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Global Game, Global Name
Hyundai has been scoring around the world with its sponsorship of the Beautiful Game.
FOOTBALL is the most popular sport in the world, with an estimated 3.5 billion fans. That's half of the world's population.
And the most watched sporting event is the World Cup, which is held every four years. In 2014, about 3.2 billion viewers, or three times the population of China, "spectated" at the final match between Germany and Argentina.
There's no question that being a World Cup sponsor equals international recognition. Hyundai began running with the ball in 1999, when it signed a deal with football's global governing body, FIFA, to sponsor 13 tournaments, including the 2002 World Cup.
As the official automotive "player", Hyundai supplies the vehicles used during the tournament. That means teams from Germany, Japan and the US (countries that are home to the biggest carmakers) are transported on Hyundai coaches.
And the continental teams cannot "escape" the Koreans even when they're back on home turf, because Hyundai also sponsors the quadrennial UEFA European Championship, the second mostwatched football tournament in the world.
Hyundai will stay on the ball with FIFA and the Beautiful Game for years to come (its current contract runs till 2022).
Hyundai's model lineup in Singapore caters to a wide range of motorists, providing all of them with good cars at great prices.
HYUNDAI has indeed come a long way from its early days as a basic manufacturer of equally basic cars.
Today, Hyundai has an attractive variety of vehicles that meet various budgets, requirements and lifestyles.
The local lineup starts with the Accent. It may be the entry-level model, but it doesn't look spartan. Both the hatchback and notchback variants possess the brand's Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy, and have stylish interiors, too.
In the saloon category, the Elantra and Sonata are built to impress, with equipment levels that can exceed those found in rival models.
Driving enthusiasts will be drawn to the Veloster, which is available in either spicy (nonturbo) or extra-hot (turbocharged) variants.
With the Veloster's three-door layout, petrolheads get the best of both worlds -- the sportiness of a coupe and the practicality of a five-door hatchback.
Families with active lifestyles will appreciate the five-seater Tucson and seven-seater Santa Fe. Both SUVs are spacious and practical, with the larger machine having added go-anywhere ability thanks to its all-wheel-drive system.
For buyers who want plenty of boot space minus the bulkiness of an SUV, there's the i40 estate. The i40's smaller sibling, the i30 hatchback (top, right), will be here soon (at press time).
Another newcomer is the Ioniq petrol-electric hybrid, which is just the ticket for eco-conscious drivers who wish to save petrol and perhaps the planet, too.
And for towkays who want to stand out in a sea of Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Audi A8 limousines, there's the Genesis G80 (bottom, right). Roomy, comfy, powerful and packed with standard features, the Hyundai flagship is a lot of limo for the big boss' dough.
Indeed, Hyundai models are no longer basic. One thing that hasn't changed, though, is their ability to provide highly cost-effective transport.
Dare to Compare
Torque comparison tests have shown that Hyundais do their utmost to give rivals a good run for their money.
IN a 2010 Torque group test of the i45, Chevrolet Epica and Toyota Camry (top left), the Hyundai won because it ticked more of the correct boxes, with the most critical being value for money.
In a 2012 Torque twin test of the Veloster Turbo and Volkswagen Scirocco (top right), the Hyundai scored with its more sensational styling, roomier interior and smoother powertrain.
And in our 2015 comparison of the Accent, Nissan Almera and Mitsubishi Attrage (above), the Hyundai beat the other budget runabouts in "cheap-and-goodness".
These are just three of the 20-odd comparos in the past 10 years that have involved Hyundai cars. They were underdogs that developed into potential top dogs.