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Old 23rd February 2009, 15:16   #31
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KP sends me an SMS saying he just finished driving the Transform and I reply back that I am still driving it and will call him back after the TD. What a coincidence, 2 BHP'ians driving the Transform in 2 diff cities. Both white Transforms, only diff being one Manual and one Automatic.

So how does the Transform compare to the Accord? Well it comes pretty close. But sadly in India H logo of Honda is preferred to that of the Hyundai.

Looks wise my personal preference is old small grill with the small headlamps. The larger headlamps with the bigger grill are not to my taste but they do give the car a more upmarket feel. I was standing in front of an old gen Sonata Embera and a couple of 2 wheelers glanced at the Transform but noone bothered about the Embera. No second glances like the Accord though.

Interiors are a major step up from the older one. The quality levels with Hyundai keep going up whereas with Honda they keep going down. The interior can be compared with the Passat rather than the Accord which feels cheap compared to the Sonata. The seats are soft perforated leather. The top of the dash is dark grey and feels like rubber and leather. The door pads are soft to touch and nicely finished. The steering wheel has wood finish which I don't like but the centre steering boss has a leather finish as well. All the power window buttons on all doors are illuminated by a blue LED. The steering control buttons also have blue LED to illuminate them. Dual zone climate control is chilling. On board trip computer has only distance to empty, trip time and avg. speed so no mileage stats. Audio is fab. 8 inch sub on rear parcel shelf and 6 speakers. Set the EQ to flat and one of the best OE systems after the Outlander's RF. Also has USB/AUX and ipod connectivity.

Interior space is plentiful. The accord was not as easy to get in and out of but this is a breeze. Seats are higher up so ingress/egress is very good. Legroom at the rear even with front seats fullly pushed back is good. Dad is 5'10" and his knees did not touch front seats. I got in the back and my knees were just touching the front seats. Usually I can't even get in. Under thigh support is poor though at the rear. In comparison the Accord has more legroom, better underthigh support but is difficult to get in/out of. Front seats also have good legroom and driver's seat is power adjustable.

Start the car up and you know it's a diesel. NVH levels are good but I found the Optra Magnum to be more silent than this. One irritant was at high rpm's the diesel vibration would filter to the accelerator pedal. I drove the 4 speed AT box and as expected it pretty much sucked. Because of the 4 speed AT the gearing is long. As a result if you kick down, the engine revs till 4500rpm then upshifts, but the higher gear results in the car being out of the rev band below 2000rpm and it takes a few seconds picking up. As KP pointed out turbo lag is non existent. The gearbox tries it's best to make sure the engine is above 2000rpm and even when it's below 2000rpm the car does not bog down as much as the Optra magnum or the VW Passat. Other than D mode you have the tip tronic mode. This is absolutely hopeless. It can barely be used. It refuses upshifts even at 2000rpm, refuses downshifts most of the times as well. It shifts up before the red line and also does a down shift most of the time on it's own. It shifted only a couple of times when I wanted it to else it would continue do it's own thing. This box is best left at D. Honda's AT box wins hands down with shift hold control on the accord and no upshift even at redline. The DSG boxes are ofcourse also fantastic.

Engine performance wise is typical hyundai CRDi i.e. FAST. The speeds this car can reach in small stretches of road are ridiculous. I was doing 90km/hr with just a tap of the right foot in a small narrow galli without feeling it, before being reminded by the sales guy. My dad thought that there was something wrong with the car. Everytime I would hit the gas pedal his head would go and hit the rear headrest. lol. Noise levels are high when pushed but the engine is dead silent when cruising. Which one do I like? The crazy honda or the CRDi. Tough call as the honda is very potent and I loved the engine note past 3500rpm all the way to redline at 7200rpm. The Accord suffers from lack of low end grunt only when compared to the Sonata. At the same time the Sonata's torque is highly addictive. You just love to press down on the gas, wait to cross 2000rpm and get pinned to your seat with a huge grin planted across your face. For me thought it's the Honda. Maybe the 6 speed MT Sonata will make me change my mind.

Now for the ride and handling. Like the earlier Sonata, the Transform is setup softly for limo like ride comfort. The suspension is super soft and even a sudden lane change causes the car to roll and you can feel the weight transfer. GC is very good and none of the usual suspect speed breakers beached the car. You don't feel the potholes, or uneven surfaces at all very well insulated cabin. Shocks are gas charged all round and this reduces the boat like ride since rebound is not springy. The Accord suffered from road noise which was absent in the Sonata. My dad was very impressed with the rear seat ride quality. The honda is a little stiffer compared to the Sonata and does jar over some potholes.

The handling obviously as a result of the soft setup is not that good. The car does exhibit roll but is not like a boat and does not pitch around that much. The steering is very light with little feedback. It's as light as my Altos' EPS unit. It wasn't that scary but I found I was not able to maintain the same lines which I could maintain with my Lancer. This may be due to the roll as well. Brakes are very good. The car stops with no drama. Came to a dead stop from 90km/hr after an auto cut me off. There was no drama, even ABS never kicked in and the best of all my dad didn't realise I had slammed the brakes till I told him. Compared to the Sonata the accord was pretty similar albeit a bit more sharper. The steering in the Accord was a bit scary due to the VGR but I got used to it after a few minutes. Handling wise the Accord is much better, easier to throw around corners with much less body roll.

