By on September 28, 2009

Wards Auto World reports that Hyundai won’t be offering a V6 in its much-hyped, next-generation Sonata sedan. A direct-injection version of its Theta four-cylinder is expected to be the only engine option, making Sonata the first DI four-pot midsized sedan on the market. The V6 option will also be yanked from the Tucson cute-ute. Though the Sonata will be one of the few mid-sized sedans on the US market without a V6 option, don’t expect it to be a problem even for ostensibly torque-obsessed Americans. According to Wards, 85 percent of the current generation of Sonatas are built with four cylinder engines. 76 percent of Accords and 90 percent of Camrys on the market are four-bangers as well. With CAFE standards climbing rapidly, the era of the four-cylinder family sedan is clearly upon us.

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104 Comments on “New Hyundai Sonata: No V6?...”


  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    Props to Hyundai for calling a cease-fire to the family sedan horsepower wars.

  • avatar
    niky

    Not even a turbo four?

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    That’s a gutsy move, if only because it precludes the Sonata from competing in buff-book shootouts. How is C&D or R&T going to give us 0-60 and 1/4 mile times for grocery getters?

    Hyundai’s right, factually speaking, and most modern fours are making more power than sixes were not too long ago. And the power-to-weight ratios aren’t suffering. And some makers (VW, Honda) already charge V6 money for their I4s. But still, this is a gutsy move. Either they’re really sure this car is that good, or they’re making a big, dirty marketing misstep.

    The other problem is that some modern V6s really are very fuel efficient. Again, the whole car better be really, really good.

  • avatar
    threeer

    How is this really a “gutsy” move when the market has spoken? The vast majority of vehicles in this class are being purchased with four cylinders.

  • avatar
    CommanderFish

    I always thought 6-cylinder midsize sedans were (in the modern world) always a little ridiculous anyway. Using that much power to push a car with little to not sporting intentions seems goofy, especially when the car in question isn’t really that big.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    I don’t suppose the actual car will have the Moby Hyundai look to the extent that the pic, which appears to be taken from a foot in front of the car, shows.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    How is this really a “gutsy” move when the market has spoken? The vast majority of vehicles in this class are being purchased with four cylinders.

    Because marketing your product without being able to claim a competitive maximum number is hard.

    Think about the third-generation Altima: despite it’s being a plasticky, torque-steering, rough-riding bastard of a car, it sold because of power numbers—and even it’s sales were chiefly fours. Now, think about the Ford Fusion, which is actually a very good car, but didn’t have a competitive engine: it didn’t sell all that well. There’s other reasons, but power or the lack thereof is such an easy card for marketers and reviewers to play.

    Even if it makes up less than a quarter of your sales, it’s important to have the six if only for appearance’s sake.

  • avatar
    loverofcars1969

    The era of boring cars begins…

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    psarhjinian :
    September 28th, 2009 at 11:15 am

    That’s a gutsy move, if only because it precludes the Sonata from competing in buff-book shootouts. How is C&D or R&T going to give us 0-60 and 1/4 mile times for grocery getters?

    Actually, I just read a C/D comparison of cars like this, and they put them through their full battery of tests.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    We had an Accord 4 banger and while a V6 would have been a little more fun, the power was more than adequate for the car’s purpose.

  • avatar

    I was helping a friend shop for a coupe recently. We looked at the Altima and Accord coupes. Neither dealer had a V6 model on the lot. The Honda dealer said they can’t move V6s, so of the 50 of so Accords on the lot, not one was a V6.

    @psarhjinian: The 3rd gen. Altima was also the V6 that started the horsepower wars among family sedans, and unlike the Fusion, it was not introduced during the era of $3 gas. Also the 3rd gen. Altima was a lot larger inside than the previous generation, that could have has something to do with it’s sales success as well.

    Granted the Fusion’s engine choices were subpar, but power is not a determining factor anymore. I think people were reluctant to buy a Fusion because it was a new model from Ford. People either didn’t know it existed, or didn’t want to “gamble” on a Ford.

    Even when gas was cheaper, not many people opted for the V6. It’s an interesting move on Hyundai’s part, but I don’t think it will backfire given the volatility of gas prices.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    It makes a whole lot of sense. Consumers in the US have changed considerably from the mindless buyers of Explorer V8 POS SUVs, (Explorer alone sold 400,000 a year less than a decade ago!), and now the Explorer was the most DUMPED vehicle in the Clunkers fiasco, while the owners bought FAR more fuel efficient and inexpensive vehicles instead.

    This will only be good, not only for the buyers of the 4 cylinder econoboxes, but to all the rest of us, since these people will make gas prices lower than what they would Otherwise be for all the rest of us.

    BTW, who needs a v6 when the 4s, even without super/turbocharging, now make well over 200 HP??

  • avatar
    jmo

    In the old days (back in the 90s) of 4-speed autos and 130bhp 4-cyl and 190bhp 6-cyl the V-6 option made sense.

    Now, in the era of soon to be 200bhp 4-cyl and 300bhp 6-cyl and 6-speed automatics – I don’t know if you can really engineer a car to route 300 lb/ft of torque via the short first gear of a 6-speed auto through the front wheels.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “# carguy622 :
    September 28th, 2009 at 11:34 am

    I was helping a friend shop for a coupe recently. We looked at the Altima and Accord coupes. Neither dealer had a V6 model on the lot. The Honda dealer said they can’t move V6s, so of the 50 of so Accords on the lot, not one was a V6.”

    I remember back in the 90s when Honda stubbornly refused to offer a v6 Accord, many years after Toyota already offered a Camry V6, and finally it succumbed, but well after the 90-93 model

  • avatar
    gslippy

    There will be a commensurate savings to Hyundai in training and service costs associated with only offering one engine.

    Blog enthusiasts aren’t often real, paying customers. Good for Hyundai.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    marketing your product without being able to claim a competitive maximum number is hard.

    In the short run, Hyundai is playing to the fleet market, using its excess capacity to fill the gap left by the domestics. It doesn’t need a 6-cylinder for that.

    This would be a bad move for Toyota and Honda, but for Hyundai, it may be a sensible interim measure. At this juncture, a larger engine probably just costs the company money, without providing much added cachet. If it becomes possible to move the Sonata up the price ladder, that would be the time to bring back the larger engine.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Having no V-6 option sounds silly on paper, but a good six-speed autobox with sequential shift will negate much of the “slow car” stigma that four banger sedans currently have. I drove a 2010 Camry recently, equipped with such a tranny, and it makes a huge difference in drivability and perceived performance. It was no rocket, but it felt far from underpowered or unwilling.

