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Old 22nd March 2012, 20:31   #31
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

I had personally used this car for a while during my stay in Saudi Arabia. Although it sells in large numbers there as its one of the cheapest D2 sedan costing around 8+ Lack Indian rupee, I never enjoyed the ride.

Personally the steering lacked feedback & was totally lifeless. The suspensions too were soft & never inspired confidence. But it was good at high speeds in straight lines where one could do upwards of 120 without much fuss.

Another reason of it selling in numbers are its looks. It looks fab in flesh, I would say much better that the pictures.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 20:31   #32
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Thanks for a great review Samurai. So chrome has managed to reach the fender too like old times.

Hyundai is back to woo the market with charm. It worked to a certain extent with the 1st generation. But competition was poor back then. Let's see how it goes this time around. With no doubt, the missing Diesel engine will hurt the Sonata the most.

How are the gear changes with the paddle shifts? I couldn't locate that in the review.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 20:32   #33
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Good review, and honestly for it's equipment a wonderful price too, Ventilated seats alone is one reason why I would buy the car if I was in the market for a car in it's price range or segment and needed a comfortable family car, have driven the car in the U.S and yes it is not exactly something where you will boast your cornering abilities, it does ride well,

My only gripe is Hyundai India is getting it too late, this car wowed me when I saw it in 2010 in the U.S but now in todays time, its about too soon get stale, not just that today Hyundai C.E.O announced the all new generation Sonata will come in 2014,

New Sonata in 2014

New Sonata confirmed by CEO : Reuters

Lets hope when that comes Hyundai India get it fast and not wait like this, will this do well? I do not know, It's hard to predict India in todays time, but I truly feel if Camry is well priced and loaded like this, Hyundai is going to need a lot more than just ready stock to sell cars,

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Old 22nd March 2012, 21:59   #34
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Thanks for yet another excellent and superbly detailed review. Hyundai surely has come a great distance in their design aesthetics department. Still like many others before me, I too feel they should bring it in diesel form too.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 22:18   #35
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Excellent review! Superbly done. Thanks samurai!

Its a looker indeed, but it just doesn't cut it for me, not my taste. IMHO the design seems quirky doesn't work for me in a car of this size, clean and understated lines are what I look for in a luxo-barge like this. The design language is just too fluid for my liking and I'm sorry seeing a 'Hyundai' badge posted at the back of this just doesn't hit the right buttons to go down my throat to shell out 20L+ on the fully loaded A/T on-road.

Ventilated seats are something which are unique and a segment first even the flagship German's from 2 segments above don't offer this. The car is pretty loaded on the equipment front as like the new hyundai's and wont keep anyone wanting more. But, the i10 comes with an optional sunroof if I'm not mistaken? I simply cannot understand the reason why hyundai haven't made an effort to fit it in their flagship model!

The rear seats really do seem comfy, but are they as comfy as the benchmark set in that sector by the sofa-like backseats of the Teana?

If I were in the market right now, looking to buy a car in this segment, I would wait for another 4-5 months after which I speculate the all-new camry launch (based on claim made by my local SA). If it really comes in as a CKD, then we can expect it to be priced competitively as well apart from the T-reliability badge and the lexus-like styling.

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Old 22nd March 2012, 22:36   #36
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Sorry to sound negative but somehow after reading the review, Sonata doesn't look exciting. Now it's even looking outdated in looks. The Merc-Jaguar-ish Sonata was far more exciting during its days and still looks better than present one, especially from rear. This Sonata should have been launched two years ago when we didn't have latest Jetta and Passat in market. I was not much interested in both the VW cars due to pathetic A.S.S. but reviews of both the cars on T-BHP simply blew me away.

Hell, even I would be reluctant to pick this Sonata over the ageing Superb. What's more? Even Teana looks better option!

Yes, the cooled seats might be the sole reason I would pick Sonata if I had to buy a car from this segment. But I would rather wait for new Toyota Camry or even the far away Ford Mondeo. The Volvo S60 impressed me beyond my wildest expectation, which is the reason I'm awaiting the Mondeo which is based on same platform as S60.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 22:54   #37
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A great car let down by the lack of some key features and ingredients, me thinks.

