This is the fifth generation of the model and is a complete redesign. Longer, wider, taller and roomier than the outgoing model, all-new Sonata is also quicker, stronger and safer than the car that it replaces.
New Sonata also has a significant size and space advantage over its predecessor and many of its competitors, Hyundai says.
For example, despite Volkswagen’s added dimensions to its new Passat, the Sonata is still a further 35mm longer, 12mm wider and 3mm taller and has a 20mm longer wheelbase.
Hyundai has also fitted as standard Electronic Stability Program (ESP), which, as its initials could imply, provides the car with extra sensory perception, or a sixth sense, to assist the driver.
The new Sonata comes with a new engine, the 2,359cc DOHC ‘Theta’ 2.4 litre four-cylinder all-aluminium unit. Maximum power is 160bhp (161PS) at 5,800rpm with 162lb-ft (219Nm) torque at 4,250rpm. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes just 8.8 seconds (auto 10.4) and top speed is 132mph. Meanwhile, Sonata can cover up to 33.2 miles per gallon (manual model) on the combined cycle.
Full leather trim, including seats, door panels and gear lever, comes as standard.
The 462-litre boot space is 64 litres more than that of the existing Sonata.
Sonata’s standard equipment includes 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, air-conditioning, remote central locking and alarm, rake and reach adjustable steering wheel, stereo RDS radio/CD and MP3 disc player, driver and passenger lit vanity mirrors, power-operated and heated door mirrors and independent rear ventilation.
New Sonata also features shielded deadlocks all round, an alarm and immobiliser.
On-the-road prices are: manual £16,495; automatic £17,495
Hyundai expects a 20:80 sales ratio between manual and automatic transmissions.