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Posted by: Moon Ihlwan on September 18



Hyundai on Sept. 17 unveiled its new Sonata midsize sedan that will be a key test of its recent campaign to reestablish its image. Departing from the sedate styling of the current Sonata, its successor – a bumper-to-bumper remake – aims to be a head-turner. In my opinion, it is better designed than any other vehicle the Korean carmaker has rolled out to date. It sports a longish nose, a panoramic sunroof and coupe-style design touches.

Hyundai officials claim that it is not just the car’s expressive look that should attract consumers. “The Sonata will set a new standard for world class mid-size sedans with state-of-the-art technology, superior quality, and emotional design,” Chung Euisun, Hyundai’s vice chairman, said at a ceremony unveiling the vehicle. It will play a crucial role in Hyundai’s global strategy, he added.

Indeed, Hyundai has a lot riding on this car. Executives say the next-generation Sonata, to be sold in Korea from this month and in the U.S. within six months, will challenge Toyota’s Camry and Honda’s Accord for the hearts and wallets of drivers, particularly in the U.S. They also say it will help improve its brand image and put to rest the company’s erstwhile reputation as a maker of cheap cars.

Hyundai has been relentlessly waging a marketing blitz to rebuild its image and expand its global presence lately. Hyundai got a major boost to its push to go upscale when its Genesis sedan won its first North American Car of the Year award in January. Few expect Hyundai to sell the Genesis, its first near-luxury vehicle, a lot but the company’s intention is to move many Sonatas from dealerships once the global economy recovers from the current recession and consumers start buying again.

For Hyundai, the new Sonata’s success in America is crucial to make its U.S. business profitable. The current Sonata was the first vehicle built at a $1 billion plant in Montgomery. Ala. but the uninspiring model did little to convince consumers to buy it. While its Alabama plant is capable of making 300,000 vehicles, Hyundai only sold 117,000 Sonatas and 71,000 Santa Fe sport-utility vehicles last year. Auto analysts say Hyundai should sell close to 200,000 Sonatas in the U.S. to make the Alabama operation really profitable.

Hyundai has gone extra miles to charm U.S. drivers with the new Sonata. To appeal to them, the vehicle’s exterior was designed by the company’s studio in California. The Korean version of the car has a two-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The U.S. version will be equipped with a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder motor with direct-injection technology to produce some 200 horse power against the Korean version’s 163 hp.

Hyundai’s goal is to sell 450,000 Sonatas per year globally when it enters full production in 2011, the year it will be built in China as well. The targeted volume compares with last year’s 318,000 units and the peak sale of 381,000 in 2006.



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it would be cool with AWD twin-turbo and v6 and 900hp... just a thought.
 

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Found a few pages for it and it looks pretty nice. I am really debating if the GC will have the longetivity to fit my kids in the back so this may be an option.
 

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In all honesty though it wipes the floor with how the previous gen looked. The current late model is much uglier than the older one ... in my opinion anyways. Square cars with jagged edges happened in the 80s ... and well we all vomited at how ugly they turned out to be and moved on ... except for Chrysler....and GM .... and well Ford.... and we all know how that turned out since a year ago.
 

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Imo, it looks like a new camry with different headlights. The only car companies I've seen giving their entire image a redesign are the ones who have had to and that's Ford and GM. Car companies nowadays are more playing a cat and mouse game by taking "inspiration" from the leaders, changing it 5% and then remarketing it as new and improved because this car isn't that car. I can't speak for everyone, but most people I've talked to want variation and that's all I've seen from the American car companies.

Well, them and the GenCoupe! xD
 

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Everyone may just disagree with me on this but I think the old Sonata looks better. It may not have an "edgy" look but this is just too busy for me. Those stretched headlights, the sloped rear end and I am still not feeling that grille. While I'm glad that Hyundai is trying to move forward with new designs and ideas, this just isn't my taste.
 

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Everyone may just disagree with me on this but I think the old Sonata looks better. It may not have an "edgy" look but this is just too busy for me. Those stretched headlights, the sloped rear end and I am still not feeling that grille. While I'm glad that Hyundai is trying to move forward with new designs and ideas, this just isn't my taste.
+1...........



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Everyone may just disagree with me on this but I think the old Sonata looks better. It may not have an "edgy" look but this is just too busy for me. Those stretched headlights, the sloped rear end and I am still not feeling that grille. While I'm glad that Hyundai is trying to move forward with new designs and ideas, this just isn't my taste.
For a second there I thought you were describing the GC ;)
 
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