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2002 Hyundai XG350 Sedan

4dr Sdn

Starting at | Starting at 18 MPG City - 26 MPG Highway

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  • $23,999 original MSRP
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2002 Hyundai XG350 Sedan

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2002 Hyundai XG350 Sedan

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2002 Hyundai XG350

Source: New Car Test Drive

Introduction

Hyundai's XG sedan offers mid-size roominess and practicality with styling and appointments that place it firmly in the near-luxury class.

Yet, as you might expect of Hyundai, the XG350 is stickered closer to the $25,000 price of a workaday family hauler. Add Hyundai's five-year/60,000-mile bumper to bumper warranty (and 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage) and the XG350 represents a terrific value.

When we drove the new Hyundai XG300 last year, one of our few complaints was the lackluster performance of its 3.0-liter V6. Now Hyundai's flagship has returned with more torque, thanks to a 3.5-liter V6. With the larger displacement comes a new badge: XG350.

The Hyundai XG350 is no pauper posturing in a prince's clothes. This is genuinely a cool car, an aspirational car in the current marketing lingo, although it's not especially original or unique. The XG350 shows Hyundai has left the bad old days behind to become a serious contender among quality mid-size cars.

Model Lineup

The biggest Hyundai comes in two trim levels: XG350 ($23,999) and the deluxe XG350 L ($25,599).

Befitting its near-luxury status, even the base XG350 comes with power everything, climate control, leather-faced seating surfaces and a six-speaker CD stereo. Four-wheel disc brakes with four-channel ABS are standard, too, as are front-seat side-impact air bags.

XG350 L adds a power tilt-and-slide moonroof, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, heat and memory for the front bucket seats, a leather-and-woodgrain steering wheel, even rear-seat reading lamps.

The only option available at either level is a compact-disc changer ($500).

Walkaround

In appearance, the Hyundai XG350 blends the fresh with the familiar.

A softly sculpted front end showcases an upright grille, flanked by clear-lensed, multi-component headlights. A smoothly integrated, monochromatic bumper houses nicely Frenched foglamps. The side view offers a modestly crisp beltline blending into gently rounded shoulders at the rear. The boot proffers the only clear Hyundai indicia: taillights reminiscent of the Sonata and a bold, horizontal strip of brightwork beneath the trademark Hyundai logo.

The glass house balances openness with structure. The slim windshield pillars minimize blind spots. High-ceilinged side windows add to the airy atmosphere. The outside door handles are very well designed: attractive, comfortable, and easy to grab.

Close visual examination reveals hints of the Infiniti Q45, the Lincoln LS and even the Jaguar S-Type. The Hyundai shows a bit more bevel in the rear quarters than on any of those. The front end, though, could fool all but the most discerning viewer. That there's no obvious Hyundai logo helps.

Before its introduction last year, Hyundai stripped the badges off of an XG and asked focus groups to rate its desirability. In these anonymous appearances, the big Hyundai bested the Oldsmobile Intrigue and Nissan Maxima, and gave the upscale Acura TL a run for its money. When the XG appeared with a Hyundai logo, the focus groups deep-sixed it. This would seem to indicate that (1) the XG is a competitively handsome near-luxury car, but (2) Hyundai hasn't yet established a credible reputation in this upscale market. The new XG350 should go some way to change that perception, though perceptions are often much slower to change than reality. Hyundai has been hard at work on improving the quality of its products for the past several years and it shows.

Interior Features

This is a roomy car. Tested by a tape measure, the XG350's interior is more than merely competitive. Only the Ford Taurus and Nissan Maxima offer more front seat headroom, and by less than an inch. Only the Maxima has more front seat leg room, with the XG350 besting the rest by more than an inch.

The XG350 also offers more rear-seat headroom than what's found in the Taurus, Maxima, Chevrolet Impala, Dodge Intrepid or Toyota Avalon.

From the driver's seat, almost everything about the XG350 is friendly and familiar. A smooth, quiet dashboard houses easy-to-read gauges in a well-shaded recess. All of the necessary controls for the sound system and air conditioning fall readily to hand, with the stereo properly positioned above the ventilation panel; although audiophiles will likely note that the stereo lacks dynamic range.

Faux-wood trim accents suggest luxury. The leather-clad seats, front and rear, are comfortable, balancing on that fine line between firmly welcoming and aggressively hard. They are flat like a Mercedes seat, but lack support in the seat bottom. Rear head restraints lock into their selected positions for improved safety, ratcheting forward for comfortable adjustment. When in position, they block rearward vision somewhat, but can be removed (with a struggle) when not being used. A center head restraint in the rear seat would reassure the rare fifth passenger, but the XG350 does not have one. It does have the new, ISO-specification anchors for child safety seats across the rear bench, however.

The one category in which the XG350 brings up the rear is trunk space, where it gives up more than half a cubic foot to the next smallest trunk, the Maxima's. At least the XG350's boot has an inside release, in deference to growing concerns about children locking themselves in car trunks. A nice plus is that the release doubles as a pull-down for closing the lid, sparing your hands from the road grime that commonly attaches itself to a car's back end.

Garment hooks inside reflect thoughtfulness. Instead of being suspended from roof-mounted, rear-seat assist grips, they fold out from the headliner, making them much more user-friendly, and less likely to dump the week's dry cleaning onto the floor. Why hasn't anyone else thought of this?