    The key is whether the new four-cylinder DI engine offers the same refinement and “revability” that you get in the best engines in this class (Honda and Toyota). The current Sonata’s engine doesn’t really match up in this regard.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “threeer :
    September 28th, 2009 at 11:20 am

    How is this really a “gutsy” move when the market has spoken? ”

    It is remarkable that, before the Genesis sedan was introduced, and excluding the several failed attempts it made to enter the near-luxury market with the 300 or 350 G or whatever they called them, the Sonata was Hyundai’s top of the line sedan, and now it can’t even have a v6!

  • avatar
    chuckR

    2009 Audi A4s are around 4000lbs and come with only the 2.0 turbo 4 cylinder engine. You get a supercharged 6 with the S4. The A4’s performance is certainly adequate. But they may need to dial back from 255hp and/or 4000lbs to get the EPA highway mileage above 25mpg. In a previous generation A4, I can easily get real world 30+mpg highway and performance is also adequate.

    At least it’s not going to be the 1970s, where most Detroit 8s didn’t get you as much power as the 2.0T and still used twice the gas.

    I don’t think we’re going from a 60’s to 70’s performance reset.

  • avatar
    CyCarConsulting

    Anyone who drives a 4 cylinder car knows how horrible that is. Under powered having to keep the rpm’s up for any kind of performance. Lagging and bucking transmission shifting to accomodate the lack of horsepower,and with so many fuel efficient 6 cylinders ,other than price, why?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Autosavant :
    September 28th, 2009 at 11:43 am

    It is remarkable that, before the Genesis sedan was introduced, and excluding the several failed attempts it made to enter the near-luxury market with the 300 or 350 G or whatever they called them, the Sonata was Hyundai’s top of the line sedan, and now it can’t even have a v6!

    They still make the Azera, which is basically a gussied-up Sonata with a V-6. A friend of mine owns one.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    CyCarConsulting :
    September 28th, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Anyone who drives a 4 cylinder car knows how horrible that is. Under powered having to keep the rpm’s up for any kind of performance. Lagging and bucking transmission shifting to accomodate the lack of horsepower,and with so many fuel efficient 6 cylinders ,other than price, why?

    Have you driven the newer four-banger midsize sedans? They’re far from inadequate, IMHO.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    Mike:

    This is one of the near-lux ones I mentioned. I bet all were based on the Sonata platform. None sold well, and the Auto nag reviews were not good either.

  • avatar
    bobkarafin

    DAMN!!

    I was looking forward to the new Sonata for at least the last two years; now you tell me I won’t be able to get it with the V6 anymore?

    I don’t CARE if it’s wasteful, I want that extra power to be there when I want it, even if I don’t use it most of the time.

    I guess I’ll be looking at the V6 Altima now, or maybe the next-gen Azera (if there IS a new Azera on the way).

  • avatar
    jmo

    Under powered having to keep the rpm’s up for any kind of performance.

    Huh? Dude, it’s not 1987 anymore.

    A 200 bhp 4-cyl is more than enough power for pretty much everyone. It’s not like a fwd car can handle much more.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    4’s are VERY adequate for a variety of purposes — it all depends on your gearing/vehicle weight. All 3 of my vehicles are 4’s.

    Neon 0-60 in 11.5’ish
    STi (4 + turbo) 0-60 in 5’ish
    Bike 0-60 in 3-3.5, 1/4 around 125-130.

    I don’t feel any missed love for 8’s & 6’s that are disappearing…

  • avatar
    carguy

    CyCarConsulting writes: “Anyone who drives a 4 cylinder car knows how horrible that is. Under powered having to keep the rpm’s up for any kind of performance. Lagging and bucking transmission shifting to accommodate the lack of horsepower”

    You really need to trade in your old Cavalier.

    Seriously folks – a modern 4 cylinder is plenty motivation for a mid size family car. Good move by Hyundai.

  • avatar
    mikeolan

    A CVT Equipped I4 Nissan Altima goes from 0-60 in 7.5 seconds.
    A 4 Speed Pontiac Grand Prix from 2001 goes from 0-60 in 8.4 seconds.

    So why do you need the V6 again? Improvements in transmissions have resulted in better performance- V6 power is superfluous.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    It’s a smart move, if fours are making up 90% of this market. Their costs will be substantially lower by not having to make, distribute and market a V6 model with such a low sales profile. And it also shows Hyundai is serious about becoming a low-cost high-efficiency brand.

  • avatar
    slateslate

    Bad news for the Taurus SHO?

    Even though literally no one will cross-shop a Sonata V6 and a SHO, it looks like there isn’t a big market for a pumped up family sedan— especially in a world with so many high performance, entry-level lux cars that start @ $35k.

  • avatar
    dolorean23

    autosavant “I remember back in the 90s when Honda stubbornly refused to offer a v6 Accord, many years after Toyota already offered a Camry V6, and finally it succumbed, but well after the 90-93 model”

    I remember that. C&D nearly lost their minds when Honda finally offered a V6 in the Accord. It was like the second coming of Jesus to the car world. I do disagree that the V6 is no longer needed due to HP upgrading. While you may have more HP in a 4, most cars (I’m looking at you Taurus) have plumpified to meet the American demand for tall, porky cars. How much more does today’s Sonata weigh over the first iteration? May not seem like too much of a big deal, until you try to merge into traffic or pass a slow moving Semi.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    “A direct-injection version of its Theta four-cylinder is expected to be the only engine option, making Sonata the first DI four-pot midsized sedan on the market.”

    Flat wrong: the 2.0T in the Jetta and Passat is direct injected. I think it would be the first naturally aspirated DI four-pot, though.

    In the age of the ~200hp NA four-banger, I don’t see why a V6 is necessary in a regular family sedan. Save it for the sport sedans. Four cylinders is the new six, six is the new eight, etc.

  • avatar
    segfault

    I’ve had both. Most recently, I went with the V6. It wasn’t that much faster but it was quieter than the four. Hope they include plenty of sound deadening!

  • avatar
    jmo

    While you may have more HP in a 4, most cars (I’m looking at you Taurus) have plumpified to meet the American demand for tall, porky cars.

    It’s not only the extra power of the 4-cyl it’s also the move from 4-speed to 6-speed automatics. You’re going to have a much easier time merging with a 200bhp and a 6-speed then you are with 225bhp and a 4 speed.

  • avatar
    CyCarConsulting

    All of you praising 4 cylinders need to get out more.

  • avatar
    menno

    bobkarafin – you can still get boucoup extra power (AND efficiency) in the next gen Sonata as soon as they introduce the 4 cylinder HYBRID version which will actually use direct injection, the same new six speed Hyundai designed automatic PLUS a powerful electric motor and battery system developed without any input from Toyota, Honda, Ford, GM, BMW, etc. Hyundai and the South Korean battery company did it (I cannot remember the battery tech but it is new and not the same as Toyota, Honda or laptop batteries – i.e. it is not Nickel Metal Hydride nor is it Lithium Ion).

