Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hyundai Aslan (AG)

2015 Hyundai Aslan

This is a brand new premium executive sedan from South Korean carmaker Hyundai that emerged out of nowhere like someone stealing a plane under the enemy's noses during a heated battle. It's called the Aslan, Turkish for lion, and this car wants to live up to its name as the car that is worth better to lead than to follow. So what? Is this what Hyundai's answer to the BMW 3-Series looks like?

Hey...I've seen this before...

Yes. You've seen this before. It was appeared at the Busan International Motor Show last Spring as the Hyundai AG Concept. When Hyundai plans to name the unnamed AG sedan, they've decided to give it a nobler name. A name that holds nobility. That's where the Aslan kicks in.

Hold on, Hyundai has so many sedans in their lineup, right?

Yes. There are so many Hyundai sedans in one place. Quite a spectacle. There's the Accent, the Avante, the Sonata, the i40 Saloon, the Grandeur (in petrol, hybrid, and diesel guises), the Genesis, and the flagship Equus.

Where does it positioned?

The Aslan is positioned between the Grandeur and the Genesis.

Is it bigger than the Grandeur?

Hmmm....That's a legitimate question but it can be a no and a yes because the Aslan has the same wheelbase, width, and height as the Grandeur but when it comes to length, the Aslan is 60mm longer than the Grandeur so you can think of the Aslan as the Grandeur's LWB cousin just so you know.

But the Aslan looks like a mini-Genesis to me...

2015 Hyundai Aslan interior
The Aslan is heavily influenced by Hyundai's "Fluidic Sculpture 2.0" design philosophy first applied on the latest Genesis last year but by the way it looks, this is like a mashup between the Sonata's front (sort of) and the Genesis' rear. The interior has a very same story as well but even though the Aslan has the Genesis-influenced interior, it's still very comfortable and very convenient. It even comes with the Lexicon premium sound system with 12 speakers, which deliver crystal-clear sound quality like you get from an expensive luxury car. Go ahead, try Bluetooth-ing your iPhone, play some music, and hear what happens. Because of its extended length, the rear legroom is not very bad at all, as long as someone is not fiddling with the front seats that sabotaging the space between you and your legs. Those viscounts and viscountesses wouldn't mind about it.

I suspect that the Aslan, being a bigger Grandeur, is a front-wheel drive, right?

Sadly, yes. The Aslan is a front-wheel drive premium sedan just like the Grandeur so it's not well matched to take on the 3-Series, the C-Class, or the ATS. Still, the new Aslan is worth a shot to take on the Audi A4, the Alpheon, the Buick LaCrosse, or the Cadillac XTS...well, as a theory.

Engine choices are...

2015 Hyundai Aslan

Hey, watch it. You're stealing my line. Anyway, the Aslan has two petrol engine choices; one is a 3.0L V6 GDi engine, straight from the Grandeur, and the other one with the 3.3L V6 GDi engine, straight from the Genesis. Both of these engines are mated with the 6-speed automatic gearbox. The 3.0L V6 engine produces 270PS of power, 31.6kg-m of torque, and combined fuel economy of 9.5km/L while the 3.3L V6 engine produces 294PS of power, 35.3kg-m of torque and 9.5km/L of fuel economy. Hold it...9.5km/L of fuel economy combined on the 3.3L V6 model? Isn't that the same as the 3.0L V6 one? Clever but such fuel consumption needs to be verified or they don't wanna wind up in the whole fuel consumption fiasco like last time...Geez...

What about the way the Aslan performs?

2015 Hyundai Aslan

Well, as a front-wheel drive car, the Aslan feels more as civilized as a Viscount enjoying a nice game of chess with his Marquis pal...sort of. Nobility-wise, its handling level is on its viscount nobility and it feels more like a European sport sedan thanks to the extensive use of MacPherson Struts on the front and Multilink suspension at the back. The rack-and-pinion steering feels a bit like an old Hyundai but that doesn't stop the Aslan from behaving like a luxury car in its own right.

Technology-wise, the Aslan is as technologically-advanced as high-end luxury cars. From Advanced Smart Parking Assist System, Lane Departure Warning System, Forward Collision Warning System, Around View Monitor, Flex Steer, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, Adaptive Forward Lighting System, and much more, the Aslan feels like the future is now thanks to science.

Should I buy it?

The Aslan is priced from 39,900,000 KRW to 45,900,000 KRW, so it's expensive than the Grandeur but affordable than the Genesis so it's a smart buy but be advised, this is a Korea-only car and Hyundai has no plans to ship it globally. In short, it's Korea-only, LHD-only, and that's it. Zip it. Period.

Available Colors: Ice White, Platinum Silver, Polished Metal, Remington Red, Night Sky, Dark Horse, and Phantom Black.

Photo: Hyundai Motor Company

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