Hm, sure doesn’t look like a Hyundai, now does it? Then again, just what is a Hyundai “supposed” to look like? I guess that’s sort of the point. Now that “cheap Japanese cars” have forever moved up market, someone has to take the low end of the spectrum, give you more for you money than would be expected, and get rich in the process.
Ergo, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.
Here’s an interesting little tid-bit I had missed: Hyundai is the world’s fourth largest automaker, overtaking Ford in the first half of 2009. Fancy that. You also might want to take a look at the latest edition of the Korean automaker’s upcoming (in 2011) Sonata. Bucking the trend, both in terms of its stylishness and where all the other new cars have been showing up in the past week, Hyundai (do they have a nickname yet that’s easier to type than Hyundai?) formally introduced the four-door sedan in its home market.
“The Sonata will set a new standard for world class mid-size sedans with state-of-the-art technology, superior build quality and emotional design. The new Sonata will raise Hyundai’s brand values,” said Euisun Chung, Hyundai’s Vice Chairman at the unveiling of the car in Seoul. Yeah, sure Mr. Chung. I’m sure there’s a bunch of 5 Series and E Class engineers that are worried about you. Now, Honda or Toyota on the other hand …
This is the sixth-generation Sonata, and it is a pretty big departure, styling-wise from Sonatas of the past (which were featureless sedans (is that redundant?)). Obviously someone in the styling department in Seoul has noticed the trend of four door “coupes”, because the 2011 Sonata has all the trademarks. You got yer swooping roofline, the squat rear, etc. The inside is new, of course, and seems to follow along with the Korean firm’s other more recent efforts, like the new 2010 Tucson SUV.
In case you’re wondering, the Sonata is 4,820mm long, 1,835mm wide and 1,470mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,795mm, essentially bigger in every dimension save height from the outgoing gen 5 version. No, go convert it from metric yourself.
Under the stylish new hood there will be a choice of two engines when the Sonata is launched in the home market: a 2.0-liter Theta II MPi gasoline engine that puts out 165HP and a LPG mill (!) that cranks out 144HP. Both plants are mated to a new six-speed automatic transmission. The U.S. market will get a different standard engine entirely, the 2.4 liter Theta II GDI gasoline.
Irrespective of the versions, all Sonatas come with standard Vehicle Dynamic Control with Hill-start Assist Control and Brake Assist System functions, an available three-piece panoramic sunroof and a Parking Guide System (PGS).
Hyundai is planning to sell 60,000 of the guys in Korea this year and 450,000 units annually worldwide from 2011. In case you’re planning on getting one, the list prices in South Korea will be between $17,600 to $21,450.