direction. I honestly would like an EV in the future, but more realistically when my home supports super charging. A method that isn’t timed or costing me anything in addition. As for which EV, I will need to test out a few more before I make that decision. But in the meanwhile it was nice of Hyundai to allow me to use the 2020, fully electric Kona as my guinea pig.

Hyundai Ioniq EV & PHEV review

With Electric Vehicle (EV) sales growing and the exponential improvements in the battery technology for these vehicles, it is no surprise that we are seeing more and more car manufacturers joining the electric car evolution. Hyundai is one such automaker adding a pure EV vehicle and a plug in/hybrid version to their fleet. And in this post we got to try both! This gave us two weeks of seeing what it is like to live a little greener, while decrease our carbon foot print by going electric. Not to mention, saving money at the pump, considering the exorbitant gas prices as of late.

Both vehicles are named “Ioniq”, so in this post you can differentiate between the two by their colour. The Hyundai Ioniq EV is white and the Hyundai Ioniq PHEV is the dark grey. The latter is powered by an electric motor and a conventional gas engine.

The exterior of both is sculpted with aerodynamic efficiency in mind. There is permanently closed-off upper-grill area on the EV version, and some active air flaps on the plug in. Other aerodynamic features like the flat underbody and an aero-efficient rear hatchback design helps them slice through the air with a low drag coefficient. The electric motor only produces 108hp, but an instantaneous 215lb-ft of torque makes up for the some what low horsepower. There are three driving modes offered: “eco”, “normal”, and “sport”. We spent most of our time in “eco” mode, in order to test the full range of the 28.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Doing so we confirmed that the Ioniq can travel a little over 200km on a full charge. Although getting to a full charge is the issue. Charging takes around 25hrs with a regular 110volts power source, 5 hours with a 240volts power source, and only 25min using the 100kilowatt fast charging system. Sadly this was just a loaner for us, and we did not have the same access to a 100kw fast charging system, as an EV owner would. Meaning charging and therefore using the EV became a anxious issue for us. We would charge as much as we could, and pray 10% could take us to where we needed to go. And unfortunately most of the public charging stations available at commercial chargers only offer a 240volts charge. This means your quick coffee and doughnut stop at “Tim Hortons” or that grocery run to “Whole Foods” wont do much. And that is if you are lucky enough to even be able to snag a free charging station.

While more and more charging stations are appearing in urban city centres, the few that we tried and the few times we tried, quickly turned into a waiting game. Most businesses have 2-3 chargers at most, and our five year old apartment complex wasn’t built with any; thus making charging a fully electric vehicle difficult, and almost a chore. Like other electric vehicles, the Ioniq EV relies on a regenerative braking system to initially slow the car, while refilling the battery pack. There are paddle shifters behind the steering wheel, they are not used for gear changing, but instead, selecting between four different regenerative braking settings. At the highest setting, the Ionic can almost come to a full stop, just by lifting off the accelerator pedal, and without even touching the brake pedal.

The plug in version on other hand is powered by a 32kw electric motor and a 1.6L gas engine, making 139hp and 195lb-ft. Attached to the gas engine is an automatic 6speed dual clutch transmission. Allowing the PHEV to reach over 1000km with a full tank of gas, and with an impressive combined city and highway fuel consumption of 4.1liters/100km.

Inside, the Ioniq you can find mounted push buttons gear selectors on the centre console. And the centre dashboard holds an 8-inch touchscreen, where you can choose to display some vital information regarding your electronic drivetrain. For example: how far you can go given your remaining range. The touchscreen can also be use as GPS, indicating the closest charging station. It also supports apple and android car play, and is equipped with an 8 speaker Infinity audio system. It offers a nice level of comfort and safety with well padded and heated seats, a leather steering wheel, an LCD instrument cluster, and an easy to use touchscreen. The safety features include blind spot detection, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking assist sensors, lane departure with lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control.

Mainly because of its battery pack, the Ionic does weigh a bit more, when compare to regular gas engine hatchbacks. But with it, the Ioniq EV still offered us a stable and comfortable ride. The only downside was the wind/noise level when going at highway speeds. Although this is not something you need to worry about, if you are mainly driving around town.

Electric cars and the technology around them is evolving quickly, and just in time if Vancouver is concerned. With gas prices soaring lately, our fair city is making headlines for the having the most expensive gas prices in North America. So given the cost of fuelling up at the pump, it is hard to ignore and not consider how EV can and will most likely be the future of motor vehicles. But until we all get there, I suggest playing it safe with the Hyundai Ioniq PHEV. To be able to have the back up security of gas in the tank, while taking advantage of its incredible range and superb fuel economy. Ultimately, allowing you to be able to keep some of that hard earned money in your pocket.

In short, thank you Hyundai for giving us our very first taste of what it is like to drive an electronic vehicle.


Hyundai Elantra GT Sport 2018 review

This week we were seen driving around Vancouver in the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport. Initially mistaking that we would be getting the larger, and not as sporty Sonata, it was a nice surprise seeing and receiving the keys for this burnt orange, little, Korean hatchback.

Even though Hyundai is a Korean manufacturer, the Elantra GT was mostly developed in Europe, under the watchful eyes of Albert Biermann. Biermann is better known as the the show runner of BMW’s M division.So with him at the helm, he included some additional finesse into the Elantra, making sure that the GT sport wasn’t just a regular sedan with a 5th door slapped onto the back. For instance, it has a shorter wheel base, its own suspension setup, a more advanced interior tech, and a totally different and more powerful engine.

Styling wise the GT has a sophisticated look to it, which included some European flair. You could tell by the detailing that the car was originally designed for the European market. It comes standard with 18inch wheels and dual chrome exhaust. Stepping inside, the first thing you notice is the burnt orange accents that compliment the paint job. Orange detailing on the dash, seats, and seat belts. Speaking of seats, they were ventilated, and comfortable. The front two came with the option for heating, just like the steering wheel did.

The 8inch touchscreen at the centre of the dash was quick and responsive. And being able to select AppleCar play and play music on an Infinity premium audio system from Harman was a nice a feature. Even better with the volume up and the window downs. Or just the panoramic sunroof, giving the dark interior some brightness when you have the chance.

The Elantra also has a bunch of safety features like driver assist, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, and blind-spot warning. Your vehicle now intuitively takes care of you, as it takes you from “A” to “B”.

The main reason to get the Elantra sports model is of course the more powerful engine. Thanks to its 1 turbo engine the GT makes 201hp and 195lb-ft, compared to the 162hp naturally aspirated 2.0 engine in the lower trim models. The model we specifically test drove comes with a dual clutch, 7 speed automatic transmission, which my partner enjoyed. He liked having the paddles behind the steering.

And when driving around town the suspension felt really composed. Generally, a nice smooth ride, but firm enough to remind you how well it can perform once you hit those windy roads. Compared to the standard Elantra, the GT Sport gets a fully independent suspension all around, with a multilink setup in the rear. It also has stiffer spring rate and bigger sway bars. And all the above really helps to improve the handling of the hot hatch compared the other models equipped with its torsion beam.

In conclusion, we really enjoy the Elantra GT sport hatch, it may not be the best in class, but it has all the right things in all the right places. Thanks for the #WhipOfTheWeek Hyundai.

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