    Apparently about 18 months ago, many folks laughed out loud when Hyundai’s CEO said their upcoming hybrid technology would make the Prius look old-fashioned.

    Perhaps they will enjoy eating that crow if someone gives them some tabasco sauce to disguise the flavor.

    Because apparently, the new battery tech allows a much wider range of battery discharge (therefore usefulness) than the current batteries used by Honda, Toyota, Ford, etc.

  • avatar

    If that photo is what the thing is actually going to look like, I think they will do well. That is a rare thing in today’s market, a truly good looking car. Hyundais have long been among the better looking family sedans, but that has been damning with faint praise. This thing really looks good.

  • avatar
    menno

    BTW Hyundai aren’t even “first” to announce 4 cylinder only mid-sized cars.

    The 2010 Mitsubishi Galant is going to be four cylinder only.

    The 2011 Sonata (the one we’re talking about here) won’t be introduced until the Detroit Auto Show in January, I understand.

    The 2010 Sonata is virtually the same as the 2009, except the color of my wife’s 2009 is replaced by another shade of red.

    We had a 2002 Sonata with a 2.7 V6 (175hp), and replaced it with a 4 cylinder 2007 Sonata (165hp), and the 2009 has 4 cylinders (175hp). Front wheel drive has a difficult time handing over 200hp anyway – plus Hyundai have a right-wheel-drive (rear wheel drive) chassis on which to continue selling V6 and V8 cars (Genesis).

    I’m hoping they’ll replace the Azera with a slightly down-sized Genesis sedan with V6’s only (they have a 3.3 V6 RWD engine certified for sale in the US but it has never – yet – been offered in the Genesis sedan or coupe).

    The current Genesis sedan is about the size of a BMW 7 series – a car about the size of a BMW 5 series priced where the Azera is now, would be a mega-seller.

  • avatar
    jmo

    All of you praising 4 cylinders need to get out more.

    Why would I want a v-6 in my GTI? Would a flat six WRX really be any better?

  • avatar
    Axel

    If the era of the 4-cylinder family sedan is upon us, that’s OK… if this era includes turbo-4s with six-speed transmissions that get 35 mpg highway (in real-life driving) and top out at 200 hp. I’d be all for such developments.

    Want more than 200 hp/200 ft-lbs? Either get a “sport” model or a full-sized car in the Taurus/Maxima/Avalon/Azera/Impala class. Seems reasonable to me.

    I do hope the extra-torquey V6s stick around for mid-size wagons. Oh, that’s right…

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Hyundai is becoming the new Honda. This is an eminently smart decision. My Acura TSX makes over 200 HP without direct injection or turbocharging. It has more than enough power for a four passenger mid-sized sedan.

    We just bought a used 2008 Hyundai Sonata 4 banger and it also has more than enough power for a mid-sized sedan.

    Personally I had already made the decision not to buy anything bigger than a 4 cylinder powered car going forward. Our 2003 Accord is a V-6, and that engine is very much overkill.

    Finally, as someone who does 99% of my own maintenance and repairs I really enjoy the better serviceability of a straight-4. Everything is so much easier when you aren’t dealing with a V-shaped engine crammed into the engine compartment. By comparison, I just helped a friend do the timing belt and valve adjustment on a V-6 equipped 1992 Toyota 4-Runner. That engine is an absolute PITA to work on. Book time to check and adjust the valve lash is five hours, and the book isn’t far off!

    “The 2010 Mitsubishi Galant is going to be four cylinder only …”

    I will be surprised if Mitsubishi is still in the US market a year from now. Mitsubishi dealers are dropping like flies.

  • avatar
    johnthacker

    (Explorer alone sold 400,000 a year less than a decade ago!), and now the Explorer was the most DUMPED vehicle in the Clunkers fiasco, while the owners bought FAR more fuel efficient and inexpensive vehicles instead.

    Note 1: Actually, more F-150s were dumped than Explorers. Explorer 4WD was the most dumped vehicle if you separate out drivetrains and count 4WD and 2WD separately.

    Note 2: I don’t entirely disagree with your point about the trend, but doesn’t the fact that the Explorer and F-150 were around the highest selling qualifying vehicles mean that they would automatically be one of the most dumped vehicles?

    Vehicles beyond a certain age have an increased chance to either be already not driveable and not worth fixing, or are owned by people for whom $4500 still isn’t worth it for them to buy a new car to replace it. (Which is why poor people can get screwed by destroying the cars, since fewer used cars will be on the market for them, and they can’t afford new ones.)

    The Explorer and F-150 undoubtedly made up a very large percentage of automobiles that qualified by mileage, qualified because they still ran, and were owned by people for whom $4500 was sufficient for them to buy a new car.

  • avatar
    johnthacker

    Their costs will be substantially lower by not having to make, distribute and market a V6 model with such a low sales profile.

    And don’t forget savings on testing (including performance, safety, emissions, etc.) and federalization.

  • avatar
    slateslate

    ****the current Genesis sedan is about the size of a BMW 7 series – a car about the size of a BMW 5 series priced where the Azera is now, would be a mega-seller.****

    ya, makes you wonder if Hyundai’s going to come out with a baby Genesis to replace the Azera. Would make sense if you wanted to up-sell anyone wanting a v6.

    A baby Genesis would really put the screws on Acura.

  • avatar
    johnthacker

    Because marketing your product without being able to claim a competitive maximum number is hard.

    Actually, Audi did pretty well with the 2009 2.0T A4, despite not having a competitor to the C350/335i/IS350/G37, since the 3.2L V6 was so lacking. They just created charts and banners comparing the 2.0T to the 328/C300/IS250. Perhaps Audi is just good at marketing or hot these days.

    2009 Audi A4s are around 4000lbs and come with only the 2.0 turbo 4 cylinder engine. You get a supercharged 6 with the S4. The A4’s performance is certainly adequate. But they may need to dial back from 255hp and/or 4000lbs to get the EPA highway mileage above 25mpg.

    No, 2009 Audi A4s came with a 3.2L V6 option. But it was relatively underpowered compared to competitors’ offerings and was dropped (see above). The 2010 only has the 2.0T. Also, the A4 Quattro already has EPA highway mileage about 25mpg; 27 for auto and 30 for manual (and I believe that CAFE mpg is based off the old higher EPA numbers).

    Heck, the 2010 S4 has an EPA highway mpg of 27 (manual) and 28 (auto– EPA tests love the DSG).

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    All of you praising 4 cylinders need to get out more.

    My daily drivers were rated a mere 113 (’85), 133 (’96), and 153bhp (’07) with their respective 4 bangers. 0-60mph in 10 seconds is enough for me, but YMMV.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    dolorean23 :
    September 28th, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    1. Today’s 4 are MORE poweeful than the 90s V6s, both in HP and Torque.

