Jumat, 12 Maret 2010

2011 Hyundai Sonata

2011 Hyundai Sonata

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata is redesigned, with freshened styling, a new engine, and new features. This midsize sedan is about 3 inches longer in wheelbase and 1 inch longer overall than the 2006-2010 model. The 2011 Sonata comes in three trim levels: base GLS, sporty SE, and luxury-themed Limited. All are powered by a new 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, which replaces 4-cylinder and V6 engines of 2.4 and 3.3 liters, respectively. GLS and Limited have 198 horsepower, and the SE has 200. Standard on the GLS is a 6-speed manual transmission. Optional on that model and standard on all other Sonatas is a 6-speed automatic. SE versions have a sport suspension, 18-inch wheels, and specific trim. Available safety features include ABS, traction control, antiskid system, curtain side airbags, and front side airbags. A navigation system is optional on all models. Limiteds equipped with navigation include a rearview camera. Leather upholstery with heated front and rear seats are Limited-exclusive standard features. This evaluation is based on preview test drives.

Hyundai promises a comprehensive technological roster, including standard stability control and hill-start assist—although we don’t understand why people need this when the standard transmission is a six-speed automatic—as well as a brake-assist system and adjustable dampers. Available luxury equipment will include a three-piece panoramic sunroof and heated seats front and rear.

Also new is the Sonata’s onboard telematics system—think Korean OnStar. Emergency-notification and anti-theft tracking functions are free for the first two years, but maintenance-monitoring and -alert capabilities are probably going to cost extra.

In Korea, power will come from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 163 hp. Our standard motor in the U.S. will be a larger, 2.4-liter four with direct injection and unspecified output we predict will be around 190 hp. Production of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata for U.S. consumption will begin early in 2010 at the company’s factory in Alabama, with deliveries to commence shortly thereafter. Although the Sonata’s sheetmetal might ape the nearly $30,000 Volkswagen CC, its price, thankfully, will not. Hyundai says pricing will begin at the equivalent of $17,600 in Korea, and we expect that won’t change much when it hits American dealerships.

While the actual design of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata largely appears to be a 3-D Xerox of theVolkswagen CC, Hyundai seems to have been peering over Mazda’s shoulder when it drafted the car’s stylistic philosophy of “fluidic sculpture,” which it says is inspired by nature and “tries to reflect sophistication and dynamism in the shape of the vehicle.” Regardless of cues, inspiration, or wholesale design theft, there is no arguing that the shape is dramatic, whether wearing a VW badge or the stylized Hyundai “H.” The surprising design continues inside, with a handsome, upscale blend of materials, colors, and swoopy, modern shapes.
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