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Last year, with the introduction of the luxurious XG sedan, Hyundai asked U.S. car buyers a question. Would they accept and embrace a $24,000 Hyundai? One year later it turns out the answer is a resounding yes. Sales of the XG, the largest, most luxurious and most expensive Hyundai ever sold in the U.S. have exceeded company plans and expectations.


For the 2002 model year the engine in the Hyundai XG sedan goes up in displacement from 3.0 liters to 3.5 liters and as a result the XG300 gets a new name and becomes the XG350. Even with the new engine and new name XG350 will continue to offer buyers the best value in the segment with an outstanding list of standard features including five-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual control, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and traction control, driver and passenger front and side air bags, leather seating surfaces and much more.


Larger than Hyundai's midsize Sonata model, the XG350 comes with a full complement of standard luxury features. The Hyundai XG350, a four-door, five-passenger sedan, competes in the upper middle/near luxury sedan segment.


"We are excited about the enhancements and refinements to the XG350 for 2002," said Finbarr O'Neill, president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor America. "It provides the next step up for our Sonata owners who love their Hyundai vehicles but are looking for a car with more room and more luxury features."


Among the car's impressive list of standard features are four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, air conditioning, cruise control, keyless entry, projector beam headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels fitted with Michelin tires, trip computer and front compartment front and side air bags.


The XG350 is powered by a sophisticated 3.5-liter V6 engine. It is a double overhead cam design and develops 195 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 212 foot-pounds of torque at 4,000 RPM. The engine is mounted transversely and has a variable intake system and anti-vibration balance shaft. The vehicle's overall length is 191.5 inches, overall width 71.9 inches and overall height 55.9 inches. The wheelbase is 108.3 inches.


The XG350 features Hyundai's five-speed dual-gate Shiftronic automatic transmission with manual shift override. The Shiftronic transmission provides automatic or manual gear selection, allowing the driver to manually shift up or down the transmission range. The transmission is fully adaptive, adjusting to the driver.


The XG350 suspension features independent double wishbones in the front with an anti-roll bar. The rear features a multi-link suspension with dynamic toe control and anti-roll bar. Nitrogen gas-filled shocks are used at all four wheels.

The front shock absorbers have special low- velocity control valving to provide excellent high-speed ride control while still delivering a smooth ride.


Four-wheel disc brakes are standard on every XG350 model as is the four-wheel, four-sensor, four-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS). A foot pedal activates the emergency brake.


Comfort features in addition to those already mentioned include AM/FM/CD stereo system with six speakers, trip computer, power door locks, power windows, exterior mirrors with heated mirror elements and power driver and passenger seats.


"The XG350 is an extremely well-equipped vehicle that provides everything a driver would want at a price that represents an outstanding value," said O'Neill. "As we expand the Hyundai model line in the U.S. each new vehicle must advance the Hyundai brand and image. We believe the XG350 does exactly that, " he added.


Hyundai Motor America, based in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai cars and sport utility vehicles are distributed in the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 500 dealerships nationwide.

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