The Sales guy said mileage in city was 10-11kmpl and highway 15-16kmpl. Tank was half full and distance to empty was 300kms.

I was impressed with the car but I don't think my dad will be getting one. The diesel is not as easy to drive in the city as a petrol and the car is quite big to manoeuvre in traffic. Moreover it is priced close to the Accord and I'm sure people will not mind spending the couple extra lakhs and getting an Accord or a Skoda if diesel is their requirement. What a waste.

The MT costs Rs.18.11L on-road and the AT is 19.32L on-road bangalore. The accord MT costs Rs.21.42L on-road here.

Verdict: Good car but the hyundai badge will ensure numbers are not big.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 15:20   #32
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Originally Posted by ShyamSCrdi View Post
And hey does this Korean company have higher capacity engines?
They have diesels upto 3 litres (Common Rail) and petrols upto 4.8 (genesis v8).

However their new 'R' series diesels have taken their diesel game to the next level, with the 2 litre producing 184ps/392nm and the 2.2 litre topping out at 200ps/436nm.

And we though 150bhp is great in a 2 litre diesel? The good news is that the new engines would see duty in both the SUVs (Santa Fe/Tucson) and the sedans (Sonata/Azera).

Still, they still continue to talk on and on about the Fiats in this part of the world.

Hyundai unveils latest generation R-Diesel engine

Last edited by Steeroid : 23rd February 2009 at 15:23.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 15:25   #33
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Originally Posted by vid6639 View Post
The Sales guy said mileage in city was 10-11kmpl and highway 15-16kmpl. Tank was half full and distance to empty was 300kms.

Verdict: Good car but the hyundai badge will ensure numbers are not big.
Great review vid. But just to make the point. I hope when I'm right when I say that the distance to empty meter calculates its values based on previous driving logs stored in the ECU. So the distance to empty meter will reduce quickly when fuel consumption is high, and will remain idle longer when consumption is low. This is my experience with my verna so I guess you cant really rely on that completely. Its just a better idea about how much fuel you may have approximately in your car before you need to top up again.
And yeah, point taken on the hyundai badge. Theyve made a bad name for themselves with their pricings and the kind of engines they introduce on their cars ( read i20).
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Old 23rd February 2009, 15:31   #34
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Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
They have diesels upto 3 litres (Common Rail) and petrols upto 4.8 (genesis v8).

However their new 'R' series diesels have taken their diesel game to the next level, with the 2 litre producing 184ps/392nm and the 2.2 litre topping out at 200ps/436nm.

And we though 150bhp is great in a 2 litre diesel? The good news is that the new engines would see duty in both the SUVs (Santa Fe/Tucson) and the sedans (Sonata/Azera).

Still, they still continue to talk on and on about the Fiats in this part of the world.
Funny things is in this part of the world diesals are assumed to be the same as those in the Ambassador and the Fiat premier padmini. And there are these car manufacturers like the Audi producing super cars (Ref - R8 and the R10) which are DIESAL fed.

Is the 2.2 coming in the new cars in India?
Cheers
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Old 23rd February 2009, 15:31   #35
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I have heard this often: firm or soft ride or how a suspension is soft. Would dearly love to know what soft or firm means as far as ride is concerned.
Still looking for an answer to this.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 15:43   #36
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Originally Posted by pras.oct25 View Post
This is my experience with my verna so I guess you cant really rely on that completely. Its just a better idea about how much fuel you may have approximately in your car before you need to top up again.
Yup. Your right, it's not very accurate as it will keep changing. That was my only reference since the car does not have instantaneous mileage or average consumption feature on the display.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 15:45   #37
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KPzen how did ya manage 2 hours for sonata test ride? Very good review... Cheers. u were with mr. kunal in HPM, new delhi?
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Old 23rd February 2009, 16:30   #38
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The Sales guy said mileage in city was 10-11kmpl and highway 15-16kmpl. Tank was half full and distance to empty was 300kms.
The sales guy mentioned the same to me as well during the test drive (posted it here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ml#post1160737 (Sonata facelift w/ new interior: now called Sonata 'Transform') . However in the australian website: Sonata have a look under specifications - economy - fuel economy the urban for MT is 7.8L/100km (12.8) and highway is 5 (20) with a combined of 6l/100km (i.e 16.66kmpl!)
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Old 23rd February 2009, 16:51   #39
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The sales guy mentioned the same to me as well during the test drive (posted it here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ml#post1160737 (Sonata facelift w/ new interior: now called Sonata 'Transform') . However in the australian website: Sonata have a look under specifications - economy - fuel economy the urban for MT is 7.8L/100km (12.8) and highway is 5 (20) with a combined of 6l/100km (i.e 16.66kmpl!)
The roads in Australia are also contributing factors to this. The sales men in I India provide the stats for Indian roads
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Old 23rd February 2009, 17:34   #40
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Nice review KP.
However am still thinking if you liked the car so much why wont you think of buying it. Am sure just steering cant be a deciding factor,what else?
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Old 24th February 2009, 18:52   #41
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Great review, Vid (as always)

