Superbowl Car Commercials

This past Sunday’s Super Bowl was not the best of games that’s for sure as it looked like the Broncos may have thrown the game.  As for the Seahawks I congratulate you as your team deserved the win and winning your first Superbowl is a very big deal.
As a car guy, the best part of the big game is seeing the new car commercials of which there were 15 this year, the same number as last year. Audi, Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, VW, GM, Ford, Chrysler, Jaguar, Maserati, Jeep and Honda all splurged and spent the huge cash required for airtime during the big game. To check out all the ads see Autoblog Canada’s feature on the Top 10 Best Car Commercials from this year’s Super Bowl.  You can vote for your favourite one too.

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Review

Over the May Victoria Day long weekend one of the RedlineNorth team members had the opportunity to test drive Hyundai’s 2013 Santa Fe Sport, sport utility vehicle. The test period included a road trip from Toronto to Ottawa, Ontario that included a toddler, pregnant wife and grandmother along with all the ‘stuff’ required for a long weekend road trip with the family. Well, how did the Santa Fe Sport perform battling long stretches of highway, long weekend traffic, while fully loaded with toddler in tow? Read on to find out.


2013 Santa Fe Sport SE

In the 2001 model year, the Santa Fe debuted in North America as Hyundai’s first SUV. Now in its third generation, Hyundai recently launched the redesigned 2013 Santa Fe. There are two variants of the Santa Fe, the five seater Sport along with the larger seven seater XL. The Santa Fe Sport comes in two engine configurations, a 2.4L normally aspirated engine and a 2.0 L turbo version. Both engines are also available in both Front Wheel Drive or All Wheel Drive with prices starting at $28,388.70 including destination and delivery charges for the 2.4 FWD. The RedlineNorth test vehicle was the 2.0L Turbo AWD SE model which comes in at $37,188.70.


The 2013 model has been redesigned in a style Hyundai calls Storm Edge.


The interior of the Santa Fe felt roomy with high attention to detail.  This included built-in sun shades for the rear windows which came in handy on the long car journey with sleeping kids. In addition, the sunroof is immense and fully opened it provides a pseudo convertible feel. This feature made up for the narrow rear windows provided with the redesigned styling, which didn’t allow in that much light.


The Santa Fe Sport SE comes with a panoramic sunroof

The ability of the rear seats to recline is a great feature and rear and front leg room was above average. In addition, the adjustable powered drivers seat with lumbar support fared well on the long trip and provided the right amount of firmness and comfort despite not having the cooling ability found in the Limited edition of the Sport.


The quality of the interior trim was better than average


The menu of the infotainment system in the Santa Fe, while not perfect, was above average in terms of ease of use. Pairing a phone through Bluetooth was straight forward and didn’t require breaking out the instruction manual. Similarly, changing input selections from radio, CD and Satellite radio and assigning them to the memory was done with ease. The down side to the system was the 4.3 inch screen size that comes standard in the SE and Luxury editions. While the lack of a navigation system in the SE certainly reduces the need for a larger screen one may find themselves squinting at screen when trying to discern images from the rear view camera system.


The SE version of the Sport comes standard with a LCD screen which is limited in size.


A handy feature in the 2013 Santa Fe is the adjustable steering control to adapt to personal driving styles and road conditions. Drivers can select from normal, sport or comfort mode. Sport mode noticeably tightened up the steering providing the driver with more responsiveness which is useful in city traffic. While out on the highway heading along Highway 401, comfort mode provided a more relaxed feel with more play in the steering wheel. Normal provided middle of the road feeling between the two and as a result wasn’t used a whole lot.

In terms of engine performance there was a slight lag with the Turbo in the 2.0L liter engine, however, overall the Sport felt very responsive. Entering the highway with a vehicle fully loaded for a long weekend the Santa Fe Sport got up to speed quickly and passed vehicles with ease. This is thanks to the 264 hp and 269 lbs of torque produced by the four cylinder engine. This performance does not have a dramatic impact on fuel efficiency either.  With a posted rating of 11.0L/100 km city, 8.4L highway and 9.8L combined is an 8% improvement over the 2012 model year. During the test period we received a combined rating of 9.2L representing approximately 70% highway and 30% city driving.