    2. The increase in HP has been far greater than the increase in Weight of these cars!

    3. If you still need more HP and TOrque, and at far lower, useful RPM, get a 4 with a TURBO.

    4. A 3,000-3,500 lb compact-midsize car with 200 HP and even with the full 5 passengers has more than ample power to merge, but most of the time it willbe just the driver COMMUTING, and then it of course is even more potent, having a far smaller TOTAL weight.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “the current Genesis sedan is about the size of a BMW 7 series (SIC)”

    Some may challenge even that.. but regardless, that is probably the ONLY thing the boring Merc E-class clone Genesis has in common with the “MAGNIFICENT 7″ .

  • avatar

    How fat and heavy will the new Sonata be?

    That’s a big question if it’s four cylinder only. “Midsize” family sedans today are actually yesterday’s fullsizes and are huge.

    Many of today’s fours have to be caned to take advantage of those power numbers they advertise and lack low-end oomph.

    Also, what exactly is the point of getting the four cylinder if it uses nearly as much gasoline to move the car as the V6? That’s another thing I’ve noticed about four-cylinder cars and cute utes. They use just as much fuel as the V6 option but provide less power and towing capacity.

    That’s not exactly efficient.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    Or do you prefer LS460 clone Genesis Sedan?

    As for the so-called Hyundai “genesis” coupe, I have not seen a greater FRAUD, as it has NOTHING in common with the sedan, not even the V8, and it is a much smaller, 500 lbs lighter vehicle, based on a different platform altogether.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    Also, what exactly is the point of getting the four cylinder if it uses nearly as much gasoline to move the car as the V6?

    Do you think it costs more for Hyundai to make the 4 than the 6?

    Does this answer your Q? (even if its premise was right, which is sure not always so, 8s burn much more than 6s and 6s than 4s, that’s why makers go to TURBOS to keep fuel use down without reducing performance.

  • avatar
    campocaceres

    Good for Hyundai. I agree with this decision. The relatively miniscule number people who would’ve bought the V6 version can either upgrade to their much-better Genesis sedan (where a 6-cyl actually belongs), or move on to a competitor. Meanwhile, the 4-banger gets more attention, and increases in efficiency and reliability while at the same time cutting costs, thus making them look better in the long run. Makes sense to me!

    Since when have family sedans not been boring? Sure, some may be less boring than others, but stick any of them on the spectrum of “fun vs boring”, and they’re ALL on the boring side. Otherwise something vital gets sacrificed.

  • avatar
    jmo

    They use just as much fuel as the V6 option but provide less power and towing capacity.

    Care to provide some examples?

  • avatar
    NickR

    Have to wonder if the V6 is in more danger than the V8. I4s getting more and more powerful…put today’s bhp/L into a 2.8-3.0L and you’ve got more than enough power for more than enough cars. With a V8 for trucks and luxury cars and a smaller 4 for the econoboxes and that’s all most companies need.

  • avatar
    Roundel

    @ Freedmike
    “They still make the Azera, which is basically a gussied-up Sonata with a V-6. A friend of mine owns one.”

    This sounds to me that they are making this a case to keep the Azera in the lineup. With the Genesis taking the luxury end, and upper range Sonata’s having the same level of equipment as the Azera, one has to think why the Azera still exists.
    If the Azera is too survive and go through redesign, I think it would be wise to still keep it FWD unlike the Genesis.
    Much of the general public in the snow belt still see RWD as a detriment to winter driving. Plus costs can be kept down as well.
    It looks like Hyundai is further defining its lineup by removing the V6 from the Sonata, its then at least defining the purpose of the Azera, which would be the only midsize V6 car Hyundai would offer.

  • avatar
    IGB

    Here we are lamenting the loss of 2 cylinders in a lamentable competitor in a lamentable segment of an industry which lately has been nothing but lamentable.

    Ultimately, Hyundai not offering a V6 will not change the landscape of the local Budget Rent-A-Car parking lot.

  • avatar
    mfgreen40

    There is nothing wrong with a four cyl. But it must be a GOOD 4 cyl., power, quite & smooth. For years there were only a few good ones, now many more to chose from.

  • avatar
    carguy

    NickR – I’d have to agree. The whole point of V6s was that they fitted transversely into FWD cars to give them better torque and power. However, even a small turbo 4 can provide all of these things with less weight up front for better handling and less gas consumption.

  • avatar
    p00ch

    Not that most buyers in this segment will care, but a lighter engine will most likely improve the car’s handling. Not to mention less understeer when nailing the throttle midway through a turn. Modern V6 sedans are useless in anything other than straight-line acceleration (once the wheelspin stops).

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    So all of you who like this idea, I suppose you’re ok with the death of the manual gearbox as well? 90%+ (probably higher) of cars are sold with automatics, so it makes sense for all car companies to drop their manual transmissions….it will save on development costs. And since automatic transmissions today are just as responsive and get the same fuel economy as manual transmissions, nobody NEEDS a manual transmission anymore.

    I think this is a STUPID move. Hyundai has a V6. It works. It has a halo effect. Why not use it? All they’re doing is giving away that market to Honda Toyota Ford and GM. Why?

    And why would we want less and less choice in the cars we can buy?

    Someone mentioned the TSX….Honda is putting a V6 in the car because the 4 is underpowered.

    You know what I think? the Sonata is the new rental car fleet queen, they want 4 bangers, so that’s what Hyundai is giving them.

  • avatar
    John R

    I’ve driven both an Accord and Altima 4-cyl. and was kinda of surprised how tractable they were, especially the Honda. This may prove to be a smart move by Hyundai.

    That being said, I’m glad I got my ’07 V6 Sonata; I like surprising 328i’s every once in awhile. But, I’m in the minority. 90% of the Camcords I see are 4 bangers, and that’s not surprising as they can get out of their own way. The power in these engines are more than enough for some.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “Here we are lamenting the loss of 2 cylinders in a lamentable competitor in a lamentable segment of an industry which lately has been nothing but lamentable.”

    Don’t lament for them, Argentina!

    “So all of you who like this idea, I suppose you’re ok with the death of the manual gearbox as well? 90%+ (probably higher) of cars are sold with automatics, so it makes sense for all car companies to drop their manual transmissions….it will save on development costs.”

    THis is old news. There are already a TON of models where the manual is not even an option. I drove manuals only for more than 25 years, now my main car (a 98 740iL) was never sold in the US with any manual, but I’m used to it, and its 5-sp Auto is no relation to the excremental autos you rent at Budget., and my alternate car is still a tiny, lightweight Civic 5-sp hatch from 91, a great urban car that also does OK on the highway.

