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Old 23rd March 2012, 11:47   #46
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

Very nice and crisp review. The views on handling are spot on. Had the opportunity to drive a test drive vehicle and my experience echoes your's.

Rear tow hook is located centrally, under the car:


Is this is a tow hook or a lashing hook??
This looks like a lashing hook (to keep the vehicle tied down when it is under transportation).
Tow hooks are usually much closer to the rear end or rather the tow hook provision is provided on the bumper cross member (which is a part of BIW) as a threaded hole (as you will find on the front on all cars) where the tow bar fits (bolted)
The location of this hook is too far inside for the tow hook tongue to fit
methinks hyundai has skimped on the tow hook as towing (as in trailers / caravans) is very rare, if not non existent in India. Maybe for the US version they use a different rear bumper cross member with towing provision.

anyways..i may be wrong , just my thoughts

Thanks again for a great review !

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Old 23rd March 2012, 11:49   #47
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Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
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.

^^ The Sonata Transform did not sell, even after massive discounts and a face-lift.

And it was a pretty decent package too. With good cabin-room, ride and comfort, above average levels of equipment, etc.

The problem with Hyundai is the badge. When one decides to spend 20 lakhs on a car, 'Hyundai' doesn't really pop into one's mind. There are better options out there. The Accord too has lost its market to the Superb, and I think it's because of the diesel trim option.

Hyundai must learn from their lesser variants. The i20 and the Fluidic Verna are known for their brilliant diesel engines. Look at the numbers it has managed, as opposed to the numbers that the petrol variant has.

Diesel is the flavour of the day. And the lack of a diesel mill, coupled with the fact that it's a Hyundai at 20 lakhs, that's missing some key features and equipment, it doesn't seem too much of a value proposition.

Sure, there would be the 'honeymoon' period where the sales will see a climb, but I don't think it will be a consistent sales-chart fire.

But this is mere speculation. Only time will tell.

----------------------

Great review Samu San. *thumbs up*

The pictures and text make it feel like it's a real experience with the car. Not much has been left out, and it's crisp and balanced. Great job! *thumbs up*

Last edited by suhaas307 : 23rd March 2012 at 11:52.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 11:49   #48
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

Nice review as usual. The car is very attractive to look at and all that chrome and modern styling cues will add to awesome road presence. This I feel will compensate to some extent for the lack of perceived badge value. As you rightly said, buyers in this segment will be more interested in ride quality, comfort, space, safety features and latest gizmos. I doubt if they will be too concerned as to how well she takes corners.

Lack of a diesel option is a shocking omission really and coming from Hyundai! They are old players in the Indian market and know how much we love diesel cars. Their logic is fine on paper. But really, today, for the Indian car buyer who has moved up through the segments, diesel is hard wired into his brain. There are so many people who I know, say that they are never going to buy a petrol car again in their life!

Lastly I did not get a sense for the performance from the GDI engine in this car. Skoda was the first to bring GDI tech in this segment and I remember every reviewer going gaga over that engine at the time. How does this GDI unit from Hyundai compare with the TSI or Honda's 2.4 Vtec for that matter?
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Old 23rd March 2012, 14:31   #49
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That's a nice review of a nice car. The looks are pretty well enhanced and the fluidic design look fabulous. I especially liked the white car for the looks.

But, the question remains. If I was in the market for a 20L rupee car, would I go for it?? Maybe not. Or maybe yes, but ony after thinking over all the other options available. Maybe after a lot of head vs heart thinking! Even though the car has many plus points to it, for some reason, it seems uninspiring. It doesn't excite you enough to warrant spending 20L on it. Though AT option looks good, it still isn't good enough.

But lets see, only time and monthly t-bhp.com sales thread will show the true results. And, I am not in the market for a 20L rupee car right now!
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Old 23rd March 2012, 15:03   #50
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I fail to understand the Affinity to Diesels in the D2 segment. Even when you consider Resale value, still the Petrols make tremendous sense for people with low running.

First of all, (Non Hyundai) Modern Diesels, however refined they may have become, still have quite a bit of sound filtering through to the cabin. If I am spending upwards of 20lac for a comfortable ride around town, tolerating engine noise is not on my agenda.

Secondly, if we consider a Skoda Superb which, by the way, is waay less powerful (on paper) than the Sonata, The price difference between the manual Petrol and the AT Diesel(Since there is no MT in Diesel) is > 5 Lac! A 5 Lac difference in OTR prices is equivalent to a EMI difference of over 10k! Even if the Petrol Superb owner spends Rs. 9/10 per km, and the Diesel Superb owner spends Rs. 4/5 per km, the 10k Difference in EMI can be covered only if the car is driven over 2.2k km/month!