The AWD versions of the Sport come with a system called Active Cornering Control which manages the vehicle acceleration by adjusting the inside rear wheel speed during a turn. The system does a good job as cornering felt tight with only a hint of body roll. A nice addition to the technology in the Sport would have been a blind spot warning system, or adaptive cruise control, both of which are becoming more and more standard in new vehicles and provide both added safety and convenience.



With its curves and modern look, the Santa Fe’s design is very sleek overall. Beginning with its HID headlights the SUV brings a design synergy where aerodynamics meets utility in a way that really works. The 19 inch alloy wheels, twin chrome tipped tailpipes and the addition of the rear parking assist sensors round out some of the stand out features of the Santa Fe Sport styling. Hyundai calls the styling of the redesigned model Storm Edge which features “A striking hexagonal grille which flanks the front while smooth flowing sheet metal creates the impression of continuous motion.” While this description may have a healthy dose of marketing speak incorporated into it, the look of the new 2013 model certainly has appeal and turned a few heads in parking lots.



Hyundai has developed a winner in the 2013 Santa Fe which is pitted against competitors such as the Ford Edge, GMC Terrain and the Nissan Murano. The lack of a navigation system and the small LCD screen size in the SE version are the most significant detractors. However, with the refreshed styling, features such as; customizable steering and the panoramic sunroof, along with the responsive turbo charged engine we can easily recommend the SE Sport as a mid-size SUV ideal for families or those needing the additional space. In addition, the improved fuel efficiency over the 2012 model tips the scales bringing the Sport SE into the top 3 spot of this reviewer’s list for mid-size SUVs.

2013 Hyundai Elantra GT

As promised earlier in our Elantra review, we said we would review more models in Hyundai Canada’s line up. Well, recently we had the chance to spend some time behind the wheel of the new Hyundai Elantra GT. Built as a replacement to Hyundai’s Elantra Touring model, this innovative hatchback designed GT targets the North American buyer who requires loads of space but also wants a sporty, compact car. As winner of AJAC’s (Automobile Journalists Association of Canada) award for Best New Small car (over $21,000) we were looking forward to seeing what the Hyundai Elantra GT had to offer.


Our tester model came in the GLS Auto trim now listed at MSRP $22,599 CAD.

Performance Features

  • 1.8L Dual CVVT DOHC 16V Engine with 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque
  • 6-Speed Automatic Transmission with SHIFTRONIC®
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
  • Driver Selectable Steering
  • *Manufacturer fuel economy ratings are – City (AT) 7.6L/100km, Hwy (AT) 5.3L/100km, Combined (AT) 6.6L/100km

Although frugal overall we did not quite match these figures on our test period as we obtained 7.5L/100 km (31MPG) in a combined city and highway environment. These numbers are still solid considering we were in all types of mixed terrain. Across the Elantra line-up, all automatic transmission models come standard with an optional active eco system that modifies the engine and transmission control to help increase overall fuel efficiency. 

Safety Features

  • Advanced Front Airbags, Front Seat-Mounted Side Airbags, Roof -mounted Side-curtain Airbags (6)
  • Driver Knee Airbag
  • Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)
  • Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Keyless Entry and Alarm System


Interior Features

  • AM/FM/XM®/CD/MP3 Player with 6 speakers
  • Manual Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows with Driver’s Auto Down 
  • iPod®/USB/Auxiliary input jacks
  • Trip Computer
  • Driver’s Seat Height Adjuster
  • Rear Seat Centre Armrest with Cupholders
  • Power Door Locks
  • Steering Wheel-mounted Audio and Cruise Controls
  • Front Centre Console with Storage compartment and Fixed Armrest
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System
  • Tilt and Telescopic Steering Wheel
  • Cooled Glove Box
  • Leather-wrapped Steering Wheel and Gear Shift Knob
  • 8-way Power Driver’s seat with Lumbar Support
  • Luggage Under Floor Box

Exterior features

  • Roof-mounted XM® Antenna
  • 16” Alluminum Alloy Wheels
  • Front Fog Lights
  • Panoramic Sunroof

In comparison to the Hyundai Elantra Coupe reviewed recently the interior of the Elantra GT was not exactly the same since our Coupe tester was a higher trim model. Nevertheless, our tester came with a black interior with sporty cloth front seats with white stitching, a leather wrapped steering wheel with both cruise and audio controls. Along with a slick-looking trip computer screen located between the gauges, the interior feels fun and provides a sporty persona. In addition, the one unique feature our GT model came with not included in the Coupe is the panoramic sunroof providing a true cool factor for a car in this price range.


