By on December 2, 2009

It's Sonata Camry... they say.

Hyundai is continuing their roll in North America with their latest Sonata, and they know it. In (now) typical Hyundai fashion they stuck it to Toyota and Honda, touting not only their increase in sales in 2009, but their industry-besting CAFE numbers as well. Hyundai is claiming 35mpg highway for their new Sonata with the 2.4L GDI engine, and say the turbo GDI expected mid-2010 will get the same 35mpg on the highway. According to the President of Hyundai North America, the Sonata will be in showrooms in January 2010 and should list for under $20,000 with the usual bevy of standard equipment you expect in a Korean car. Check out TTAC’s review of a Korean-spec 2011 Sonata here.

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35 Comments on “LA Auto Show: 2011 Hyundai Sonata...”

  • avatar

    why didnt they just replace the entire fender with the headlight?

  • avatar

    Yow.  $20k, 35mpg, and great(IMHO) looks?  That stampede you hear is potential Fusion, Camry, and Accord buyers deserting Ford and Toyonda showrooms.

  • avatar

    I really want to like the car, but I just can’t get passed the front end. Maybe it will look better in person, or maybe the next Kia Optima ill be better looking.

  • avatar

    Looks like a Camry SE from this angle.

  • avatar

    I’m seeing lots of Toyota and Chrysler, and the end result doesn’t work for me.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m seeing lots of Lexus and Mercedes and I’m not feeling it.

      Hyundai has no styling language of its own at all.  Nither the Genesis, Sonata or this show any.

    • 0 avatar

      I think there is quite a bit of Mercedes CLS and VW CC (which again is derivative of the Mercedes).  It’s not terribly original but very few new cars truly break new ground in styling and design.  I think they deserve a lot of credit though for pushing this kind of styling on a relatively cheap family sedan when the cars it’s emulating cost so much more.

    • 0 avatar


      The hood is so ridiculous looking, the CLS was the last thing I thought of.

      Hell, If I wanted I could buy a CLS 500 right now for $33,000 on Hillside Avenue (43,000 miles). 

      I’d rather take a Benz used than this thing new.

    • 0 avatar

      Fair enough, but I still think the profiles of the two vehicles are similar.  The Hyundai is in no way the same class as the Benz.

  • avatar

    I should be bludgened to death for thinking this..

    Hyundai is replacing their 6s with turbo 4’s with more engine technology than Honda. In a day and age when Honda JUST said dont look for them to do direct injection. They are focusing on Hybrids. Im sorry.. thats the biggest slap in the face.. to the founder, and to anyone, and I MEAN ANYONE who NOW buys a Honda for fuel efficiency.

    I should have my thoat slit for thinking this..
    This is totally fuckin crazy.

    Hyundai is releasing the Sonata.. that is LARGER than Accord, now a fullsize car, with a SMALLER motor that gets BETTER / HIGHER fuel economy.

    Something is really.. REALLY screwed up here.

    Hyundai.. might actually have some credibility.
    Christ.. the world is ending.

    And Honda just stands around making hybrids for all!

  • avatar

    Oh yeah..
    Can we at least change the paint color to some COLOR, instead of this SHINY PRIMER?

  • avatar

    The Sonata in the review looked better to me but IMO this car has a lot more style than the current Toyota and Honda offerings. I say style wise it’s about even with the Fusion and Malibu. It must be a testament to the loyalty of Honda and Toyota buyers that they sell the volume of Civics, Accords, Camrys and Corollas they do as their is certainly nothing to be mistaken for style on any of them.

    • 0 avatar

      …you mean people like my wife who would take a Honda or Toyota sight unseen, just because it is. She did like the Subaru we ended up with but had to ride and drive it first and check the specs. And, it had be the right color!

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Looks like another bulls-eye on the target market for Hyundai with this model. Honda, Toyota and Ford should be running scared.

  • avatar

    LOL.  I remember that Excel I road tested in 86 that conked out during the test drive.  I thought Hyundai was going the way of Yugo…a few years later I test drove their second-gen Sonata and was quite impressed.  I driven several of their cars since then and think that they’ve done a great job of improving their cars in terms of reliability and drivability.  Good for them.  Chrysler and GM have been sleeping, and now they are paying the price.

  • avatar

    Did the KDM model look like this?  I ask because I don’t recall the front end being nearly this awkward in prior photos.
    Actually, in retrospect, it did look like this.  The problem is that the chrome trim line from the headlight to the A pillar isn’t as obvious in daylight, the turn signal wasn’t amber-lensed and the front bumper’s tortured plastic wasn’t as evident.  This is one of those cars that actually looks better when it isn’t waxed to a fare-thee-well and displayed under stage lighting.

