Hyundai’s wider, taller and roomier Sonata is all set to cause a ‘big’ hit when it goes on sale in the UK next spring.
New Sonata is 55mm longer than the current model, and its wheelbase has been extended by 30mm. Front legroom is up by 10mm, and rear legroom by 30mm. The front and rear tracks are also significantly wider, which together with a lower ride height gives the car a more aggressive stance than the current model.
A new range of engines will feature, including a newly developed 2.4 litre ‘Theta’ DOHC petrol engine, a potent ‘Lambda’ 3.3 V6, while an all new 2.0 VGT common rail turbo diesel will follow. The exact engine line up and transmissions for the UK have yet to be announced.
The new 2.4 litre unit has 161PS of power on tap at 5800rpm, while the 3.3 V6 produces 233PS at 6200rpm. The 3.3 V6 is mated to a new five speed H-matic gearbox (which allows the driver to switch between a ‘stepped’ manual or full automatic), while the diesel is being developed with a six speed manual or four speed automatic.
As ever, safety was a priority for Hyundai engineers when creating the new Sonata, and all models will come with front, side and rear curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes and three three-point seatbelts in the rear.
The Sonata will continue with Hyundai’s tradition of offering very high equipment levels, combined with superb build quality and excellent value for money.
Now onto its fifth generation, the Sonata is Korea’s best selling car, as well as one of the USA’s top sellers.
Worldwide Hyundai expects to sell 230,000 Sonatas in 2005. UK prices will be announced closer to the on sale date.Published 2 October 2004