As a four door hatchback, the GT is ultra convenient for getting in and out as well as providing both driver and passengers with ample leg and headroom.  During our test period, we headed north for some skiing/snowboarding and the GT was a perfect choice for the outing. The GT offers 651 liters of cargo room behind the rear seat versus the Elantra sedan’s 420 liter trunk and with the 60/40 split back seats folded down the total is a monstrous 1,444 liters of cargo room. As a result, the GT is very comfortable for taking three occupants along with all their ski gear out of the city for a day on the slopes.


Equipped with both traction control and Hankook snow tires, the GT handled the roads in ski country like a champ and was a real charm to drive in Ontario’s winter weather.


The key players currently competing with the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT for Canadian buyers include the Mazda3 Sport, Ford Focus hatchback, Subaru Impreza hatchback, Toyota Matrix, Kia Forte hatchback and Volkswagen Golf hatchback.  With so many strong competitors, Hyundai does have its work cut out for them however, the Hyundai Elantra GT offers great overall value. With its base trim levels starting at $19,149 through to $26,349 for the top of the line model its hard to beat the Elantra GT in dollar per dollar value comparisons. Therefore, if you are looking for a compact, sporty hatchback capable of tackling just about anything you give it make sure the Hyundai Elantra GT is on your shopping list.


Superbowl Ad Previews

As auto companies are one of the top creators of television commercials it’s a good time now since many of the year’s best commercials will air during this Sunday’s Superbowl. For Canadians it has always been a challenge to view the US commercials so hopefully you can see them come Sunday.  To help out with this, we have put together a few previews of the coolest auto ads set to air Sunday.  We hope you like it.

Go Ravens!!!!

Mercedes-Benz 2013 Super Bowl Commercial (Extended Cut): “Soul”

Volkswagen Super Bowl 2013 Game Day Commercial | Get In. Get Happy.

Toyota RAV4 2013 Big Game Commercial “Wish Granted”

2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe

As we begin 2013, it is evident there is lots of new excitement in the Canadian compact car segment with many companies offering more models than in years past. Hyundai Canada is one of these companies bringing to market a trifecta offering of their 2013 Elantra in sedan, coupe and GT models.

Earlier this month, we had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the new Hyundai Elantra Coupe. Aimed primarily at competing with the Honda Civic Coupe and Scion tC, the Elantra Coupe is a real bright spot in the compact car scene with its sleek looks, well refined appointments and stellar pricing.

In spite of its good looks and great value, Hyundai does not anticipate breaking any sales records as they estimate only about 5% of all Elantras sold this year in Canada will be the coupe model. Wow, although interesting from a market segment perspective it’s a bit of shame since the coupe model is a real pleasure to drive in both highway and city environments.

The Elantra Coupe comes in two trim models, the GLS starting at $19,949 CAD with manual transmission and the SE with automatic transmission starting at $25,199 CAD (as tested).

2013 Elantra Coupe

2013 Elantra Coupe


The interior of the Elantra Coupe SE is very well appointed. The dashboard, infotainment system and climate controls are intuitively located and easy to read and navigate. The SE version of the coupe comes with dual zone climate control, rearview camera and heated front seats, a nice touch for a car in this class. In addition, the machined alloy foot rest, gas and brake pedals lend itself to enhancing the coupe’s sporty look and feel.

Considering it is a two door coupe, there is surprisingly a fair amount of legroom in the back seats and a nice interior touch is the cup holders in the center arm rest.

