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Old 22nd March 2012, 16:09   #16
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

Super review!

I loved it when I first saw it in US. And the features it had for the price was too good. A diesel heart and I can see those numbers going up.

Only thing which will hamper its sales would be H badge. Sadly
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Old 22nd March 2012, 16:14   #17
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Thanks for the engrossing review.

It was interesting to know that Sonata brand has moved on from simply copying the Accord. The interiors appeared very well laid out and highly plush from the pictures. However it looks like all that bhp is under utilized, which is a bit of a let down.

Seems to me, a perfect car for the "saab" in the rear seat.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 16:20   #18
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

Great review Samurai.

The Sonata is sadly a car that is doomed for mediocrity at best or failure at worst thanks to the lack of a diesel engine. Tons of features and great looks will always take a backseat to the question of "kitna deti hai?". Even given Hyundai's typically boaty handling, this car would have sold in bucketloads if it had a diesel engine, either in manual or automatic trim. There's no way Hyundai can take on the Japs and Europeans in the segment and come out covered in glory.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 16:46   #19
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Great review there! Very detailed, as ever. I haven't read such a detailed one in the US so far. I do remember that some of the points called out on the Sonata by TBhp are common themes across
1. Poor handling
2. Soft ride
3. Not as powerful as in paper

Now another thing I have widely read is that the Hyundai cars do not deliver the promised fuel efficiency and they just have setup the car to ace the EPA ratings test. Not too sure how that will span out in India. But yeah, a petrol car, lower than expected fuel efficiency - might not go well with the car buying public.
The Sonata's cousin (Optima) seems to be targeted at a more fun loving audience though, with a tighter suspension setup and driver oriented nature, although the drive trains are identical.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 16:48   #20
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

Was checking out this section for the past 1.5 weeks since I read the mods have reviewed the car. So thank you to begin with

As someone pointed out, one keeps hoping against hope that the latest Hyundai will handle better than a boat and yet ... anyway, I am trifled disappointed with what I read. Maybe, the only good part is that Sonata does not sway like a boat when on bad roads (a la Verna). Lack of diesel option is indeed a big disappointment and I would have expected Hyundai to have a better feel of the Indian pulse! Especially after their experience with Verna.

While I keep getting excited at the thought of a fluidic Elantra, I am now convinced it won't be the same kind of car as the older Elantra was :( This handling thing is doing no good to Hyundai. May be they need to understand that a halo car need not always be millionaire's car. Just look at OHC. Hell, if only they sort out the handling of Verna, I can't imagine me looking for any other car for next purchase!

Anyway, back to Sonata. Looks a million bucks but not in my future shopping list.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 16:48   #21
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

With the Hyundai badge and that price tag, also keeping in mind that there's no diesel as an option, the Sonata looks like a Kizashi buddy in making.

Skoda/Volkswagen are already sitting at the top of sub-20 lacs sedan game. They definitely have better brand value than the Hyundai, and most of all they have diesel motor in offering too. So what Hyundai was thinking before launching this car is beyond my understanding???
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Old 22nd March 2012, 17:10   #22
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

Good review, Samurai. Agreed lack of diesel is really disappointing, especially since Hyundai's diesels are a segment ahead of competition at each price-point - it would've been great if this vehicle came with the 436nm 2.2 CRDi from the Santa Fe.

A lot is being made of the "handling" - while this car was not meant to be an enthusiast's drive, it is definitely less wafty at high speeds than the origamy Accord or the Camry. Yes the ride is soft, but it is extremely comfy without floating around like the other two.

There is also the very pertinent question as to whether buyers in the segment are looking for a corner-carver, or whether someone who has spent more than 2 million of their own money would consider throwing it into corners at 3-digit speeds. Those that would - and more importantly, can afford to do so - probably have a proper corner-carver in their garage anyway.

The 'handling' part is therefore more of a tick box on the test criteria which is not really relevant to the segment in question.

PS: Happy Birthday.

Last edited by Steeroid : 22nd March 2012 at 17:15.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 18:03   #23
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

Unlike the new Elantra and the Verna, the Sonata's design has some elements of quirkiness in them - especially from the front 3 quarters view. The grille design is the culprit. And I wonder what a hydraulic steering is doing in a Hyundai!

The new Sonata will make for a decent pre-owned purchase - if you manage to find one. How does a price of Rs. 8 Lacs sound for a lavishly equipped 2012 Sonata after 3 years and 30,000 km?
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Old 22nd March 2012, 18:23   #24
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

of course a good review, but I loved one statement "If you put a 3rd passenger here, you might earn an enemy for life:"
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Old 22nd March 2012, 18:58   #25
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Just can't figure out the thought processes behind launching this car. How could they even think about entering this segment without a diesel powerplant? I don't see the Sonata putting up at least a decent fight against the competitors, let alone match their success. Sad to see such a competitive product going down the drain due to incompetent management
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Old 22nd March 2012, 19:10   #26
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

Great review! I'm glad to see major improvements on the dash, which was the Achilles Heel of the Embera.

But I'm sad to know that they've skimped on features on the MT. Petrol prices, being sky high, would act as a detriment to the AT version.

Perhaps the worst thing they've done is making it a 2-seater in the rear. The Embera had perhaps the widest and most comfortable rear seats in the segment, but alas, that no longer seems to be the case.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 19:40   #27
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

Thanks for the detailed review. One question since you mentioned about the presence of sub-woofer. Did you get an opportunity to test the stock music system? How good/bad is it for a OEM unit?
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Old 22nd March 2012, 20:01   #28
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by avira_tk View Post
I hate to rain on the party but without a diesel this car is going nowhere and I am tempted to say - dead on arrival.
Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
The only thing lacking is a diesel motor which Hyundai should bring in fast.
Quote:
Originally Posted by iliketurtles View Post
The Sonata is sadly a car that is doomed for mediocrity at best or failure at worst thanks to the lack of a diesel engine. Tons of features and great looks will always take a backseat to the question of "kitna deti hai?".
Quote:
Originally Posted by prkiran View Post
Just can't figure out the thought processes behind launching this car. How could they even think about entering this segment without a diesel powerplant?
Exactly my thoughts. What is the point in launching a petrol only car at this price point ?

Why would anyone buy this car ?
- Cheaper than competitors - no
- Brand value - no
- Diesel economy - no
- Fun to drive - no

The only reason why anyone would consider buying this car would be that it would be readily available without any waiting period.

Rohan
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Old 22nd March 2012, 20:12   #29
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

Very good review Samurai

I wonder why they decided to mount the sub on the rear parcel tray. Was there any specific enclosure?
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Old 22nd March 2012, 20:31   #30
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
..
The fluidic theme works the best with the Sonata...much more than it did with the Verna or Eon. As I walked around the car, I realised that it is an automotive photographer’s dream.
...
Agree 110%, just what I wanted to say. The fluidic theme hits pinnacle with the Sonata. Having seen and driven the new sonata on US trips, I always found it to be the "fluidic theme trophy". Other fluidic models mentioned, due to small size, just look too beefy to my taste.

Thanks for gem of a review Samurai!. I even forwarded this TBHP review link to a couple of my American clients considering the Sonata and they were blown over by the depth and quality of review. The could not understand our love for diesel, though - and I had to explain

That said, I do believe that at 20L price point, diesel economy is not such a big concern as it is made out to be. For a person buying a 3L car, it is a different story. But if you can afford a Rs. 30,000 per month emi for this car (or pay upfront), another 1000 or 2000 rupee for petrol just does not matter. Sorry, just can't agree with others on this. This car will do very well.

Last edited by SunilM : 22nd March 2012 at 20:40.
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