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Big opulent drive with a new engine


AS OF late, Hyundai seems to have the magic touch when it comes to new models.

The Santa Fe, Elantra and Accent are all drab -to-fab success stories.

The Sonata is no different and when it was launched over two years ago, it grabbed attention. But recently the folks at Hyundai fitted the new GDI engine into the big sedan and gave it a few revised styling cues.

I initially wasn’t a fan of the large 2.4-litre GDI. It grumbles at start and there is a bit of lag on take-off. But over time I learned to drive the 148kW powertrain how it likes to be driven and I quickly realised it’s not completely horrid.

One of the massive benefits of the new engine - besides the added performance of course - is the fact that the vehicle is more fuel efficient. Hyundai claims that the Sonata will use 7.9 litres/100km and emit 188g/km of Co2.

It’s a big opulent drive that offers immense comfort and clearly shows the direction the Korean brand is headed. However, despite being loaded with standard equipment, Hyundai is on the shift to become a more premium brand, which means the once-alluring pricing that helped allow Hyundai to grow locally, has shifted and is no longer the case.

The Hyundai Sonata GDI will set you back R379 900 and although it’s a lot of money, it is a lot of car.

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