Most consumers only think about their new Hyundai vehicle when they’re looking at pretty pictures on a website or test driving it in person. But there’s a lot more to new Hyundai vehicles that you’ll find with quick interactions.
I had a chance to head out to the Mojave Desert, just east of Los Angeles, and visit the Hyundai California Proving Ground where they test a lot of their vehicles for a lot of different options. Here’s a quick look at some of the four demonstrations I got to experience firsthand.
You know you have a high tech car when you can drive it for a week and still not understand everything that it offers. Technology should also be intuitive and add value. Hyundai is doing both of those things with some of the features available on their newer models. Things that you might typically find only on luxury vehicles.
Hyundai Digital Key
What’s one thing you’re always carrying around with you? Is it your car keys? Maybe. Is it your phone? Definitely. With the Hyundai Digital Key, you can not only lock and unlock your vehicle with an app on phone, but you can also use it as a key fob to open the door and start the car.
Even better, you can create a profile on your phone so that your Hyundai vehicle knows exactly which driver is behind the wheel and adjust accordingly.
Remote Smart Parking Assist
You saw the commercial. You can’t help but say it with a Boston accent. It’s SMAHT PAHK. And it’s basically a driverless parking option for when you have tight parking spaces. But you don’t really get it until you see it in person. It’s like a remote control for your car!
BlueLink Connected Car System
Sure, every car has an app. But with a rising teen driver, I’m already thinking about how to make his experience safer. Their app allows you to set driver-specific alerts like speed alerts, curfew alerts, and geofence alerts (make sure they’re going where they say they are going!).
Hyundai Forward Collision Avoidance
When you buy a vehicle with all of these safety systems, you just assume they’ll work when you need them. I had the chance to actually put one to the test. Behind the wheel of a Hyundai Sonata, I drove at both 15 mph and 25 mph towards a stationary object WITHOUT HITTING THE BRAKES.
It’s nerve-wracking, for sure, as you have to fight every instinct to hit the brakes. In fact, for this system to work, you don’t want to hit the brakes. It’s intended for the unexpected and it potentially a lifesaving feature.
Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid AWD Off Road
Hyundai is not typically known as an off roaders vehicle. But if you’re using AWD, you want to make sure it’s capable. And if you’re looking to buy a hybrid SUV with AWD (something that usually not an out of the gate option), I’m happy to report that I found one and I had a little fun getting it dirty in the desert sand.
In the right conditions, just engage the AWD lock and off you go. Up and down steep hills, over ravines and uneven territory. The Santa Fe didn’t hesitate and handled the conditions like a boss (as did the Hyundai Palisade, my lead vehicle).
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Ride + Handling
The bells and whistles are great and the fuel economy is even better when it comes to hybrids. But the ride, performance, and handling all matter – probably more than all the rest. I took the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid out on what I’m calling a “twisty turny track” to assess the ride and handling of the vehicle.
Although I’m no speed demon, it handled the hairpin turns and curves with ease.
Hyundai Eco Experience Video
If I’m being honest, it’s much better to see everything Hyundai has than to read about it. Check out my full day experience at the Hyundai California Proving Ground.