Rear seating was surprisingly roomy for a two door coupe

Rear seating was surprisingly roomy for a two door coupe

Interior storage is plentiful with available space within the middle arm rest, doors, below the climate control console and of course the glove box offering plenty of places for keys, phone, wallet/purse etc. The trunk offers a generous amount of room as well, enough even for families driving kids around to weekend sports activities.

Infotainment system in the Elantra Coupe SE

Infotainment system offered plenty of option, however, the speakers could use some improvement

One area that could use some improvement is the quality of the stereo system. While the Elantra Coupe RedlineNorth tested offers satellite radio, CD/MP3 player, USB and auxiliary inputs for iPhones and the like, the music coming from the speakers sounded a bit lackluster and was underwhelming. For a performance focused coupe, Hyundai should consider improving the stereo system in future model years.


Although the coupe felt sporty, with moderate pick up off the line, there was a fair amount of engine noise associated with acceleration. It’s unfortunate the 6 speed manual transmission is not offered with the SE version of the coupe in Canada as it would make a very fun ride even better. Braking was highly responsive as it uses an electronic brake force distribution system that balances braking pressure at each wheel.

2013 Elantra Coupe SE

2013 Elantra Coupe SE

In a nod to saving your pennies at the pump, all automatic transmission models come standard with an optional active eco system that modifies the engine and transmission control to help increase fuel efficiency. In addition, the coupe is equipped with electronic throttle control which improves drivability and fuel efficiency by replacing a conventional cable and linkage setup with much faster electronic hardware.

2013 Elantra Coupe

2013 Elantra Coupe

All this results in the SE version of the Coupe achieving posted fuel efficiency ratings of 7.6L/100km City, 5.3L/100 km Highway and 6.6L/100 km combined. During the test period RedlineNorth experienced slightly higher combined numbers at approximately 7.4L/100km which we felt was reasonable given the mix of city/highway driving over the test period.

Spec Sheet

ELANTRA COUPE SE Auto ($25,199) As tested

Also available is the GLS Auto ($21,149) and GLS Manual ($19,949)

Performance Features

  • City (AT) 7.6L/100km, Hwy (AT) 5.3L/100km, Combined (AT) 6.6L/100km
  • 1.8L Dual CVVT DOHC 16V Engine with 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque
  • 6-Speed Automatic Transmission with SHIFTRONIC®
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes

Safety Features

  • Advanced Front Airbags, Front Seat-Mounted Side Airbags and Roof Mounted Curtain Airbags (6)
  • Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)
  • Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control System (TCS)

Interior Features

  • AM/FM/XM®/CD/MP3 Player with 6 speakers
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows with Driver’s Auto Down
  • iPod®/USB/Auxiliary input jacks
  • Trip Computer
  • Driver’s Seat Height Adjuster
  • Rear Seat Centre Armrest with cup holders
  • Power Door Locks
  • Cruise Control
  • Centre Console with Storage compartment and Armrest
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Steering Wheel Audio Remote Control
  • Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System
  • Telescopic Steering Wheel
  • Leather-wrapped Steering wheel / TGS Knob
  • Dual-zone Automatic Temperature Control
  • Alloy Pedals
  • Proximity Key with Push-button Start
  • 7” Touch-screen Navigation System
  • Auto-dimming Rearview Mirror with HomeLink®
  • Rearview Camera

Exterior Features

  • 17” Alloy Wheels
  • Tinted Glass
  • Dual Heated Power Exterior Mirrors
  • Fog Lights
  • Roof-mounted XM® Antenna
  • Power Sunroof
  • Solar Control Glass
  • Automatic Light Control
  • Mirror-mounted Turn Signal Indicators


The key players currently competing with the 2013 Hyundai Elantra Coupe for Canadian buyers include the Honda Civic, Scion tC and Kia Forte Koup. All of these coupes are relatively similar in design, engine output and price making for a very tight field overall in 2013. However, the Hyundai Elantra Coupe stands out as a top contender with its unique style, high level of fit and finish and overall value. As a result, anyone looking for a new compact coupe needs to take a close look at the 2013 Hyundai Coupe.

We look forward to reviewing the other models in the Elantra trifecta in the coming weeks so be sure to continue to check back with us.