    ” And since automatic transmissions today are just as responsive and get the same fuel economy as manual transmissions, nobody NEEDS a manual transmission anymore.”

    ANdn not just that, some autos now are EIGHT speed (and counting!), such as the one in the LS460, and BMW 7 has a 7 sp auto now?

    “I think this is a STUPID move. Hyundai has a V6. It works. It has a halo effect. Why not use it? All they’re doing is giving away that market to Honda Toyota Ford and GM. Why?”

    The Consumers have already spoken. Hyundai would be foolish to KEEP offering the manual, if only 15% of buyers care to buy it, and this 15%, due to the far lower volume of the Sonata vs the Accord or Camry, translates to 5% (!!) for these two. Do you really believe Honda would bother with it at 5% of demand? Even Honda offers no manuals for the small CR-V and several other popular models.

    “And why would we want less and less choice in the cars we can buy?”

    because we want more and more cost EFFICIENCY. Let the Automakers decide. I can assure you that if 90% of buyers reverse and want manuals, they will offer manuals. Same with Diesels etc.

    “I think the Sonata is the new rental car fleet queen, they want 4 bangers, so that’s what Hyundai is giving them.”

    Hyundais have been major rental queens for a long time now.

  • avatar
    menno

    The fly in the ointment is that this announcement relates to the KDM (Korean Domestic Market) vehicles.

    American / Canadian market Sonatas are manufactured in Montgomery, Alabama, at which there are both four cylinder engine plants (came online in 2008) and V6 engine plants.

    Santa Fe SUV’s are also manufactured there, and these are now V6 only.

    I suspect that Hyundai already had a V6 car engineered before the 2008 gas price fiasco sh*t hit the fan, and will use it for the USA/Canada.

    But I suspect that if they do that, after the hybrid is announced, V6’s will amount to no more than 5-10% of production.

    The hybrid will cost a tad more than the V6, I’m guessing, but the efficiency will be at least 50% better than the V6 with similar performance (as a guess). I think the four cylinder alone will be about 200hp, plus 50hp or so from the electric motor. Plenty of “oomph”.

    As for four cylinders not being able to tow? Our recently traded 2007 Hyundai Sonata four cylinder easily towed our 1400 pound pop-up trailer and was legal and rated for 1500 pounds. Our even more powerful 2009 four cylinder Sonata does the same job only better, with another gear in the autobox (5 instead of 4) and more HP and torque.

    The Sonata is sitting out in the parking lot at work right now and the MPG meter reads over 31 mpg. Not bad for a full sized car used in mixed commuter driving. This is also higher than the EPA rating, and using E10 which is less efficient than gasoline…. I like our Sonata.

  • avatar

    If you want performance with an I4, you get your I4 with a stick. I assure you that my manual downshifting is never laggy. :)

    Most people, however, don’t care about the 0-60 times. As long as there is enough torque for decent passing and on-ramp accelerating, people will be happy, and I4s in the 150-200 hp range are fine at that in cars of this size.

    Besides, we’re gearheads. If we are going to buy a Hyundai, it’ll be a Genesis coupe, won’t it? With a 6-speed manual, of course.

  • avatar

    Autosavant, my 415hp V8 commuter averages 19mpg overall per tank. Higher than the EPA rating.

    The V6 FWD car it replaced actually averaged 1mpg less and made vastly less power. Obviously, the V8 is more efficient in my experience. It also returned 27mpg on the open road.

    A friend of mine had a stock STi he commuted to work in, he averaged 16mpg. Another friend of mine had a Mazdaspeed3 which also averages 16mpg. Those are eye-watering figures for smaller car with four cylinder engines and turbos.

    If I drive west, east or north I also deal with mountains with some very steep grades in desert temps. Call me crazy but I don’t exactly buy that a huge, four-cylinder car with four adults and stuff in the trunk with the A/C working to keep everything cool on those types of roads will return better MPG and won’t work hard to keep climing in the process.

  • avatar
    Kristjan Ambroz

    And as someone has mentioned, they could always offer an Azera derivative with a 6cyl drivetrain only.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    Today’s 4-cylinders have as much power as old V6s in part because they’re just as big! It won’t be long before the Camry comes standard with the Venza’s 2.7L I4.

    I know that’s not the only reason, but it’s something to keep in mind.

  • avatar
    jmo

    The V6 FWD car it replaced actually averaged 1mpg less and made vastly less power. Obviously, the V8 is more efficient in my experience. It also returned 27mpg on the open road.

    What V-6 fwd car gets 18mpg? I’m almost tempted to say you’re pulling those numbers out of your a*s.

    What two cars are you comparing?

  • avatar
    AlexD

    I’m not sure about the exact numbers, but I read that at least 85% of all cars sold in Canada are 4 cylinder. I enjoy turbo 4s and will likely stick with them in the near future – the Audi/VW 2.0 turbo has plenty of power for my needs. A lot of people whine about the premium fuel requirement though.

    I do look forward to sitting back and watching Hyundai serve Toyota, Honda and the others over the next year. Heated front and rear seats in a Sonata?! I can see them wetting their pants now.

  • avatar
    ohsnapback

    I am not impressed at all with the 2011 redesign of the Sonata. In my opinion, the transition from 2008 to 2009 was actually a bigger story, in terms of interior improvement and refinement.

    The 2011 exterior is just plain incoherently bulbous and pointed, with sharp creases and then rounded flare, all at the same time…total mismash.

    On the reliability front, I have a friend whose father runs one of the biggest towing companies in the state, and he swears that the long term durability of Hyundai products is terrible – something about taking a swan dive after the 4th and especially 5th years of operation.

    Planned obsolescence?

    You can’t even turn the rotors on a lot of the new Hyundai/Kia products because they’re too thin to begin with.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    If they redesign the car expressly for a 4, can they shorten it a bit, redesign the nose a little for improved aerodynamics and lose some weight? Those changes would likely improve performance and fuel economy.

  • avatar

    jmo, I had a FWD Buick LeSabre I drove daily. In my city commute to work and back it averaged 17-18mpg overall. I replaced it with a new G8 GXP with an automatic. It returned 19-20mpg driving the same route at the same speed. My older Northstar Cadillac Deville also averaged 19mpg overall, no different than the weaker FWD V6.

    I’m happier with the V8s and find their consumption much more acceptable for the performance they provided (loaded and unloaded) compared to the V6 that was 100hp down on both but using the same amount of fuel.

    I can see the fours being fine in small, light cars designed for them. Is that what the new Sonata is? If so then fine. But if I were to buy one and it didn’t better my V8 by at least 5mpg (I would expect more) on my drive to work I would be pissed and seriously question the wisdom of not offering a larger engine that doesn’t work as hard to move the car as the four does.

  • avatar
    ajla

    @TriShield:
    You and I did something similar.