No sunroof is one thing. But some features like one-touch power-window only on the driver's side may turn out to be deal-breakers, considering that it is a great chauffeur-driven car and it's the rear-passenger that the car must be built around. To add to it, the third passenger isn't felt welcome, thanks to that rear-bench that's been bolstered and 'crafted' for two.

And to make matters worse, the handling isn't up to the mark and the auto-box is not the best out there. 198 horses may seem like a lot on paper, but there are other petrol cars that shift, and shift better than this one, as per the review.

And no diesel? Yes, not everyone drives 1000 km a month and justifies owning a diesel, but the market loves the dirty fuel and customers are lapping-up the diesel-variants of cars these days.

One would expect better from a car that costs 20+ lakhs. Besides, how many Hyundais have done well in that price-bracket?

That said, there are several things going for this Hyundai. Here are some positives that I've drawn from this car:

- It looks great. Much better than the outgoing model. It's quite clear that they've drawn plenty of inspiration from the Mercedes CLS. The swooping roof-line, the sharp crease that runs along the side of the car, the massive egg-crate grill. It's all there.

- Near perfect rear-seats. Made for two, and couple that with half-a-decent ride, all-round ventilated seats and a lazy automatic-transmission and you've got a wonderful potentially chauffeur driven car.

- Hyundai's after-sales and service network is sound. I personally haven't had the best experience in Bangalore, but it should be pretty good. Better than Skoda and VW at the moment at least.


So Hyundai needs to bring in a diesel engine. The one in the Santa-Fe would be perfect for this car. With the introduction good diesel engine, the rest might just be forgiven.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 22nd March 2012 at 22:59.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 22:58   #38
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Nice review , thanks for sharing . The car looks very nice and has the features to match/beat the competition. But Hyundai you baffle me by plonking in a petrol only engine. If you cant learn from others , just look at your own verna . the diesel outsells the petrol by a very large margin. I really hope this car does well but in the current indian scheme of things , i dont see that happening.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 23:16   #39
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

I was eagerly waiting for this review. This was to be a decision making moment for me. BUT turned out a tad disappointed with the car.

Read the review and promptly booked my SUPERB Petrol MT (model 2012) immediately (at a killer on road price of 18.4 lacs) to avoid the excise duty hike. The Superb still seems the car to beat with the overall lush feel till the Camry gets launched in September.

Scoop - The New Superb 2012 model (with the price hike) is coming additionally with KESS (Keyless entry with Start Stop Button) in the Elegance trim. Rest all is exactly same as before. Also a new stripped down Ambition trim is being launched without the Sunroof, Bi Xenon cornering headlamps, 6.5" touchscreen system, Bluetooth, ESP, Hill Hold Descent feature. Their new website was ON today during the day for 2 hours detailing the New Ambition and Elegance trim. As soon as I talked to my dealer, within 1 hour it was back to the previous one. Maybe because they wanted to clear the stocks of the previous version before launching this one.

Ex Showroom / On Road prices (UP) of SUPERB 2012 -
Ambition 1.8TFSI MT - 18,40,015 (On road 20,09,486)
Elegance 1.8TFSI MT - 20,02,859 (22,07,566)
Elegance 1.8TFSI AT - 21,55,517 (23,52,605)
Ambition 2.0TDI AT - 22,98,015 (25,07,560)
Elegance 2.0TDI AT - 24,50,681 (26,73,585)
Elegance 3.6TFSI - 28,46,053 (31,03,551)

Last edited by dkaile : 22nd March 2012 at 23:40.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 23:31   #40
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

Originally Posted by Hells Bells View Post
Was checking out this section for the past 1.5 weeks since I read the mods have reviewed the car.
We generally wait until the price information is released. This time Hyundai took its time.

Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
The 'handling' part is therefore more of a tick box on the test criteria which is not really relevant to the segment in question.
Although you are right, a TBHP review has to substantially address the "handling question" to satisfy our target audience. At least we don't bother with the 0-100kmph numbers like the print media.

Originally Posted by bala80 View Post
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?
Unfortunately, no. With only regional language FM stations available on the air and with Sonata's failure to recognize the iPhone via USB, we had no way to assess the ICE system.

Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post
How are the gear changes with the paddle shifts? I couldn't locate that in the review.
Well, there is no difference between changing the tiptronic gears using the gearshift or paddle shifts. The latter doesn't require you to take the hands off the steering. But the dismal performance of tiptronic soon made me lose interest in using the paddles.