Driving Impressions

With its 108-inch wheelbase and over-3600-pound mass, the Hyundai XG350 is a substantial automobile, pushing the large end of the mid-size envelope. As you should expect from a car of its size, its all-coil, all-independent suspension smoothes out sharp pavement ridges and coddles the body through abrupt directional changes. On bumpy pavement, however, the XG350 doesn't quite match the sophistication of, say, a $30,000 Infiniti I30. Road and tire noise seemed a bit loud for the class.

We found last year's 3.0-liter engine smooth and quiet, willing and free-revving. Its relative silence added to the pleasant ambience of the interior, allowing for comfortable conversation or quiet reflection. But it came up short on acceleration, particularly in this competitive class. The new 3.5-liter unit should be better. Its horsepower rating isn't much higher, edging up from 192 at 6000 rpm to 194 at 5500. But torque has swelled from 178 foot-pounds at 4800 rpm to a Taurus-beating 216 at 3500. Torque is the force that actually accelerates the car, and having it peak at a lower engine speed should translate into a snappier throttle response around town.

Returning behind the bigger engine is Hyundai's five-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic control. It shifts smoothly enough, but it always upshifts at a pre-programmed engine speed, rather than holding a lower gear when you open the throttle wide. That's unfortunate, because the XG is fun to drive, and we would enjoy holding a lower gear and pushing the engine to its redline. When left in the auto mode, the transmission is slow to downshift; and upshifts are on the long side.

The placement of the Shiftronic gate to the right side of the lever, away from the driver seems counterintuitive, but that's the way Infiniti does it, too. It would feel more natural to tug the lever toward the driver to activate the Shiftronic function as it's done in an Acura.

A hefty steering wheel invites spirited inputs; and the shape of the hood emphasizes the direction in which the car is pointed. In fact, the XG provides the driver with mostly positive feedback. The variable power assist to the steering is mostly invisible, materializing only when the transmission upshifts before you expect it to, as in exiting a turn. At that point the assist increases as the engine speed drops.

Braking is reassuringly linear.

Summary

Why would anybody pay $24,000 for a Hyundai? It's a valid question. And it's quite possible you may not be able impress people by telling them you drive a Hyundai. But you'll feel impressed enough when you're behind the wheel of this new sedan. The XG350 drives like an elegant luxury sedan. And each month, you'll feel like a smart shopper when you're sitting at your desk writing a check for the car loan.

 

 


Model Line Overview

Model lineup: XG350 ($23,999); XG350L ($25,599)
Engines: 3.5-liter dohc 24-valve V6
Transmissions: 5-speed Shiftronic automatic
Safety equipment (standard): ABS, traction control, dual front and side airbags, three-point seatbelts at all five seating positions, front seatbelt pretensioners
Safety equipment (optional): N/A
Basic warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles
Assembled in: Asan, South Korea

Specifications As Tested

Model tested (MSRP): XG350 L ($25,599)
Standard equipment: power-assisted, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS; engine-speed-sensitive, variable-assist power steering; tachometer; 5-speed Shiftronic automatic transmission; cruise control; traction control; 5-mph, body-color bumpers; foglamps; 205/60R-16 Michelin all-season, steel-belted radial tires; automatic air conditioning; 4-speaker AM/FM/cassette/CD stereo; power door locks, windows and outside mirrors; digital clock; leather-wrapped, tilt-adjustable steering wheel with woodgrain trim; power front seats with heat and memory; 60/40 split reclining and folding rear seat with folding center armrest; power tilt-and-slide moonroof
Options as tested (MSRP): N/A
Destination charge: ($495)
Gas guzzler tax: N/A
Price as tested (MSRP): $ 26,094
Layout: front-wheel drive
Engine: 3.5-liter dohc 24-valve V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 194 @ 5500
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 216 @ 3500
Transmission: 5-speed, Shiftronic automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 18/26 mpg
Wheelbase: 108.3 in.
Length/width/height: 191.5/71.9/55.9 in.
Track, f/r: 60.6/60.2 in.
Turning circle: 36.1 ft.
Seating capacity: 5
Head/hip/leg room, f: 39.7/54.8/43.3 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m: N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r: 38.0/55.4/37.2 in.
Trunk volume: 14.5 cu. ft.
Payload: N/A
Towing capacity: 1000 (2000 with trailer brake-assist) Lbs.
Suspension, f: Independent
Suspension, r: Independent
Ground clearance: N/A
Curb weight: 3651 lbs.
Tires: P205/60R16 Michelin
Brakes, f/r: ventilated disc/disc with ABS
Fuel capacity: 18.5 gal.

 

 

Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) effective as of October 26, 2001.
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges. N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources: 1-800-826-CARS - www.hyundaiusa.com

Copyright © 1994-2003 New Car Test Drive, Inc.


 

Printable Version

2002 Hyundai XG350 Sedan

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Fog Lamps Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std
Printable Version

2002 Hyundai XG350 Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 5 Years/60,000 MilesDrivetrain: 10 Years/100,000 MilesCorrosion: 5 Years/100,000 MilesRoadside Assistance: 5 Years/Unlimited Miles

Hyundai Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

120-months/100,000-mile Powertrain warranty from original in-service date.
Age/Mileage Eligibility up to 5 model years old w/ less than 60,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 150
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance 10-Year/Unlimited Mileage from In-Service Date
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $50

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2002 Hyundai XG350 Sedan

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