Archive for July 2018

2018 Hyundai Accent GLS HB

Hyundai By Then and Now

In the last 10 years, I drove a couple of Accents as a rental car when I visited Turkey, my home country. In Turkey, Accent is a popular, reliable and economical car and in service also as police car and taxi cab.

In Canada, the Hyundai Accent has been the top-selling sub-compact in the last ten years. When you go back to earlier times of Pony and Excel and remember those cars, (Accent’s predecessors) you will appreciate the progress in quality.

The current generation’s global launch of Accent took place during last year’s Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) in February 2017. This launch was the proof of importance of the Canadian market for Hyundai and for Accent in particular.

Driving Impressions

I drove the new Accent in hatchback body-style for one week in Ontario. I was impressed.

The very first thing I want to tell you. This car brought back to me the pleasure of driving manual. I drove a very limited number of manual cars in the last 15 years, usually sporty Mustangs. The six-speed manual transmission of the Accent is smooth and precise, and you will love it. And without exaggeration, this subcompact offers much more than a basic means of transportation. The quality is palpable at every corner of the car.  The GLS model as tested, comes with standard projection headlights with LED running lights, heated outside mirrors with repeaters, cloth seats with red accent trim, Bluetooth hands-free phone system with voice recognition, forward collision warning and heated steering wheel. To give an example, many drivers will appreciate the merits of the heated steering wheels in long and cold winter days.

The quality of materials and the workmanship is not less than impressive. You will easily forget that this is a subcompact car for limited budgets. The seven-inch touchscreen is well designed and visible even under sunlight. Pairing your phone with Bluetooth is super-easy. The seats, with red inserts, lend a sporty look to the cabin.

We, auto bloggers and writers are aware of Hyundai’s passion to build better and better automobiles and to become a major global player. The last two generations of Elantra and Sonata, two crucial models changed the perception significantly and millions of buyers not only in Canada but also globally believe that a Hyundai is now as good as an established Japanese brand and even more attractive in design in some cases. Lastly, the creation of Genesis brand to compete in the luxury segment is a bold statement and a big commitment for Hyundai and Korean automobile industry in general.

The Accent drives like a bigger car, with its firm road holding, steering response, acceleration and breaking. To me, a hatchback is an introduction to SUV’s and CUV’s. and The Accent does its job. It offers full 616 litres of cargo space behind the rear 60:40 split/fold rear seat. The combined passenger and cargo volume are 3,192 litres, and that’s a lot of space in this class.

The 1.6-litre direct injection, inline, four-cylinder engine (130 hp, 119 lb/ft of torque)

mounted transversely driving the front wheels. You have the option of a six-speed manual (as tested) or six-speed automatic transmission.

Manual fuel economy is rated at 8.2/6.3/7.3L/100 km city/highway/combined using regular gas. After a one-week drive of more than 500 kilometers in mixed mode, I reached and average of 7.2 liters, which was well within the catalogued values.

The suspension has MacPherson struts at the front and a twist beam at the rear. Obviously for cost reasons, Hyundai opted out multilink rear suspension.

The GLS is the only trim model with 17-inch alloys.


If you are looking for a sub-compact car which is more than just a basic means of transportation, you will short-list Accent.

Article and Photos by Varol McKars

2018 Ford Explorer Platinum V6 3.5L

Aging Gracefully

The current and fifth generation of the Explorer, Ford’s midsize SUV is almost at the end of its life.

The new generation may be launched as early as in 2018 Los Angeles of 2019 Detroit Auto Show in January for 2020 model year.

The good news for the current Explorer is that this vehicle is at the top of its refinement.

In a highly competitive market of 7-seater SUV’s, not limited but including; Mazda CX-9, Honda Pilot, GMC Acadia, Chevrolet Traverse, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Subaru Ascent (as a newcomer), buyers have abundance of choice. And Ford this vehicle matters, that will be dependent more than ever on trucks, SUV’s and crossovers.


Under the hood Explorer has the well-known 3.5L Ecoboost V6 with twin-turbocharging delivering 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. The boosted V6 works well when handled gently in terms of fuel economy. With a little press on the gas pedal, a huge trust is unleashed at additional cost for consumption.

Like all competitors, Explorer has four-wheel drive, with a drive-mode selector. Twist the dial to tell Explorer what sort of driving is incoming, and various system calibrations are optimized to deliver extra traction and confidence. We could not test the snow mode in July, but it should be harder to spin Explorer’s wheels, and the 4WD system more evenly splits power between the axles from lower speeds, generating more instantaneous bite under throttle.

Driving Impressions

Although we did not have a change to test the towing capabilities, passing on the highway was a pleasure with a huge torque available at any time. The range, however falls a little bit short especially in city driving since the fuel tank is only 70 liters.

The only shortcoming of this mature SUV is the steering. At highway speeds, the steering feel is unprecise and subjectively a bit insecure. I think, Ford will take this matter into its hands (or already did so) in the upcoming generation. They may have looked at Mazda CX-9 and some German SUV’s to have a benchmark.

Worth mentioning is the back-up camera. Explorer offers a rare washer spray system that blasts the lens clean with a jet of washer fluid when requested, for a consistently clean image. The sum of such smart features make a notable difference against the competition.

A wise choice for buyers who put value on a mature models perfected over the years and come with Ford’s huge experience on trucks and SUV’s.
The fully loaded test vehicle’s MSRP is $65,629 and competitive too.

Total Price as Tested: 65,629

Article: Varol McKars

Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars

Test vehicle was provided by Ford Canada (via Media Fleet)

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