Here's everything important from the last 24 hours of automotive news.
Good morning, early birds. The sun is coming up on the east coast and it's time to get ready for the last day of the work week. More importantly, it's the last workday before we celebrate the efforts of our founding fathers in making this a free and secure nation for all who inhabit it. As such, you're probably making barbecue plans and collecting fireworks, so you may not have time to catch up on all the latest car news. Allow us to assist.
Yesterday, Hyundai announced the death of three of its most affordable offerings while San Jose in California has legalized lowriders. Across the pond, Jaguar seems to have a renewed interest in the J-Type sports car. Over in Korea, the Kia Seltos has arrived with meaningful updates while the Jeep Grand Cherokee has also been reworked for 2023. Let's unpack each of these stories real quick.
We start with particularly bad news. The $32,500 Hyundai Veloster N, one of the best hot hatchbacks on sale, has been killed off. This has been a long time coming as more buyers gravitate towards hot crossovers and SUVs, but that doesn't make the news any less saddening. Effectively replacing it, we have the new $32,925 Elantra N and $34,200 Kona N to look forward to. Elsewhere in the range, the $16,645 Accent has shockingly been killed off, with the Venue to take its place at $19,000. Unsurprisingly, the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, PHEV and EV are being killed off. The base Ioniq Hybrid costs only $23,600, so this is a really disappointing loss, but it's all part of repositioning the Ioniq sub-brand as a pure EV trademark.
To be honest, most of us in the office didn't even know that lowriders were essentially made illegal by a draconian law in California that came into effect in 1986. This law was effectively introduced as a way of making racial profiling legal. See, lowriders are a big part of Latinx culture, and by outlawing the art of cruising aimlessly, cops had an excuse to go after members of the community who were driving around for nothing but pleasure. Imagine you go cycling on a mountain in Colorado, and because you're doing it for fun, you get issued a fine, or worse. That's essentially what this law did. Thankfully, it has now been repealed as of Tuesday, June 28.
While things have been going great on the Land Rover front with a new Defender, new Range Rover, and new Range Rover Sport, it's been a long while since a new Jaguar product was even teased. According to the brand's CEO, all-new models are coming in 2025, and among them could be the replacement for the F-Type sports car. According to new trademark filings, the most likely name for the new model is J-Type, and this car would likely arrive without a V8. However, that does not mean it will be an all-electric car either. Hopefully, Jaguar provides more details soon.
The Kia Seltos was already a pretty good car with very few flaws, but the 2024 model is even more stylish, modern, and technologically up to the minute. New headlights with new DRLs help create a distinctive visual signature while the rear gets similarly extensive cosmetic surgery. The taillights are now connected by a full-width LED strip and the fake exhaust outlets have been replaced by fog lights. Inside, the shifter's place is now filled by a rotary dial and the traditional analog cluster has been replaced by a pair of 10.25-inch displays to handle driver info and media duties. Thankfully, you still get real buttons and knobs for the climate control interface.
A number of changes have come to the Grand Cherokee lineup. For a start, you can now only get the off-road-focused Trailhawk trim with the 4xe hybrid model. That 4xe model has been enhanced with gloss black accents on the exterior. All Limited and Overland models now come with a 10.1-inch infotainment display as standard these days, and the nine-speaker Alpine audio system can now be specced as a standalone option on Limited trims. The 19-speaker McIntosh system is now only available on the Overland and Summit trims. That about sums up the changes for the 2023 lineup, but with the Grand Cherokee an all-new model from 2022, it didn't need much.