US-spec car unveiled - UK version will only be tweaked
3 December 2009

The new Hyundai Sonata was unveiled at the LA motor show.

The car is the Asian and American version of the Sonata - although the Europe-bound version will look dramatically different.

The new Sonata, which may be called the i40 in Europe, will go on sale in the UK late next year. The front and rear ends of the i40 will be completely changed for Europe and the car will be thoroughly re-engineered to suit European tastes.

Referring to the UK model, a Hyundai spokesman said: "We expect the car to be close to or class-leading in every department such as emissions, handling, ride and so on, but what really marks it out is that it will sell on its looks as well as all its other attributes.

"The design of this car is every bit as big a leap forward for the sector as the Accent to the i30 was for its sector."

European sales are expected to begin with an estate version, with saloon and hatch models following in 2011.

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The engine range hasn't been revealed, but a Hyundai insider described it as "exceptional", saying it will include the 'R' diesels recently announced for the ix35 and Santa Fe, plus a series of small petrol and diesel engines.

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Comments
4

3 December 2009

Looks like a nice enough car and if what they are saying is true, it will be giving the likes of the Mondeo a run for its money.

However, is it really going to be anything more than a fast depreciating also ran. Surely this segment of the market is struggling enough with the cars it currently has in it, in the UK at least.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

3 December 2009

I agree. It looks good. If it is competitively priced, it is going to really squeeze existing mid-range companies like Ford, GM, Toyota, Renault etc.

Hyundai have really raised their game.

3 December 2009

Old one looked better. This has a front like a Peugeot 607 . Hope they can clean it up for Europe.

3 December 2009

Thing is - beyond the fleets (including hire cars) the market for this size of car in Europe is reasonably stagnated. Someone might spend £8k on a Hyundai because it's a good car, decent value etc, but are they going to be willing to spend £16k on a large saloon from Hyundai at this point? I know Hyundai are improving, but in terms of perceptions they might struggle somewhat. The competitors in this segment are incredibly strong - the mazda 6 is much better looking than this version (who knows what the euro one will look like), the mondeo is very decent, the insignia is at least better than the vectra was and then there are all the "near-premium" or "premium" makes that will only cost slightly more.

Before you say ANYTHING hyundaismoke - Hyundai in Europe is not a luxury maker, nor a near luxury maker. In terms of interior design, exterior design and mechanical engineering they are merely average to good. No product is outstanding and their interiors are definitely not of the level of even a Honda, let alone VW/BMW/Audi/Volvo etc.

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