    I traded in a Grand Prix GTP that got around 18mpg for a G8 GT. Unfortunately, I’m only averaging 16mpg right now with the G8.

    Hopefully, once it gets some more miles on it, I’ll be able to beat the Grand Prix’s fuel mileage.
    ___________________________________________________________

    @jmo:

    What V-6 fwd car gets 18mpg?

    Here’s a couple with an EPA combined rating of 19 or less that could reasonably still be on the road getting 18mpg:

    The ’92-’00 Bonneville SSEi, ’95-’99 Riviera, Olds LSS Supercharged, Park Avenue Ultra, Olds Aurora 3.5L, Chrysler 300M, Chrysler LHS, Dodge Intrepid R/T, ’88-’94 Lincoln Continental, the original Taurus SHO, the 3.8L Taurus/Sable, the 4v ’98-’99 Taurus/Sable, Saab 9-5 3L, ’96-’04 Acura RL, Acura TL 3.2L

  • avatar
    PeregrineFalcon

    @ajla – and that’s an “EPA combined rating”, not a “real-world, commuting, possibly in crowded cities from stoplight to stoplight” – aka, murder on your mileage.

    And clearly the best engine is a six-cylinder diesel. With a manual. In a wagon.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @ ohsnapback….”the long term reliability of Hyundai products is terrible.” No way sir,
    Hyundai products are perfect they never break,ever.

    Think about it dude, your buddies dad owns one of the biggest towing companies in the state. What would he know about vehicle reliability?

  • avatar
    Porsche986

    Frankly, I cannot believe this debate is still going on… yup, enthusiasts that like power and stick shifts (myself included) love to bit*h about the lack of manual transmissions or choices…

    Let’s be honest with ourselves here… these are family cars, they are not designed to be performance cars nor should they. If you want a V-6, or a manual transmission put your money where your mouth is and buy a sportier car.

    Problem is, people like us want to TALK about it all the time but when we vote with our wallets: 4-cyl and autos are what we end up buying. The manufacturers know this, and react accordingly.

    I’ve read a lot of the statistics that folks are throwing around… most are anecdotal at best. The manufacturers of these cars spend a LOT of time on consumer preferences, and invest a lot of time and money on getting it right.

    Does anyone want to argue that Hyundai is not listening? They have gone from marketing a junky crappy little hatchback to making really competitive cars in a fairly short time period.

    I think they are on the right track, and I for one am NOT going to bet against them.

    My anecdotal observations:

    *The new Audi S4 is going from 8-cyl to 6-cyl supercharged

    *The new BMW M5 is going to go down from a V-10 to a turbo V-8

    *a 4-cyl requires less oil to lubricate itself, uses less coolant, requires less raw materials to make in the beginning, in most applications they use less fuel over all, the engines are lighter and therefore use less fuel to drag themselves around, and on and on and on and on…

  • avatar
    jmo

    Trishield,

    Try an apples to apples comparison.

    Your G8 is essential the same as a Holden Commodore.

    The 3.0L V-6 Commodore gets 25mpg the 6.0L V-8 gets 16.3.

    You can’t compare a V-6 4-speed auto Buick to a 6-speed auto G8 and get a valid comparison. Better to compare the same car with different engines.

  • avatar
    Huey

    TriShield asked, “How fat and heavy will the new Sonata be?”

    The Korean domestic version of the next-generation Sonata is rated at 3,075 pounds (1395 kg) with a manual transmission and 3,108 pounds (1,410 kg) with an automatic. That’s a decrease of 154 pounds (70 kg) and 132 pounds (60 kg) from the previous generation, respectively.

    BTW, that’s YET another good reason to have manual transmissions in cars, they’re lighter (not to mention cheaper to buy, more fuel efficient, and more fun to drive). Can anyone actually give a good reason to have an automatic?

    Finally, some have asked about Hyundai’s GDI 2.4 liter four cylider. For the Korean domestic version it is rated at 201 hp (RPM not given in the info. I have). Here’s a comparison chart of the KDM’s engines.

    http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/9112/enginepi.jpg

  • avatar
    jmo

    Trishield et al

    Scroll down to the powertrain section for more info

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holden_VE_Commodore

  • avatar
    mkirk

    “Anyone who drives a 4 cylinder car knows how horrible that is. Under powered having to keep the rpms up for any kind of performance. Lagging and bucking transmission shifting to accomodate the lack of horsepower,and with so many fuel efficient 6 cylinders ,other than price, why?”

    Umm, yeah….My 4 cylinder Miata is just so boring and so much less fun to drive then my wife’s old V6 Saturn Vue. Guess I’ll pass on that post Iraq deployment dream upgrade to an Elise and buy a Camry v6 instead.

  • avatar
    ajla

    @jmo:

    The Pontiac G8 GT’s 6.0L V8 has cylinder deactivation, comes with a 6-spd auto only, and earns an EPA rating of 18MPG.

    Notice how the wiki entry you linked to shows a 350hp 6.0L V8 with an 18.2MPG rating? That’s what we got in the US.

    We never got the 3.0L SIDI V6 in the G8. It is currently available in the Lacrosse and CTS, getting the same fuel economy rating as the higher powered 3.6L direct-injection.

    The 3.6L V6 that was offered in the G8 got an EPA rating of 20MPG. Was that 2MPG worth the big power loss? I say no.
    __________
    Other “apples-to-apples” V8 to V6 comparisons, using the EPA combined ratings:

    The 368hp Charger R/T gets 19MPG, the 250hp Charger SXT gets 20MPG.

    The 367hp Sierra 1500 2WD gets 16MPG, the 195hp Sierra 1500 2WD gets 17MPG.

    The 337hp Kia Borrego 4WD gets 17MPG, the 276hp 4WD gets 18MPG.

    The 381hp Tundra 2WD gets 16MPG, the 236hp Tundra 2WD gets 16MPG.

    The 315hp Ford Mustang GT auto gets 19MPG, the 210hp Ford Mustang auto gets 19MPG.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    John Horner :
    September 28th, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Hyundai is becoming the new Honda.

    We shall see. Hondas – even the pedestrian ones – have always been tuned and engineered to please enthusiasts. They all have sharp steering, refined engines, and a compliant-yet-firm suspension. In fact, I’d say an Accord is as close as you’ll get to the “dialed in” feel of a BMW without shelling out BMW money.

    Hyundai has definitely taken a different course – their cars are soft and squishy in corners, more like a Camry than an Accord.

    Based on that, I’d say they want to be the new Toyota.

  • avatar

    even for ostensibly torque-obsessed Americans

    Jeebus I gotta get new specs. I thought this was gonna be one of those body-parts-grill-articles.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    slateslate :
    September 28th, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Bad news for the Taurus SHO?