Originally Posted by SunilM View Post
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.
Actually, this was not the logic given by Hyundai marketing team.

Alright, let me address the diesel question. Hyundai team was not oblivious to the craving for diesel variant. In fact, during the test drive orientation, they made a special presentation about why they think petrol makes more sense in this segment.

Hyundai believes that a typical owner in this segment keeps the car for 4 years. And a typical owner in this segment never drives more than 60kms a day on the average. They took the example of a petrol and diesel variant of a rival car maker. They calculated using Delhi fuel prices, that one would take 6.5 years to compensate for the extra price paid for the diesel model. Since most owners would sell the car within 4 years, one would end up losing more money with diesel cars.

But diesel cars would command much more resale value than a petrol model, which can more than make up for the difference. I don't know why they didn't consider that.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 01:02   #41
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Originally Posted by S350L-E240 View Post
Good review, and honestly for it's equipment a wonderful price too, Ventilated seats alone is one reason why I would buy the car if I was in the market for a car in it's price range or segment and needed a comfortable family car...
It indeed is a fantastic feature to have in a car on those hot days when you are stuck in traffic wondering "why isn't the air-conditioning any cooler". Actually Hyundai has played it smart by adding this feature in the rear seats of the manual variant. Reason: Most of the people going in for a manual are going to be chauffeured around. Hence, it is the back-seat comfort they are going to be inclined towards rather than fancy gadgetry located at the front. If I'm not wrong I also saw audio controls on the rear armrest. That coupled with the sofa-like rear bench and good legroom makes this a perfect Accord/ Superb beater. The Sonata feels like it is made keeping the rear passengers in mind unlike its German rivals.

The Accord has been around for quite some time and frankly I find it a little over-priced for what they are offering and the Superb has nothing going for the back-seat passengers apart from leg room. IMO Hyundai has a winner here. So what if it is a petrol!! I just wished it looked a little more grown up and classy and a little less fluidic.

Last edited by S2!!! : 23rd March 2012 at 01:05.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 08:07   #42
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Samurai… Thanks for the excellent review!

I expect this one to do decent numbers (as a comfortable chauffeur-driven car). A quite well-priced as well.

Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
The Fluidic 6th generation Sonata has been out in the International markets from 2009.
I do feel that Hyundai took a bit too long to get this into Indian market. As S350L-E240 mentioned his post (on page #3), a replacement should be due in a couple of years.

Originally Posted by Samurai
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.
Indeed, this one + the new Elantra makes me think that the Verna / Eon etc. got ‘budget’ styling.

Originally Posted by Samurai
Shiny audio controls and faux wood finish panels (surrounding each air vent) are cheesy, rather than elegant.
I must say, this is something which Hyundai and Toyota are so obsessed with
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Old 23rd March 2012, 09:25   #43
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Excellent review Samurai! I am sure this car will turn heads and tilt the D segment sales slowly in favour of Hyundai.

Its loaded to the brim, but how come they missed on small points like Auto UP-DOWN on all the windows? Also, a sun-roof is expected atleast as an option in this segment. Lack of diesel is also a sore, but I guess it will be shortly introduced owing to the market demand. Their new plant for diesel engines will help

Hyundai, time for the new Elantra!

Last edited by _raVan_ : 23rd March 2012 at 09:31.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 10:52   #44
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The Sonata is one of the most common cars here in the U.S.A. Shows that it has been very successful here. Looks awesome but a diesel heart would have made wonders.

I have noticed that the engine note to become gruff on some cars while most of them seem to be sweet and refined.

I really hope Mazda to come to India with their 3 and 6 to spruce up the competition.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 11:31   #45
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I have a feeling this will do well. Its got a good overall package. The Embera simply looked too boring from inside and out, and that put many people of. This one has style, and its big and that matters a lot to a buyer of this segment. Also the pricing is a slight bit lower than the Superb, which makes it very VFM putting the Hyundai badge aside.

Yes they should have had a diesel heart, but there are still enough of petrol Superbs and Accords selling. The feature list is impressive and the ventilated seats are the best thing in this car for me. If I had to buy another car in this segment it would be this. I'm sure it will give the Camry and Teana a run for their money when it comes to comfort.
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