The combined running of 3 cars in our family is barely 1500km/month (which includes a Diesel 'Workhorse'). How can someone like us even begin to justify a Diesel in the D2 segment? Adding to this is the increased fatigue due to travelling in a Noisy Diesel (compared to the feather silent 1.8 TSi), Diesel no longer makes sense. Also, We do not know how well or badly the superbly priced Petrol Superb is doing compared to its overpriced Diesel.

Think on these lines and the 2012 Sonata Suddenly makes a lot of sense. The US version of this car is rated to do 24 MPG City / 35 MPG Highway / 28 MPG Combined for both Manual and Automatic version (which is slightly higher than the US Accord). This is equivalent to 10 km/l City / 14 km/l Highway / 12 km/l Combined which is more than adequate for a car in this class. Considering this is cheaper than the Accord and even the upcoming Superb, comes with more creature comforts (minus of course the Sunroof) and doesn't come with the Skoda reputation of After Sales, people should be more than happy to plonk money on this Hyundai. Since the engine is a N/A, there is no Turbo to blow up at a later stage in ownership, I would say there is no replacement for displacement.

If the success of the Verna is anything to go by, The upcoming Elantra and Sonata are sureshot winners.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 15:49   #51
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

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Originally Posted by antz.bin View Post
I fail to understand the Affinity to Diesels in the D2 segment. Even when you consider Resale value, still the Petrols make tremendous sense for people with low running.

The combined running of 3 cars in our family is barely 1500km/month (which includes a Diesel 'Workhorse'). How can someone like us even begin to justify a Diesel in the D2 segment? Adding to this is the increased fatigue due to travelling in a Noisy Diesel (compared to the feather silent 1.8 TSi), Diesel no longer makes sense. Also, We do not know how well or badly the superbly priced Petrol Superb is doing compared to its overpriced Diesel.
The Petrol Superb sells more than the Diesel. You can recognise a petrol TSI Superb on the road clearly, it has the lip spoiler on the boot while the diesel doesn't I am sure you will see more petrols on the road in Superb's case, 8/10 sightings will be of petrol.

Last edited by abhi1309 : 23rd March 2012 at 15:51.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 15:54   #52
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

A very nice review indeed and the car does look beautiful and modern while the interiors are plush and has enough gadgets to make us happy, But i am a little concerned with following points
1. After sales service response to any critical issues faced, as we are seeing Hyundai is not doing a great job here
2. Resale value of Hundai Sonata's, when i was hunting for my first car, i did consider a sonata embera, but it was available for close to 5.5 Lacs, i found it strange seeing the price range

But overall it appears to be a very good car, rating th thread 5 star
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Old 23rd March 2012, 16:08   #53
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

A diesel Sonata, by its mere presence in the showroom, might increase the sales of both petrol & diesel versions of the car. By not having a diesel car, Hyundai is reducing footfalls of prospective customers into the showroom by at least 50%.

Customer mindset: Let us go to Skoda showroom and checkout the diesel Superb
After the test drive of the diesel variant: Nice engine, Lovely interiors, So much space! But hmm. Rs. 25 Lacs?
Salesman: Sir, if you don't log too much mileage, you can get the same car with a petrol engine and Rs. 4 Lacs less!

And that's how Skoda sells many petrol Superbs. Gets the customers thinking about pros and cons of the petrol and the diesel variants. If you have a not so strong brand name, you need to put your best foot forward.

Hyundai has made a marketing blunder by launching the petrol only variant. Whatever sales they manage to rake in, they can double or triple it just by introducing the diesel variant.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 17:54   #54
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

Wow..
I just love to own this Hyundai.
They're getting more & more Gorgeous with their Own fluidic theme.
Though absence of CRDi Diesel option will be definitely missed by its fans, as most of the people think CRDi as a default engine option in a Hyundai car.

Btw, which Diesel engine is expected in this car ??
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Old 23rd March 2012, 20:51   #55
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

Fantastic Review Samurai

I have seen lot of new Sonata's since its launch in US & it looks pretty good. I think handling etc might not be an issue for the intended buyer segment.

I think this should do the numbers that the original *Jaguar* sonata did, it has fresh looks, lots of Gizmos & mostly a good rear seat(with ventilation, audio controls etc).

Infact I really hope that it does well so that Hyundai would be encouraged to bring the Genesis which is a Fabulous car & if priced well, will make everyone take Notice of Hyundai as a premium player.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 21:16   #56
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, A brilliant review there. This is why I love Team-BHP. In its 3 years of existence, I haven't seen as detailed a review of the new Hyundai Sonata as this one (including the international reviews that I have read). It was to the point yet detailed and covered the complete aspects of the car.

The Sonata is a brilliant car and I sicnerely hope that it succeeds big time in the Indian market. Somehow, I think this car will hit the sweet spot like the 1st generation Sonata in India.

