Hyundai Sonata
Hyundai Sonata

How It Drove - Performance

The Hyundai Sonata is powered by a 2,359cc, DHOC, 'Theta' 2.4 litre four-cylinder all-aluminium petrol engine which produces 162 bhp @ 4250rpm enabling it to accelerate from 0-62mph in 10.4 seconds (automatic) and 8.8 seconds (manual) and on to a top speed of 126 mph (automatic) and 132 mph (manual).

The 2.4 litre petrol engine is relatively smooth and when coupled to the four-speed H-matic automatic transmission you have an excellent cruising car. Acceleration could not be described as rapid and was rather too leisurely for our taste although once up to speed it performs well.

The four-speed H-matic automatic transmission was both quiet and smooth and well-suited to the Sonata. The automatic transmission offers fully automatic operation, or a driver-operated manual sequential mode which is great when you need fine control over gear changes.

The official combined fuel consumption figure for the automatic model is 32.1 mpg - the manual model returns 33.2 mpg. For those who require better fuel economy a 2.0 diesel engine is to be introduced in early 2006.

How It Drove - Ride and Handling

Hyundai claim to have fine-tuned the new Sonata's suspension for European driving conditions but despite the multi-link rear suspension the ride is too soft and transmits every pot hole, speed bump and road imperfection into the cabin. Levels of grip are OK but overall there was a little more body roll than we would have liked and although the rack & pinion power assisted steering is well weighted it lacks feedback.

ESP (electronic stability program) is standard and integrates the TCS (traction control system), all-round disc brakes with ABS (anti-lock brakes) and EBD (electronic brake-force distribution) ensure a safer and more rewarding driving experience. We did find that the brakes were a bit premature and when coupled to the soft suspension didn't inspire confidence.

Hyundai Sonata News

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