Pricing for the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe has been announced and it’s up $550 for base models over the previous generation at $25,500 for the SE 2.4 model. However, that modest increase also covers a wide range of new features including Hyundai SmartSense, a suite of driver assists that includes rear cross-traffic, blind-spot and forward collision avoidance, safe exit assist that prevents the driver side doors from being opened if traffic or cyclists are detected, lane-keeping assist, driver attention warning, smart cruise control with stop-and-go and high beam assist.

In addition, the all-new 2019 Santa Fe features a bolder look, fuel-saving stop-start technology, a standard 8-speed automatic transmission, rear view monitor and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay compatibility. The 2-row 5-passenger Santa Fe replaces the Santa Fe Sport in the lineup, while the larger 3-row carryover Santa Fe is renamed the 2019 Santa Fe XL.

Above the entry level SE, there’s the SEL 2.4 priced at $27,600, an SEL Plus 2.4 at $29,800, Limited 2.4 at $32,300 and Ultimate 2.4 starting at $35,450. These models are equipped with a normally aspirated 185-horsepower 2.4 liter 4-cylinder engine. Pricing is for front-drive models, AWD is $1,700 more. Hyundai also offers a 205-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder in Limited trim for $34,200 and range-topping Ultimate 2.0T for $37,100. AWD for these models is also $1,700 extra. Prices exclude $980 in destination charges.

A diesel version of the Santa Fe, which will also have optional third row seating will be launched later in the 2019 model year. Pricing for that model will be announced closer to its launch.

Honda updates 2019 Pilot, HR-V

The Japanese automaker is updating its midsize and subcompact crossover SUV offerings for the new model year with both visual enhancements and new equipment on the 2019 Honda Pilot and HR-V. In addition, with its availability on the 2019 HR-V, the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver assist features will now be standard or available across all Honda models.

The 2019 Honda Pilot, which goes on sale July 16, has a more aggressive grille treatment featuring the new signature large single bar. Among the new features is an available hands-free power rear liftgate, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, a larger rear entertainment system, new infotainment touchscreen incorporating a volume knob, and refinements to the 9-speed automatic transmission on V6-powered Touring and Elite trims. Honda Sensing is now standard on all trim levels. While the new Pilot goes on sale in just a few weeks, pricing has yet to be announced. The 2018 Pilot LX is priced from $30,900 plus $995 delivery.

The 2019 Honda HR-V subcompact crossover offers Honda Sensing as an option on LX and the two new trims, Sport and Touring, while making it standard on EX and EX-L Navi trims. The system includes collision and road departure mitigation, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. Like the Pilot, pricing hasn’t been announced ahead of the on-sale date. The 2018 Honda HR-V LX starts at $19,760 plus $995 destination.

Tesla squeezes reservation holders

Electric-vehicle pioneer Tesla turned heads when it took in around 400,000 deposits of $1,000 each for its much anticipated “mass market” Model 3 sedan, which was promised at a base price of $35,000. As the auto maker scrambles to make its self-imposed goal of building 5,000 units per week, it is also giving these same reservation holders (which has dropped by some estimates as much as nearly 25 percent from customers seeking refunds) an opportunity to spec their purchase for an additional $2,500.

As for getting one of those entry-level $35,000 Model 3 sedans, production of those variants is said to be another six to nine months in the future. However, the company has adjusted pricing on its more premium models by taking out content to drop the price by $14,000. The top-line dual motor Model 3 Performance model was expected to cost $78,000, but rather than coming with all the options available, this model will now start at $64,000. Putting some of those options back in, like 20-inch wheels, a Performance Upgrade package that boosts top speed to 155 mph as well as Autopilot and the price climbs back to $72,000. The basic Dual Motor version of the Model 3 has also seen a $1,000 price reduction to $52,000.

Buyers can’t wait for Ford Ranger

Or at least that’s a conclusion that could be drawn from a recent quick poll of the audience. When asked which of the manufacturers would they most likely purchase a midsize truck, the most (21-percent) said Ford. But the division hasn’t had a midsize entry since the Ranger went away in 2012. This speaks to the dominant position Ford holds in the light truck market, where the F-Series has been a perennial best seller for decades.

Second on the list was Toyota, at 20 percent, which has Tacoma in the market, followed by Chevrolet with 17 percent, which has the Colorado. Ram was fourth at 10 percent. It too lacks a midsize competitor since Dodge stopped selling the Dakota. While it has no plans to offer one, Ram might reconsider given the likelihood of potential buyers.

Further down the list, GMC and Nissan garnered 8 percent each and both have midsize trucks with their respective Canyon and Frontier models. Honda followed with a 7 percent response, Jeep had 5 percent and Hyundai 4 percent.

Even more revealing was how savvy the participants are when it comes to what’s in the pipeline. When asked which of these new midsize trucks they are looking forward to, Ford Ranger turned out to be the most anticipated, getting 55 percent of the response. In second place was the Jeep Gladiator, a pickup based on the all-new 2019 Jeep Wrangler. That vehicle garnered 33 percent response, while the Hyundai Santa Cruz, a compact pickup based on crossover architecture, got 12 percent of the vote. It will be interesting to see if the Santa Cruz, which is similar in approach to the Honda Ridgeline, is able to find a market.

The rundown

Pricing on the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado has been announced. The highest volume LT model starts at $38,395, $700 less than the previous version.

While the new 2019 Ram 1500 pickup is rolling into showrooms, FCA’s truck division announced that it is keeping the previous one around in the form of a 2019 Ram 1500 Classic.

You are all set to buy a new or used vehicle, so what do you do with your current ride? We have the answers for you in this latest Inside Car Buyer’s Tips: Trade, sell or donate.

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