Those gorgeous lines, the supremely comfortable interiors and the long list of features are definite plus points. The surprise inclusion of ventilated seats, which I think is a must-have feature for a luxury car in India given our sultry climatic conditions, is great and makes the Sonata one of the best chaffeur driven cars in India. The Skoda Superb finally has a worthy competitor. Given Skoda's service woes and Hyundai's wide *** network, peace of mind is guranteed too.

In my opinion, the handling (or lack of it) of Hyundais are seriously blown out of proportions. I had a chance to drive the Verna and it definitely disappoints compared to cars like the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Vento and Fiat Linea. But, it is nowhere uncomfortable or nervous as made out. Though I haven't driven the Sonata yet, reviews suggest that this is the best handling Hyundai ever in India, which is a massive plus. The massive success of i20 and Verna and the moderate success of Santa Fe, all of which are amongst the 'most expensive' in their segments clearly indicates that Hyundai isn't still perceived as a 'cheap' brand.

Given Hyundai's expertise in diesel engines and the popularity of the CRDi badge in India, the lack of diesel engines is the only big dampener.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 21:27   #57
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Default Re: Hyundai Sonata : Official Review

How ever good the car is, it will only sell with
a) A gentleman. Who has enough money and know he want a PETROL car for the fact it is more refined and it matches his expression of a lavish lifestyle. Running cost and resale dont bother him anyways.
b) Companies. who target at easy to manitain premium cars.

Sure Ventilated and super comfy seats will count, but IMO it will only be an added advantage for an already confirmed petrol buyer. It can only turn the tables if Superb TDI is converted to Superb petrol and then he thinks of Sonata.
As smartcat says, petrol + diesel combo is needed to convert a buyer to a buy petrol model! And thats only in the metros, where a buyer will calculate petrol and diesel ownership cost and deduce petrol is actually cheaper.

Leave aside the entusiast. No sense of power, looks like some the 198 horses are shy to show up! And then the suspension is solely tuned for comfort class.

What remains is a considerable crowd, i would say 40% to 50% the ones who dont live in cities. The ones who own acres of lands and farms. The ones who has never thought of petrol cars since they were born! They just want a diesel. At any cost!
This car wont sell at all with them at all!

So currently the car is targeted at a handful customers where is can do good. It may be at par with the Superb TSI but wont beat Superb as a whole.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 22:49   #58
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Good review, guys.

I must be in the minority, but I think this car is getting too generic. BMWs and Audis have a family resemblence, for afar you may not recognize a 3 from a 5 or an A4 from an A6 , but you recognize the family. Not so with the Hyundais. The Fluidic styling doesn't look bad, but there have been other cars with swoopy headlamps. The taillamp cluster reminds me of the Renault.

Coming to presence - it has plenty but in this exalted company of Camry's , Accords and Superbs, it's a tough task and Hyundai is not a premium marque. People in this segment are probably not concerned about driving pleasure, they will be chauffeur driven. Feature list and creature comforts is what this car has to compete on. Monthly sales charts will tell the rest.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 23:08   #59
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The new Sonata, going by what almost everyone who have driven it says is a very good car. But I would be very surprised if it enjoys the same success in its segment that the new Verna does (in its category). At 18L +, the manual car is nearly 2L cheaper than the Accord, but then there is the Superb, and with its new Ambition trim, it might just play spoilsport. And the Sonata AT is priced at just Rs. 60k more than the Accord AT, a mistake if we look back at what happened to the Sonata Embera - a good car but priced too close to the Accord for comfort.

I am in the market for a petrol car in the segment, and was eagerly looking at this one, but now with its 20L+ price I'm having second thoughts, especially in the direction of the Superb. I am even tempted to wait for the new Camry, as the budget and price hikes are over.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 23:16   #60
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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.
+1 for this. 6.5 Years is at today's petrol prices. Dont tell me they assume that it wont go up!!
Customers don't generally go by these numbers.For them buying a Diesel certainly is an additional initial investment but more importantly a lifetime relief from shocks at the petrol pump. The fact of the matter is that filling up your tank with petrol pinches-a lot,even for this category of buyer.One cannot emphasize how much Petrol-as a fuel, has lost its sheen. A petrol vehicle is an instant turnoff for most.The Hyundai marketing team instead of going by logic should have opened up the sales figures which will all point to one thing-DIESEL(in this category and above).
I can also counter their logic saying that if a Swift customer can spend an extra 20% for the diesel variant(6.5L vs 5.5L), a Sonata customer would'nt obviously mind paying an extra 10% (20L vs 22L),assuming 2 L more for the diesel.

Last edited by kallil : 23rd March 2012 at 23:24.
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