The introduction of the current Sonata in 2010 was Hyundai’s first attempt at grabbing a piece of the luxury segment. The car was bold, stylish and in typical Hyundai panache, a great value proposition.
But a few years have passed and this flagship sedan is ready to embrace the next level of refinement.
Admittedly there were a few gripes about the Sonata when the car was launched and one of the main areas was a lack of power.
Enter the new 2.4-litre Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engine in automatic guise, then.
Looking to address the power issues, this new four-cylinder motor benefits from a substantial gain, seeing a rise in power output from 131kW to a 148kW and maximum torque of 250Nm. This translates into a claimed fuel usage of 7.9 litres/100km and 188g/km of Co2 emitted.
In terms of performance, the Sonata can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 9.0 seconds and has a top speed of around 210km/h.
The GDI motor fitted to this derivative will still have its critics, as it offers a lot of bark without much bite. However, if you’re looking for a smooth-sailing sedan, this Sonata can’t be ignored because, in addition to the new powertrain, Hyundai has also given placed the Sonata under the knife for some product enhancement.
While these changes won’t be immediately noticeable, their subtleties do complement the car. These updates include a fresh new grille, front bumper, headlights and fog lights added on the front, new 18-inch wheels and exterior side mirrors and reworked rear lights.
The tail lights of the Sonata has LED illumination which shines brighter and it has been redesigned to form a neater and more harmonious junction with the car’s design lines.
Inside, Hyundai has continued to roll on the changes, upgrading the centre-console layout and touch-screen display.
Seat warmers for the driver and front passenger have also been added to the standard-features list, as well as dual climate control for better air conditioning. The Sonata is also fitted with hill-start assist control for a smooth, safe pull away against an incline.
On the entertainment front, it includes Bluetooth connectivity in addition to iPod and USB ports with steering-mounted controls for ease of use.
While loading the car with creature comforts, the Hyundai team didn’t forget about safety features. The Sonata boasts digital driver assistance for active safety in the form of ESP, as well as BAS with EBD for maintaining control, even in unexpected driving situations.
Occupant safety is assured by a full complement of six airbags (driver and front passenger, curtain and front side).
The new Sonata 2.4 GDI Elite will retail for R379 900 and comes standard with Hyundai’s 5-year Triple Care plan, which includes a 5-year/150 000km manufacturer’s warranty, 5-year/90 000km service plan and 5-year/150 000km roadside assistance. Service intervals are every 15 000km.