  • avatar

    I’m stunned by the comments made that this is a smart looking car…

    This is aping banality incarnate. There is not a distinctive or original line, bolt, button or curve on this car – it is a facsimile of what Hyundai sees in other cars today, and takes features from the most successful of them to slap on this knock-off.

    If the next generation Toyota or BMW comes out looking like giant blocks of cheese, guess what the next Hyundai will look like? Yep, that’s right, cheese! Then some chaps will say of the new Brie inspired Hyundai look ‘Wow – looks great’ or ‘the new Hyundai has a lot more style than the current Toyota or BMW!’

    I do not at all begrudge anyone at all for buying a Hyundai as a vehicle to get from point a) to point b) – good for you, probably an excellent choice. But PLEASE don’t think for a second that you are driving anything but the Wal-Mart of the automotive world.

  • avatar

    John Krafcik, president of Hyundai America. In its place is a turbocharged 2.0L GDI that will offer more power (249-hp and 229 lb-ft of torque) “We’re well beyond that,”
    The new theta II turbo is a $500 to $600 premium and the horsepower is 268+. Gas mileage I heard was 20-30 for the turbo 4 cylinder. Hence why no v6 is offered. This for all under 20K.
    Eat that eco-boost! How about selling a Taurus with some boost for the average buyer, not just SHO people? SHO should not just be the engine but the tech gadgets as well, sell the engine at lower price points Ford (IMHO).

  • avatar

    Oh 2011 Buick Regal, Sonata called, it says its better for about 10K less and has ~50 more horsepower from a 2.4l turbo 4 cylinder. Still want to deactivate your 4 cylinder to not cannibalize sales from Lacrosse’s 4 cylinder offering? Like people are going to cross shop the two anyways.

  • avatar
    John R

    I hope what hear about the power from turbo’d GDI 4-pot are true. Some 250 ponies and some 229 torques while at only a $500 to $600 premium of the NA motor?? Sign me up for a Hyundai, again.
    BTW, I wonder if those wheels in the photo would fit on my NF Sonata?

    • 0 avatar

      I was wrong, the turbo 4 GDI 2.4 L has a capacity of reaching 286 ponies not 268.  That fits with what John Krafcik, president of Hyundai america said with it well beyond the outgoing V6 options(249-hp) thus 286!! Damnnn. $147 Million of engineering well spent!
      The eco-boost on Ford reportedly only costs an extra $700 to make but with the price difference between models you would think its an extra 3-5K (ford does throw in electric steering as well with eco-boost).  Maybe the $500-600 quote I read will be similar, with it representing manufacturing costs and not actual retail in the end.

  • avatar

    I could have sworn you inadvertantly reposted the 2011 Fiesta picture by mistake.

  • avatar

    The hood sort of reminds me of the last ill fated Chrysler Sebring.

  • avatar

    Why didn’t they just call it Hyundai ES240? It’s got a ton of the popular Lexus in it. It’s got a bit of C Class in it too, but the Lexus just stands out at me. Not bad looking, but not original.

  • avatar

    While the styling cues are from other manufacturer’s vehicles rather than original the car still has style that is sorely lacking in the current Camry and Accord. Hyundai will do well with this car.

  • avatar

    Looking at the interior photos, I’m really impressed.  I’m certainly not the most discerning person about interiors, but I like that it’s not buttons / switches gone wild.  The center stack seems relatively spare on the buttons.  Maybe they put a bunch of stuff on a touchscreen (kinda bleah) but I like that it’s not some Nuclear Plant Control Panel.

  • avatar

    Okay, the front end does sort of resemble the upside-down-face kid on Family Guy.   And the GDI 4-banger, though impressive in some ways, will not thrill anyone.   But damn, didn’t the Camry and Accord just get ugly in a hurry?   Hyundai is going to have a major sales success on its hands.

  • avatar

    Call it derivative if you like (yes, it copies other cars by having doors with handles, and such), but this is an absolutely stunning-looking automobile at this price point.

    Hyundai has become a (the) four-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.

  • avatar

    Can I get that turbo motor in a Genesis Coupe please?
    And I can see what will be in my parents’ driveway next year, as soon as the Turbo model comes out- in the same red color pictured above. And it won’t confuse them with millions of buttons like the Accord that they test drove did!

  • avatar

    It does look really awkward in photos, but everyone I’ve spoken to who saw it in LA said it looks fantastic in person. I’m certainly going to withhold judgement until I see it at a dealership.

  • avatar

    The last Sonata had a front end I could cope with – in a ‘It looks like an older Honda’ sort of way. The headlights on this one…. I just don’t know what to say. It looks like an old actress who’s had one too many facelifts.
    But enough whining, the new engine sounds amazing on paper. I can’t wait to see how it performs in the real world.

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