    Even though literally no one will cross-shop a Sonata V6 and a SHO, it looks like there isn’t a big market for a pumped up family sedan— especially in a world with so many high performance, entry-level lux cars that start @ $35k.

    Then why did Hyundai introduce the Genesis?

    Toyota (Avalon), Nissan (Maxima) and Hyundai (Azera and Genesis) all offer larger, up-lux, higher-performance sedans than their standard midsize offerings. All of these cars can be easily optioned into the mid to upper 30s. Same strategy with the Taurus.

    I don’t think it’ll sell in Fusion-like numbers, but it’ll be a solid seller. Certainly, anyone cross shopping a SHO with an Avalon or Maxima is going to find the Ford has a massive performance advantage.

  • avatar
    jmo

    “The 367hp Sierra 1500 2WD gets 16MPG, the 195hp Sierra 1500 2WD gets 17MPG.”

    It should be noted that the Vortec V6 did not receive the massive redesign the Small Block did in 1999 (based on the 1997 LS1). It continues to feature good-ol’ cast iron block and heads and the same key features of the classic V6 and V8 motors that typically fall under the Generation I heading.

    You can’t compare a new sophisticated V8 to an ancient V6.

  • avatar
    jmo

    That being said, the move from a V-8 to a V-6 or from a V-6 to a 4 results in only about a 15% improvement in fuel economy. That might not seem worth it to you but if you trying to meet CAFE rules you need that 15%.

  • avatar

    TWIN TURBO i4 or NOTHING.

    Then again, it really doesn’t matter to me since I’d never buy it anyway.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    “FreedMike :
    September 28th, 2009 at 11:41 am

    The key is whether the new four-cylinder DI engine offers the same refinement and “revability” that you get in the best engines in this class (Honda and Toyota). The current Sonata’s engine doesn’t really match up in this regard.”

    And this may very well be one of the major reasons behind Hyundai’s move. If the new direct-injection four has that smoothness and revability- along with, say, 190hp, (even 180hp) then Honda and Toyota will have something to worry about.

    I just hope the new 2-liter DI four from Hyundai will be built to be as long-lasting as the 2.4-liter four they currently offer in the Sonata and other vehicles. The 2.4-liter engine may not be the smoothest around, but it’s a 250,000-mile powerplant.

  • avatar
    WetWilly

    IMHO Hyundai learned it’s lesson from the Genesis. The best all-around engine in the Genesis Sedan isn’t the member of Ward’s 10 Best Engines in the World list (the Tau V8), it’s the Lambda V6. Besides having only slightly slower acceleration times than the Tau, the V6’s weight benefit noticeably helps handling. The fact that it’s cheaper is significant icing on the cake. In the Genesis’ case the Tau had to be there for the Genesis to be taken seriously; in the Sonata’s case the 280hp 3.5 Lambda II doesn’t.

    As for the DI engine’s specs (198.25 hp / 184.5 lb-ft of torque, converted from metric Korean specs), that ought to be plenty especially if the new Sonata comes in lighter than the current model. That’s ~22hp more than the Accord LX, ~10hp more than the Accord EX, ~30 more than the Camry LE 2.5 and ~20 more than the Camry SE 2.5.

  • avatar
    niky

    CyCarConsulting :
    September 28th, 2009 at 12:34 pm
    All of you praising 4 cylinders need to get out more.

    Having driven the four-cylinder against the V6 Honda Accord… which has cylinder deactivation, good highway economy and tons of *umph*, I can’t say that the difference is great enough for me to say, unequivocally, that the V6 is better.

    Good gearing in modern automatics and the advances in ECU control, torque-mapping and throttle-mapping give the four-cylinder enough snappiness to keep up with the V6 up to 30 mph…

    The difference to 60 mph is negligible… unless you turn off the traction control on the V6 and smoke the tires all the way there.

    While modern front-wheel drive can well handle between 200-300 horsepower (especially in a big sedan), that doesn’t mean people are actually going to use or need all that power merging onto the freeway. Hell… I’ve never seen anyone with their wife and two kids hit 60 mph in less than 10 seconds. Any faster is just not comfortable for passengers.

    And without a hybrid mode, all the cylinder-trickery and long gearing in the world can’t stop a bigger engine from sucking more gas in traffic. (unless, of course, your smaller engine is a performance tuned turbocharged one… those always suck gas… as compared to small turbocharged engines tuned for torque and efficiency…)

    menno :
    September 28th, 2009 at 12:36 pm
    BTW Hyundai aren’t even “first” to announce 4 cylinder only mid-sized cars.
    The 2010 Mitsubishi Galant is going to be four cylinder only.

    Like anyone’s still buying Galants…

    p00ch :
    September 28th, 2009 at 2:06 pm
    Not that most buyers in this segment will care, but a lighter engine will most likely improve the car’s handling. Not to mention less understeer when nailing the throttle midway through a turn. Modern V6 sedans are useless in anything other than straight-line acceleration (once the wheelspin stops).

    Mazda6 2.5 I4 versus an Accord V6 or a Camry V6? The I4, hands down… the V6s in the competition would like nothing more than to steer straight into the nearest bushes. Not because they’re FWD, but because they’re nose-heavy pigs.

    Hell… I’d even take a 320i (with a stick, please) over a 330i for daily use. With the same rubber, the 320i is sharper, keener to turn-in, washes out into understeer less, and is a hoot to drive (despite being “dog slow” for most Americans, at just over 8 seconds to 60).

    Oh… and the “overworked” four-cylinder is only turning over 2500 rpm at 100 mph in sixth gear. Fancy that.

    The only problem really, is the lack of overtaking oomph when you’re trying to pass someone going 80 mph in traffic. But then… if he’s going 80, he’s going fast enough, now, isn’t he?

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    How to deliver power and torque from 4cyl has always been known, but what has changed is the durability.

    This is mostly down to materials science, internal balance work and improvements in manufacturing quality/tolerance.

    In fact, small engines are so durable/well-made these days you can do this.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Somewhere, the souls of all the deceased Mitsubishi Starions with their 2.6L inline-4s are smiling.

  • avatar
    ZekeToronto

    AlexD wrote:

    I enjoy turbo 4s and will likely stick with them in the near future – the Audi/VW 2.0 turbo has plenty of power for my needs.

    Agreed. Although I am curious about the new 340HP 2.5T (five-cylinder) in the Euro-spec TT-RS ;-) [I\'ve got fond memories of a few 850T Volvos.] Some sources have speculated that 2.5T could end up in the next-gen RS3–which of course won’t be sold in North America, where we refuse to pay real money for “small” cars.

    As for sixes, IMO unless you’re talking large (i.e. over 2-ton) vehicles, they’re just unnecessary … especially in family transport / non-sporting applications. Hyundai’s made a sensible business decision from a variety of perspectives.