Quote:
Originally Posted by vid6639 View Post
So how does the Transform compare to the Accord? Well it comes pretty close.
Quote:
The MT costs Rs.18.11L on-road and the AT is 19.32L on-road bangalore. The accord MT costs Rs.21.42L on-road here.
And has a cracker of a diesel engine (a favorite with Indians) at 3 lakhs lesser! I still think that the slanted H badge can take the fight to the Accord, if Hyundai handles the marketing / positioning better. Problem is, the Sonata doesn't even come up in the shortlist when 15 - 20 lakh options are being considered.

Quote:
The seats are soft perforated leather. The top of the dash is dark grey and feels like rubber and leather. The door pads are soft to touch and nicely finished. The steering wheel has wood finish which I don't like but the centre steering boss has a leather finish as well. All the power window buttons on all doors are illuminated by a blue LED. The steering control buttons also have blue LED to illuminate them. Dual zone climate control is chilling.
Quote:
As KP pointed out turbo lag is non existent.
An important step ahead of the Embera. Good show.

Quote:
The suspension is super soft and even a sudden lane change causes the car to roll and you can feel the weight transfer.
A Hyundai trait as they get larger! How was the backseat ride at speed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasudeva View Post
Still looking for an answer to this.
Hi Vasudeva, broadly:

- Firm suspension setup : Almost certain to give a jarring low speed ride quality (SX4, C220, 3 series) but comfort gets better with speed. All things being equal, the handling will be sharper with a firm setup.

- Soft suspension setup : Here, the suspension can be comfortable or uncomfortable, dependent on settings (damping rate, travel, springs etc. etc.). The 1st gen Sonata scored poorly even with its soft suspension; the ride at speed was uncomfortably bouncy for rear passengers. Compare that to say the Tata Safari, which has a soft suspension setup, yet unmatched ride quality. Again, all things being equal, a car with a soft suspension setup will never be a handler.

Other factors such as tyre size / profile, suspension type (multi-link) etc. will obviously be an influencer. New age technology is trying to offer best of both worlds with air suspensions (electronically adjustable for comfort or sport) and adjustable dampers (new C Class). No tradeoff!

Last edited by GTO : 25th February 2009 at 11:02. Reason: Adding point
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Old 24th February 2009, 19:37   #42
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In the US, Hyundai is now offering (till end-April 2009) a Hyundai Assurance program with Hyundai Assurance Plus, adding 90 days of payment relief to the existing protection plan. Hyundai Assurance allows consumers to return any new Hyundai leased or financed in 2009 if the owner unexpectedly loses his/her income within one year of the purchase date. Hyundai Assurance Plus provides a one-time, 90-day payment relief benefit in the event of involuntary unemployment (getting laid-off for example) or physical disability. For qualifying consumers, this benefit helps them keep their vehicle for three months while attempting to replace their income. Hyundai Assurance Plus pays the lender a lump sum equal to 90 days of loan or lease payments.

Basically, the programme allows consumers to walk away from a financing obligation when certain adverse life events occur, providing protection from financial shortfalls that arise from vehicle depreciation (negative equity) up to $7,500. Hyundai Assurance and Hyundai Assurance Plus are complimentary for one full year from the purchase date, cover all Hyundai models and are available to everyone.

These policies meant that Wards reported Sonata amongst the top 10 selling cars in the US during Jan 2009.

Last edited by vasudeva : 24th February 2009 at 19:43.
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Old 24th February 2009, 19:47   #43
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Going through this thread was something similar to the TTAC review of Sonata:

Review: 2009 Hyundai Sonata GLS | The Truth About Cars

After all this is an opinion, but definitely very entertaining (as most of their reviews of all cars are).
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Old 27th February 2009, 16:39   #44
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No, i wasn't being overcritical. These Koreans are excellent copy masters and in terms of execution they are faster than any Japanese counterpart.
Ironic, considering that Japs were earlier accused of copying from european/american designs. Now, perhaps the Japs are copying from their own designs: Altis looks like a mini camry & come to think of the europeans, the new model Punto is supposed to have borrowed the front grille from the maserati.

But I take your point. Imitation is not always about flattery - in this case, it is certainly lack of serious intent in design.
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Old 26th July 2014, 21:18   #45
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Default Re: Test Driven : All new Hyundai Sonata Transform.

I test drove the Transform Diesel and Petrol (Looking to buy used), and being accustomed to a '03 Corolla, both these cars seemed like snails! On patches where I could have easily pulled 100+ on the Rolla, both the variants were still in their 80s!
Also, unlike the Rolla, Transformed can't really be picked up from the 2nd gear. (I stalled quite a lot in the first drive).

Though the car is amazing when it comes to comfort, interiors and space! The boot is bigger than the '09 Accord!
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