  • avatar
    2Goldens

    ‘Bought an ’09 Sonata Limited during Cash For Clunkers. The 6 was about $3k more. I fretted that I’d miss the horsepower and torque. I’m perfectly happy with the 4…fully loaded at $16,500. For my purposes and budget, this was a great buy. I couldn’t get Ford, Toyota or Honda dealers to deal below the $4,500 off the sticker. Hyundai is definitely on the right path.

    For the most part, they don’t build cars for true gearheads…probably never will, but as far as owning a well-built, above-average handling econobox that looks pretty good, they’re hitting home runs. And really, what’s so terrible about being the next Toyota if consumers are getting cars with equal performance and a far better warranty for far less dinero? Hmmm?

    Hopefully, at some point, Hyundai/Kia will offer turbo-4s. THEN they’ll really be on to something interesting. OOps, scotch that, here’s the scoop: http://blogs.edmunds.com/straightline/2009/09/2011-hyundai-sonata-to-get-di-turbo-versions-of-24l-engine.html

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    @ 2Goldens

    Thanks for the link, that’s really interesting. I wonder if Ford were silly enough to think they would have the “EcoBoost” space all to themselves for a short time?

    Anyway, wakey wakey Toyota. Time to break out the redesigned all aluminium, variable valve, direct injection, 3S-GTE you shelved.

  • avatar
    Canucknucklehead

    We shall see. Hondas – even the pedestrian ones – have always been tuned and engineered to please enthusiasts

    I have a 2008 Fit and a 2009 Accord EX. Both are fours (the Fit of course) and both manual. The Fit is a total rip snorter, nothing gets around in the city faster.

    The Accord is poetry in motion. It is artistry how well it handles, esp for FWD car. At 190hp, it has never ones lacked for power, even in the mountains around here. The 7100 RPM redline is breath taking. A V-6 would be a complete waste of money and I couldn’t use the power here anyway.

  • avatar
    V6

    this makes me sad.

    i liked the old 3.0L V6’s that were on offer before the Altima came out. the right amount of power combined with 6 cylinder smoothness was great, i even preferred the old 4 speed autos.

    a 4 cylinder will never sound as good or be as smooth as a 6 cylinder. my 20 year old Maxima has a far more refined engine than the 4 cylinder Camry i rented recently

  • avatar
    BD

    As already stated, the 2.4 in the new Sonata will reportedly be rated at 195HP w/ an optional turbo engine likely pushing out 240-250HP.

    Add in the hybrid version and Hyundai seems to have the bases covered.

    For those who want a sportier ride (and a cleaner design) – the 2011 Optima will cover that market since the Sonata is more of a “soft cruiser.”

    @menno/slateslate

    The “downsized” Genesis sedan (built on a shortened Genesis BH platform) is going to be the the flagship of the Kia fleet (altho both the new Optima and VG sedans will be larger).

    The replacement for the Azera is likely to be of similar size to the current one since the Kia VG shares the same platform.

    If it looks anything like the new Optima and VG, it’s going to be a looker.

    @Autosavant –

    Uhh, the Genesis coupe is built on a shortened Genesis BH platform.

    As for “fraud” – actually less of a fraud than the Mercedes E Class coupe being built on a C Class platform.

    Btw, the Genesis sedan is not an E-Class clone – looks more like a BMW from the side (as do many vehicles).

  • avatar
    escapenguin

    Ehhh… I know one oft-berated buff-book was recently quoted as having said that buying an Accord with anything more than the 4 is a waste. For once, I had to agree with them, even if the V-6 is quite nice. But, I’m biased as I prefer that engine architecture.

  • avatar
    don1967

    I’ll believe this when I see it… everyone else is predicting a 3.5 litre Lambda V6 variant.

    Having said that, the new four-pot is rumoured to be very smooth and just as powerful as a first-gen Nissan VQ. Hmmm. Throw in the production efficiencies of a single-powertrain lineup, wrap it all in stunning new sheetmetal, and this just might be for real. It could certainly give Toyondissan a few sleepless nights.

  • avatar
    vento97

    Being a driver of 4-cylinder cars for over 30 years, its about time everyone else catches on…

    B.T.W. – Hyundai’s message to Honda & Toyota:

    “WATCH YOUR ASS”….:)

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Torque is the essence of life ;) Without it, while driving it may be necessary to open the door, get out and check your pulse. Just to make sure you are still alive. :)

    So, no turbo or no V6? No Hyundai. Don’t care what the grannies, or greenies, or people who view a car as an appliance say. Life’s too short, and living the days while feeling short changed by your car’s performance feel, will get awfully long indeed. The thing is, that discomfort won’t be felt until after you have parted with your money.

  • avatar
    dolorean23

    Hyundai is becoming the new Honda.

    Based on that, I’d say they want to be the new Toyota.

    You really think so? I still see the styling department at KDM looking over someone else’s successful design and incorporating it into its own. The new Kia Forte for example looks enough like a Civic to confuse at a glance. Honestly can’t say that they’ve found their own style yet. As well as I can say for the build quality. I like smaller, efficient cars and am always happy to test drive anything, and constantly find the Korean cars lacking in something intangible. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but every Hyundai and Kia feels cheap somehow, to the point where you’re thinking it justifies the price.

    2Goldens: ‘Bought an ‘09 Sonata Limited during Cash For Clunkers. The 6 was about $3k more. I fretted that I’d miss the horsepower and torque. I’m perfectly happy with the 4…fully loaded at $16,500. For my purposes and budget, this was a great buy. I couldn’t get Ford, Toyota or Honda dealers to deal below the $4,500 off the sticker.

    Not quite true. You COULD buy a four cylinder, 5 speed Fusion for less than $16K – modestly appointed, but no penalty box – with the added Ford bonuses; however, Americans hate to row it themselves so they are extremely hard to find. The one I did find had sat at the dealers lot for so long the parking brake had rusted. I had to have the sales-dude give it a good shove to pop it.

    Absolutely agree that 4 CYLs and 6 speeds go together like Peas-n-Carrots, but you have to take into account a cars weight to HP ratio, its cruising level at speed, and if you plan on moving a lot of cargo or use the car for towing before you choose over the V6 option.

  • avatar
    Sammy Hagar

    2Goldens: “I’m perfectly happy with the 4…fully loaded at $16,500. For my purposes and budget, this was a great buy.”

    What part of the country are you in? Up here (Pacific Northwest), 4cyl Sonatas were going for $16K and the corresponding Optima for $14K. Had I been able to get our local Hyundai dealer to negotiate closer to the Kia price, I would have pulled the trigger. But since they weren’t hurting for sales, I had no luck. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t commit to the Optima, as our Kia dealership doesn’t inspire me with owner confidence.


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